Weihnachten in New York
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So Enchanting: The Best Tips for Christmas in New York City

The city that never sleeps doesn't do so in the run-up to Christmas, of course. On the contrary, the Big Apple dresses up in a particularly festive outfit. What you shouldn't be missing around Christmas in New York!

November 7, 2023

8 kilometers of fairy lights! On just one tree! Where else but in New York City could such a record be set? In fact, the Christmas tree in front of Rockefeller Center is one of the highlights of the pre-Christmas season. Its festive lighting ceremony - this year on November 29 - marks the start of the festive activities in the metropolis for many every year. But what other attractions should be on the bucket list to make Christmas in New York City as atmospheric and unique as possible? Plus: the best restaurants and hotels!

Weihnachten in New York

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What to Do

Ice skating in front of Rockefeller Center

It's best to stick to Rockefeller Center. It's not just the iconic Christmas tree that can be found here. The Rink is also one of those things that are inextricably linked to Christmas in New York. Certainly not an insider tip, but all the more iconic! The ice rink is open daily from 9 am to midnight. Especially in the evening, when the colored lights are reflected in the shiny ice surface, it creates an extremely romantic atmosphere. After the skating fun, you can head to your private après-skate chalet. And while you warm up and enjoy culinary delights from Other Half Brewing, you can watch the hustle and bustle on the ice rink.

Reservation of time slots necessary; tickets for adults from $ 21
Private chalets from $ 10 for 30 minutes
Web: rockefellercenter.com

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

Weihnachten in New York

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There are few Christmas shows as spectacular and famous as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It's performed every year and several times a day between November and 1 January 2023. Breathtaking costumes, a witty storyline and dancers, who perform their kicks, turns and moves in perfect sync make the show a 90-minute firework display. The performances of the show dance group have been thrilling the whole world since 1932.

Tickets from $ 67 per person
The venue is the Radio City Music Hall
Web: rockettes.com

Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise

Take to the water for a new perspective on the city lights. On a Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise, you sit in an elegantly decorated yacht. And glide silently across the water while the Skyline, the Statue of Liberty and other photo motifs come into view. On board, cookies, hot drinks and festive music create a Christmas atmosphere.

Start and finish is Pier 62, Chelsea Piers
Tickets cost $ 120 per person for a 90-minute trip
Web: sail-nyc.com

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Located right next to the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is one of the most beautiful places to soak up the Christmas spirit. A 1,500 square meter ice skating rink is set up here in the run-up to Christmas. It's lined with small kiosks, affectionately known as Jewel Boxes. Inspired by European Christmas markets, they offer all kinds of local crafts. You can also buy selected gifts from all over the world and culinary delights. For the latter, there's also The Lodge Bar & Food Hall right next to the ice rink. Here, you can enjoy special treats in a cozy atmosphere. If you prefer a more private atmosphere, simply reserve one of the Cozy Igloos.

Ice skating is free, but tickets must be reserved. From January 2024, you can whizz across the ice in bumper cars
Igloo reservations from $ 215 for 4 people
Web: bryantpark.org

Union Square Holiday Market

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What would Christmas in New York City be without a visit to the Union Square Holiday Market? More than 150 exhibitors ensure that you won't go home hungry or empty-handed. A varied line-up ensures that the supporting program is also perfect.

Open from November 16 to December 24, 2023; weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed on Thanksgiving (November 23, 2023)
Web: usqholiday.nyc

Holiday Lighting Central Park

Weihnachten in New York

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Central Park is not only the green heart of the city. It's also an oasis, where you can find quiet spots as well as running trails, ponds and the chance to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. If the weather is right, you can go tobogganing in Central Park - and even cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. If the ice rink in front of Rockefeller Center gets too crowded, Lasker Rink and Wollman Rink are usually still open. On days when the Conservatory Water freezes over, there's even a third ice rink in Central Park. Secret Tip: you can experience a bit of local color at the Holiday Lighting . Floating Christmas trees are illuminated on the Harlem Sea and Christmas carols are sung on the plaza. And of course, there's hot chocolate.

Holiday Lighting: November 30, 2023, 17:30
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Web: centralparknyc.org

Where to Eat

Rolf's Restaurant

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The menu at Rolf's may be quite German. For example, Sauerbraten, potatoes and apple strudel are on the menu here. However, the interior can certainly be described as very American. Rolf's restaurant is illuminated by thousands of lights. Christmas tree baubles, icicles, wreaths, garlands and porcelain dolls transform the restaurant into an insta-worthy Christmas wonderland. The special feature: When the festive season is over, there's no tidying up - the decorations can be admired all year round. Booking is essential!

Rolf's Restaurant
281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010, United States
Tel.: +1 212-477-4750
Web: rolfsnyc.com

Santa's Secret

What happens when an immersive installation meets a vintage speakeasy? The result is Santa's Secret: In eight different rooms, you can enjoy show performances as well as particularly festive drinks. Lavish decorations, live baking of gingerbread figures (clearly intended for adults) and music make the experience as unique as it is indescribable. Ideal for evening drinks of a special kind.

