Visiting New York for Christmas


Have you ever visited NYC for Christmas? This was our first trip to New York around the holidays, and being there was as magical as I anticipated! From the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue window displays, and our Palm Beach kids experiencing the cold winter weather and ice skating, it was pure holiday magic. 

Here are a few suggestions to make a trip to New York during the holidays extra special, just as being there at this festive time of year surely will!

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

This was on our must-do list! Having never been to New York during the holidays, we all wanted to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and go ice skating.

Tips: Get there early! We arrived just before the 8:30am skating session, and only waited for a short time.

NYC Ice Skating
NYC Ice Skating6
NYC Ice Skating4

Skip the lines and opt for a VIP experience. The rink offers VIP experiences, including a breakfast and ice skating session with Santa! When I called ahead, the woman I spoke with said she takes her family to this breakfast every year. It includes a special session on the ice with Santa, and is a great family experience!

Skate at Bryant Park. We didn’t get a chance to do this during this trip, but Bryant Park in Manhattan has a skating rink with free admission, shopping nearby, and food and drinks.

The American Museum of Natural History

Tips: Take your time! We spent a couple of hours in the museum, with a two, five, and six year old, and it easily could have been longer. Do your kids love dinosaurs? This is a must-do! There is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you are traveling with younger children, visit the Discovery Room, on the ground floor the museum. The Discovery Room is a hands-on exhibit for young children, as well as experiments for kids ages eight and up. Our kids loved the exhibits, which included putting together a fossil skeleton, puzzles and toys, and seeing live reptiles and bugs. I easily could have missed seeing the Discovery Room at the museum, if I didn’t know about it!

FAO Schwarz

Tips: Get there early, although the line moved pretty quickly. We waited in a short line to get into the store, the weekend before Christmas and a busy shopping day.

The store was fun and memorable, with tin soldiers taking pictures with families outside, toys being demonstrated inside, and interactive displays.

The American Girl Doll Store

Tips: American Girl Teatime. The café in the store offers a special Holiday Tea from 2-4pm. Make a reservation online. Guests can bring their own doll, or borrow a doll from the restaurant, to join them for tea!

Take a Walk

NYC Macys
NYC Fountain
NYC St Patricks
NYC Window2

Tips: Wear shoes you are comfortable walking in and allow time to stroll around and snap a few pictures. One of my favorite memories of the trip is walking around looking at the holiday window displays!

If you are thinking about traveling to New York for Christmas, go for it! It is truly a special time of year in a special place.