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Christmas in New York: 2023 Holiday Season dates and events

Are you planning your Christmas 2023 trip to New York City and wondering when NYC starts decorating for the Holiday Season? My name is Marco, I am the owner of My Christmas in New York on Instagram and I am going to explain you when it’s the best time to visit New York for Christmas. In fact, in this article you’ll find all the dates, from Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies (including the one at Rockefeller Center), Lights and Sounds Shows (such as Saks Fifth Avenue), the best 2023 Christmas Markets in NYC to the best Lights Tours in Dyker Heights and DUMBO. Also, you will find info on the best Christmas-themed restaurants and hotels in NYC where to eat among thousands of decorations and lights, such as Rolfs or Papillon. So get ready to find out everything you need to know about Christmas in NYC 2023 and when New York starts decorating for the Holiday Season!

Child in winter clothes on dad's shoulder pointing at Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and its lights in New York

Discovering the Holiday Season 2023 in New York

Spending Christmas 2023 in New York City means a unique and magical time and experience. In fact, NYC is full of lights, sounds, Christmas decorations and window displays.

But the real questions is: When does New York decorate for Christmas? When New York becomes the real Winter Wonderland?

We are sure you have all seen NYC fully decorated for Christmas in so many movies and TV series. Just think of Home Alone 2 (Lost in New York), Elf, Miracle on 34th Street. These are just some of the very famous movie titles set in NYC during the holiday season.

In this article I will discuss all the major events  and dates that characterize the 2023 Christmas season in NYC. On top of that I will also list the Christmas attractions in Manhattan (but not only) that you absolutely cannot miss if you are planning a 2023 Christmas trip to New York City.

Did you know that there are more than 80 Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in New York City? In this article we will glimpse the main ones, indicating the date and time you can attend and answering the question: “when New York decorates for Christmas in 2023”.

An important piece of information: all Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies and Light Shows in New York are 100% free. If anyone, for any reason, tries to sell you tickets, do not buy them. This is a fraud. There are various frauds in New York that you need to avoid. These occur mostly in the Times Square area. I am thinking first of all of the fake rappers who want to sell you CDs or fake Buddhist monks who give you bracelets. This happens also during the Christmas Season in New York, when the city is full of tourists. Read my article Don’t get scammed in Times Square for more info.

So get ready to immerse yourself in the New York holiday spirit and find out When New York City decorates for Christmas in 2023.

Giant Nutcracker decorations on 5th Avenue in New York during the 2023 Christmas Season

The official start of Christmas decorations in New York City

When you ask someone to give you an official date for the start of Christmas in New York in 2023, you will find vague and discordant answers. In fact, some say that the best time to see New York decorated for Christmas is only since the end of November. Others, however, claim that NYC is fully decorated only by December.

In this article of My Guides on Christmas in New York you will get the clear and definitive answer to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas?

In fact, based on my experience in recent years, the first holiday lights and decoratations start popping up around early November. However, there are a few exception for the 2023 Christmas in New York timeline. For example, the Bryant Park Christmas Market and its Ice Skating Rink will open on October 27th. This might sound crazy, considering its even before the 2023 Halloween Parade in the Greenwich Village. Also, the Wollman Rink Ice Skating Rink in Central Park opens a week before the one in Bryant Park. In the sections below you will find all the information and dates on both this iconic 2023 Holiday Attractions in New York.

From then on it is a succession of Christmas events around the city. Most of these will take place between the middle and end of November. Now let’s find out together, one by one, all these Christmas events in NYC and answer the question “When New York Decorates for Christmas” in 2023.

2 people enjoying the view of the Wollman Rink in Central Park, the first Ice Skating Rink to open the 2023 Holiday Season in New York

Ice Skating in Central Park: The first ice rink to open the 2023 Christmas Season in New York (October 23, 2023)

If you are looking for an unforgettable experiences and the best time for the 2023 Christmas season in New York City, the Central Park Ice Skating Rink, called Wollman Rink, is a perfect choice. The question “When does New York City start decorating for Christmas in 2023” can also be answered “on October 23, 2023”. Now I’ll explain why.
The Central Park Rink is located in the heart of Manhattan. This outdoor rink offers a magical atmosphere with New York City skyscrapers in the background.

