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8 of the Best Free Stuff to do When You Spend Christmas in New York

christmas in new york

Christmas in New York is magical. That’s all there is to it. The lights, sounds, and smells of wintertime fun that fill the air are something to be experienced whether you are a solo traveler or want to bring your whole family. You don’t have to have totally deep pockets either to enjoy the winter season because there are actually plenty of free things to do that will blow your mind and leave a permanent holiday smile on your face. Here are 8 free cool things to do in New York City around the holidays.

8: See the Rockafeller Christmas Tree

rockefeller christmas tree in new york

Wow. If this tree isn’t on your bucket list, then you must really hate Christmas. This gigantic tree that lights up little kids’ faces all throughout the holiday season is a sight to behold. Seeing it on the Today Show on television doesn’t do it justice in any way, shape or form. Go see it by the ice skating rink at Rockafeller Center and marvel at just how stunning a million little lights can be.

7: Window Shop All Day Long Especially at Saks

 saks fifth avenue nyc window display during christmas time

Window shopping is free and spectacular experience all over Manhattan during the November and December months. Look at the visual collections each department stores put together to entice shoppers from all over the world. Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Tiffany do an excellent job of putting together drool worthy displays of designer clothing and jewels.

6: Walk Central Park

central park christmas lights

The street can be a little crowded during the holiday season, but Central Park is still large and spread out enough to take a lovely mid-day stroll. People watching is free too.

5: Holiday Light Tours

central park christmas lights

There are a couple of organizations that offer a “pay what you wish” walking tour of the holiday lights. So if you want to pay “zero” you pretty much could save some dough here. Don’t feel bad, they make plenty of money during the holiday season from the millions of tourists that come to the area.

4: Winter Village in Bryant Park

winter village bryant park 2018 christmas time

This is a gorgeous display of holiday treats, wares, and gourmet foods to purchase. It’s a really great place to take the whole family and it’s absolutely free to get in.

3: Free 1 Hour Performance of the Nutcracker

free nyc outdoor nutcracker performance during christmas

The famed ballet performance of the Nutcracker is very expensive normally to see. That’s why they do a free one hour version on Dec. 1 and 2. Two different showtimes around the World Trade Center District. Kids wil love to see the gorgeous ballerinas all dressed to impress in a magical hour they won’t forget.

2: MoMA on Fridays

museum of mordern art in new york city during christmas time

The modern museum of art,  MoMA, is free every Friday from 4 PM until close. See all your modern art favorites like Warhol, Rothko, and even Van Gogh up close and personal. This is the ultimate art museum experience unlike any other in the world. And free to boot!

1: City Park Ice Skating at Bryant Park

ice rink bryant park in new york during christmas time

This is a free ice skating rink in Bryant Park. Keep in mind you will need to bring your own ice skates for it to be totally free. But when you compare it to the price of ice skating at Rockafeller Center, it’s a great bargain.

Share your fun photos with the world on social media during your Christmas vacation trip as well! Happy travels this holiday season everyone and Merry Christmas everyone. Tell us which of these you went to and what other great places in New York during Christmas time in the comments below.

Kelly Reising
Kelly Reising
Kelly Reising is a published author and travel writer with a eye on the latest and greatest happenings around the globe. Recently she completed travel for coverage of the MLB's Central division with stops in Chicago, Cleveland, and NYC to cover the 2018 MLB Post Season. She is sad the Red Sox ultimately won, but is still happy that the Cubs won the Series in 2016. In her personal life, she is the mother of two gorgeous teenager daughters and resides in the South Beach, Florida area.

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