New York city is already on most people's bucket lists, especially around Christmas when the Big Apple seems particularly magical.

It's the setting of many a Christmas film thanks to its dazzling decorations, ice rinks and iconic Christmas trees, all tucked away alongside the city's already impressive attractions such as the Empire State Building.

We take a look at some of the best festive highlights in New York not to miss if you visit during the festive season, from ice skating in front of the Rockefeller Center to catching a Rockettes show.

We've opted for a mixture of free activities as well as a few splurges to suit a wide array of budgets too – check out our top picks below…

1. Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Hailed as one of New York's iconic festive offerings, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is absolutely dazzling thanks to its thousands of lights and huge height.

The best part is that it's completely free to come and see the tree – even on its annual lighting ceremony (although this gets incredibly busy).

There's also an ice rink right by the Rockefeller Center and the tree, although this does have an admission price and it's worth booking ahead as, unsurprisingly, it gets pretty popular.

2. Bryant Park Christmas village

If you're looking to explore a winter wonderland, Bryant Park is a pretty good place to start.

The festive hotspot has everything you could want for a fun day out including an ice rink, visits from Santa, a cosy lodge where you can find plenty of festive treats, and even some great stalls where you can pick up some gifts.

3. The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular

If you're looking to catch a festive show, the Christmas Spectacular needs to be on your radar.

For 90 minutes, the show features over 140 performers with singing, dancing and heaps of humour, all with an original musical score.

The Rockettes are a New York institution – definitely one experience to have on the itinerary.

The cheapest tickets start from $56 (approx £43) – you can book tickets here .

4. The festive window displays

Window shopping gets a glamorous festive update in New York in the lead-up to Christmas, with heaps of shops pulling out all the stops with their window displays.

Macy's Herald Square is renowned for its show-stopping displays which have previously included classic festive seasons, toy bonanzas, recreations of NYC itself and tributes to heaps of beloved Christmas films.

Another highlight is Saks Fifth Avenue where not only are the window displays pretty dazzling, but each night the shop front transforms into a spectacular lights show with heaps of colours and patterns.

5. The Nutcracker Ballet

For a dose of arts and culture, the New York City Ballet's performances of The Nutcracker can be just the thing.

Held at the Lincoln Center, these festive performances tend to sell out so it's worth booking well in advance if you want to fit a show in your itinerary. You can find out more on the New York City Ballet website .

6. Dyker Heights in Brooklyn

Dyker Heights sees the whole neighbourhood joining forces with professionals to create a pretty spectacular show for both locals and visitors alike.

Houses are covered in lights, giant blow-up Santa dolls, giant reindeer, tinsel and candy canes – think of a Christmas decoration and it's likely to feature.

No wonder it's hailed as one of the world's best Christmas lights displays .

7. Central Park

Central Park has been the setting for many a Christmas film, and there are plenty of fun and quirky tours you can take of all the locations. Then of course the picturesque scenery can be quite magical in winter, especially on snowy days.

Grab a hot chocolate and take a stroll to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle for a while.

More New York City travel tips

As well as the festive fun, there's so much to see and do in New York.

To give you a helping hand we've created a New York City guide with tops tips on the best attractions, restaurants and more insider tips.

We've also got a guide for sightseeing on a budget (it is doable!) as well as a round-up of New York's best cheap hotels so you can save some extra cash to spend on your festive break!

Source: Read Full Article