The Wollman Rink is the first rink to open in the 2023 Christmas Season in New York. In fact, the opening date is scheduled for Monday, October 23, 2023. Ice skating fans will be able to enjoy this rink until mid-March 2024, seven days a week.

This fascinating ice rink has been shown in many famous movies set in New York City. These include “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and “Serendipity”.

Reaching the Wollman Rink in Central Park in winter 2023 is easy. In fact, it can be easily accessed from 5th Avenue and Columbus Circle. If you are in the Central Park South West area, be sure to check out the Shops at Columbus Circle. Instead, if you are in the 5th Avenue area, take the opportunity to visit the Plaza Hotel’s beautiful Christmas tree or the Pulitzer Fountain, both decorated for the holiday season. All these decorations and lights are a must-see during the 2023 Christmas in New York.

So, the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas 2023?” can easily be answered with “October 23, 2023.” In fact, it is on this day in late October that the opening of the Central Park skating rink officially marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the city.

For more info on the Central Park Ice Skating Rink make sure to read my article entirely dedicated to the Wollman Rink in NYC.

Iceless Curling and Igloos in Bryant Park Holiday Market

When New York Decorates for Christmas: Shopping at Bryant Park Winter Village (October 27, 2023)

The Winter Village at Bryant Park is one of the three main holiday markets in New York. In fact, during the Christmas time in New York you will find three beautiful Christmas markets in Manhattan: Bryant Park, Columbus Circle and Union Square.

The Christmas Market at Bryant Park officially opens on October 27, 2023, kicking off the Christmas shopping season in NYC. This is in my opinion the start date to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas?”

This beautiful Christmas market offers a wide range of stalls with unique gifts, holiday decorations, New York State crafts, and culinary delights.

The Winter Village in Bryant Park is the perfect place to take yourself adventurous with Christmas gifts even if you visit New York before Halloween! In case you are in New York around October 31st, 2023, don’t forget to enjoy the Halloween Parade NYC: 2023 Greenwich Village Route and Time.

Along with the Bryant Park Christmas Market, the beautiful Ice Rink also opens. I have a guide in my NYC blog entirely dedicated it. Check it out visiting Ice Skating in Bryant Park: Winter Wonderland in Manhattan.

In my Blog about Christmas in New York 2023 you will find lots of useful info to prepare your visit to Bryant Park. For example you will be able to glimpse the best places to have breakfast near Bryant Park or which is the best subway to get to Bryant Park.

In case you visit Bryant Park during the 2023 Christmas Season in New York and are looking for something cool, I have an idea for you. Check out the IGLOOs inside the Bryant Park Christmas Market. They are really comfortable and the admission price even includes snacks and drinks!

So if you are looking for the answer to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas?” the first real event of the Christmas season in NYC is the opening of the Bryant Park Christmas Market. Tickets and info on the official website of the Bryant Park Winter Village.

People Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Center Rink during the Holiday Season

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center (November 4, 2023)

We all know the world-famous Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink in NYC. We have seen it hundreds of times in movies and TV series. For example, do you remember the movie Home Alone 2 (Lost in New York)? Kevin and his mom get together at the end of the movie right in front of the Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center.

For all those who want to ice skate at this iconic rink, the start date and official time for the Christmas season in New York is November 4, 2023. You can purchase tickets on the official website of the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink.

The Rockefeller Center ice rink in Manhattan thus shows the whole world that the answer to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas” is not December, but even early November 2023.

Unsure where to skate in New York City during the Christmas Season 2023? Don’t worry: every choice is the right one. I invite you to read my article in which I compare the real skating rinks in the Big Apple. Here you will find all the info on ice skating rinks. I have also included admission and skate rental prices.

