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New York City

Christmas Activities

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Our most recommended New York City Christmas Activities

From Manhattan: 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

1. From Manhattan: 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

Experience Christmas in New York City on a bus tour of Dyker Heights, world-known for its luminous light displays. Witness the festive decoration tradition that the residents have kept alive since the 1980s. Drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn and see lights from both on the bus and off with a guide. Enjoy this lively Italian-American neighborhood by bus with a live tour guide. Due to narrow streets, buses are not allowed in Dyker Heights, so hop off the bus and follow your guide to the 2 most illuminated streets in the area. See Lucy Spata's house which started the tradition of Dyker Lights in the '80s. Witness the neighborhood's largest at Santa Polizzotto home, standing at 15 feet tall. Next, stop at the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights. Take in the Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge for about 25 minutes.  Return via the Manhattan Bridge. End the experience at Bryant Park where you can admire the famous winter market or take a spin on the Ice Rink.

NYC: THE RIDE Entertainment Experience Ticket

2. NYC: THE RIDE Entertainment Experience Ticket

Take a RIDE through the streets of New York City and experience the vibrant arts and culture that come to life around you. From the moment you step aboard the RIDE’s signature oversized bus with stadium seating and floor-to-ceiling windows, the immersive experience begins.  Sit back while your comedic hosts kick off the experience. Venture through the heart of Times Square, Grand Central, and Central Park, all while watching the streets become the stage. See live street performances taking place while interacting with them from the bus.  Enjoy three rows of stadium seats, plus the most modern audio and visual technology, including speakers that bring inside sounds out onto the streets, enabling RIDErs to go "On Air" and interact with the city. The RIDE is a unique experience featuring Broadway-style entertainment in a whole new way.

New York: Tour the Christmas Lights on a Horse Carriage Ride

3. New York: Tour the Christmas Lights on a Horse Carriage Ride

Get into the holiday spirit with a horse carriage tour of the stunning New York Christmas lights in Central Park, 5th Avenue, and Rockefeller Center. Climb aboard at the corner of 59th street and 6th avenue. Plod from here on a route through Central Park to see the warm lights. Continue to admire how 5th avenue is sparkling for the season. Travel along historical landmarks that have put on their Christmas decorations. Reach the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Let the lights make you feel warm and festive. Feel the romance of the season while riding in an old-fashioned carriage.

Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

4. Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

Celebrate the holiday season in style this Christmas on board a luxury 90-minute yacht cruise of Manhattan Harbor. Step inside the yacht’s toasty solarium, decked out in full holiday décor, and enjoy a warm and cozy tour with your friends, family, and loved ones. Delicious hot cocoa, cookies and treats will be served as you sail past Battery Park, South Street Seaport, the Financial District, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Relax in the heated main observation cabin, join in the caroling, or enjoy the beats of a live jazz trio. Sip on a complimentary glass of champagne, wine or beer, and purchase mixed drinks from the on board bar. Then, watch as the gorgeous views of Manhattan Island sail by, all from the comfort of a heated back-deck salon and glassed-in observatory of the 1920s style yacht.

Brooklyn: 1.5-Hour Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

5. Brooklyn: 1.5-Hour Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

See astonishing holiday light displays on a visit to Brooklyn's Dyker Heights neighborhood, famous for the incredible decorations planned by its competitive residents. See it all for yourself on a 1.5-hour evening stroll through the area. Admire the most impressive home displays, and learn the story behind this holiday tradition. Have your camera ready for this Christmas lights excursion, to snap photos of the top homes best lighting displays in the neighborhood. Discover the unwritten codes that are followed religiously by the residents of Dyker Heights. Take this tour in Brooklyn and soak up the magical Christmas atmosphere.

Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration Concert

6. Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration Concert

Add another dimension to your holiday visit to New York and take in an authentic gospel concert in Harlem. Enjoy an unforgettable hour of Black gospel music on December 24th and Christmas Day (December 25th)! This compelling music is sure to have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet, along with all the others in attendance. You may even end up singing along to the soulful rhythms of Black gospel music that will fill the church on these 2 days. The Holiday Gospel Concert will bring joy to your heart and soul. Gospel music is powerfully uplifting and something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.

