It's the most wonderful time of the year—and by "it" we mean Christmas. New York lights up into a winter wonderland each year with Christmas trees, holiday window displays and Christmas lights. Even the most tourist-averse New Yorkers have to admit that it's a pretty spectacular sight. Get the most out of the holidays with our guide to the best holiday sales and holiday gift ideas, Christmas movies to watch with the family and plenty of festive things to do including Bryant Park ice skating, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and more.
30 best photos of Christmas in NYC
Lovers of snow, ice-skating and all things glittery, get ready to swoon at the sight of NYC at its festive best
Photos of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree
For New Yorkers, the Rockefeller Center tree lighting signals that the Christmas season has officially begun
50 best Christmas songs
Christmas songs don't have to suck!
Where to see the Nutcracker
Performances of the iconic Christmas ballet come in all shapes and sizes this year
Best Christmas events
'Tis the season to be jolly, and New York is full of Christmas events to help you do just that
Ice-skating in NYC
When the temperature drops, it's time to strap on the blades and hit the slick stuff
These seasonal marts are great for checking things off of your holiday gift guide list
Best Christmas window displays
If New York is famous for anything around Christmas time, it's our ornate holiday window displays
Where to find the best holiday windows
These iconic department-store displays add some eye candy to your holiday shopping spree
10 best holiday comedy shows
NYC comedy clubs are all putting on some festive shows—here’s our pick of the funniest, weirdest and silliest
Gay Christmas events
Gay parties, concerts, performances and other events will help you have a festive, queer holiday season
Holiday volunteer opportunities
Tis the season—to give back! Check out these opportunities to help out causes you care about
Christmas dinner in New York
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner
Give yourself a present this holiday—let the pros do the yuletide cooking for you with a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner at NYC restaurants.
The best pies for the holidays
Whether you’re craving pecan, pumpkin or apple varieties—or something altogether different—we’ve got you covered for dessert.
Holiday gift ideas
Festive pet costumes
Gift shops by neighborhood
Find out where to shop for gifts in this Brooklyn neighborhood. Critics' picks A&G Merch Sleek sofas and haute household goods line the walls at this haven for hip urban apartment dwellers. The spacious shop is an offshoot of Billyburg design mecca The Future Perfect (founder David Alhadeff is the “A” in A&G’s name; the “G” is for co-founder Jill Goldhand), hence the überstylish pieces you’ll find—like small, modular items named after Brooklyn nabes, the brand’s plush Bedford lounges ($1,599) and trendy Red Hook dining sets (table $769, chair $219, bench $319). A&G also offers more affordable, quirky items, like toast-shaped coasters ($12) and wall-mounted bottle openers ($9), ideal for home decorators on a budget. Abode New York Find sleek styles, bold colors and cool graphics in Tony Wong’s contemporary housewares shop. Nothing here is clunky or unwieldy, and most of the items fit just right in small apartments. Look for that perfect pop of color in Abode’s many bowls, serving trays, linens, bedding and rugs from eco-friendly brands like Goldiehome, Paper Cloud and Teroforma. Catbird Rony Vardi opened her teeny accessories boutique in 2006 as a companion to the larger, clothing-focused outpost of Catbird on Metropolitan Avenue. Though that store closed in 2009, the girly, white-walled Bedford branch is still going strong, offering a carefully curated selection of jewelry, accessories, home goods and more. “I consider it my life’s work,” explains Vardi of her quest to find
