Best Holiday Events in New York City

New York City is one of the best places to visit to get in the holiday mood. From giant tree-lighting ceremonies and spectacular lights shows, to world-famous holiday shows and dazzling shopping villages, check out this guide to the 2015 Holiday Must-Do's in New York City! 

Flicker Image by petercruise

Bryant Park Winter Village

The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Ice skating is free for the public (however, rentals range from $15 - $19 depending on the season)! Not only does the Bryant Park Winter Village offer a free activity, you can also enjoy free skating shows, special events, or even take skating lessons. 

If skating isn't your thing, holiday time at Bryant Park offers boutique shops that are lined along the park. From unique gifts to local food and items, Holiday Shops at Bryant Park is the perfect place to find special gifts for your loved ones. 

Visit the Winter Village at Bryant Park until March 6th, 2016. 

Holiday Time at the Grand Central Terminal

The Grand Central Terminal is the perfect place to visit for the Holiday Train Show as well as the Grand Central Holiday Fair Market. The Grand Central Holiday Fair will feature 74 artists and craft vendors from NYC and surrounding areas. Some vendors include gourmet treats from MarieBelle Chocolates, The New York Transit Museum, and The Soap and Paper Factory. This year, an LG OLED TV will be given away daily! 

Across the way at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store Shuttle Passage at Grand Central, The Holiday Train Show will present the model railroad with a miniature Grand Central Terminal. Up to 10 trains will be running on the 34-foot-long model railroad. 

Union Square Holiday Market

The Union Square Holiday Market is open until Christmas Eve. From boutique jewelry designers to unique food items, visiting the Union Square Holiday Market is one of the best ways to check out local vendors. Grab a waffle from the Wafels and Dinges and be sure to get a hot chocolate from Nunu. 

Photo by UrbanSpace

This year's Union Square Holiday Market is open from 11AM-8PM Monday-Thursday and 11AM-7PM on Sundays. 

Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square

Next Monday, November 30th, 2015, Lincoln Square will be transformed to a holiday wonderland with a Tree Lighting Ceremony and other entertainment. The Chapin Family and Laura Benanti will headline the free concert. See all them in action at the Dante Park Main Stage on Broadway & 63rd Streets. 
Throughout the day and night, there will be percussion performances, carolers, art workshops and more. Don't forget to visit the food tents on Broadway from 62nd to 62th Streets! Remember to bring plenty of cash - you'll be able to purchase tasting portions starting at $1! 

Book parking near Lincoln Square for the Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square events

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Image by Charley Lhasa

The Columbus Circle Holiday Market will open on December 1st and close on Christmas Eve, 2015. Situated at the southwest corner of Central Park, the Columbus Circle holiday Market is open Monday-Friday from 10 AM - 8 PM and on Sundays from 10 AM - 7 PM. Under the red and white tents, you can find handmade items, jewelry from local designers, and clothing for your entire family. 

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Image by Anthony Quintano

Widely known as the world's most famous tree, the Christmas Tree in front of the Rockefeller Center will be lit this year on December 2nd during a spectacular show. Tens of thousands will gather to watch the lighting while millions can watch at home on TV. Did you know that the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a 76 feet tall Norway Spruce? Over 30,000 lights are strung on the tree each year. 

Visit the Rockefeller Center to see the tree in person. Be sure to book your Rockefeller Center parking ahead of time! 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a beloved tradition. Though most of us have seen it on TV in our own living rooms, it's quite the experience to view the parade in person. Over 2.5 mi of public viewing is available! Starting at 77th Street and Central Park West, the parade will begin at 9 AM sharp. 

Flicker Image by Anthony Quintano

If you're coming from the east of the parade, we recommend viewing the parade anywhere from 77th Street and Central Park West to the Columbus Circle. The Macy's Parade will then run west along 59th Street after turning left at Columbus Circle. When the parade hits 6th Avenue, it will turn right to head south toward Herald Square. From 59th Street to 38th Street, visitors can view the parade.  

Be sure to avoid W. 38th Street until the end of the parade at Herald Square. This area is for public broadcasting and no public viewing area is available. 

On Parking Panda, we recommend parking near the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade route (marked in green). 

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