The Rockefeller Center rink is undoubtedly the most iconic. Skating here, although the most expensive choice, is worth every penny. I look forward to seeing you in New York at Christmas 2023 to celebrate this amazing city together. I’m sure its millions of lights and festive decorations will captivate you!

Conclusion: Ice Skating in New York to kick-off the Christmas Season

New York City’s three most famous ice rinks are set to open the 2023 holiday season. The Wollman Rink in Central Park will be the first to open, on October 23. This date thus marks the official start of the Christmas season in New York.

The following week, on October 27, the Winter Village at Bryant Park will open. Bank of America is the official sponsor of this festive landmark since years. In addition to the ice rink, visitors will enjoy Christmas markets. All this offers a complete experience of the holiday season in NYC.

Finally, Rockefeller Center, with its famous skating rink, will open on Nov. 4. However, Rockefeller Center’s famous Christmas tree will not arrive in Manhattan until a week later, adding an additional touch of magic to the city. Your Christmas Time in New York won’t be complete without the most famous 2023 Holiday Tree. Later in this article we will discover more about its 2023 Tree Lighting Ceremony.

These openings anticipate the question “When New York City is decorated with millions of Christmas lights in Christmas 2023”. With this article I want to show you that the Big Apple starts celebrating Christmas as early as late October. For more details on how New York City lights up for the holidays, stay tuned to the next section of this Holiday-themed article.

Blonde woman marvels at the stunning Christmas decor inside Rolfs NYC, her expression conveying sheer delight at the enchanting holiday atmosphere.

Dining at Rolfs: best Christmas Restaurant in NYC with Lights and Decorations all year long

Rolfs is the most popular Christmas-themed restaurant in all of New York City. This Christmas Restaurant and bar is at 281 3rd Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Rolfs NYC is a charming restaurant, with Christmas decorations throughout the year. This makes it a unique place for those visiting the Big Apple even outside the holiday season.

Inside Rolfs, customers are greeted by more than 200,000 decorations. Preparing such a visual feast takes months and months of hard work. However, the result is truly impressive! The Holiday Season atmosphere will make you feel like it’s Christmas every day of the year in New York!

If you ask “When does New York decorate for Christmas?” to the owners of Rolfs restaurant, the answer will be “all year round“. In fact, this is a perfect example of how you can celebrate Christmas in New York with enthusiasm and passion at any time of the year.

In terms of reservations, Rolfs functions primarily as a walk-in restaurant. This is because during the Christmas season in NYC, the restaurant managers can be so busy that they hardly ever answer the phone. So if you are planning a visit, just show up and savor the Christmas atmosphere.

Rolfs’ cuisine offers a range of traditional German dishes, Here you will find a Wiener Schnitzel or Sauerkraut and Wurst. Eating here, amid thousands of Christmas lights, is the perfect gift for spending an unforgettable Christmas in New York City in 2023.

Would you like to learn more about this Christmas-themed restaurant in New York? I have an article entirely dedicated to Rolfs. I invite you to click on the link “Rolfs NYC: A Christmas-Themed Restaurant Wonderland” to find out all the details about this unique dining experience in the Big Apple.

Red ball decorations on 6th Avenue in New York with Radio City Music Hall Christmas Tree displayed on wall

November: hottest month to answer the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas” in 2023

Let’s recap what we have said so far about Christmas in New York 2023. Before the end of October you will already find 2 ice skating rinks in New York. The first is the Central Park Ice Rink, the most picturesque in all of NYC. This one opens on October 23, 2023. The second is the one in Bryant Park. The latter opens on October 27, 2023. With the opening of the Bryant Park ice rink you will also find its must-see Christmas markets. So if you are looking for a place to do Christmas shopping in New York before the end of October, you have the right place.

Now let’s continue to answer the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas in 2023”. The focus now will be on November. This is indeed the most important month for Christmas celebrations and events in the Big Apple. Do not trust anyone who tells you that decorations in New York are only there starting in December. With my decades of experience, I can confidently tell you that as early as November 2023 you will find a fully decorated NYC for Christmas.

