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It should come to no surprise that New York City is infamous for its yuletide festivities. After all, countless holiday movies feature the city that never sleeps as the backdrop for a reason. During December, one of the most diverse cities in the world seems united in holiday cheer and beautiful sights. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year to plan your visit, and here are some must-sees while you stay.


The Nutcracker

Performed by the New York City Ballet at the Lincoln Center, the Nutcracker is one of the most iconic Christmas stories dating back from the 1800s. The show is a great way to experience one of the many forms of art that NYC is known for, and it is indoors, providing you an escape from the cold weather you will likely experience in the city.


The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Although it is very crowded and “touristy,” you can’t go to NYC during the holidays and not see the 100 foot Norway spruce. The tree is just as beautiful during the day as it is lit up at night. Around the tree, you can visit shops, see the holiday decorations and display, and even go ice skating. 


Fifth Ave Window Displays

From Central Park through Fifth Avenue, the windows of the shopping district are decorated to perfection with Christmas displays – some even interactive. One of the more famous displays is cast above the storefront of Saks Fifth Ave. The light show moves in syncopation with Christmas music throughout the night when the sun goes down. 


Christmas Markets

The great thing about the Christmas markets in New York is that they are plentiful and dispersed throughout the city. There is an indoor market in Grand Central Station, in which case a visit to that one also provides a look at the station itself. Union Square Holiday Market is the more popular outdoor market, with hundreds of vendors. Markets are a great place to stock up on unique gifts and trinkets for those on your list.


New York Botanical Gardens

Not only do the Botanical Gardens offer a beautiful touch of nature to the concrete jungle, but during the holidays there is so much more to experience. The Holiday Train Show is a miniature version of the city, complete with lights and model trains that move throughout the display. You can also catch a performance from various acapella groups and small concerts as well.


Walking around New York City during the holidays is like being transported inside of a snow globe – and if you are lucky enough, some flurries may even fall.