Christmas in Times Square: Best NYC Activities and Attractions
You’ve made your dreams come true and you are now in Times Square during the Christmas Time in NYC. We are sure you are expecting to be greeted by festive decorations and twinkling lights.
However, you realize that Times Square itself is lacking in holiday adornments.
Rest assured, our NYC blog is dedicated to offering you the guidance you seek.
In this article, we’ll help you uncover all the surrounding holiday attractions.
After reading our blog you will understand that Times Square is also a magical destination during the Christmas season.
We will complete each enchanting experiences around Times Square with with walking instructions to ensure an easy visit.
We will talk about Christmas lights, Holiday trees, winter markets and enchanting Christmas shows in New York.
With this article of our Christmas Blog we have everything you need to make your holiday season truly memorable.
So, bundle up, and let’s embark on aChristmas adventure in the heart of New York City!
Best Christmas Trees around Times Square
Unfortunately, Times Square does not have its own Christmas tree. However, you’ll find some of New York City’s most iconic holiday trees just a short walk away.
Discover the magic of the holiday season by visiting these remarkable Christmas trees near Times Square:
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
A true NYC icon, this stunning tree is a must-see. Right above the ice-skating rink, the tree is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights and a dazzling Swarovski star topper. To reach this Christmas Tree from Times Square, simply walk east along 49th Street for about ten minutes. For more information, check out our dedicated article, “Rockefeller Center 2023 Complete Guide” and “Rockefeller Center 2023 Tree Lighting Ceremony“.
Lotte New York Palace Christmas Tree
This elegant tree graces the courtyard of the Lotte New York Palace hotel. The beautifully decorated tree exudes sophistication and provides a perfect backdrop for holiday photos. From Times Square, this Christmas Tree is really easy to reach. Walk northeast for around 15 minutes via 6th Avenue and 50th Street. Discover more in our blog post, “Lotte New York Palace Christmas Tree: Real NYC Magic“.
Bryant Park Christmas Tree
You will find this tree right in the heart of Bryant Park’s Winter Village. This festive tree is surrounded by a picturesque ice rink and holiday market. The tree’s vibrant ornaments and sparkling lights create a warm, festive atmosphere. Walk east on 42nd Street for ten minutes from Times Square and you will see this beautiful Christmas Tree.
Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree
The Plaza Hotel showcases a magnificent tree in its grand lobby. Decorated with elegant ornaments and Christmas lights, this splendid tree adds a touch of luxury to your holiday experience. During the Christmas Season, from Times Square, take a 15-minute walk northeast along 5th Avenue and 58th Street. Learn more in our article, “The Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree in NYC“.
Fox Square Christmas Tree
This charming tree stands in the middle of Fox Square, a small urban oasis. With its colorful decorations and twinkling lights, the tree brings cheer to the busy streets of Manhattan. The tree is decorated with more than 300,000 lights. To reach it from Times Square, head west along 48th Street for about five minutes.
Conclusion: the best Christmas Tree near Times Square
By following our NYC blog, you’ll explore all these enchanting Christmas trees during your holiday season in Times Square and New York City.
Make sure you follow our Instagram Page “My Christmas in New York“.
In fact, we are broadcasting live everyday during the Holiday Season.
Ice Skating in Times Square: best rinks nearby
Unfortunately, there isn’t an ice skating rink directly in Times Square.
However, you’ll be delighted to know that some of Manhattan’s best rinks are just a short walk away.
Get ready to lace up your skates and glide into a winter wonderland at these fantastic ice skating rinks nearby:
Rockefeller Center Ice Rink
This is definetely one of the most iconic New York City experiences. Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Center Rink is an memorable activity during the Holiday Season in NYC. Surrounded by skyscrapers and the iconic Christmas tree, it’s perfect for a romantic evening or a fun family outing.
To reach the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink from Times Square, walk east along 49th Street for about ten minutes. This rink is open from October to April. This way, it provides a lot of opportunity for visitors to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as the rink can get busy during peak times.
