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The Best Places to Enjoy Holiday Lights in NYC

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|by Jane Jourdan |

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in New York City

Christmas in New York is as good as it gets! Even though New Yorkers love to complain about the cold, the snow, the MTA in the winter, big coats, etc., we still love the chill in the air to push us to cozy up and enjoy the season. We previously shared the details of this year’s Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which is perhaps the epicenter of glittering holiday festivity, but there are also plenty of other spots around the city to get into the spirit with seasonal lights. Just because New York is a big city doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the charm of the holidays. We’re offering a few of our favorite light viewing options for you and your loved ones to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year – NYC-style.

The city lights are even brighter during the holiday season (Photo: iStock)

The city lights are even brighter during the holiday season (Photo: iStock)

Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour
The most formal option for holiday light viewing is the city’s Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour. Not only will you get to see the city aglow for the holidays; you’ll also pass through the filming locations of some of your favorite holiday films – like Elf and Miracle on 34th Street – making this tour doubly festive.

Central Park
If you’re feeling adventurous, snag a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park to start your holiday tour. You’ll get to see the ice skating rink, lights from Columbus Circle, plus decorations along the West Side city streets. 

Times Square
Of course, Times Square has its fair share of holiday decorations, and is definitely worth a stroll in the late evening. Plus, you can catch a glimpse of the shiniest lights of all – those of Broadway! – not to mention the real-life Broadway stars strolling the streets.

Soho + West Village
We also enjoy an evening walk through the West Village and Soho to see the lights and decorations of two of the most quaint neighborhoods in NYC. We recommend some hot chocolate from Greecologies in Soho, followed by a meander through Little Italy, which is sure to promise a bright glow around the holidays.

Columbus Circle
The Time Warner building is glistening around this time of year. The indoor holiday decorations are some of our favorite in the city, and will not disappoint. Definitely a great photo op, and sometimes you can even catch some carolers – and by carolers, we mean Broadway stars, performing on Mondays at 5 p.m. as part of The Shops at Columbus Circle’s Broadway Under the Stars series. Catch The Prom and Dear Evan Hansen on Dec. 3, and Mean Girls and Wicked on Dec. 10.

For more of the best of NYC during the holidays, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in December 2018.


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