Culture + Style

It’s Ho Ho Holiday Time in NYC. Here’s Where to Get Into the Season’s Spirit.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the holiday season in NYC. (Photo: Alamy)

Planning a trip to the Big Apple during the holidays and unsure of what outdoor activities are available at this time of year? For those willing to bundle up and walk the city streets, there are plenty of exciting tours and activities for visitors and locals alike.

Fashion Window Walking Tour

Stroll the streets and take in the best Christmas window displays in NYC. From jewelers like Tiffany & Co. to department stores like Macy’s, there are countless displays worthy of putting your nose up against the glass to take a look at. Focusing primarily on stores along 5th Avenue, this tour provides insider insight into the most famous fashion stores and window displays in New York City. Be sure to book your tickets in advance as these tours tend to be very popular throughout the holiday season.

Go Gaga at the Grand Holiday Bazaar

Looking for the perfect holiday present? Head to the Grand Bazaar NYC, a shopping favorite among locals, and stretch your wallet at its annual Grand Holiday Bazaar. This shopping extravaganza remains a quieter (but no less fantastic) alternative to the Union Square Holiday Market. The artisan items at the market are curated, and visitors can shop on Sundays through December 24th. You’ll find hundreds of vendors selling things like artisan jewelry, handcrafted furniture, antique watches, vintage goods, and even festive foods.

NYC christmas
The city streets morph into a winter wonderland during the holiday in NYC. (Photo: Alamy)

Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour

If you love Christmas cheer in the form of beautiful lights and decorations, as well as being surrounded by famous movie sites and NYC Christmas attractions, the Holiday Lights tour is the one for you. Get a glimpse into many aspects of New York life as you travel throughout the city to places like Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center and the magnificently decorated 5th Avenue storefronts while staying warm in the comfort of a heated bus. Movie locations include scenes from New Year’s Eve, Serendipity, Elf, Home Alone 2, Miracle on 34th Street and many more.

Eating Your Way Through Eataly

A NYC foodie favorite, Eataly is one of the city’s largest marketplaces, and as Christmas rolls around, the store ups the holiday ante by offering authentic Italian holiday treats, like Italy’s famously decadent Christmas breads, panettone and pandoro. Have a food lover on your Christmas shopping list? Many of the tasty goods sold at Eataly would make delicious gifts, and travelers can create their own DIY gift baskets or order the shop’s pre-made holiday gift boxes online. For visitors who plan to be in town for New Year’s Eve, consider celebrating at the Chef’s Table: A 4-Course Holiday Fish Feast, a festive communal dinner where guests dine on exquisite food while making friends with fellow diners.