So many of those who follow me on Instagram (@MyChristmasinNewYork) think the answer to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas” is December. Some are even afraid that at the beginning of December all the decorations will not be up yet. With this article from my New York Blog you will understand that there is no need to be afraid. In fact, New York’s main Christmas decorations are installed in November each year.

The year 2023 will be no exception. So let’s continue to find out when New York decorates for Christmas.

Workers using a crane to hoist the Rockefeller Center Holiday Tree into position, with a crowd watching the iconic event as the tree is carefully lifted into place.

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree arrives in New York City (November 11, 2023)

Get your calendar ready: there’s a date to save that few people talk about but is one of the most anticipated in Manhattan. I’m talking about the arrival of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. The world’s most famous tree arrives and is hoisted on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Usually Rockefeller Center announces the selection of the tree around mid-October. it is also around this time that people know where the Christmas tree is coming from. Most of the time it is a tree from New York State itself. Upstate New York is in fact full of forests with old-growth trees. Once Rockefeller Center has chosen its Christmas tree, it is cut down and transported to the city.

The arrival of NYC’s most famous Christmas tree is awaited by thousands of people. From first light on Saturday, November 11, hundreds of people flock to the front of Rockefeller Center.

One of the things I love most about this ceremony is the fact that slices of the Christmas tree are given to attendees. What better memory to take home than a piece of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City?

For many, the arrival of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree officially marks the beginning of the 2023 Christmas season and perfectly answers the question, “When does New York get decorated for Christmas?”

Looking for more info about the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York? Check out the article I fully dedicated to it. You will learn a lot of useful info about the Tree Lighting Ceremony, tickets, visiting hours and much more!

What time does the Christmas tree arrive at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, November 11, 2023?

On November 11, 2023, an exciting event will mark the beginning of the Christmas season in New York: the arrival of the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center. At 10 in the morning, a truck will bring the impressive tree from Upstate New York to Manhattan. My suggestion? Position yourself near the skating rink at the Rockefeller Center around 9 in the morning to ensure a prime view of the tree’s arrival.

The process of unloading and installing the tree lasts about 3 hours. This is a precise and fascinating ballet where Rockefeller Center employees gently remove the Christmas Tree from the truck and then hoist it with a giant crane. So, if you find yourself in New York on November 11, 2023, do yourself a favor: reserve the morning to attend this event. The arrival of the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center is a unique experience that fills the heart with anticipation for the holidays.

The Rockettes celebrating the end of their Christmas Show in New York City

The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall (November 13, 2023)

For many, Christmas in New York City has an official start: November 13, 2023. This is the day when Radio City Music Hall’s “Christmas Spectacular” show opens. A bright and magical celebration that lights up the Big Apple even before the middle of November.

The undisputed stars of the “Christmas Spectacular” are the Rockettes. This charming dance troupe gives spectators a unique experience imbued with the authentic New York Christmas spirit.

The Rockettes’ magic does not end at Radio City Music Hall. In fact, they also perform at Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on November 29, 2023, and the New York Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2023. These appearances make Christmas in New York even more special.

When you attend the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall, you can expect a truly unique experience. You’re welcomed into a historic and lavish theater, seemingly frozen in time. The show begins and the Rockettes take the stage, bringing with them all the splendor of Christmas in New York. Through a series of impeccably coordinated dance numbers, the Rockettes tell festive stories that capture the essence of Christmas.

High technology blends with tradition, with astonishing special effects framing Christmas classics. And as the music fills the theater, the entire room seems enveloped in the magic of Christmas. In short, the “Christmas Spectacular” is an unforgettable journey into the heart of Christmas in New York.

Other useful articles about Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall

If you are thinking of attending the “Christmas Spectacular” I have written several articles that you may find useful. On top of knowing “When New York decorates for Christmas” it is also important to be as ready as possible for your NYC trip. Hence, I suggest you to check out the following articles:

The first one compares New York’s major Christmas shows, an opportunity to find out all the must-see events during Christmas in New York.

