New York, NYC, USA, Winter Travel

New York City at Christmas: Ultimate guide to visiting NYC in December!

June 6, 2021

Are you planning to spend Christmas in NYC? If so, here’s

So, you’re spending Christmas in NYC. Well, first of all – YAY! There’s no better place to spend the festive season.

There’s no place quite like NYC at Christmas, it’s one of the most amazing places to spend a few days, a week or even the whole month of December.

In this ultimate guide to spending Christmas in NYC, you’ll find recommendation on things to do in NYC at Christmas time, as well as what to pack, places to eat, and much more!


So what is Christmas in NYC like?

Expect the city to be glowing, festive, sparkling, magical and BUSY.

That’s basically how I’d describe it. If you love the hustle and bustle of the city, then visiting at Christmas is going to be amazing for you – because the energy of the city really comes alive at this time of year.

Christmas in NYC is so beautiful and there is a real palpable energy throughout the entire city.

Read more: What’s open on Christmas Day in NYC? Here are 14 things to do on Christmas Day in NYC!


Is Christmas in NYC busy?

Yes, Christmas in NYC is one of the busiest tourism periods for the city. As you’d expect! The city comes alive at Christmas, so people love visiting in December and spending time there.

Expect queues to be longer than normal, expect crowds to be a bit bigger than usual, and shops to be a little more busy.

December pulls a pretty frequent stream of visitors to NYC, so there isn’t really a ‘quiet time’ you can visit during the month of December.

So be prepared for crowds and plenty of people, no matter which week or weekend of December you’ll be going. Christmas in NYC is busy and there’s no getting around it.

Read more: When does Christmas season start in NYC?

It’s always worth booking ahead for Christmas in NYC, for hotels, restaurant bookings, and tour / attractions. You can often buy skip-the-line tickets (see below!) and save yourself loads of time!


Does it snow in NYC at Christmas?

Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t! There’s no guarantee of snow in December (some winter’s can be cold and crisp with bright blue skies).

Others might be snowy and stormy and windy. There’s not really any way to predict what kind of weather you’ll get until a week or so before.

One thing for certain though, is that it is going to be cold! Whether you get snow or no snow. December is one of the coldest months of the year in NYC, so your Christmas in NYC is bound to be a little chilly!

Read more about visiting NYC at Christmas: What restaurants are open on Christmas Day in NYC?


What should you pack for Christmas in NYC?

The main thing to consider when packing for Christmas in NYC, is the weather. Pack warm and pack well!

  • Make sure you have plenty of layers (this will be useful when moving inside into the warm, from outside in the cold!).
  • I would pack good and warm walking shoes or boots, for exploring the city.
  • Take lots of warm socks!
  • Take a waterproof coat (incase of heavy rain or snow storm).
  • Gloves / hats / scarves

One last piece of advice for spending Christmas in NYC… Make sure you leave a little bit of space in your case when packing, so that you have room to pack any souvenirs or Christmas gifts on the return journey!

Or, pack yourself a small foldable hold-all, so you have an extra bag on the way home for all your shopping.

Read more about visiting NYC at Christmas time: Top 20 restaurants for New Year’s Eve dinner in NYC


What to do during Christmas in NYC

There are plenty of things to do at Christmas in NYC! There are actually plenty of activities open during Christmas in NYC, that wouldn’t ordinarily be open in the city.

These winter attractions make a great reason to visit at this time of year and spend some of your vacation days celebrating Christmas in NYC.

Read more about NYC hotels: 12 beautiful upper east side hotels!


heck out these other articles with lots of suggestions and recommendations!


I hope this ultimate guide to spending Christmas in NYC has been helpful!

Spending the Christmas season in NYC is amazing, so I hope you have fun and enjoy every second! Spending Christmas in NYC is magical!

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