Learn more in our article, The Rink at Rockefeller Center: NYC Iconic Ice Skating Spot.
Bryant Park Ice Skating Rink
This is the only free ice skating rink in Midtown Manhattan. This spacious ice skating rink is a part of Bank of America Bryant Park’s Winter Village. The rink is surrounded by holiday shops, eateries, and a stunning Christmas tree, creating a truly magical environment. Skating at this Christmas rink next to Times Square is free, although skate rentals are available for a fee.
To reach the Bryant Park Ice Skating Rink from Times Square, walk east on 42nd Street for ten minutes. This rink usually opens in late October and stays open until March.
Discover more in our blog post, Ice Skating in Bryant Park: Winter Wonderland in Manhattan.
One of the most iconic ice skating rink in NYC. This rink is located in the picturesque Central Park. Wollman Rink offers a unique ice skating experience with stunning views of the city skyline. This popular rink has been a favorite among both locals and tourists since it opened in 1950.
To get to Wollman Rink from Times Square during the Christmas time, take a 20-minute walk north along 7th Avenue. Once you get to 59th Street, enter in Central Park. The rink is open from late October to early April, weather permitting. Tickets can be purchased on-site or in advance, and skate rentals are also available.
Conclusion: the best Ice Skating Rinks near Times Square
No matter which rink you choose, Christmas in Times Square and in NYC is sure to create lasting memories.
Now you know where to find the best ice skating rinks near Times Square. But your winter adventure in New York City doesn’t end here.
Next, we invite you to discover the best Christmas Markets in NYC. Here you will find unique gifts, festive treats, and even more holiday magic.
The best Christmas Markets around Times Square in New York
Times Square has a few stalls in the northern part, next to the M&M’s Store on Broadway. However, the most amazing Christmas markets in NYC are just minutes away on foot from Times Square. Let’s explore these festive markets perfect for finding holiday gifts.
Bryant Park Winter Market
Part of Bank of America Bryant Park’s Winter Village, this market features over 170 artisan vendors. They offer unique gifts, festive treats, and holiday decorations.
The market also includes cozy igloos for a warm break and a public restroom on 42nd Street. For breakfast recommendations near Bryant Park, check our blog post on the best spots. To reach the Christmas market from Times Square, walk east on 42nd Street for ten minutes.
For more information, read Bryant Park Winter Village 2023: Your Complete NYC Guide
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Hosted by UrbanSpace, this delightful market is at the entrance to Central Park. It features over 100 vendors selling handcrafted gifts, artwork, jewelry, and delicious food. Visit The Shops at Columbus Circle, an upscale shopping center next to the market, for more gift ideas.
For a delicious breakfast, stop by Tartinery Columbus, mentioned in our dedicated blog post. To reach Columbus Circle Christmas Market from Times Square, walk north along 7th Avenue for about 15 minutes.
Don’t forget to read our article Columbus Circle Holiday Market 2023 (Christmas in New York)
Union Square Holiday Market
This market is known for its unique selection of locally made crafts, artisanal food, and holiday gifts. With over 150 vendors, you’ll find something for everyone.
Don’t miss the nearby Harry Potter Store, just a few minutes away on foot. Immerse yourself in the world of Hogwarts by reading our article, “Harry Potter Store NYC: Where Hogwarts Meets the Big Apple“.
During the Christmas Season in NYC, to get to Union Square Holiday Market from Times Square, take a 20-minute walk southeast along Broadway.
Each Christmas market offers a distinct atmosphere and an impressive selection of holiday gifts.
Lights Shows around Times Square during the Holiday Season in NYC
The holiday season in New York City brings enchanting light shows that illuminate the city. Here are some mesmerizing Christmas light displays near Times Square, perfect for immersing yourself in the magic of the season.
Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Lights and Sound Show: just a few steps from Times Square
This iconic Fifth Avenue Light Show is a must-see NYC tradition. The entire façade of Saks Fifth Avenue is transformed into a dazzling display of lights and animation, synced to holiday music.
