If you’re wondering ‘what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC?’, hopefully this article will give you some ideas!
If you’re planning to spend Christmas Day in NYC, you might be curious about what’s actually open on Christmas Day in NYC… after all, you’ll still want to fill your day with fun, festive activities!
NYC is one of my favorite cities, and it’s especially magical during the Christmas season. And one of the best reasons for visiting during this time of year, is because the festive fun is non-stop.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to make sure you’re making the most of all your time in NYC! And luckily, there are lots of things to do in NYC on Christmas Day!
Surprisingly, lots of restaurants open on Christmas Day in NYC, along with lots of activities and entertainment options too. So you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of sightseeing fun.
In this list, I’ll try and give you some ideas, and help you plan what to do on Christmas Day in NYC too.
Tip! I’ve also written an entire guide to Christmas in NYC (if you need even more ideas for the rest of your trip!).
Book yourself at one of the many restaurants in NYC!
There are loads of great restaurants open on Christmas Day in NYC, and heading to that big, delicious Christmas meal on Christmas Day is always a big part of the festive fun.
I really recommend booking somewhere special on Christmas Day in NYC, because it gives you something to center your day around! Whilst not every restaurant will be open on Christmas Day, there are still plenty to choose from, so you’ll definitely be able to find somewhere to suit your group.
As you’d expect, we recommend booking a table well in advance, as tables book up fast!
Read more about visiting NYC at Christmas: What stores are open on Christmas Day in NYC?
Take a stroll in Central Park!
Next on my list of what to do on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s Central Park. Central Park is open on Christmas Day in NYC, so I can’t recommend it enough for a gorgeous, wintery walk.
Lots of locals and tourists will visit the park on Christmas Day, it’s like a city tradition, and it’s a beautiful place to be!
You’ll feel totally festive, and you’ll feel the festive vibes from everyone else also out and about enjoying the park too.
So when it comes to ‘what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC?’ I’d put Central Park right at the top of your priority list! Buy yourselves some cheap Santa Hats, grab a coffee, and take a scenic walk on Christmas morning!
If you’re lucky enough to get snow on Christmas Day in NYC… even better! This park will feel even more magical and amazing. Oh, and in some spots you might even see families out sledding! It’s so cute!
Read more about NYC at Christmas: 18 Christmas-themed restaurants in NYC! With festive decor!
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!
If you want to save one of NYC’s biggest landmarks for Christmas Day in NYC, then I really recommend walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on Christmas Day!
It’ll be quieter than usual, especially during the early morning, and it feels really magical to walk across one of the world’s most beautiful bridges on Christmas Day! And, of course, you won’t find a place with more amazing views!
The views from The Brooklyn Bridge are simply incredible – so it’s the perfect place to visit on Christmas Day!
Just be aware that taxis may be harder to hail on Christmas Day in NYC, and the Subway runs a Sunday service on Christmas Day – so trains are slightly less regular. These things may effect getting to and from the bridge.
Read more about visiting NYC: 42 festive things to do in NYC at Christmas!
Next on my list of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s Chinatown. Lots of the restaurants and shops in Chinatown stay open on Christmas Day, so it’s a great time to visit this neighborhood in NYC if you fancy exploring.
Just bear in mind, lots of others will likely have the same idea – so make sure you’ve booked ahead if you plan on visiting, and especially if you plan on dining in any of the popular restaurants.
Read more about NYC: The perfect one-day itinerary for Christmas in NYC
The Roosevelt Island Tramway
Next on my list of things to do on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s the Roosevelt Island Tramway. This is one of the most underrated things to do in NYC, and it’s an amazing pick for what to do on Christmas Day in NYC!
The tramway is super affordable (just take your MetroCard) and it offers some beautiful views of NYC as you cross over the city.
There is a restricted service on Christmas Day (so make sure you time your visit right) but it’s still a perfect option for what to do on Christmas Day in NYC. And super affordable too!
Explore Times Square!
