Courtesy of Rolf’s website


New York City is home to many spectacular sights, but it’s especially known for its Christmastime brilliance. From whimsical lights racing across skyscrapers to the gigantic tree sitting in Rockefeller Center, nothing screams the holidays like a wintertime trip to the city that never sleeps.

In addition to its notorious hotspots (aka Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes or skating in Rock Center), NYC has a plethora of other festive events that will help you spread the holiday cheer.

Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche

Where: The Met, 1000 Fifth Ave.
Price: Included with admission
Deets: Behold a 20-foot blue spruce tree and its 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene (a depiction of the Mediterranean harbor town’s multicultural society). As you pass through the installation, you’ll see the Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid, and nod along to Christmas music. Ends January 6, 2019.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Where: 11th to 13th Aves. from 83rd to 86th St. in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
Price: Free/walk or drive by, $45-65/bus tour
Deets: Hop on a bus tour, drive or walk by and check out this festive neighborhood, where multiple houses collaborate to display tens of thousands of lights, which are visited by more than 100,000 people each year.

FAO Schwarz

Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza
Price: Free admission
Deets: The iconic toy store and the holidays go hand-in-hand. Thanks to this year’s pop up, you can snap photos of the kids dancing on the store’s iconic dance-on piano and posing in front of the clock tower, plus check out activities like a magic show and DIY remote-controlled car race station.

Festive Holiday Window Displays

Where: 5th Avenue
Price: Free
Deets: Wander down 5th Avenue and peruse some of the most iconic Christmas window displays in the city. Stores include Macy’s (this year’s theme “Believe in the Wonder of Giving” focuses on Sunny the Snowpal, a girl who helps Santa travel safely on Christmas), Bergdorf Goodman (“Bergdorf Goodies” aka sweet treats and neon confections), Tiffany and Co. (“The Holidays Made by Tiffany” aka an homage to their 1960s displays with a modern twist) and more.

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade

Where: Chelsea Market
Price: Free admission
Deets: Check out the weeklong pop-up event (10:30 am-7:30 pm, 10 am-7:30 pm Saturday) at Chelsea Market, jam packed with vendors selling those one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for your loved ones. There’ll be greeting cards, jewelry, beauty products, clothing and more. Runs December 3-9.

Holiday Nostalgia Rides

Where: New York Transit Museum
Price: One MetroCard swipe
Deets: Hop on a vintage train to various landmarks around the city, including Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Columbus Circle, Washington Square and more. Sundays through December 30.

Holiday Train Show

Where: The New York Botanical Garden
Price: $23/adults, $10/ages 2-12 during week; $30/adults, $18/ages 2-12 (weekends)
Deets: For 27 years, this exhibition has been recreating iconic NYC destinations and the model trains that zip through them. This year, visit more than 175 landmarks, like the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center, made out of natural materials (like bark and leaves). Ages 21 and up can also visit on Bar Car Nights for an after-dark viewing, ice-sculpting demos and drinks. Reservations strongly recommended. Ends January 21, 2019.

Macy’s Santa Land

Where: Herald Square, 8th floor
Price: Free admission
Deets: Reserve a spot to meet Kris Kringle at the NYC store that goes wild for Christmas. Aside from checking out the store’s iconic windows, you’ll love grabbing photos of your lil’ angels amidst the colorful and glittery decorations. Ends December 24.

NYC Christmas Movie Tour

Where: Columbus Circle to Macy’s Santaland​
Price: $35-45
Deets: Join this walking tour through the city and visit some of the most popular Christmas movie locations in the city. Movies include Elf, Home Alone 2, Serendipity, Scrooged, Miracle on 34th Street and more. Reservations required. Ends January 2, 2019.

The Origami Holiday Tree

Where: American Museum of Natural History
Price: Included with admission
Deets: This spruce features more than 800 hand folded origami pieces crafted by local, national and international artists for this year’s theme, “Oceans of Origami.” Ends January 13, 2019.

Rolf’s German Restaurant

Where: 281 Third Ave.
Price: Varies
Deets: With Christmas decorations on display until the end of May, there’s plenty of time to add this beauty to your list. There’ll be floor-to-ceiling displays of ornaments, garland, trees, lights and more. The restaurant is dressed to the nines and it’s food is also decked out in festive glory. Think: schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut, duck, sausage and more. It’s a sight you’ll have to see—and taste—for yourself.

The 39th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Where: Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Price: $38-148
Deets: Celebrate the holiday season while watching dancers, musicians and singers perform a modern version of ancient solstice rituals to honor the sun on the longest night of the year, Thursday, December 20 (7:30-10:30 pm).

Winter Village at Bryant Park

Where: Bryant Park
Price: Free admission
Deets: In addition to its holiday shops (open until January 2, 2019), Bryant Park’s Winter Village boasts NYC’s only free admission ice skating rink (open until March 3, 2019). Be sure to bundle up and bring any equipment, like ice skates and locks for lockers, so you don’t have to pay to rent them. Check out The Lodge and gaze at the park’s beautifully decorated tree.

WinterFest at the Brooklyn Museum

Where: Brooklyn Museum
Price: Free
Deets: Wander through a makers market, enchanted maze or candy dome, plus, nightly live music from local performers, bands, carolers, acapella groups and more. Grab a cup of steaming hot chocolate and take it all in. Ends December 30.