The show runs every 10 minutes from late November through early January. To reach Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Show from Times Square, walk east on 49th Street for about ten minutes. Make sure to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, as this popular attraction draws large crowds.
For more info, read Saks Light Show 2023 Fifth Avenue Guide
Hudson Yards and the Vessel: Christmas lights less than a 20-minute walk from Times Square
Visit Hudson Yards to experience a breathtaking display of over 2 million lights. The highlight of this light show is the Vessel, a massive structure adorned with shimmering lights.
The area also features Christmas trees, a magical winter garden, and plenty of photo opportunities. While you’re there, explore the luxury shops or dine in one of the many restaurants. You can also visit the nearby High Line, a beautiful elevated park.
To get to Hudson Yards from Times Square during the Christmas time, walk west along 42nd Street, then turn right onto 11th Avenue. The walk will take approximately 20 minutes.
Make sure you read our guide Hudson Yards Christmas Lights 2023: Shine Bright in NYC
Experience the High Line Light Show Extravaganza
Step into a world of mesmerizing illumination at the High Line Light Show, presented by Genesis, the park’s first-ever automotive partner. Genesis has crafted a dazzling light installation featuring their electrified GV70 as the central attraction. Situated in the Chelsea Market Passage, the High Line Light Show offers a magical experience for park visitors, using reflective surfaces and mirrors to amplify the awe-inspiring light display.
You can catch a two-minute spectacle every hour, culminating in a grand finale at 6 pm daily.
Don’t miss this enchanting opportunity to witness the electrified GV70’s innovative design and technology, as the High Line Light Show lights up the night sky.
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: Round Trip from Times Square
Located in Brooklyn, Dyker Heights is famous for its extravagant Christmas lights. Although it’s quite far from Times Square (about 14 miles or 22.5 km), our Christmas Lights Tour makes it accessible.
Starting on November 24th and running daily until December 30th, the tour departs daily from Times Square. We will travel on a private bus with a restroom on board.
The tour includes two stops. The first one is one hour long to explore the stunning displays in Dyker Heights. The second is a 45-minute stop in Dumbo to capture the nighttime skyline. Both of the stops are fully guided.
You’ll be amazed by the creativity and effort put into these elaborate decorations. Here you will find life-sized reindeer, dazzling light tunnels, and even spinning carousels.
Discover the 10 reasons to choose our Dyker Heights and DUMBO Lights Tour
The Shops at Columbus Circle: Christmas Shopping Mall next to Times Square
Step inside The Shops at Columbus Circle. This upscale shopping destination is perfect to admire giant Christmas stars adorned with ever-changing lights. These mesmerizing decorations hang from the ceiling, creating a magical atmosphere as you shop and dine.
To fully appreciate the beauty of these stars, take the escalators to the upper floors. Here you will be amazed by its amazing view of the Christmas Stars and Columbus Circle.
While you’re at The Shops, don’t forget to explore the numerous high-end boutiques. You can also enjoy a meal at a fine dining restaurant, or grab a quick bite at the food court.
If you are looking for food ideas in the area, check out Restaurants Near Columbus Circle: Top 5 Dining Spots
To reach The Shops at Columbus Circle from Times Square during the Christmas Season, walk north on 7th Avenue for about 20 minutes. Once you get on the 59th Street, turn left.
In addition to these incredible light displays, New York City is home to numerous other holiday attractions. Stroll down Fifth Avenue to admire the beautifully decorated window displays at iconic department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s.
For example, go to the Upper East Side to view the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Christmas tree. Or, take a leisurely walk through Central Park and enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered landscape.
The best Christmas-themed shows around Times Square
The holiday season brings spectacular Christmas shows to New York City. Discover must-see performances near Times Square for a festive experience.
For more info on this theme, check out The best Christmas Shows in New York City (2023 Guide)
Radio City Christmas Spectacular: the most famous show around Times Square
This iconic show at Radio City Music Hall features the famous Rockettes. Enjoy their dazzling routines, including the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Living Nativity”. The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular Show is one of the best activities around Times Square.
