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New York City Christmas activities

Our most recommended New York City Christmas activities

New York City: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

1. New York City: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

Your tour begins in Midtown Manhattan. From there you will head towards the western part of Manhattan along the Hudson River as you learn about its history. You will then cross the Battery Tunnel, which will take you directly to the borough of Brooklyn. Once you are in Brooklyn you'll head to the Dyker Heights district; an Italian-American neighborhood famous for its elaborate houses and gardens. Each year residents compete with each other to make out of the ordinary Christmas decorations, illuminations, and displays. Your tour guide will tell you about the origin and history of this tradition, before giving you free time to walk the streets to admire and take pictures of the houses. Once you have finished the tour of the neighborhood, you will get back on the bus to go to the Brooklyn Bridge. There you will enjoy the different viewpoints, with more free time to take pictures of the spectacular views of Manhattan. Finally, you will return to Times Square where the tour ends. You can feel free to ask your guide for recommendations on what else you can do to enjoy your visit to New York City.

New York City: Christmas Lights Horse Carriage Ride

2. New York City: Christmas Lights Horse Carriage Ride

Get into the holiday spirit with a horse carriage tour of the stunning New York Christmas lights in Central Park, 5th Avenue, and Rockefeller Center. Climb aboard at the corner of 59th street and 6th avenue. Plod from here on a route through Central Park to see the warm lights. Continue to admire how 5th avenue is sparkling for the season. Travel along historical landmarks that have put on their Christmas decorations. Reach the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Let the lights make you feel warm and festive. Feel the romance of the season while riding in an old-fashioned carriage.

From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Holiday Bus Tour

3. From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Holiday Bus Tour

Embark on a holiday bus tour taking you through the residential neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to see their brilliant Christmas decorations. Hop off your bus to see these homes up close on a guided walking tour. Marvel at tree-lined streets and lit up private residences decorated for the holiday season. Learn about the neighborhoods' long-lasting holiday traditions from your local guide. Learn how it has been a tradition for many years to illuminate these homes with tens of thousands of lights and dazzling holiday scenes. Now, it has become a festive competition amongst the homeowners as to who has the "brightest" holiday cheer in the neighborhood. Then, walk through these neighborhoods on a guided tour, hearing the stories and wonderful lore behind this fun holiday event. You may even meet some of the homeowners and hear about how these neighborhoods come together in such a way to bring such holiday magic to New York City. On your way back to Manhattan, see the spectacular New York City skyline and some of the other festive holiday displays throughout the city. At the end of your tour, be dropped off in Midtown Manhattan.

NYC: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights & Skyline View Bus Tour

4. NYC: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights & Skyline View Bus Tour

Get into the Christmas spirit, the most wonderful time of the year, in New York City's borough of Brooklyn on a bus tour through Dyker Heights. Be charmed by the spectacular holiday decorations, the neighborhood's glittering lights, and festive displays. Your guide will take you on the bus from Midtown Manhattan to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights. Along the way, the guide will tell you some great New York stories. On the way to the Christmas Lights, stop for a bathroom break and a photo op of the sunset over the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. Once arrived in Dyker Heights, you will get off the bus and the guide will show you the most beautiful and spectacular houses in this wonderful Brooklyn neighborhood. On your way back to Manhattan, the bus will make a photo stop at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you will get off the bus for a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, make your way back along the East River with an astonishing view of Williamsburg, the Brooklyn skyline, Long Island City, the Queens skyline, the Empire State Building, and the Midtown Manhattan Skyline as well as the famous Queensboro Bridge. Your tour will end close to one of the most beautiful New York City holiday markets, the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Feel the magical atmosphere Christmas brings as you drive through the many neighborhoods and experience New York in a new way.

