7 Free Ways to Celebrate Christmas in NYC

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The holiday season transforms New York City into a magical wonderland of incredible art, sparkling lights and Christmas cheer. Christmas in New York City is like no other place on Earth; why not experience it once in your life? Better yet, why not experience it for a dime?!

Easier said than done when you are talking about visiting the fourteenth most expensive city to visit (IN THE WORLD). So, because you’ll be dropping a pretty penny on your postage stamp size hotel room when you are in New York City, we found some pretty cool and free things you can do that won’t cost you one more cent! Get your walking shoes ready!

Experience Rockefeller Plaza.


It’s first, because it’s the most well known. If you are going to go to New York City in the month of December, you cannot miss this. From the ginormous Christmas tree to the wonder of the ice skaters, you’ll be mesmerized. And you’ll be able to tell everyone you saw it – that’s all they are going to ask you about. Free Tip: Get up early and go down for the Today Show! Then you can prove to everyone you were there. Not Free Tip: You too can skate at the rink in Rockefeller Plaza, for a fee.

Don’t miss the iconic Radio City Music Hall.

Midtown Xmas

It’s probably going to be a quick visit, but you will not want to miss this. All decked out for Christmas, you’ll be viewing the magic of Christmas and the home to the famous Radio City Rockettes! Not Free Tip: Book some tickets ahead of your visit to actually see the Rockettes perform the Christmas Spectacular!

Listen to the sounds of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral_Will Steacy_4 (1).jpg

The beauty of St Patrick’s Cathedral should not be missed at any part of the year, but especially during Advent. Visitors to the city can worship at the Cathedral and also view free concerts throughout the month. General admission is always free to the public and the music ranges from adult and youth choirs to brass and string ensembles.

Keep a lookout for holiday decoration in department store windows.

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows, Midtown, Manhattan

Pick your poison: Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales. Throughout the streets of Manhattan you’ll find beautiful, intricate window displays that have become a tradition dating back over 100 years. It’s part of what makes New York City the place to experience the holidays.

Enjoy the hustle and bustle at the Bryant Park Winter Village.

Times Square, Manhattan

Nothing is better than free, unless of course there is Christmas involved too. If you check out the Winter Village at Bryant Park you can get both. The ice skating rink is FREE to all people, young and old. The Christmas Shoppes are fun to walk around – maybe you can find some last minute gifts!

Lace up your shoes and walk 6th Avenue.

Smith Ninth Streets, Gowanus, Brooklyn

New York City wouldn’t be what it is without the massive art installations around the city. Now enter Christmas. All you have to do is walk down 6th Avenue and you’ll be delighted by the larger than life Christmas cheer. These would probably be excellent spots to take a family photo or snap a selfie.

Can’t forget to take a stroll through Central Park.

Central Park, Manahttan

If there is snow in the City, you’ll want to see it through the lens of Central Park. You can stroll through the Park yourself or jump on one of the self-guided, free walking tours. Either way you’ll be seeing the beauty that is the Oasis in the City. Take in the beautiful lights and check out the sights! Not Free Tip: You can also pay for tours that combine the Park with the City – or you can go to the Zoo!

Photo Credit: NYCGO

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