Holiday in the city: a guide to winter break in NYC

Time to get those presents for your significant others, family and friends, brew up some hot chocolate and watch the snow fall, or explore the greatest city in the world for the plentiful holiday activities for all.

New York City is the place for holiday joy for all: from ice-skating by the tree at Rockefeller Center to exploring the holiday markets in Union Square and Bryant Park, New Yorkers are guaranteed entertainment throughout December.

1) Citi Pond Ice Skating Rink 

citipondBryant Park features the Citi Pond Ice Skating Rink every winter. The rink offers free admission to the rink, but there is a rental fee for skates. Take someone you care about and enjoy the New York scenery while skating around. For non-skaters, check out the shops inside the park while sipping some hot cranberry or apple cider. Sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, desserts like churros with Nutella, pretzels, kettle corn, crepes and many others are available. For those last minute gift shoppers, jewelry, apparel and scarves are also available for purchase. Each holiday booth offers something with pizzazz that will satisfy all of their customers.


Rudresh Mahanthappa

2) The Village Winter Jazz Fest

Stay warm in some of the Village’s coziest caverns and enjoy some music during the annual Winter Jazz Festival that brings more than 70 of the genre’s finest acts onstage. The festival has been going strong since 2005 and shows no signs of losing momentum. Jazz may not be some people’s first thought when it comes to holiday music but these artists are sure to change your mind. New York is considered a birth place of modern jazz and the price of admission is sure to be worth seeing some of today’s modern masters of the musical genre. Catch saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and clarinetist Don Byron for lively sets, while crooners like Gregory Porter and Catherine Russell promise to make patrons want to sit back and sip another cocktail. For a fun night of dancing, be sure to catch the James Carter Organ Trio or the genre-bending Kneebody, whose urban-inspired sounds will have many dancing. Visit for more information.

3) Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular 

Radio City Rockettes

Radio City Music Hall will once again be hosting its famed Christmas Spectacular. Director and choreographer Linda Haberman is the reason this show—and the Rockettes— keep getting better. This year’s production celebrates the famous dance company’s 85th anniversary with a new piece that showcases the story of the development of costumes over the years. A revamped version of last year’s 3D spectacle follows a mother and her daughter searching for the perfect Christmas present and finding the Rockettes as the heroines of a video game.