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What to do
in New York

New York in December 2022

Here we set out lots of ideas for you to enjoy the magic of New York in December 2022

Any month of the year is good for visiting New York. There are always, always plenty of interesting things to see and do to plan your days but visiting New York in December is something else. The whole city is a Christmas card with the parks, the Christmas decorations, the smell of hot chocolate and cider... even the cold brings magic to the city!

Have you seen the movie Big? Well, that's how you're going to feel if you come to New York in December with us, like a child in an adult body. Ready to be surprised and enjoy it?

Weather in New York in December 2022

Winters in New York are very cold. The temperature usually ranges between a minimum of -3º C and a maximum of 7º C but together with the humidity and wind it can seem considerably colder than the temperature indicated by the thermometer, the "feels like" factor.

What clothes to take to New York in December 2022

Have you ever heard that "when the rooks fly low it's freezing cold"? Well, the rooks in New York are going to be at ground level at this time of year.

Here are our recommendations for packing your case.

  • A good warm waterproof coat or jacket that really keeps out the cold, so windproof too if possible. The best option would be a knee length one with a hood - a puffer coat would be perfect.

  • Enclosed, warm, comfortable waterproof shoes, ideally with non-slip soles. It's very cold and the chances are that it's raining or snowing and there'll be some freezing puddles around.

  • Thermal underwear.

  • Warm trousers - cords, wool or mixed warm fibres are a safe bet. Jeans are not a good idea at this time of the year because they freeze, literally.

  • Thick warm socks made from natural breathable fibres.

  • Thick warm hat, scarf and gloves and if you really feel the cold, take some earmuffs too to be on the safe side.

  • Moisturising cream and sunscreen cream or a moisturiser with a sun protection factor. It's important to keep your skin well hydrated to avoid skin damage from the cold and to protect it from reflected light.

  • Sunglasses that cover your face as much as possible. When it's very cold, snowing and breezy, wearing big sunglasses together with the moisturiser gives you even more protection from the inclement weather.

  • Umbrella. If it rains, we can easily find shelter but if it's windy an umbrella wouldn't be much use. However, you could take a basic folding one and if it broke or you lost it it wouldn't be too much of a disaster.

Without doubt dressing in layers is the best option. You will be in very different environments, such as the metro, out in the street, in museums etc, maybe all in the course of one day and the difference in temperature between indoor and outdoor spaces can be very noticeable. The best way to deal with this is to take off and put on clothing as you need it.

As our guides travel with all the groups, they have first hand experience of what is what is really essential, non-essential or optional to get the best out of the month of December in New York.

What to see and do in New York in December 2022

The month of December in New York is fabulous, there are so many things to do and barely enough days to do them in - look at all there is on offer!

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

There isn't a Christmas tree in the world more famous than this one.

The tree is installed in early November, but it's not until Wednesday after Thanksgiving that the lights go on. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place together with live performances and concerts at a spectacular show that begins at 7 p.m. It's the only tree in New York that's lit up 24 hours a day and we can go to see it until early January and it's estimated that it is visited by about 500,000 people a day.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This ceremony is the one that stands out the most, but we can see and visit several Christmas trees installed throughout the city and each with a peculiarity that distinguishes them from the others. For example, the Natural History Museum has a tree decorated with 1000 figurines of origami, one of the most original Christmas trees in the whole city and one of the most loved by its inhabitants.

Go to an ice hockey game in New York 2022

From October to April, the American Ice Hockey League (NHL) takes place. The local teams are the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders. In addition to being considered the best ice hockey league in the world, it is one of the four major sports leagues in the United States.The other 3 are the NBA basketball league, the NFL football league and the MLB baseball league.

Rangers play at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, as do the basketball Knicks. In turn, the Islanders compete at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the basketball Nets play too. However, the Islanders are building a new pavilion, the Belmont Park Arena, in the Queens district. They are expected to transfer there in the 2022–22 season.

Tickets are more expensive to see the Rangers, as they are a longer standing team, and range from $100 to $200. Islanders tickets can be obtained from $60 to $100.

Visit the Christmas lights of Dyker Heights

This is one of the most extravagant and fun places there are to visit, are you coming to see this neighbourhood with us?

Dyker Heights is a residential neighbourhood of Brooklyn with big townhouses with gardens and mansions and which is converted into a riot of Christmas lights, adornments and decorations from Thanksgiving weekend.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Lucy Spata is responsible for this extravagant style of outdoor Christmas decorating as more than 30 years ago she decided to decorate her house and garden with end-to-end Christmas lights. This idea was not very well received at first, but has ended up becoming one of the most looked forward to attractions of the Christmas season, both for New Yorkers and tourists.

Although this house is one of the most prominent, in Dyker Heights all different kinds of decorations and adornments are on display. There are lights of all shapes, sizes and colours, nutcrackers, little soldiers, angels and of course Father Christmas, the size of a Thanksgiving parade balloon.

