Planning to visit New York City this holiday season? Look no further than this guide for the best recommendations to experience all of the holiday joy and excitement in one of the most lively cities around. This list offers ideas for all types of trips, from family vacations, couples weekends or city escapes. Find below all of our favorites and special hidden gems to welcome the season and feel the warmth of this special time with loved ones.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas… by Cirque du Soleil
Join the famous and awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil for their first-ever Christmas show on December 12 through December 29 at Madison Square Garden. This festive tale of friendship, love, sharing and cheer follows Isabella, “a curious girl whose become jaded by the hoopla surrounding Christmas, as she is whisked away to an upside-down, inside-out world where she meets characters inspired by the original timeless poem.” This is the perfect treat for families or those young at heart who enjoy aerial performances, comedic acrobatics and beautiful costumes. Purchase tickets to this wonderful holiday show here.
Ice Skating at Wollman Rink
Delight in an afternoon of winter fun as you ice skate and glide among the skyscrapers and frost-covered trees in Central Park’s Wollman Rink. Known as one of the most beautiful skating rinks in the world and largest outdoor rink in the United States, this is the ideal spot to take the whole family or perhaps a special someone. With plenty of space and available perks like figure skating lessons or packages for private skating experiences, Wollman Rink offers the scenery of New York City without the crowded streets. The rink is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00am to 2:30pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am to 10:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00am to 11:00pm, and Sundays from 10:00am to 9:00pm. Tickets to Wollman Rink are included in our A Very Lowell Holiday Offer, which can be reserved here and includes many exciting additions like customized in-suite holiday decor and Christmas tree, the choice of Christmas Eve Dinner at Majorelle or Christmas Day Lunch in The Pembroke Room, a welcome letter from Santa, and many more holiday delights.
Watching a ballet performance of the Nutcracker is a favorite holiday tradition among many patrons of the arts. While you are staying at The Lowell on the Upper East Side, appreciate the small and cultured neighborhood of Yorkville and the famous Dance Patrelle’s The Yorkville Nutcracker. With New York City Ballet principals making appearances in beloved roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, this performance will transport the audience to New York City in 1895 with the tales of Clara and her adventures in the Land of Sweets. The Yorkville Nutcracker is performed December 13 to December 15, with matinee and nightly performances on December 14 and December 15. Tickets can be purchased here.
Lighting of the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah
From December 22 to December 30, celebrate Hanukkah at the lighting of the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah in Grand Army Plaza. The Menorah is 32 feet high and constructed out of gold colored 4,000 pound steel. A lighting of a new candle will take place on each night of Hanukkah, generally around 5:30pm from Sunday to Thursday. On Friday, the lighting will usually take place at 3:30pm. On Saturday, the lighting will take place near 8:00pm. Enjoy the sense of community and warm hearts as a crowd gathers each night to watch a new branch of the menorah illuminate the night sky. There is also a similar lighting in Prospect Park, Brooklyn with another one of the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorahs at 6:00 pm most evenings, with Fridays at 3:30pm and Saturdays at 7:00pm. The Brooklyn organizers also put on a concert before the lighting on Hanukkah’s first night and each night thereafter has a musical presentation with potato pancakes.
Holiday Train Show at Grand Central
All aboard! For the 18th year in a row, the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery creates a miniature New York City with the Transit Museum’s collection of Lionel trains, like the Metro-North, Polar Express, and vintage subway train cars. Watch in amazement as the trains zoom under some of the city’s most famous sights on their way to the North Pole. The exhibit features model trains traveling along a 34′ long, two-level, “O” gauge model train layout and is set against a background designed by cartoonist Julia Wertz. This is the destination for families with train and New York City enthusiasts and allows to you travel all around New York City in one day. Viewings take place in The New York Transit Museum Gallery on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00am to 7:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Strasbourg-Colmar-Mulhouse Christmas Market
Looking for a quick trip to France while you are in New York City? Then, stop by this authentic Christmas Market that was actually shipped straight from Strasbourg, France and shop for decorations, fashion, delicacies and gifts from 30 traditional chalets from the Alsace region. Dive into European Christmas traditions with live performances by a children’s choir, visits with Father Christmas, sips of hot mulled wine and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The market itself is centered around the Bowling Green Christmas tree that has all of the holiday trimmings of fabric hearts and bows, inspired by the exclusive collections of printed fabrics made in Mulhouse. Journey along the “Magic of Christmas in Alsace” trail that tells the stories and traditions of Christmas time in the Alsace Region. The market is open from December 6 to December 22.
Holiday Tea in the Pembroke Room
Join us in the Pembroke Room for a winter celebration of Holiday Tea. Delight in a spirited afternoon of seasonal Dammann Fréres tea and a full menu of festive treats, along with English tea sandwiches and our beloved home-baked scones. Smoked Salmon & Caviar and Turkey Cranberry & Arugula Salad are some of the savory highlights, while the Pecan Tart, Red Velvet Cake and a Crunchy Chocolate Mousse are some of the sweet bites.
While you savor our Holiday Tea menu, make sure to view the winter wonderland created on The Terrace or even make it a Royal tea with the addition of a special champagne pairing. Reserve a table below. Holiday Tea is served until January 12, 2020 on Wednesays through Sundays from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. From December 16 till December 31, Holiday Tea is served 7 days a week from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.