Christmas is coming up soon and the streets will be decorated with beautiful holiday lights and scenes, Christmas music, and many enjoyable activities. You’ve been dreaming of a holiday filled with fun activities and festive things to do.
You’ve already started planning out your Christmas bucket list, but there’s always room for improvement. So here are 30 fun holiday activities and festive things to add to your list.
1. Go on an ice skating adventure at the Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center.
This rink has two levels that offer different types of skates including figure-skate blades, hockey skates, rollerblades, inline skates, and even skateboards! The rink also offers lessons so you can learn how to glide across the ice without falling over. You’ll be able to enjoy this winter wonderland while sipping hot cocoa or mulled wine as well as munching on some delicious treats from their food truck.
2. Visit Santa’s Workshop at Macy’s Herald Square.
If you want to see what it takes to make one of those magical Santas come alive, then head down to Macy’s where they have set up a special workshop just for kids. They will let them get hands-on experience making snowflakes, reindeer antlers, candy cane trees, gingerbread houses, and more. Plus, you can take home a keepsake photo of yourself posing next to these adorable creations.
3. Have a snowball fight at Central Park Winter Wonderland.
It may not seem like much when you think about it, but having a good old-fashioned snowball fight is something I miss doing every year during my childhood holidays. And now that we live in New York City, it seems like everyone else does too. But don’t worry – Central Park Winter Wonderland has everything you need to throw around some icy goodness. There are tons of inflatables, face painting stations, games, and other kid-friendly attractions.
4. Watch A Live Nativity Scene At St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Every December, St. Patricks Cathedral puts together a beautiful nativity scene featuring real animals such as sheep, goats, camels, cows, horses, geese, chickens, rabbits, pigeons, ducks, turkeys, swans, peacocks, ostriches, llamas, alpacas, pigs, dogs, cats, and many others. These creatures all play their part in telling the story of Jesus Christ through song, dance, puppetry, narration, and storytelling.
5. Make Your Own Gingerbread House With Cookie Connection.
Did you know that you could actually become a professional baker? Well, you can thank Cookie Connection who teaches people how to create amazing cookies using traditional recipes. Now you can bring back memories of baking with your family by creating your own gingerbread house. All you need to start off is a basic knowledge of cookie dough basics and after that, you choose which type of cookie you’d like to bake Then you simply follow along step-by-step and watch videos teaching you how to decorate each layer of your creation. Afterward, you can either eat it right away or store it in the freezer until ready to serve.
6. Take An Evening Tour Of Christmas Lights In Brooklyn Bridge Park.
One thing that always makes me happy during the holiday season is taking a stroll under the twinkle lights. So why not do it in style? Head out to Brooklyn Bridge Park where there’s a whole section dedicated to displaying thousands upon thousands of colorful lights throughout the park. Bring your camera because you won’t believe how pretty the scenery looks against the backdrop of the city skyline.
7. Go Ice Skating At Rockefeller Center.
This might be one of the most iconic places on earth so if you’re looking for an activity that’ll give you goosebumps, this should definitely be on your list! You can skate indoors or outdoors depending on weather conditions. Either way, you’ll feel like a true ice skater once you try it. Just remember to dress warmly since it gets cold inside the rink.
8. Get Into The Spirit At Times Square.
Times Square is known worldwide for its bright lights, big billboards, and crazy crowds – but did you also know that it was originally designed to celebrate America’s bicentennial in 1976? That means that they had two hundred years’ worth of neon signs made specifically for the occasion. Today, Times Square is still home to over three thousand lighted displays and plenty of festive things to see and do.
9. Visit Santa Claus’ Workshop At Macy’s Herald Square.
Okay, maybe he doesn’t technically make toys here anymore, but visiting his workshop will take you down memory lane. Plus, you never know what kind of treats you might find hidden among those shelves full of presents.
10. See Some Spectacular Fireworks Over Manhattan Skyline.
For anyone living in NYC, fireworks go hand in hand with the Fourth of July. But did you realize that New York City has some spectacular views of fireworks from its skyscrapers year-round? From Empire State Building to the Chrysler building, all kinds of buildings have incredible nighttime shots of fireworks shows.
11. Watch A Live Nativity Scene On Broadway.
Every December, tourists flock to Central Park to witness the famous nativity scene at Christmastime. And while many come just to snap photos, others travel across town to view the live performance. It takes place every evening around 6 pm through January 7th.
12. Have Breakfast Like A King Or Queen At Le Cirque Restaurant.
There aren’t too many restaurants that allow you to eat breakfast like a king or queen, but Le Cirque does exactly that. They serve brunch items such as French toast stuffed with strawberries and mascarpone cheese along with eggs Benedict and traditional favorites like pancakes and waffles. Not only that, but kids love coming here because there’s lots of room to run around and play games.]
13. Shop Till You Drop At Grand Army Plaza.
Located right next to Union Square, Grand Army Plaza is a great shopping destination when you need something unique for yourself or someone else. Whether you’re after jewelry, clothing, furniture, or accessories, this plaza offers tons of options. We recommend starting off early before the lines form outside stores.