Next on my list of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s Times Square. Times Square doesn’t ever really close – so it’s a great place to stop by on Christmas Day in NYC.
It’s one of the classic things to do in NYC on Christmas Day, as the lights will still be blinding and there may still be performers in the square.
Catch a Broadway show
Whilst not all Broadway shows will be showing on Christmas Day, about 1/3 of them do.
The best way to find out which shows have decided to open on Christmas Day in NYC, is to go through the booking process and see if they have any times on December 25th.
In the past, shows that have reliably been open on Christmas Day are The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and (of course) The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. So you’ll have a few to choose from!
Read more about Broadway: Our ultimate to guide to Broadway – Which Broadway show should you watch?
Walk along The Highline
Next on my list of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s The Highline Park. This amazing open-air and elevated park is located in Midtown, and it’s perfect pick for what to do on Christmas Day in NYC.
The park runs down the island above street level, offering some breath-taking views of the city.
The Highline can be quite busy at peak-times, so a stroll on Christmas Day might give you a little more space to explore this magical place in the city!
Read more about visiting NYC in winter: My guide for when to expect snow in NYC!
Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry
My next suggestion for what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s the Staten Island Ferry.
The Staten Island Ferry is actually classed as ‘public transport’ in NYC (even though many tourists use it as a bit of a sightseeing boat!).
For that reason though, it remains open on Christmas Day in NYC, although at a slightly reduced schedule! Which makes it a solid choice for what to do on Christmas Day in NYC.
If you want to go on The Staten Island Ferry on Christmas Day in NYC, then it’s worth just scheduling it properly, and planning your visit so you don’t miss the more infrequent crossings.
Admire the city’s window displays
Whilst the stores themselves might not open, their iconic window displays remain glowing, beautiful and magical, lighting up the city streets.
Some of the famous stores such as Macy’s, SAKS (pictured below) and Bloomingdales have incredible displays, and Christmas Day is a great time to admire them in all their glory!
Read more about visiting NYC during Christmas time: How to see the famous Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn
Explore one of many churches
Next on our list of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC… it’s the churches. Of course!
Christmas Day is a religious holiday, so it’s pretty obvious that many of the city’s churches (if not all of them!) are open on Christmas Day in NYC.
Visit an observation deck!
When it comes to what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC, we had to mention some of the more classic touristy spots.
Both the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, and One World Observatory all have special opening times for December 25th – meaning you can still visit these amazing observation decks in NYC on Christmas Day.
The hours are restricted (less than normal) so it’s worth booking well ahead if this is part of your Christmas Day plan. But it’s still a perfect choice for what to do on Christmas Day in NYC.
Read more: What is the best observation deck in NYC?
Catch a movie
Whilst they’re not all open (you’ll need to check the individual websites to check) it’s worth seeing if your nearest cinema is open on Christmas Day, because many are in NYC.
It’s a great option for things to do on Christmas Day in NYC, as it’s warm, indoors, and includes delicious snacks! What more could you ask for?
There may also be some festive films showing too, which might add to the Christmassy feel of the day!
Visit the Rockefeller Christmas tree!
Last on my list of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC, it’s the Rockefeller Christmas Tree!
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is one of the most festive and Christmassy places in the city, so stopping by to admire the view on Christmas Day is a perfect choice for things to do on Christmas Day in NYC!
This is one of the most iconic spots in the city (you’ll probably recognize it from the Home Alone movie!).
Read more about visiting NYC during Christmas: 8 of the best Christmas trees in NYC
I hope this list of things to do in NYC on Christmas Day has been helpful! What’s open on Christmas Day in NYC? Lots of amazing stuff!
As you can see, when it comes to what to do in NYC on Christmas Day, there are plenty of options! What’s open on Christmas Day in NYC? So much stuff!
You’ll have lots of sun in this city on Christmas Day, so enjoy every second!
Want to end your day feeling festive? Here are 11 Christmas movies set in New York to watch in your hotel room!