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New York City Christmas activities

Our most recommended New York City Christmas activities

From Manhattan: 4-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

1. From Manhattan: 4-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

Combine the fun of a hop-on hop-off and a guided walking tour on your visit to the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights and Dumbo in Brooklyn. Look at blocks and blocks of Christmas lights decorated for the holiday season. Witness nativity displays, nutcrackers, inflatable Santas, garlands, lights, and more. Start from midtown Manhattan and head out to Dyker Heights where you will hop off the vehicle and walk around. Experience the most magical neighborhood in New York City with the biggest display of Christmas lights in full splendor. After getting into the holiday spirit, continue to another spectacular section of Brooklyn, Dumbo, to take a stroll under the Brooklyn Bridge and photograph the skyline of Manhattan.  Finish your night by returning to Times Square Hotel in Manhattan.

NYC: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights & Skyline View Bus Tour

2. NYC: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights & Skyline View Bus Tour

Get into the Christmas spirit, the most wonderful time of the year, in New York City's borough of Brooklyn on a bus tour through Dyker Heights. Be charmed by the spectacular holiday decorations, the neighborhood's glittering lights, and festive displays. Your guide will take you on the bus from Midtown Manhattan to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights. Along the way, the guide will tell you some great New York stories. On the way to the Christmas Lights, stop for a bathroom break and a photo op of the sunset over the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. Once arrived in Dyker Heights, you will get off the bus and the guide will show you the most beautiful and spectacular houses in this wonderful Brooklyn neighborhood. On your way back to Manhattan, the bus will make a photo stop at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you will get off the bus for a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, make your way back along the East River with an astonishing view of Williamsburg, the Brooklyn skyline, Long Island City, the Queens skyline, the Empire State Building, and the Midtown Manhattan Skyline as well as the famous Queensboro Bridge. Your tour will end close to one of the most beautiful New York City holiday markets, the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Feel the magical atmosphere Christmas brings as you drive through the many neighborhoods and experience New York in a new way.

From Manhattan: 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

3. From Manhattan: 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

Experience Christmas in New York City on a comfortable bus tour of Dyker Heights, world-known for its luminous light displays. Witness the festive decoration tradition that the residents have kept alive since the 1980s. Drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Enjoy this lively Italian-American neighborhood with your tour guide. Due to narrow streets, buses are not allowed in Dyker Heights, so hop off the bus and follow your guide to the two most illuminated streets in the area. See Lucy Spata's house, which started the tradition of Dyker Lights in the '80s. Walk along the most spectacularly decorated houses. Next, stop at the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights. Enjoy the view of the Manhattan Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge for about 25 minutes. Return via the Manhattan Bridge. End the experience at Bryant Park, where you can visit its famous winter market on your own.

From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Holiday Bus Tour

4. From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Holiday Bus Tour

Embark on a holiday bus tour taking you through the residential neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to see their brilliant Christmas decorations. Hop off your bus to see these homes up close on a guided walking tour. Marvel at tree-lined streets and lit up private residences decorated for the holiday season. Learn about the neighborhoods' long-lasting holiday traditions from your local guide. Learn how it has been a tradition for many years to illuminate these homes with tens of thousands of lights and dazzling holiday scenes. Now, it has become a festive competition amongst the homeowners as to who has the "brightest" holiday cheer in the neighborhood. Then, walk through these neighborhoods on a guided tour, hearing the stories and wonderful lore behind this fun holiday event. You may even meet some of the homeowners and hear about how these neighborhoods come together in such a way to bring such holiday magic to New York City. On your way back to Manhattan, see the spectacular New York City skyline and some of the other festive holiday displays throughout the city. At the end of your tour, be dropped off in Midtown Manhattan.

From Manhattan: 4-Hour Christmas Lights Luxury Bus Tour

5. From Manhattan: 4-Hour Christmas Lights Luxury Bus Tour

Discover the magic of the holiday season in New York City on a guided bus day trip. See the world-famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Get into the spirit of the season as you see the Christmas windows of Macy’s and Bergdorf. Stop in Brooklyn Heights for views of the Manhattan Skyline. Hop aboard the bus at a centrally-located meeting point in NYC. Journey out to the astounding Christmas light of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Ride along the streets of Manhattan and listen to your licensed guide who will entertain you with the rich Yule history of New York City along the way. Travel through Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, past the famous High Line and then down along the West Side Highway. On this tour, learn and see more than you expected.  Emerging from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, ride along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway viewing the waterfront, and the expansive vista of New York Harbor. The Statue of Liberty will be visible off to your right. After a short ride, leave the bus and tour Dyker Heights on foot for about an hour. The lights in the Heights range from tasteful displays created by local homeowners to extensive professionally imagined lighting extravaganzas. No matter what your take on Christmas lights there will be something for you to enjoy.   After you leave the Heights, make a brief stop at the famous Brooklyn Heights Esplanade to view the movie-like vista of the lower Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. There will be more to see as you make your way over Manhattan Bridge back through Manhattan, ending up at the centerpiece of New York's holiday delights, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. On arrival at the tree, your tour will end.

New York City: Christmas Lights Horse Carriage Ride

6. New York City: Christmas Lights Horse Carriage Ride

Get into the holiday spirit with a horse carriage tour of the stunning New York Christmas lights in Central Park, 5th Avenue, and Rockefeller Center. Climb aboard at the corner of 59th street and 6th avenue. Plod from here on a route through Central Park to see the warm lights. Continue to admire how 5th avenue is sparkling for the season. Travel along historical landmarks that have put on their Christmas decorations. Reach the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Let the lights make you feel warm and festive. Feel the romance of the season while riding in an old-fashioned carriage.