The second article, on the other hand, is devoted to recommending the best places to sit at Radio City Music Hall. It contains a detailed map of the theater and photos that will give you an idea of what to expect when you buy a ticket for “Christmas Spectacular”. This will be extremely helpful when planning your 2023 Christmas Trip to New York City.

Finally, don’t forget to read the article where I explain how to dress for a show at Radio City Music Hall. A useful tip for the best Christmas experience in New York City.

In conclusion, the “Christmas Spectacular” officially ushers in Christmas in New York. This tradition, with its magical Rockettes, anticipates the holidays and makes NYC even more enchanting.

Hudson Yards 2023 with 2 million lights and giant air balloon inside shopping mall

Hudson Yards lights up with 2 million Christmas lights (November 14, 2023)

Hudson Yards is a newly developed neighborhood in West Midtown Manhattan. Christmas in New York City is a magical time, and this area is no exception. Beginning on November 14, 2023, Hudson Yards will be transformed into a luminous paradise. More than 2 million yellow Christmas lights will shine, creating a unique atmosphere.

Every corner of Hudson Yards glows. From the mall, inside and out, to the large Christmas trees and hot air balloons decorating the buildings. But the real gem is the Vessel, a famous New York landmark, which lights up like a twinkling Christmas star.

Hudson Yards is easy to get to. Whether you choose the subway or a walk, you’ll find all the information on how to get there during the holiday season in the next sections.

Opening day, November 14, is an event not to be missed. The lighting ceremony is accompanied by musical performances that make the atmosphere even more magical.

Shine Bright, the motto of the event at Hudson Yards, is indeed an important milestone of Christmas in New York 2023. It is also one of the events not to be missed when thinking about the question “When is New York decorated for Christmas?”

Since 2020, it has become a must-attend New York Christmas event. Remember, Shine Bright at Hudson Yards is waiting for you to light up your Christmas 2023.

More info about this incredible Holiday Season NYC venue? Check out my article on Hudson Yards Christmas Lights 2023.

How do I get to Hudson Yards during the 2023 Holiday Season in New York City?

Christmas in New York 2023 means visiting Hudson Yards and its 2 million lights. A convenient way to get there is by subway. The 7 line connects Times Square and Hudson Yards in less than 5 minutes. You can board at Times Square, near the famous red stairs, and get off directly at the heart of Shine Bright at Hudson Yards 2023.

But Christmas in Midtown Manhattan is also an opportunity for walking. If you prefer, you can walk to Hudson Yards. Starting at Macy’s in Herald Square, you are only 25 minutes from Hudson Yards. Walk along 34th Street to the intersection with 10th Street. Here the Hudson Yards Christmas light show awaits you.

Shine Bright at Hudson Yards 2023 is a breathtaking sight. When New York decorates Hudson Yards for Christmas, this area becomes a must-see attraction. The 2 million lights light up the smiles of all New Yorkers, giving them one more reason to visit this area of Manhattan.

Christmas in Midtown Manhattan is truly special. Whether you choose the subway or a walk, Hudson Yards is waiting for you to celebrate Christmas in New York 2023 in the brightest way possible.

Crowd of excited people eagerly waiting in front of Saks Fifth Avenue's festive Christmas windows, anticipating the grand unveiling of the holiday display in NYC. When New York decorates from Christmas, visiting the 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is a must!

As of when can I find Christmas decorations on 5th Avenue? Winter Wonderland in Manhattan

You don’t have to wait until December to admire 5th Avenue all decorated for Christmas. In fact, to find out when 5th Avenue in New York decorates for Christmas all you have to do is go for a walk around the streets of Manhattan around mid-November.

As early as this date, in fact, you will find plenty of lights and decorations on New York’s most famous shopping street: 5th Avenue.

