10 Best Free Things to Do in NYC at Christmas

NYC at Christmas is a magical place! Many of the attractions are within easy walking distance of each other. Here are my top 10 free NYC attractions at Christmas: https://www.epicfamilies.com/blog/top-free-nyc-attractions

Here are my favorite free things to do in NYC during Christmastime. These are in no particular order of importance.

NYC at Christmas is a magical place! Many of these attractions are within easy walking distance of each other.

Related: How to Avoid Emotional Burnout Around the Holidays

10 Best Free Things to Do in NYC at Christmas

1. Bryant Park

(Between 40th and 42nd St and 5th and 6th Ave)

With an ice skating rink, a lovely Christmas tree, and a Christmas market with lots of local vendors and yummy snacks, this is top on my list every year.

Bryant Park is in close proximity to Grand Central Station and the NYC Public Library, both of which are also worth a visit, AND this park has restrooms that are both public and have attendants.

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2. Bergdorf Goodman

(5th Avenue and Central Park)

Bergdorf's offers creative sent unusual windows each holiday season. They're actually my favorite windows to view each year. Right next to Central Park, they're convenient to other attractions as well.

Here are a couple of my favorite windows this year:

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3. Rockefeller Center

(50th between 5th and 6th, right across from St. Patrick's Cathedral).

With a HUGE Christmas tree and other festive decorations, this is also a must see.

There's a big Lego Store and an American Girl Store right there as well. Because this is a main attraction each year, and close to Times Square, it tends to be more crowded than Bryant Park.

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4. Saks Fifth Avenue

Right across from Rockefeller Center, this store also offers amazing windows (this year's theme is Snow White) and a stunning light and music display at night. 

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5. Cartier

(approximately 52nd and 5th).

You can't miss the giant red bow and the Cartier kitties perched on the building! This is probably my very favorite Christmas display. It's also only a block or two away from the giant crystal star at 57th and 5th.


6. Macy's

(34th St.)

If you don't mind walking a bit...head down Broadway to 34th St. Macy's windows never disappoint, and the store also has several rest rooms, so you can make a pit stop. 


7. Little Italy, Chinatown, And the World Trade Center memorial

If you're feeling more adventurous and don't mind walking more or taking the subway, you won't want to miss Little Italy, Chinatown, and the World Trade Center Memorial. It's about a three mile walk from Macy's. 

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8. Washington Square Park

(14th and 6th approximately) 

Along the way, look for Washington Square Park. There's a big Christmas tree here and lots of local performers (we saw two jazz bands and a performance on a baby grand piano). There are also public rest rooms available there that are fairly clean. 

9. Battery Park along the Hudson River.

Ideal for biking or rollerblading or just walking, this park offers a good view of the Statue of Liberty.

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10. The Staten Island Ferry

This free ferry gives you a great view of the Statue of Liberty as well as Lower Manhattan. While wait for your ferry or your return ferry, you'll be treated to performances from local musicians in the station. 

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There you have it! Depending upon the age of your kids, you may want to do less, or you may want to do more.

Some great paid activities I recommend you check out while you’re there are going see the Rockettes Christmas performance, or a Broadway show (make sure to check out the Tkts Booth in Times Square, where you can get same day tickets, often at half price!).

With so many free things to do in NYC, a visit here at Christmas time can be a magical and memorable experience.

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Hi, I'm Beth. I help busy moms ditch the overwhelm and gain confidence, so they can enjoy parenting more, yell less, and have peaceful kids and a happy family.

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