7 Top New York City Holiday Attractions

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Excited for the 2023 holiday season? One of the best ways we know to get in the holiday spirit is to visit the winter wonderland of New York City this season.

Just strolling the streets of Manhattan, decorated with lights and other finery, should get you excited. But there are countless ways to enjoy the holidays with your friends and family. From holiday classics like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting and skating at Wollman Rink, to unique events like Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo, there is something for everyone during this magical time of the year.

So, check your calendar, book some tickets and hop on an Amtrak train headed to Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station. You’ll get off the train in the center of the city that never sleeps and will be ready for your 2023 holiday adventure.

Bryant Park Winter Village
Do some holiday gift shopping at Winter Village at Bryant Park.

Winter Village Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall to Penn Station: 0.6 miles

With the holiday season upon us, you may be looking for a way to spread some holiday cheer through the act of giving. Each year, Bryant Park collaborates with Bank of America to form the Winter Holiday Shops, which assumes a European-inspired theme with an open marketplace. The shops,  housed in custom-designed, “jewel box” kiosks, feature local artisans—think jewelry, clothes, food products—as well as vendors from all around the world. While at the park, you can also ice skate at the city’s largest free-admission ice skating rink, which is open daily through March 3, 2024; book your tickets here. You can also take the kids on Le Carrousel or catch a show.

Glide into the holiday season at Wollman Rink.

Wollman Rink at Central Park

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station: 1.5 miles 

There’s nothing like ice skating during the holidays, and where better to do it than at Central Park’s famous Wollman Rink? Opened in 1949, the Wollman Rink is a rite of passage enjoyed by tourists and native New Yorkers alike. Tickets are available online here; prices for adults range from $15 to $37; tickets for children ages 4-12 are $10.  You are not allowed to bring food or beverages into the rink, but there is a snack bar and Harlem’s famed Melba’s Restaurant concept is now open, too. The café features a smorgasbord of flavorful menu items, ranging from signature dishes of southern fried chicken & eggnog waffles and exclusives such as Melba’s DiscOasis fries.

Check out intricate holiday displays at Macy's.

Macy’s Herald Square Holiday Windows

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall to Penn Station: 0.3 miles

Looking for a new way to window shop? Macy’s Holiday Windows at Herald Square is a beloved New York City tradition. Dating back to the early 1900s, the Holiday Windows, held at Macy’s flagship store at 6th Avenue and 34th Street, are enjoyed by people of all ages. This year’s theme is “Give Love” and follows the journey of the lovable reindeer named Tiptoe as she enjoys activities with her friends, Polar Bear and Penguin. The windows will be on display until January 2024. Don’t forget to go inside Macy’s to visit Santa, too!

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree | Photo Courtesy of RockefellerCenter.com

Rockefeller Center- Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station: 1.2 miles 

The most popular among the list is surely the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Each holiday season tourists and New Yorkers gather to view the gloriously oversized, decorated pine tree in the middle of Rockefeller Center. This year, the Norway Spruce tree comes from Vestal, New York. The first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree went on display in 1931, and the tradition has continued for more than eight decades. The tree will be lit from Nov. 29, 2022 until January 13, 2024.

Practice social distancing at the Botanical Garden's outdoor GLOW show.

New York Botanical Garden

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station: 11.4 miles 

Every winter the New York Botanical Garden celebrates the holidays with the iconic Holiday Train Show. This year, the show adds an all-new outdoor train display. You’ll see more than 25 model trains and trolleys hum along early a half-mile of track. Start on the lawn at the outdoor mountainscapes and then watch trains zip past nearly 200 iconic New York landmarks in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Visitors can also check out NYBG Glow, the garden’s outdoor holiday light experience, now back for its fourth year. Thousands of dazzling, energy-efficient choreographed lights and sound and picture-perfect installations create an amazing event.  Get tickets here.

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights | Photo Courtesy of BronxZoo.com

The Bronx Zoo

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station: 9.6 miles

Every year, the world-famous Bronx Zoo hosts Holiday Lights. At night, the park comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns and animated light shows sparkle across the 265-acre zoo. This year, 64 new lanterns representing nine new animal species will continue to delight audiences.  Visitors can also watch ice carving demonstrations and relax with the family while roasting marshmallows by the fire. Tickets are required and should be reserved in advance here. The event runs on select evenings from Nov. 17, 2023 through Jan. 7, 2024.

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

Distance from Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station: 1 mile

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular is back for the 2023 holiday season. This special event is always a holiday staple and never disappoints. Most importantly, New York by Rail can help you plan your holiday getaway. With New York by Rail’s Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular travel package, you can secure a round-trip on Amtrak to Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station, mid to rear Orchestra seats to the event and an optional stay at Belvedere Hotel NYC or a similar lodging accommodation.

Further Information Regarding Travel
Amtrak has taken several initiatives to ensure the safety of its passengers. They have committed to requiring face masks for all passengers, converting the cafe car to takeout only, adding social distance signage, and much more.
Learn More Information Here

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