New York City: Weekend Holiday Brunch Cruise

5. New York City: Weekend Holiday Brunch Cruise

Get into the holiday spirit on this weekend brunch cruise with a 3-course prix fixe menu family-style at each table. Enjoy baked bagels, an assortment of pastries, seasonal fruit, harvest mix salad, quiche, festive breakfast meat, spicy Bloody Marys, mimosas, juices, coffee, and tea. Sit back and enjoy the gorgeous 360-degree view of Manhattan from the climate-controlled and glass-enclosed back deck observatory of this vintage-style motor yacht. Cruise around the entire island as you pass under all 18 bridges. Enjoy your own banquet for your booking party in the grand salon. Some of the sights to observe on this cruise include the Upper West Side, George Washington Bridge, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, Financial District, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, World Trade One, Roosevelt Island, United Nations Building and the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges on the East River.

Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration Concert

6. Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration Concert

Add another dimension to your holiday visit to New York and take in an authentic gospel concert in Harlem. Enjoy an unforgettable hour of Black gospel music on December 24th and Christmas Day (December 25th)! This compelling music is sure to have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet, along with all the others in attendance. You may even end up singing along to the soulful rhythms of Black gospel music that will fill the church on these 2 days. The Holiday Gospel Concert will bring joy to your heart and soul. Gospel music is powerfully uplifting and something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.

From Manhattan: 4-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

7. From Manhattan: 4-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

Combine the fun of a hop-on hop-off and a guided walking tour on your visit to the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights and Dumbo in Brooklyn. Look at blocks and blocks of Christmas lights decorated for the holiday season. Witness nativity displays, nutcrackers, inflatable Santas, garlands, lights, and more. Start from midtown Manhattan and head out to Dyker Heights where you will hop off the vehicle and walk around. Experience the most magical neighborhood in New York City with the biggest display of Christmas lights in full splendor. After getting into the holiday spirit, continue to another spectacular section of Brooklyn, Dumbo, to take a stroll under the Brooklyn Bridge and photograph the skyline of Manhattan.  Finish your night by returning to Times Square Hotel in Manhattan.

NYC: Christmas Day Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

8. NYC: Christmas Day Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

Experience the magic of the season on a luxurious Christmas Day gourmet brunch or dinner cruise aboard New York’s glass-enclosed Bateaux, Manhattan’s most premium experience on the water. You and your guests will enjoy a holiday 3-course, plated brunch or dinner freshly prepared by a chef. Savor an exquisite dining experience where delectable cuisine, elegant decor, and stunning views will make for an unforgettable experience. Imaginative culinary creations, top-class wine list, and musical entertainment combine to create the ultimate New York indulgence. While onboard, experience exceptional views of New York City’s iconic skyline from an incredibly unique perspective, live entertainment, and festive décor. Celebrate the holidays on the Hudson and East Rivers with your friends and family. Sample Brunch Menu: STARTER (CHOICE OF ONE) BEET & BABY ARUGULA SALAD (G*)(V) Feta Cheese | Cherry Tomatoes | Balsamic Vinaigrette GREEK YOGURT & GRANOLA PARFAIT (G*)(V) Chobani Non-Fat Greek Yogurt | Honey Granola | Fresh Blueberries and Strawberries MAIN (CHOICE OF ONE) SCRAMBLED EGGS (G*) Nueske's Applewood Triple-Thick Cut Bacon | New Red Potatoes & Cauliflower Hash | Arugula Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette & Red Onions BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST (V) Stuffed with Nutella Cream | Fresh Strawberries | Maple Syrup (Contains Nuts) OVEN-ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST WITH ROSEMARY & THYME Roasted New Red Potato Salad with Scallions | Haricot Verts | Creamy Mushroom Sauce DESSERT (CHOICE OF ONE) SIGNATURE CHOCOLATE CAKE (V) Creme Anglaise | Raspberry Coulis | Candied Pecans (Contains Nuts) MIXED FRUIT WITH STRAWBERRIES (G*)(VG)(V) Madagascar Vanilla and Orange Cream NEW YORK STYLE CHEESECAKE (V)(N) Lemon Mascarpone Cream | Blueberry Compote **May contain Nuts Sample Dinner Menu: STARTER (CHOICE OF ONE - ALL STARTERS ACCOMPANIED BY FRESH BREAD AND BUTTER) BEET & BABY ARUGULA SALAD (G*)(V) Feta Cheese | Cherry Tomatoes | Balsamic Vinaigrette SIGNATURE SEAFOOD CHOWDER (G*) Clams | Idaho Potatoes | Cream MAIN (CHOICE OF ONE) TURKEY DINNER Garlic Mashed Potato | Traditional Stuffing | Haricot Verts | Turkey Gravy | Cranberry Sauce BROILED SALMON FILET WITH ROASTED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE Lemon Orzo | Farm Fresh Seasonal Vegetables BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS WITH FRESNO PEPPER DEMI GLACE (G*) Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Baby Carrots, Broccoli FALL VEGETABLE RAGU (G*)(V)(VG) Butternut Squash | Brussel Sprouts | Cauliflower | Carrots | White Bean Ragu DESSERT (CHOICE OF ONE) HORNBLOWER SIGNATURE CHOCOLATE CAKE (V) Creme Anglaise | Raspberry Coulis | Candied Pecans | (Contains Nuts) MIXED FRUIT WITH STRAWBERRIES (G*)(VG)(V) Madagascar Vanilla and Orange Cream NEW YORK STYLE CHEESECAKE (V) Lemon Marscapone Cream | Blueberry Compote | (Contains Nuts)

