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Nov 15, 2023 | Seasonal Things to Do

How to Spend the Holidays in NYC

‘Tis the season to be merry, and more than any place in the world, New York City embodies the spirit of the holidays. The city’s winter markets, towering Christmas trees, iconic ice-skating rinks, and unrivaled special events are pure magic. From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade to the Times Square countdown to the New Year (and everything in between), read on for how to spend the holidays in NYC.

[A Very NYC Holiday Gift Guide]

Walk Around Central Park

New York’s winter wonderland is always a must-see attraction. Whether you want to ice skate on the picturesque Wollman Rink, walk along the Mall, or photograph the park’s snow-covered bridges, nowhere is as beautiful as Central Park in the winter. The Manhattan Club is a few blocks away, so grab a coffee from our 26th Floor Private Club Lounge on your way there for an instant warm-up.


Shop for Holiday Gifts at the Winter Village at Bryant Park

Open now - March 3, 2024

Winter Village at Bryant Park is your one-stop shop for pure holiday fun. A grand Christmas tree, NYC’s only free admission ice skating rink, bumper cars on ice, holiday shops, rinkside eats and drinks, cozy igloos, and regular holiday events and shows blanket the complex in ‘Manhattan’s Town Square.’

Tour the New York Botanical Garden and see the Holiday Train Show and NYBG GLOW

Nov. 15 - Jan. 15, 2024

It may seem like a warmer weather destination, but the New York Botanical Garden enchants visitors year-round. The centerpiece of their winter events, the 30th annual Holiday Train Show, showcases more than 175 famed NYC landmarks, completely constructed out of natural materials from the garden such as pine cones, acorns, and seeds. Also on the schedule, NYBG GLOW, an outdoor color and light experience which returns for its 4th year. Discover the beauty of the garden’s illuminated landscape and historic buildings after dark on select dates through Jan. 13, 2024.

Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal

Nov. 16 - Feb. 25, 2024

For the first time in three years, the New York Transit Museum once again presents the beloved holiday exhibit, featuring Lionel model trains traveling through the city’s most iconic landmarks on a 34-ft long, two-level, “O” gauge model train layout.


See The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

Nov. 17 - Jan. 1, 2024

Radio City Music Hall’s annual musical holiday stage show returns for daily performances through the New Year. The 90-minute Christmas Spectacular has been a New York City holiday tradition since 1933, featuring more than 140 performers from the women’s precision dance troupe.

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Nov. 23

Whether you take in the pre-parade Balloon Inflation or wish to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade make its way down 34th Street just steps from The Manhattan Club, the magic that started 99 years ago is sure to leave you spellbound. Watching from the television will never be the same again.

Go Shopping in Midtown this Black Friday

Nov. 24

Midtown’s streets are lined with luxury department stores, multi-story retail centers, and independent boutiques - all within a scenic stroll of The Manhattan Club. Check out our Shopping in Midtown guide for the best stops to ensure a first-rate retail experience.

See George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center

Nov. 24 - Dec. 31

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker may be the be-all and end-all “list-worthy” entry, but the famed New York City Ballet Company always makes the trip to Lincoln Center even more worthwhile. Bonus: A Christmas Carol the Musical plays at the West Village’s Players Theatre Nov. 26 - Dec. 30.

Visit GingerBread Lane

Nov. 26 - Jan. 7

The world's largest gingerbread village comes to Chelsea Market in Manhattan once again with around 1,000 gingerbread houses, miniature stores, breweries, dance studios, ice rinks, pizzerias, bakeries, ice cream parlors, and more constructed from thousands of pounds of icing and gingerbread. See artist Jon Lovitch’s creation through the New Year.


See the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Nov. 29 - Jan. 13, 2024

No Christmas tree can beat that of Rockefeller Center. Located in the heart of Rockefeller Plaza, this must-see attraction is a beloved NYC spectacle, attracting people from all over the world to see its impressive stature, 50,000 multi-colored LED lights, and 900 lb. Swarovski star. This year’s tree hails from Vestal, New York. The 80-85 year old Norway Spruce clocks in at 80-ft tall and 43-ft wide. Get tickets to skate at The Rink at the foot of the enormous tree for some enviable photographs. The Christmas tree is on view through Jan. 13, 2024, with the lighting ceremony taking place on Nov. 29.