Adults only, from November 17 to December 31, 2023
Closed on Thanksgiving, December 24 and January 1
The show lasts 2 hours
Tickets from $ 58

The Ready Rooftop

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Who says that rooftop bars are only worth a visit in summer? In winter - especially during the Christmas season - they also have their charm. One of the hippest among them is The Ready Rooftop. It's part of the Moxy NYC East Village and offers a relaxed atmosphere. In November and December, the theme is Holiday Palms. The atmosphere is correspondingly colorful, Christmassy and relaxed.

Open Tuesday to Friday from 4 to 11 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 11 pm
Reservations recommended
Happy hour daily from 4 to 6 pm

The Ready Rooftop
112 East 11th St., New York, NY 10003
Tel: +1 646-908-2125
Web: moxyeastvillage.com

Caviar Caspia

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The first branch of the legendary Parisian restaurant opened Beginning of the year at the luxury hotel The Mark on the Upper East Side. It is located directly on Central Park and - like the hotel - was designed by Jacques Grange. Ramon Mac Crohon, CEO of Caviar Kaspia, even described the new opening in New York as a "match made in luxury heaven". In fact, the restaurant has been one of the hottest addresses among New York's It crowd since its very first days.

Take caviar to go from the adjoining boutique and enjoy it as a picnic in Central Park!

Caviar Kaspia at The Mark Hotel
992 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10075, United States
Tel.: +1 212 606 3182
Web: caviarkaspia.com


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The member of Relais & Châteaux welcomes its guests in a beautiful Art Déco building in the Financial District. Thanks to its location on the 63rd and 64th floors of the building, the view is breathtaking. Here, James Kent serves cuisine crowned with 2 Michelin stars. The associated bar is ranked 34th among the best bars in the world.

The Plum Sazerac is a holiday treat!

70 Pine St 63rd Floor, New York, NY 10005, United States
Tel.: +1 212-339-3963
Web: saga-nyc.com

Where to Shop

FAO Schwarz

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Christmas in New York would only be half as nice if shopping wasn't on the to-do list. After all, the boutiques and department stores are now at their best. One special feature is FAO Schwarz. This is the oldest toy store in the USA. It's located in the immediate vicinity of the Christmas tree and skating rink at Rockefeller Center.

The giant walking piano on the floor of the store is known from the movie Big with Tom Hanks, and the decor by FAO Schwarz also served as inspiration for the toy store in Kevin Alone in New York.

FAO Schwarz
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111, United States
Web: faoschwarz.com

5th Avenue

Need we say anything more about the most iconic shopping street in New York City - or perhaps the whole world? Of course, the shop windows of Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, Gucci, Ferragamo, Armani & Co. are transformed in a particularly spectacular way. Incidentally, the Saks shop window is based on a different Christmas story for children every year.

House of Holiday

If you want to immerse yourself in the world of Christmas, head to Queens. The House of Holiday is a 3,000 square meter shop dedicated entirely to the best holiday of the year. Christmas trees (real and plastic), Christmas baubles, wreaths, decorations, wrapping paper and lots of Christmas magic can be purchased on two floors. The rooms are differently themed. A bit like a Christmas museum ...

House of Holiday is the largest Christmas store in New York
Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm

House of Holiday
90-02 Atlantic Avenue, Ozone Park, Queens NY, United States
Web: houseofholiday.com

Macy's Santaland

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The beautiful department store attracts thousands of visitors every year around Christmas. They not only want photos of the elaborately decorated façade, but often also want a photo with the busiest man of the season: Santa Claus. You also have the opportunity to buy limited edition souvenirs in the Santaland store.

Time slots must be booked for the meeting with Santa. These can be booked 5 days in advance.

151 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001, United States
Web: macys.com

Where to Stay

The Mercer

© The Mercer

It is not only Jean-Georges Vongerichten's first-class restaurant that attracts guests to the hallowed halls of the hotel in SoHo. The 73 rooms and suites behind the arched building also impress with their select luxury.

The Mercer
147 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012, United States
+1 (212) 966 6060
Price: Doubles from € 750

The Mark

© The Mark Hotel

World-famous stripe design by Jacques Grange, a glamorous location on Central Park, first-class restaurants and the largest suite in the city. These are just some of the special features that The Mark has to offer. Other legendary features include the penthouse's private ice-skating rink and sledging in Central Park on designer toboggans.

The Mark
Madison Avenue & 77th Street, New York, NY 10075, United States
Tel.: +1 (212) 744 4300
Web: themarkhotel.com
Price: Doubles from € 1,200

Fifth Avenue Hotel

© The Fifth Avenue Hotel

The beautiful hotel on the street that gives it its name opened just a few weeks ago. The rooms and suites are designed in the unmistakable style of Martin Brudnizki . They are reminiscent of the glamorous 1920s. It took seven years to renovate the manor house. It's now a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.

The Fifth Avenue Hotel
1 West 28th Street, New York, NY 10001, United States
Tel.: +1212 231 9400
Web: thefifthavenuehotel.com
Price: Doubles from €1,245

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