Christmas in New York

Our guide to the best Christmas movies and gift ideas, plus festive activities like Bryant Park ice skating and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Photograph: Filip Wolak

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 treesholiday 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.

Things to Do

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

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Things to Do

Photos of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

For New Yorkers, the Rockefeller Center tree lighting signals that the Christmas season has officially begun

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Music

50 best Christmas songs

Christmas songs don't have to suck!

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Dance

Where to see the Nutcracker

Performances of the iconic Christmas ballet come in all shapes and sizes this year

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Things to Do

Best Christmas events

'Tis the season to be jolly, and New York is full of Christmas events to help you do just that

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Things to Do

Ice-skating in NYC

When the temperature drops, it's time to strap on the blades and hit the slick stuff

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Shopping and style

Holiday markets

These seasonal marts are great for checking things off of your holiday gift guide list

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Things to Do

Best Christmas window displays

If New York is famous for anything around Christmas time, it's our ornate holiday window displays

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Things to Do

Where to find the best holiday windows

These iconic department-store displays add some eye candy to your holiday shopping spree

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Comedy

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

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Things to Do

Gay Christmas events

Gay parties, concerts, performances and other events will help you have a festive, queer holiday season

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Things to Do

Holiday volunteer opportunities

Tis the season—to give back! Check out these opportunities to help out causes you care about

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Christmas dinner in New York

Restaurants

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.

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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.

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Holiday gift ideas

Shopping and style

The best ugly Christmas sweaters

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Shopping and style

The best cheap gifts for $25 and under

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Shopping and style

The best NYC-themed gifts

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All holiday gift ideas

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Festive pet costumes

Shopping and style

The best dog costumes for the holidays

Ugly sweaters and Santa hats aren’t just meant for people—your canine can be super-festive too!

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Shopping and style

The best cat costumes for the holidays

From antlers to elf hats, there’s a festive outfit for even the Scroogiest kitty.

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Gift shops by neighborhood

Shopping and style

Williamsburg

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

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Shopping and style

Soho

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

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Shopping and style

West Village

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

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Shopping and style

East Village

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

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Christmas movies

Movies

The 50 best Christmas movies

We count down our all-time favorite Christmas films, from silly Santas to shoot-outs in the snow

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Movies

NYC’s top 10 Christmas movie moments

Get into the spirit of the season by watching these naughty and nice Christmas movie scenes

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New York hotels to stay at this Christmas

Travel

Classic hotels

If these walls could talk, you’d never get to sleep.

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Travel

Budget hotels

Cheap digs that get extra points for style.

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Travel

Romantic hotels

Get a room—with sexy interiors and amenities.

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Travel

Small boutique hotels

These intimate properties evoke the feel of staying with stylish friends.

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Travel

Hotel bars and hangouts

These local-approved hubs attract a party crowd.

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Travel

Hotel rooms with a view

Admire iconic NYC scenes without leaving your bed.

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Travel

Hotels with spas

Be pampered, preened and pummeled at these indulgent retreats.

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Travel

Hotel restaurants

Where to check in, then dine in.

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