As Christmas Day approaches, the decorations and lights on 5th Avenue also increase. At the same time, however, the number of people visiting New York and the lines to get into the stores also increase. In my opinion late November is a great time to visit NYC and enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights without finding the millions of tourists who come to New York in December.

A lot of people visiting the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in 2023 and its Christmas Decorations in New York

Christmas shopping & hot chocolate at the Union Square Market (Nov. 17, 2023)

November 17, 2023 is a date to mark on your calendar. In fact, what I think is the most beautiful Christmas market in NYC opens: Union Square.

This Christmas market offers an amazing opportunity for holiday shopping and proves once again that the answer to “when New York decorates for Christmas” is already “Mid-November”.

Another beautiful Christmas market in New York is the one in Columbus Circle near Central Park. This Christmas market opens a little later, though, toward the end of November.

The Lotte New York Palace Christmas Tree is one of the most amazing Holiday Season celabrations in New York City


Lotte New York Palace Christmas Tree: the most famous Holiday Hotel is decorated from November 17, 2023

The Lotte New York Palace Hotel is a hidden 2023 Christmas gem on Madison Avenue in New York. In fact, this NYC Christmas-Themed Hotel is strategically located right behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral, between 50th and 51st Street. This luxurious hotel is less than 5 minutes walk from Saks Fifth Avenue with its spectacular Light Show. Moreover, the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is less than 10 minutes away on foot. Inside the courtyard of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, there is a Christmas tree that, despite being less known and therefore less visited, has nothing to envy the others.

Over the past two years, the courtyard where the Christmas Tree stands has been modernized. Finally, during the Christmas season in New York 2023, the Christmas tree of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel has returned to the grandeur and splendor of before the renovations. Not only the courtyard, but also the interior of the hotel dresses up for Christmas, with twinkling lights and ornaments creating a magical atmosphere.

The courtyard of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel is open to everyone, 24 hours a day. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a guest of the hotel to admire its Christmas decorations. To visit the inside of the hotel and admire the decorations during Christmas in New York 2023, you need to ask permission from the doorman. However, usually, there are no issues.

Lotte Hotel Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Unlike other famous trees, there is no lighting ceremony for this one. In fact, on November 17, 2023, the tree is lit without any special ceremonies. However, the lighting of its lights marks the beginning of the most important period of Christmas celebrations in New York. Indeed, the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel is a quiet but powerful signal that the holiday season has officially begun.

So, if you are in NYC from November 17, 2023, to the end of December 2023, don’t miss the unique spectacle of the Lotte New York Palace Christmas Tree.

More info? Read my article Lotte New York Palace Christmas Tree: Real NYC Magic

Stunning view of the dazzling Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show captured from the picturesque Channel Garden in NYC, with illuminated angels and holiday decorations in the foreground.

Saks Fifth Avenue light show opening ceremony (Nov. 21, 2023)

The opening ceremony of the Saks Fifth Avenue light show is held on November 21, 2023. During the event, the entire façade of the department store lights up with a light animation enhanced by sound and music. For the Saks Fifth Avenue opening ceremony, get ready for some beautiful fireworks as well! There is only free admission to the event: no need to purchase tickets!

The Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show is a must-see attraction during the Christmas season. To find out more about times and dates, read my blog article devoted entirely to this New York tourist attraction.

Both the Rockefeller Center and Saks Fifth Avenue are just a few steps away from Times Square. Take the opportunity to explore this area on foot and live the magical experience of Christmas in New York City, a real Winter Wonderland.

Macy's Turkey Float during the 2023 Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC with people marching and watching the show. Official start of the Holiday Season in New York

New York Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 23, 2023)

The Thanksgiving Day Parade officially marks the beginning of the Christmas Season in New York City. Although we have shown in this article that the answer to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas” is not late November, but well before, it is useful to point out that Santa’s float closing the Thanksgiving Day parade also means that from that day Christmas in NYC officially begins.

From November 24 then you will find Santa Claus at Macy’s for the inevitable Macy’s Santaland.