Watch a Football Game (NFL)

In December, the NFL (National Football League) continues with its tight schedule. Although New York has two representatives in the league, the New York Giants and the New York Jets, the matches are played in neighbouring East Rutherford, New Jersey. Would you like us to go and see one of the matches? No problem, MetLife Stadium is 40 minutes away from Times Square by public transport and the cheapest tickets usually cost around $130.

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center ice rink is the first of the season to open and the last to close. Who hasn't imagined themselves ice skating in central Manhattan? Well, if you're one of them, don't think twice about it come with us to New York next December. This is one of the many skating rinks in New York City and the most famous, but we can also go to the one in Central Park or Bryant Park, which has the only free ice skating rink in the city.

Rockefeller Center's prices last year were $25 entrance fee and $13 for skate rental. At holiday times the price goes up to $28 and at high season to $33.

The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Rockettes are a dance company founded in 1925. They stand out both for their fabulous choreographies and the high kicks to the beat at head height, which they always include in their numbers. Its creator, choreographer Russell Market, was inspired by an English dance company characterised by the synchronisation and precision of its dancers, so candidates looking to dance with the company are required, in addition to training in various disciplines (jazz, ballet and modern dance among others), to measure between 1.67m and 1.77m for uniformity on stage.

One of their most famous performances is the one held over Christmas, seven days a week for almost a century, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It's one of America's most-watched shows. They also perform every year at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Their Christmas show is usually on stage from the beginning of November until the beginning of the following year. Should we go and see it? The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a musical show that has become a Christmas tradition, with five performances per day, seven days a week, since 1933. Another group of Rockettes do a Christmas tour taking the show through several theatres across the country.

The Radio City Music Hall theatre itself is well worth seeing. Located in Rockefeller Center, it is considered to be the most prominent theatre in the whole country. Opened in 1932, it reflects all the splendour of the art deco era.

Christmas Markets in New York

Although the markets are set up in November in several parks in the city, in December in New York they are in full swing.


These markets range from the most modern and urbanite to the most classic and best-loved. In them we can find, among other things, handcrafted products, clothes and Christmas decorations.There are also lots of food and hot drinks stalls, and a fabulous Christmas atmosphere. We'd love to be there!

Christmas markets in New York

Winter Village Bryant Park

Bryant Park is located next to the National Library, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. It is surrounded by skyscrapers and has tables and chairs set up in the grounds where we can sit and eat just like the locals.

From the end of October, it hosts one of New York's most famous Christmas markets, the Winter Village.You can visit it from Monday to Friday from 11am until 8pm and at weekends from 10am to 8pm.

It occupies much of Bryant Park and there we can find the most original gifts for Christmas such as jewelry, pictures, clothes and decorations.There are also plenty of food stalls where you can get hot food together with hot cider to keep out the cold. The atmosphere in Bryant Park at this time couldn't be more picturesque - the festive stands, the carousel, the food stalls, the Christmas tree... and Bryant Park's The Rink, one of New York's most beautiful ice rinks and also the only free one.

Grand Central Holiday Fair

New York Central Station, located on 42nd Street, was built in 1913 and is one of the city's architectural showpieces. Its facade, the main lobby dome and the Whispering gallery are some of the treasures to be seen inside.

When the cold of autumn begins to take hold, Grand Central provides shelter inside, specifically in the Vanderbilt Hall, which was originally the main waiting room. Here the Holiday Fair, a Christmas art and craft fair is set up and we can visit it from Monday to Friday from 10am to 8pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 7pm and on Sundays from 11am to 6pm. It closes on Thanksgiving Day.

It has about 40 local craft shops, is smaller than the rest of the flea markets, but everything it offers (accessories, clothes, toys and Christmas decorations) is handmade. As well as being located in such an interesting place, it is one of the few indoor Christmas markets, ideal to visit on the coldest days.

Union Square Holiday Market

The historic Union Square, designed by Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty is the home of the Greenmarket, a market for local seasonal produce - vegetables, fruit, jams, honey, all made or collected in the area. The market takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8am to 6pm throughout the year.

Every year, from Thanksgiving Day until Christmas Eve it also hosts one of New York's most visited Christmas markets. In its more than 100 stalls you can find local arts and crafts, sweets and cakes typical of this time of year, themed New York Christmas decorations as well as craft workshops for children. All this is accompanied by live music.

The Holiday Market is located at 14th Street and is open from Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 8pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 8pm and on Sundays from 11am to 7pm.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Located at the entrance to Central Park, the Columbus Circle stands out not only for its location but for the variety of items that can be found in its more than 150 little stands, from Christmas ornaments and decorations to wooden games. There are stands selling hot chocolate to keep out the cold and to keep up your energy to be able to enjoy the whole market. It is one of the most idyllic and picturesque markets in New York

Columbus Circle is located on the corner of 59th Street and we can visit it from early December in New York until Christmas Eve from 10am to 8pm from Mondays to Saturdays and on Sundays from 10am to 7pm.