14. Eat Your Way Through Chinatown.
When we think of Chinese food, we usually imagine dim sum and Peking duck. However, there’s much more to China than that. In fact, there are hundreds of different regional cuisines to choose from. One of our personal favorites is Shanghai-style noodles which are similar to Italian pasta dishes. Prices tend to be affordable, delicious, and fresh.
15. Take An Evening Stroll Around Battery Park.
No trip to NYC would be complete without taking a stroll around beautiful Battery Park. Home to both the Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island, this park is perfect for walking, running, biking, fishing, roller skating, and even public art. If you happen to visit during the fall months, don’t miss checking out the lighting displays on the boats docked along the East River.
16. Go Ice Skating At Rockefeller Center.
While it may seem strange to ice skate indoors, The Rock actually houses one of the largest indoor rinks in the country. Rentals start at $20 per person if purchased online, so you can easily bring your family and friends together to enjoy an activity they’ll always remember!
17. Get Your Picture with Santa.
Santa is one of those characters who seems like he should be everywhere at once. He’s been photographed hundreds of times before, so why not take your own picture with him? You’ll feel extra special when you send it home as a keepsake from the big guy himself.
18. Make a Homemade Gift
If you’ve been putting off making gifts because they just aren’t as special as store-bought ones, try making something yourself instead. There are so many ways to make homemade presents that everyone will love.
19. Visit a Museum During The Holidays
Museums across America offer free admission during the winter months. Whether it’s visiting art galleries, historical sites, or science museums, take advantage of the opportunity to learn new facts and see amazing displays.
20. See The Nutcracker ballet
If you’ve never seen The Nutcracker ballet before, now is definitely the time to see it live. There are many different versions of the story, so pick what appeals to you best. Some like the original version which features Clara dancing as well as some new twists added to the classic tale. Others prefer the newer version featuring Tchaikovsky’s music instead of Rimsky Korsakov’s.
21. Attend Midnight Christmas Eve Service at Church
Many churches hold midnight services on December 24th where people gather to sing carols, light candles, and reflect on the meaning behind the holiday season. It’s also a good idea to attend church service earlier in the day since most places close by 11 pm. Even if you aren’t religious, it can be a beautiful way to add some holiday spirit to your celebrations.
22. Watch A Live Nativity Scene
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without seeing a nativity scene come alive. Many towns put up their scenes each year, but New York City has two very popular locations including Washington Heights and Central Park. Both have large crowds every night throughout the month of December.
23. Have Breakfast With Santa Claus
It might sound weird, but having breakfast with Santa isn’t uncommon among children all over the world. Why not join them? Most restaurants allow kids under 12 years old to sit down with Santa while parents wait outside. This gives young guests a chance to ask questions about his job and how he spends his days.
24. Look at the Holiday Lights in your Neighborhood
There are few things more magical than walking through neighborhoods decorated for the holidays. From lights strung along streets to giant inflatable snowmen popping out of driveways, there’s no shortage of decorations around town this time of year. Take note of these local spots, search for the best light display, and plan to visit them next year too!
25. Send Soldiers Holiday Cards
Send cards to soldiers serving overseas. They may receive mail much later than usual due to security concerns, so don’t forget to include an address label. Include a message wishing them safe travels back home and let them know you’re thinking of them.
26. Go Holiday Shopping!
Shopping malls usually open early on Black Friday, giving shoppers plenty of opportunities to get deals on items such as electronics, toys, clothing, gift card.. etc. You’ll find great sales even when stores stay closed on other holidays.
27. Make an Advent Calendar
An advent calendar is used to count the days until Christmas. The typical ones are filled with chocolate and hanging out at the grocery store checkout line (like this one ). But, with a little creativity, you can create your own using matchboxes, clothespins, or just about anything else you can possibly think of!
28. Have a Snowball Fight
With so much fresh snow outside can you restrict yourself to the indoors? Get outside for a good old-fashioned snowball fight! Invite some friends, make teams, and let’s see who wins the war of snow.
29. Wear a Santa Hat in Public
Santa hats are everywhere during the holidays, from department stores to gas stations. If you want to wear yours, go ahead. Just remember that wearing a hat inside could lead to being mistaken for someone dressed as Santa. So keep it simple and stick to keeping warm.
30. Make Your Christmas List
Since we were little kids, there’s always been something we have wanted to receive as a Christmas present. And that doesn’t need to change just because we’re adults! Maybe we don’t have to take it as seriously now as we did when we were 7, but sitting down to write down a wish list for Christmas is a fun and simple way to get into the holiday mood. Your wish list doesn’t have to be given to someone else, it can be a list of things you want to gift yourself.
All in all, if you follow our tips above then you will definitely enjoy every moment of the festive season. We hope they help you prepare for the most wonderful day of the year. Happy Holidays everyone!