In my blog you will find everything you need to know about the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and also where to find the best places to see it.

So if you are planning a trip to New York City over Thanksgiving weekend, keep it going. A city full of lights and decorations awaits you.

Santa Claus having a cheerful conversation with two excited children at Macy's Santaland in New York City, Christmas 2023.

Macy’s Santaland opens on November 24, 2023: meet Santa Claus in New York at his magical village with elves and reindeer

If you ask me to tell you my five favorite things in New York City during the Christmas season, I include Macy’s Santaland among them. I’m talking about a real Santa’s Village inside the most famous mall in Manhattan: Macy’s Herald Square. Inside this Christmas Village in NYC you will meet reindeer, elves, dancing pigs, squirrels and lots of other magical creatures. Admission is free, however, there are some rules to follow. In fact, you cannot enter without a reservation. You have to reserve your spot online no later than five days before your visit. Below I explain in more detail how to book your visit to Macy’s Santaland 2023.

When Macy’s in New York decorates its Santaland for Christmas in 2023?

The start date for Macy’s Santaland is always the same: the day after the Thanksgiving Day parade. In fact, tradition dictates that Santa’s float is the one that concludes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. After that, Santa gets off the float and goes inside the mall. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will be on November 23, 2023. Macy’s Santaland will open on November 24, 2023, kicking off visits to New York’s most famous Christmas village.

Where Macy’s Santaland 2023 is located in New York City.

The most famous Christmas village in all of New York, as the name implies, is located inside Macy’s. Macy’s is the most famous mall in the Big Apple. Getting there is really very easy. In fact, just go to the intersection of 34th Street and 6th Avenue. Once inside Macy’s, take the escalators and go up to the 8th floor. A huge locomotive all decorated for Christmas awaits you at the entrance to the New York Christmas Village. At this point all you have to do is show the elves at the entrance your reservation QR code to be able to enter inside Macy’s Santaland 2023. Enjoy, it is one of the best experiences to have in New York during the 2023 Christmas season.

How to book Macy’s Santaland 2023?

It is mandatory to make a reservation for Macy’s Santaland. Without a reservation, the elves at the entrance to Santa’s Village will not let you in. Booking your visit is super easy, but there are some things you need to know in advance. The most important information is that you can book your visit to Macy’s Santaland 2023 only 5 days before the day you want to visit Santa’s Village. Let me give you a practical example to be more clear and help me planning your Christmas in New York 2023 experience. Do you want to visit Macy’s Santaland on December 15, for example? Then reservations for December 15 only open at 6 a.m. on December 10. This way Macy’s makes sure that those who make reservations are more likely to come and are in New York for the Christmas Season 2023.

A vibrant and festive view of the empty Santa's village at Macy's Santaland, adorned with colorful lights, creating a magical atmosphere

How much does it cost to enter Macy’s Santaland during Christmas in New York City 2023?

Access to Macy’s Santaland 2023 is 100% free! Reservations must be made online but you will not be required to have a credit card or prepayment. So if you are in New York City in December 2023, take advantage of this Christmas attraction. Visit Macy’s Santaland 2023, it is one of the best experiences you can have in the Big Apple at Christmas!


Macy’s Santaland 2023 is one of the most beautiful Christmas events in New York City. With its location in the heart of Manhattan, it is a must-see experience for anyone visiting the city during the Christmas season. Remember to make reservations in advance to secure your spot in this magical Christmas village. Don’t miss the opportunity to have an unforgettable experience in New York City during Christmas 2023.

Lucy Spata House adorned with festive decorations in Dyker Heights Christmas display in Brooklyn is the best answer to the question When does New York Decorate for Christmas in 2023.

When does Dyker Heights in New York get decorated for Christmas? Tour of lights from November 24, 2023

Starting November 24, 2023, you can join my Christmas lights tour of the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. This Brooklyn neighborhood is known for its spectacular Christmas decorations. Its houses are transformed into true works of illuminated art, creating a magical and unforgettable atmosphere.