Watch the Menorah Lighting in Central Park

Dec. 7 - 14

The largest menorah in the world at Grand Army Plaza in Midtown will be lit on each of Hanukkah’s eight days. Find the menorah at the southeast corner of Central Park, next to the Pulitzer Fountain.

Attend the Jingle Ball

Dec. 8

iHeartRadio’s annual holiday concert takes over Madison Square Garden, this year with acts Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, OneRepublic, and more.


Dress Festive for SantaCon and ElfCon

Dec. 9 - 10

Dress as St. Nick and join others bedecked in red and white for the boozy bar crawl through Midtown. For something more tame, the family-friendly ElfCon is the next day. The hot cocoa crawl begins at Union Square.

Watch the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve

Dec. 31

Countdown with our 10 tips for celebrating New Year's Eve in NYC to ensure your night is a fabulous one to remember. The Manhattan Club is in the heart of the action, located only blocks away from the biggest party of the year in Times Square.


See the Best Holiday Window Displays in NYC

The city’s major department stores continue the tradition of going all-out during the holiday season. Their elaborate window displays are usually unveiled at the end of November and remain on display until after New Year’s Day. Walk along Fifth Avenue in Midtown to see the highest concentration of displays and visit these stores to see the most illustrious presentations of all:

  • Macy's Herald Square (151 W 34th St.)
  • Saks Fifth Avenue (611 5th Ave.) 
  • Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave.)
  • Tiffany & Co. (727 5th Ave.)
  • Bloomingdale’s (59th St. and Lexington Ave., 1000 Third Ave.)

Stay in the loop of what’s happening in New York City. Subscribe to The Manhattan Club newsletter and keep up with our Blog for more seasonal things to do in the Big Apple. Register and unlock exclusive rewards as part of our new Loyalty Program.

Located in the heart of Midtown, The Manhattan Club is your perfect home-base for spending the holidays in NYC. We're located in Midtown to provide convenience to Bryant Park, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, as well as a host of other NYC attractions. Choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct.

Usher in the holidays with The Manhattan Club’s best deal of the year. Now for a limited time, save 20% off your nightly rate, plus get two gift cards to use at ticketnetwork.com for shows, festivals, Broadway, and sporting events.

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See what past guests have to say about their holiday stay:

“Lovely Thanksgiving stay…The staff were very helpful, the room was comfortable…It's an excellent location, walking distance for many of the sights or a subway station if going a bit further. The staff provided us with a map of the Macy's parade route which was much appreciated!” - Lindsay P, TripAdvisor

“Stayed here in mid-December…great location within walking distance of Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Plaza, Macy’s, many great restaurants, Central Park and many other really great Christmas spots…the staff are excellent - friendly, great service and many great recommendations for things to see, places to go.” - Jim Malcolm, Google

“We stayed at The Manhattan Club for one week over the Thanksgiving holiday - and I can't say enough good things about it. We were in a City Lights Suite - which was spacious, very quiet, and immaculately clean. Furnishings and finishes were up to date and very comfortable. Staff was helpful and the location can't be beat. It's the first time we've stayed at the Manhattan Club and it will be our "go to" place whenever we return to New York.” - Barbara S, TripAdvisor

“We come every year for Christmas...it's close to everything and the staff is amazing!” - Rob Demian, Google

“The location will bring you to a great spot for wonderful events like the Macy’s Day Parade, the NYC Marathon, and the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve in Times Square where you can safely take in all the excitement and the fireworks in Central Park...We have made plans for our next trip already! Thanks to the staff and managers for the wonderful experiences we always have there!” - Jim Benedetto, Google

“​​First off, the staff is great, friendly and super helpful. They made us feel at home despite being packed as we neared New Year’s Eve. They, as much as anything, will be the reason we come back. The rooms were clean and comfortable, worthy of their rating as a four-star hotel…the location is great. You’re just south of Central Park, and a quick stroll to Times Square and the Broadway shows we were to see…So don’t look any further; just book now.” - Chris L, TripAdvisor


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