Brooklyn Flea Smorgasburg Holiday Market

This flea market is open all year round, but in winter it is held indoors, making it one of the best markets to visit on really days. It houses about 200 stalls selling a variety of items from vintage clothes and furniture, antiques, jewelry and food. It is one of the most original and interesting markets in New York.

It's located in the Williamsburg neighbourhood, it will ring a bell if you've seen the Netflix series Unorthodox, as it's the neighbourhood where the lead actor lives until she escapes to Berlin.

Brooklyn Flea Smorgasburg Holiday Market is located on the eighth floor of 25 Kent Avenue and is open only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6pm.

Christmas Eve and Christmas in New York

Christmas Eve is the only day of the year when you can visit one of the few private parks that exist in New York, Gramercy Park, located in the heart of the Gramercy neighbourhood. Only the local residents have access to the park which is closed up under lock and key and there are only 400 numbered copies of the keys that open its doors. Gramercy Hotel guests can also have access to the park under the supervision of an employee. However, on Christmas Day the park opens its doors for all citizens and visitors who want to come and sing carols with the residents The only requirement is to carry a candle or torch to light up the event.

On Christmas Day, many of the city's attractions are closed. This makes it the perfect time to stroll around the city, have a hot chocolate in Bryant Park, admire the decorations of Fifth Avenue or to make our own way round to see the Christmas trees that adorn the Big Apple.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in New York

New York offers several scenarios to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one. There are concerts, as well as parties and celebration dinners in many venues, but New Year's Eve is lived on the street. Here are a few things to do to celebrate the last night of the year in the city that never sleeps.

Times Square Ball Drop: A classic. Every year thousands of New Yorkers and tourists meet in Times Square to welcome in the new year. Who hasn't thought about experiencing the countdown, seeing the ball drop and the explosion of confetti falling from above? Did you know that you can make a wish on a piece of confetti, literally?. On the Times Square website they have a section enabled to do just that and once you have written it down, you will be able to feel an inner peace. At midnight your wish will be launched towards the sky with thousands of others in Times Square. Another option is for you to come with us to New York to spend New Year's Eve and so instead of making the wish, you fulfill it!


Prospect Park: Fabulous fireworks to bring in the New Year, preceded by concerts at Grand Army Plaza, perfect if you like hustle and bustle but prefer to have a bit of space.

Midnight Run: The Midnight Run is a race that takes place in Central Park at exactly midnight on December 31st and it's a different and fun way to start the year. The participants usually dress up and it doesn't matter how long you take to run the race but how much you enjoy it. In fact, the runners stop to drink champagne when they get to the second mile and have more drinks at the end of the race.

New Year's Eve on the Brooklyn Bridge:For a few years now the Annual Brooklyn Bridge Walk into the New Year has been held, a visit that includes a tour of Manhattan ending on the bridge, with glasses of champagne to toast the New Year and to see the fireworks.

New Year's Eve lights over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York

New Year Swim: We can start the year the same as real (and brave) New Yorkers by taking a swim in the icy waters of Coney Island. Everyone meets up on January 1st at 1pm, next to the amusement park. It is organized by the Coney Island Polar Bears Club, one of the oldest winter swimming clubs in the United States, bringing together thousands of spectators and participants from all over the country every year. It's great fun and doesn't require a lot of etiquette, you can swim dressed up, in a swimsuit or just like you came into the world - in your birthday suit!

If we don't want to take the plunge (literally) we can go and see it. Registration for both bathers and spectators is free, but they encourage those present to make donations to various charities in the area.

And, of course, the all-year-round activities from Take me to New York

Our guided trips to New York include a number of must-do activities on your visit to New York. The admission price to the activities is indicated on the tickets but if there isn't one that means it's a free activity.

  • Central Park. When you visit New York for the first time, you'll probably have in mind a number of places and visits you really wouldn't want to miss out on. One of them is Central Park, Manhattan's famous expanse of green so often seen in movies.
  • The Oculus. The World Trade Center complex, after the horrific attacks of September 11th, 2001, has not only been reconstructured but has become one of the city's top tourist destinations.
  • Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is the greatest icon in New York City, symbol of progress, a mandatory stop on our trip to the Big Apple.
  • New York Contrasts Tour. If we're in the Big Apple and we only get to see Manhattan, we'll have had only a glimpse of something to be seen on a much grander scale.
  • Gospel Mass in Brooklyn. The neighbourhood, the music, the staging, the devotion and the closeness of the parishioners to each other make this religious ceremony an overwhelming experience.
  • One World Observatory. Enjoy the incredible views of Manhattan Island and the New York skyline.
  • Lower Manhattan Tour: SOHO, Little Italy and Chinatown. This tour allows you to get to know and appreciate the neighbuorhoods of SOHO, Little Italy and Chinatown in a relatively short time.
  • Wall Street. Known as the financial heart of the planet, Wall Street holds historical, architectural, sculptural and spiritual treasures within its streets.

Remember that on our trips you will be accompanied at all times by our expert guides, who you will meet at the airport before taking the flight to New York together.

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