New York City: Holiday Jazz Classic Motor Yacht Cruise

9. New York City: Holiday Jazz Classic Motor Yacht Cruise

Join this special holiday cruise and step inside a toasty solarium in full holiday decor for a 90-minute cruise to see the lights of New York City. Cruise the Hudson River and enjoy views of Manhattan's skyline Champagne, hot cocoa, and other beverages are available. Cookies and treats for all guests will be included. Enjoy your evening with friends or a loved one and enjoy this live holiday jazz trio. Sit back and enjoy the gorgeous view of the island from the heated back deck salon of this 1920s style yacht. On this 90 minute cruise, take in picturesque views from your glassed-in observatory. Sights along the way include: - The Yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II in full holiday decor - Cocoa, cookies and live holiday jazz - Battery Park, South Street Seaport and the Financial District - Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island A complimentary beer, wine, spiked hot cocoa or Champagne from the bar is offered on all trips. Mixed drinks are available for purchase.

From Manhattan: 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

10. From Manhattan: 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

Experience Christmas in New York City on a comfortable bus tour of Dyker Heights, world-known for its luminous light displays. Witness the festive decoration tradition that the residents have kept alive since the 1980s. Drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Enjoy this lively Italian-American neighborhood with your tour guide. Due to narrow streets, buses are not allowed in Dyker Heights, so hop off the bus and follow your guide to the two most illuminated streets in the area. See Lucy Spata's house, which started the tradition of Dyker Lights in the '80s. Walk along the most spectacularly decorated houses. Next, stop at the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights. Enjoy the view of the Manhattan Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge for about 25 minutes. Return via the Manhattan Bridge. End the experience at Bryant Park, where you can visit its famous winter market on your own.

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What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 629 reviews

Guide and driver were very good! Full of information about the areas of Manhattan that we visited. The bus was comfortable and they landed several stops where we could get out and explore some of the attractions. They ended the tour in a different area then where they picked us up from but the guide told us which subway line we needed to take to get back to our hotel. All in all a great time!

My partner and I absolutely enjoyed ourselves! We went on Xmas day and it was crowded but our tour guide Mike answered my call because we got lost from the group because I just had to buy a tshirt to remember my experience there and Mike was very knowledgeable about the area and extremely friendly! We loved it from beginning to end!

Mike was awesome! He was very informative from the time the tour started to the time it ended. He gave plenty of time to see everything and take pictures. The bus was very comfortable and it had a restroom that was really convenient. I would definitely recommend this tour, it is definitely worth it!

I had no idea how long the lines would be during the Christmas holidays. After long lines at Hudson Yarda—a huge waste of time and utterly boring for kids—I bought skip the line tickets at Freedom Tower. Worth every penny.

We take a Tour Bus to enjoy the Christmas house decoration in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Its just outstanding.