A Christmas Carol
Experience Dickens’ classic at the Nederlander Theater in Times Square. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge’s heartwarming redemption journey guided by three Christmas ghosts.
The Nutcracker by New York City Ballet
Witness Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet at the David H. Koch Theater. Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince in the enchanting Land of Sweets. We are sure you will have a good time while watching this Christmas Show not far from Times Square.
These captivating Christmas shows near Times Square create lasting memories and holiday cheer. Choose from the Rockettes’ spectacular, Dickens’ classic, the Nutcracker’s elegance. Experience the festive magic in New York City.
Christmas Restaurant in the Times Square area, where to go?
Christmas Restaurants near Times Square: Where to Go?
Experience festive dining at Christmas-themed restaurants near Times Square. Discover Rolf’s and Papillon for unique holiday meals.
Rolf’s German Restaurant
Located at 281 Third Avenue, Gramercy Park, Rolf’s is 2.2 miles from Times Square. Reach it by a 10-minute drive or 25-minute subway ride. Take the N, Q, or R trains from Times Square-42nd Street Station to 23rd Street Station, then walk 5 minutes.
Rolf’s is famous for extravagant holiday decorations and German cuisine. Thousands of lights, ornaments, and garlands adorn the interior.
Enjoy traditional dishes like schnitzel, sauerbraten, and bratwurst. Try their delicious spiced mulled wine, Glühwein. Reservations are recommended during the holidays.
If you are looking for a Christmas Restaurant in Times Square, we really suggest you to consider Rolf’s NYC. It requires a walk or a subway ride, but it’s worth.
Papillon Bistro & Bar: Christmas Restaurant within 15-minute walk from Times Square
Papillon Bistro & Bar is a cozy French restaurant at 22 East 54th Street, Midtown Manhattan. This Christmas Restaurant is 0.7 miles from Times Square, a 15-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride. You can take the E or M train from 7th Avenue Station to 5th Avenue-53rd Street Station and walk 3 minutes.
Papillon offers a warm, inviting ambiance for festive dining. Twinkling lights, wreaths, and elegant ornaments decorate the restaurant.
Savor classic French dishes like coq au vin, steak frites, and escargot. A special holiday prix fixe menu is available. Reservations are encouraged during the busy season.
Visit Rolf’s German Restaurant or Papillon Bistro & Bar for a memorable Christmas dining experience. Enjoy delicious food and a festive atmosphere in the Times Square area.
In conclusion: what are the best Christmas attractions around Times Square?
In conclusion, Times Square during Christmas may not be overflowing with holiday decorations, but it remains a magical destination. By following our comprehensive guide, you’ll experience the enchanting side of New York City during the festive season. Visit iconic Christmas trees, glide across ice-skating rinks, and explore charming holiday markets. Each offering a distinct atmosphere, these attractions are perfect for creating lasting memories.
Moreover, don’t miss mesmerizing light shows that illuminate the city. From the iconic Saks Fifth Avenue display to the stunning Vessel at Hudson Yards, you’ll be dazzled by their beauty. These light displays truly capture the essence of the holiday season in NYC.
Additionally, indulge in heartwarming performances with top Christmas-themed shows around Times Square. Choose from the legendary Radio City Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker. Each show offers a unique blend of festive charm, ensuring a memorable holiday experience.
Furthermore, experience festive dining at Christmas-themed restaurants near Times Square, such as Rolf’s German Restaurant and Papillon Bistro & Bar. These delightful eateries provide a warm, inviting ambiance adorned with twinkling lights, wreaths, and ornaments. Relish delicious cuisine and a magical atmosphere in the heart of NYC.
Lastly, don’t forget to follow our Instagram Page “My Christmas in New York” We are broadcasting live every day during the holiday season, sharing the best of New York City’s Christmas magic. Stay connected for the latest updates, events, and inspirations during this enchanting time of year.
So, bundle up and embark on a remarkable Christmas adventure through the heart of New York City. Explore iconic attractions, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the festive spirit.
Our guide on Christmas Holiday in Times Square ensures you’ll have a magical holiday season in the city that never sleeps.