For more information about my Dyker Heights & DUMBO Christmas Lights Tour, I suggest you follow me on Instagram (@MyChristmasinNewYork) where you will find lots of videos, reviews, information about my amazing Christmas tour in new york.

Going to dyker heights during Christmas time is really a unique experience. I really hope you decide to do it alongside me with my Tour.

Thousands of people attending the Rockefeller Center Tree Ligthing Ceremony in New York, the most awaited NYC event during the 2023 Holiday Season in the Big Apple.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting ceremony (Nov. 29, 2023)

The lighting ceremony of the beautiful Rockefeller Center Christmas tree always takes place on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

So in 2023, the lighting ceremony of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York will be on November 29.

To learn all the details about the Lighting Ceremony of the Rockefeller Center Chrsitams Tree, I invite you to check out my blog article devoted entirely to this topic.

Christmas Store in Times Square: 365 days of Magic Shopping

In case you arrive in New York outside the Christmas season, do not despair. You may not know it but there is a Christmas decoration store in Times Square that is open year-round. Year-round means not just around Christmas 2023, but 365 days in New York’s most iconic location. I invite you to read my article where I gave all the details about this location. Its title is Christmas in New York Store in Times Square (NYC Shopping)

Inside the Christmas in New York Store in Times Square you will find ornaments, lights, and decorations. What I love most is that you can customize them for free. Which means you can add the name of the person you are giving the gift to.

The Christmas in New York Store open 365 days a year is located at 730 7th Ave. it’s right behind the Red Stairs in Times Square.

Empty Times Square at night with vibrant, illuminated billboards and no pedestrians wondering when does New York in Times Square decorates from Christmas

When New York decorates Times Square for Christmas with trees and lights?

The answer is never. Unfortunately, in fact, Times Square does not have any Christmas decorations in December 2023. In Times Square you will indeed find millions of lights and sounds, but they are the same as always. LED screens, traffic, horns, yellow taxis-this is what you find in Times Square at Christmas. If you are wondering when does NYC decorates Times Square for Christmas, don’t be disappointed if you see no Christmas tree or festive light shows.

However, the closest Christmas attractions to Times Square in Christmas in New York 2023 are as follows:

  • The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: The most famous Christmas tree not only in Manhattan, but in the whole world, is just 10 minutes from Times Square. You only need to walk east for about 10 minutes to get to the center of Christmas in New York 2023.
  • Saks Lights Show 2023: A very short distance from Rockefeller Center you will find New York’s most iconic light show. Remember: It’s completely free. It starts on November 21st, 2023.
  • Bryant Park Winter Village: The Bryant Park Christmas Market opens October 27 and is one of the closest New York Christmas 2023 attractions to Times Square. In fact, you can get there in less than a 5-minute walk. In fact, you need only walk a few minutes on 42nd Street to enter a magical New York Christmas atmosphere.
  • Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: not located in Times Square but my tour starts right here! For more information visit Dyker Heights + D.U.M.B.O : Christmas Lights Tour. Also, follow me on My Christmas in New York on Instagram for real-time updates from the Big Apple. If you have any questions about my Christmas Tour, feel free to message me on Instagram!

In conclusion, for a more detailed analysis of Christmas in Times Square 2023 I invite you to visit my New York Blog. In fact, I have an article entirely devoted to it. Click Christmas in Times Square: Best NYC Activities and Attractions for all the info!

Wrap up to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas”

Christmas in New York is something unique that you will remember forever. If you are planning a trip to NYC during the Christmas season, do it, you will not regret it.

You will find hundreds of thousands of lights and decorations all around the city.

To experience Christmas in NYC, though, you don’t need to wait until December. In fact, the answer to the question “When does New York decorate for Christmas” is November. In this month you will find plenty of events and experiences.

I look forward to seeing you in New York with my Dyker Heights & DUMBO Christmas Lights Tour. For any information, feel free to message me on Instagram @MyChristmasInNewYork.