Experiencing the Magic of New York City in December

By April Q

New York City in December is nothing short of enchanting. The city that never sleeps transforms into a winter wonderland, with holiday lights adorning every corner, the crisp air carrying the scent of roasted chestnuts, and an infectious festive spirit that sweeps through its bustling streets. As we look ahead to December 2023, here’s a guide to experiencing the very best of the Big Apple during this enchanting month.

image credit: Leonard Zhukovsky/ Shutterstock
  1. Ice Skating at Iconic Rinks

Kick off your December visit with a timeless New York experience – ice skating. Dust off your skates and glide around the iconic rinks that pop up throughout the city. The Rink at Rockefeller Center, with its towering Christmas tree, and Wollman Rink in Central Park are must-visit spots. For a more intimate experience, try Bryant Park’s Winter Village, where you can skate for free if you bring your own skates.

  1. Spectacular Holiday Displays

New York City takes holiday decorations to a whole new level. Take a stroll down Fifth Avenue to witness the stunning window displays at stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. Don’t forget to visit Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, where residents compete in an epic battle of Christmas lights and decorations. It’s a jaw-dropping display of holiday cheer.

  1. Broadway Shows and Musicals

December holds exciting opportunities for aficionados of the theater. Those with a penchant for the performing arts can look forward to a delightful experience. Whether you opt for a Broadway production or immerse yourself in the festive ambiance of a musical extravaganza, such as the renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the internationally acclaimed Rockettes, you’re in for a treat. To guarantee prime seating and avoid disappointment, it’s advisable to make early ticket reservations, ensuring you have the best view of the mesmerizing performances that await you.

  1. The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center

Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet, “The Nutcracker,” comes to life at the iconic Lincoln Center. This enchanting performance is a holiday tradition for many, and the opulent setting of the David H. Koch Theater adds to the magic. It is advisable to get tickets early, as the shows sell out fast.

  1. Holiday Markets

New York City’s holiday markets are perfect for finding unique gifts and indulging in delicious treats. Visit the Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and Grand Central Holiday Fair for a festive shopping experience. You’ll discover handcrafted goods, artisanal foods, and plenty of hot cider to keep you warm.

  1. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

While technically in January, no December visit to New York City would be complete without considering the iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. If you plan to ring in the New Year in the heart of Manhattan, be sure to book accommodations well in advance, as this event draws revelers from around the world.

  1. Culinary Delights

Winter is an excellent time to indulge in warming comfort food. Warm up with a steaming cup of cocoa from City Bakery’s annual Hot Chocolate Festival. And no New York trip would be complete without trying a piece of New York cheesecake and grabbing a slice of pizza from one of the city’s numerous pizzerias.

image credit: Life In Pixels / Shutterstock

December in New York City is a true feast for the senses. Whether you’re taking in the holiday lights, enjoying a world-class performance, or savoring delicious winter treats, the city offers something for everyone. So, bundle up, embrace the holiday spirit, and create lasting memories in the city that knows how to celebrate like no other.