New York City: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

7. New York City: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

Your tour begins in Midtown Manhattan. From there you will head towards the western part of Manhattan along the Hudson River as you learn about its history. You will then cross the Battery Tunnel, which will take you directly to the borough of Brooklyn. Once you are in Brooklyn you'll head to the Dyker Heights district; an Italian-American neighborhood famous for its elaborate houses and gardens. Each year residents compete with each other to make out of the ordinary Christmas decorations, illuminations, and displays. Your tour guide will tell you about the origin and history of this tradition, before giving you free time to walk the streets to admire and take pictures of the houses. Once you have finished the tour of the neighborhood, you will get back on the bus to go to the Brooklyn Bridge. There you will enjoy the different viewpoints, with more free time to take pictures of the spectacular views of Manhattan. Finally, you will return to Times Square where the tour ends. You can feel free to ask your guide for recommendations on what else you can do to enjoy your visit to New York City.

NYC: Christmas Eve Buffet Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

8. NYC: Christmas Eve Buffet Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

Celebrate the magic of the season on the water with a Christmas Eve buffet lunch or dinner Cruise on the Spirit of New York. You and your guests will enjoy a holiday lunch or dinner buffet freshly prepared by the chef, and full bar service. Savor a 2-hour Christmas Eve lunch or 2.5-hour dinner cruise featuring delectable cuisine, elegant décor, and stunning views that make for an unforgettable holiday. Imaginative culinary creations, a top-class wine list, and a live DJ combine to create an unforgettable New York experience. While onboard, experience exceptional views of New York City’s iconic skyline, DJ entertainment, and festive décor. The crew will happily take care of the details, leaving you to celebrate Christmas Eve on the Hudson and East Rivers with your friends and family. Sample Lunch Menu Salad: (all salads accompanied by fresh bread and butter)mesclun salad (g*)(v)kale-quinoa salad (g*)(vg)(v) Main Course:three-cheese baked macaroni (v)American cheddar cheese | aged Reggiano parmesan cheese | Monterey jack cheeseoven-roasted whitefish (g*)spicy tomato | white bean raguhand-carved oven-roasted turkey (g*)cranberry sauce Accompaniments:fall vegetable ragu (g*)(vg)(v)butternut squash | brussels sprouts | cauliflower | carrots | white bean ragu Side dishes:garlic-mashed potatoes (g*)(v)mashed sweet potatoes (g*)(v)haricots verts (v)(g*)(vg)traditional stuffing (v)turkey gravy Dessert:seasonal dessert station (v)

New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

9. New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

Relax on board a festive lights and movie sites bus in New York City as a local actor guide entertains and informs you throughout this one-of-a-kind sightseeing experience. Experience the festive lights and decorations of Manhattan as they sparkle during the holidays, and spot iconic landmarks as well as some of the city’s hidden gems. Marvel at the famed tree in Rockefeller center where Macaulay Culkin reunited with his mom in “Home Alone 2.” Peek into the brilliant holiday windows at Bloomingdale, Lord and Taylor, and the same Macy's from “Miracle on 34th Street.” Learn where Bill Murray found out his taxi driver was the Ghost of Christmas Past in “Scrooged.” Pass through Central Park and reminisce about the serendipitous moment that John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale had at Wollman Rink in “Serendipity.” Whether you’re visiting New York or looking for a unique holiday experience in your hometown, this sightseeing excursion is sure to spread holiday cheer!

From Manhattan: Private Brooklyn Christmas Tour by Limousine

10. From Manhattan: Private Brooklyn Christmas Tour by Limousine

After pick up at your hotel or apartment in Manhattan, drive to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. Walk for 30 to 40 minutes and take pictures of the best-lit houses in New York. Wander through an Italian-American neighborhood to see the houses strewn with green and red lights. Continue to Dumbo to take great pictures of Manhattan from the Brooklyn side, and get closer to the Brooklyn Bridge. Make a quick stop to visit the Wall Street Area and take some pictures with the famous Charging Bull. Move on to Battery Park and see the Statue of Liberty, before you head back to your hotel or preferred drop-off point.

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What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 629 reviews

Guide and driver were very good! Full of information about the areas of Manhattan that we visited. The bus was comfortable and they landed several stops where we could get out and explore some of the attractions. They ended the tour in a different area then where they picked us up from but the guide told us which subway line we needed to take to get back to our hotel. All in all a great time!

My partner and I absolutely enjoyed ourselves! We went on Xmas day and it was crowded but our tour guide Mike answered my call because we got lost from the group because I just had to buy a tshirt to remember my experience there and Mike was very knowledgeable about the area and extremely friendly! We loved it from beginning to end!

Mike was awesome! He was very informative from the time the tour started to the time it ended. He gave plenty of time to see everything and take pictures. The bus was very comfortable and it had a restroom that was really convenient. I would definitely recommend this tour, it is definitely worth it!

I had no idea how long the lines would be during the Christmas holidays. After long lines at Hudson Yarda—a huge waste of time and utterly boring for kids—I bought skip the line tickets at Freedom Tower. Worth every penny.

We take a Tour Bus to enjoy the Christmas house decoration in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Its just outstanding.