Find out where to shop for gifts in this downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Critics' picks Anthropologie Decidedly more refined and upscale than its sibling shop, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie specializes in bohemian and vintage-inspired clothing and home decor, as indicated by their eternally-inspiring, always-changing store design schemes. While they offer a slew of in-house clothing lines, they've started turning out designer capsule collections with harder-to-find labels like Twinkle by Wenlan and Maria Bonita Extra, which means that there are a plethora of well-cut patterned dresses, oversize knit sweaters and adorable, wear-everywhere tops. The home goods are particularly strong and range from the big (huge armchairs recovered in Scandinavian textiles) to the eensy (door pulls fashioned out of chunks of graphite). CB2 Home-design aficionados and budget-conscious shoppers flock to the hipper, more wallet-friendly spin-off of domestic-goods behemoth Crate & Barrel. The 7,500-square-foot space is packed with modern furnishings that are scaled down for apartment dwellers, along with sleek tableware and chic accents. Global Table Following in the footsteps of its long-standing Soho shop, this home-accessories boutique known for its worldly wares opened a second location uptown. For those who can’t afford to globe-trot but crave a touch of international flair in their homes, Global Table offers modern, handcrafted housewares and home goods sourced from around the world. Mini
Critics' picks AC Gears This shop is like Toys “R” Us for adults. The futuristic space offers the newest electronics, cool gadgets and fun tchotchkes from around the world. Explore the headphones selection by trying on one of the high-end brands, like the popular Zumreeds that come in a range of punchy colors ($40–$60). Check out the best-selling Bandai Gun o’Clock ($90), an alarm clock with a pop-up target and toy gun—so when that dreaded sound goes off in the wee hours of the morning, just reach for the gun and shoot the damn thing. More playful items include limited-edition Mimobot Star Wars–themed memory drives ($46), Kikkerland robot pencil sharpeners ($13) and disappearing glow-in-the-dark graffiti paint from Suck UK ($66). Accessorize Watch your back, Claire’s: A new dirt-cheap costume-jewelry shop has surfaced. U.K. retailer Accessorize is finally bringing its trendy, affordable designs across the pond to a West Village storefront (with a Union Square location opening November 18). We’re talking chunky, jewel-covered cuffs ($25), cluster cocktail rings ($20) and sequined clutches with British flag designs ($58). Sound sparkly? The store itself is as glittery as it gets, with vintage-inspired dressing tables and classic armoires covered in antique gems. Expect to see more from Accessorize in the future; this is the first of 100 planned stores set to open in the U.S. throughout the next four years. Bookmarc Designer Marc Jacobs’s West Village empire continues to expand
Find out where to shop for gifts in this downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Critics' picks Exit 9 This oddball shop is like Spencer's for grown-ups—except there are no naked fat-lady greeting cards. Gags and gaffs abound, whether they're virtually useless (Instant Gay Accent mouth spray, skull-and-crossbone-shaped ice-cube trays) or surprisingly useful (sturdy wallets, pens with flashlights and laser pointers). This is indisputably the neighborhood's go-to spot for wacky games, goofy cards, silly stocking-stuffers and everything in between. John Derian World-famous for his eternally popular decoupage plates and platters depicting everything from turn-of-the-century love letters to mating donkeys, Derian’s old-world-feeling shop is chock-full of great gifts like papier-mâché votive holders, canvas totes printed with images of whales , and Moroccan poufs in gold and hot pink. The adjacent dry-goods shop features a slew of covetable linens, such as delicately printed pillowcases and imported suzanis. La Sirena This store is jammed with all sorts of fun and colorful Mexican crafts, from wearable treasures such as serapes and sombreros to knickknacks, home-decor items and religious idols. The name, meaning "the mermaid," reflects the little shop's folkloric bent. Random Accessories You’ll find things at Random Accessories that you never knew you needed—until you try choosing just one. Mini windup music boxes? Frozen smile ice trays? It’s all here, and each costs less than $10. Pres
New York hotels to stay at this Christmas
If these walls could talk, you’d never get to sleep.
Cheap digs that get extra points for style.
Get a room—with sexy interiors and amenities.
Small boutique hotels
These intimate properties evoke the feel of staying with stylish friends.
Hotel bars and hangouts
These local-approved hubs attract a party crowd.
Hotel rooms with a view
Admire iconic NYC scenes without leaving your bed.
Hotels with spas
Be pampered, preened and pummeled at these indulgent retreats.
Where to check in, then dine in.