From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Holiday Bus Tour

7. From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Holiday Bus Tour

Embark on a holiday bus tour taking you through the residential neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to see their brilliant Christmas decorations. Hop off your bus to see these homes up close on a guided walking tour. Marvel at tree-lined streets and lit up private residences decorated for the holiday season. Learn about the neighborhoods' long-lasting holiday traditions from your local guide. Learn how it has been a tradition for many years to illuminate these homes with tens of thousands of lights and dazzling holiday scenes. Now, it has become a festive competition amongst the homeowners as to who has the "brightest" holiday cheer in the neighborhood. Then, walk through these neighborhoods on a guided tour, hearing the stories and wonderful lore behind this fun holiday event. You may even meet some of the homeowners and hear about how these neighborhoods come together in such a way to bring such holiday magic to New York City. On your way back to Manhattan, see the spectacular New York City skyline and some of the other festive holiday displays throughout the city. At the end of your tour, be dropped off in Midtown Manhattan.

NYC: Sightseeing Holiday Cruise with Drink

8. NYC: Sightseeing Holiday Cruise with Drink

Gather your family or close friends and get ready for a festive daytime sightseeing cruise. Departing from Chelsea Piers, step aboard a classical 1920s-style yacht, all decked out in elegant holiday decor.  See all the major Lower Manhattan sights from the water. Marvel at the sweeping skyline from inside the heated, glassed-in observatory, or venture to the open deck for pictures and unobstructed views. Enjoy light narration by the captain and some holiday music from the sound system. Sit back and relax with a drink at your private table. Spectacular homemade hot cocoa and snacks will be available for purchase. Capacity limitations will follow the New York State guidelines. You will be assigned private tables separated by plexiglass panes, and air will circulate through an advanced filtration system.

New York: Holiday Jazz Cruise Aboard Classic Motor Yacht

9. New York: Holiday Jazz Cruise Aboard Classic Motor Yacht

Join this special holiday cruise and step inside a toasty solarium in full holiday decor for a 90-minute cruise to see the lights of New York City. Cruise the Hudson River and enjoy views of Manhattan's skyline Champagne, hot cocoa, and other beverages are available. Cookies and treats for all guests will be included. Enjoy your evening with friends or a loved one and enjoy this live holiday jazz trio. Sit back and enjoy the gorgeous view of the island from the heated back deck salon of this 1920s style yacht. On this 90 minute cruise, take in picturesque views from your glassed-in observatory. Sights along the way include: - The Yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II in full holiday decor - Cocoa, cookies and live holiday jazz - Battery Park, South Street Seaport and the Financial District - Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island A complimentary beer, wine, spiked hot cocoa or Champagne from the bar is offered on all trips. Mixed drinks are available for purchase.

From Manhattan: Private Brooklyn Christmas Tour by Limousine

10. From Manhattan: Private Brooklyn Christmas Tour by Limousine

After pick up at your hotel or apartment in Manhattan, drive to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. Walk for 30 to 40 minutes and take pictures of the best-lit houses in New York. Wander through an Italian-American neighborhood to see the houses strewn with green and red lights. Continue to Dumbo to take great pictures of Manhattan from the Brooklyn side, and get closer to the Brooklyn Bridge. Make a quick stop to visit the Wall Street Area and take some pictures with the famous Charging Bull. Move on to Battery Park and see the Statue of Liberty, before you head back to your hotel or preferred drop-off point.

Frequently asked questions about New York City Christmas Activities

What are other things to do than Christmas Activities that are worth visiting in New York City?

The other unmissable things to do in New York City are:

Other Sightseeing Options in New York City

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What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 629 reviews

It was good I had been on it before and had a little better experience. The Ride covered more of New York the first time. As a NYer I was a little disappointed that they didn't touch on Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle

The tour guides were hilarious. I recommend this to anyone wanting to see the sights of NYC while having a few good laughs! The support staff were wonderful as well.

Superb experience! Fairly small boat which does not make a boat for tourists and great singers. Not to mention the incredible view of New York at night

The ride was full of excellent and high energy. Our tour guides was outstanding. This was a wonderful experience. Our tour guides was great.

it was fun, a great time, the guides were great we had a lot of laughs totally recommend this