Best Christmas Decorations in NYC (From a LOCAL)

Home » New York » Best Christmas Decorations in NYC (From a LOCAL)

Christmas Decorations and Photo Spots in NYC

Christmas in New York is one of the most magical places! If you have decided to visit NYC in December, you are most likely in search of the best Christmas decorations the city has to offer! In this New York guide, I am sharing some of the best NYC Christmas decorations and photo spots to see from a local!

Inside hudson yards christmas decorations. Giant hot air balloon decoration
NYC Hudson Yards Christmas Decorations

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Disclosure.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is one of the most iconic places to see Christmas decorations in NYC! They hang the big artificial Christmas tree right above the Radio City Sign. 

Additionally, they have giant candy canes across the street, which are very instagrammable, as well as, the classic big red Christmas ornaments that are iconic to New York. 

While you are there, you may even want to consider seeing the Radio City Rockettes! They have been performing at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City, since 1932.

Address: 260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

Radio City Music Hall Christmas decorations. Woman in Red dress in Front
Giant red Candy Canes in NYC

Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Next, head over to see the Christmas decorations at the most famous NYC Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center! Every year, Rockefeller Center lines up angel-like decorations that line the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

It is one of my favorite places to enjoy Christmas lights in NYC, and it is also super romantic since so many people get engaged under the tree each year.

You can’t visit NYC during Christmas time without seeing the Rockefeller Christmas tree and getting a photo! Additionally, it is one of the best things to do in New York City at night during the holidays!

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is lit daily from 6 AM-12 AM. On Christmas Day, their Tree is lit for 24 hours! 

Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

Rockefeller Christmas Tree at night NYC

Saks on Fifth Avenue Christmas Lights Display

Right across the street from the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is the one and only Saks 5th Avenue light show. It starts around sundown and plays for about 5 minutes.

The Christmas light show will repeat for about 10-15 minutes, so if you don’t see it playing, it will! Saks 5th Avenue light show is also a top Christmas Instagram spot in NYC! 

Address: 611 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022

Related: Will you be in New York City on Christmas Day? Here are the Best Things to do in NYC on Christmas Day!

NYC Saks Christmas lightshow

5th Ave. Cartier Christmas Decorations 

Cartier always does one of the best Christmas decorations and lights in NYC, so it’s definitely worth checking out! This spot is also considered one of the most photo-worthy places to take photos in NYC for Christmas!

To get your epic photo, I’d recommend going diagonally across from the storefront and then waiting for the walk signal so you can take a photo in the street. Lately, the Louis Vuttion Store has also been doing a fun Christmas display.

Address: 653 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022

Cartier NYC Christmas decorations. Woman in red dress in front of building in street

Pulitzer Fountain (Plaza Hotel Fountain)

Next, make sure to check out the Christmas decorations at the Pulitzer Fountain! Last year, they had hand-crafted sea animals, icebergs, and 5,000 ft of lighting! This decoration may return in 2023, but there is still no word.

While you’re in the area, Central Park is just across the street, along with Wollman’s Ice Skating Rink.

Address: 764 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019

Pulitzer Fountain Christmas Decorations with penguins and iceburgs

Columbus Circle Shopping Mall

If you are looking to warm up from the freezing cold New York streets, check out Columbus Circle Shopping Mall, where they put up fun hanging star Christmas decorations every year.

You get the best of both worlds by being able to warm up, go shopping, and enjoy Christmas decorations!

After, you can head across the street for the Columbus Circle Christmas market. There are several Christmas Markets across the city, including Union Square, Bryant Park, and Grand Central. These holiday markets are sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!

Address: 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Dior Christmas Display

Directly across the street from the Pulitzer Fountain, Dior put up a really fun Christmas decoration above their entrance. Just look left of the glass Apple store across from Pulitzer Fountain.

In general, you will find 5th Avenue offers some of the best Christmas Decorations in NYC. While it can be cold, one of the best ways to see the New York City Christmas decorations is by walking down and around 5th Ave. since so many stores do marvelous decorations.

Dior on 5th ave Christmas decorations. Big white star above door

Bergdorf Goodman 5th Ave. Christmas Window Displays

Next to the Pulitzer Fountain, you will find one of the best NYC Christmas window decoration displays. Bergdorf, in my opinion, does the best job. This year, they didn’t disappoint with fabulous and interesting windows!

Other popular NYC Department Store Christmas windows include Macy’s and Bloomingdales. I still love seeing the Macy’s “Believe” Christmas lights.

Address: 754 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Bergdorf Goodman Christmas window decorations
Bergdorf Goodman Window Display

Lotte Palace

If you are looking for one of the most Instagrammable Christmas trees in NYC, make sure to check out the Lotte New York Palace Hotel! They put out one of the most spectacular Christmas trees.

The hotel itself is also supposed to be absolutely beautiful if you are looking for somewhere to stay! 

Address: 455 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022

Bank of America Winter Village hosted at Bryant Park

If you love Christmas Tree decorations, you will want to head to Bryant Park! During the holidays in NYC, Bryant Park hosts a whole Winter Village that has tons of food vendors, Cozy Igloos to rent, Christmas Market shops, and an ice rink for one of the only places you can ice skate for free in Manhattan (you need your own skates for free Ice skating)!

If you want to rent an igloo, click here! This has always been one of my favorite holiday markets in NYC.

Related: Best Christmas Markets in New York City

NYC Tip: If you visit during the weekend, the Winter Village will be packed with people, so if you don’t want crowds, I recommend going early.

Bryant Park Ice Skating Rink
Bryant Park shops in NYC
Bryant Park Shops during the holidays

The Hudson Yards

The Hudson Yards keep giving us new and exciting things to enjoy. First the Vessel, then the Edge, and now some of the best Christmas decorations in NYC! They deck out the whole shopping mall with Christmas lights and have a giant air balloon decoration hanging. This year, there are over 2 million lights!

Then outside, they added additional air balloons and more Christmas lights and decorations. You will definitely want to add Hudson Yards to your New York City Christmas decoration list!

Christmas decorations at hudson yards. Woman in gold sequin dress and black boots.
In front of the Vessel
Inside hudson yards christmas decorations. Giant hot air balloon decoration

Chelsea Market

From the Hudson Yards, you can take a stroll down the Highline over to Chelsea Market for a bite to eat and to look at their Christmas decorations inside.

I always add the Highline and Chelsea Market to all my New York Guides because I love the area, they are both free to do in New York, and locals love it too. 

Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Wall Street Christmas Tree & Stock Exchange

Heading downtown? Make sure to check out the Wall Street Christmas Tree and decoration lights. They have a beautiful Christmas tree, and this year actually marked the 98th annual lighting.

They are located in front of the New York Stock Exchange at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets.

Address: 11 Wall Street New York, NY 10005

NYC Wall Street Stock exchange and Christmas tree

Washington Square Park Christmas Tree Photo Spot

Washington Square Park is great all year, but during Christmas time in NYC, they also put up a beautiful Christmas tree. It makes for an epic Christmas Instagrammable photo in NYC! On Christmas Eve, they even do Christmas Carols.

While you are in the neighborhood of Greenwich Village, take a stroll around this quaint neighborhood. You will also be right by the NYU campus.

Washington square park during christmas time. Woman in street with red dress

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

One of the best places in NYC to see homes decked in Christmas Decorations and lights is located in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn! Every year, the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights are a huge fan favorite! It basically looks as if Christmas exploded on their houses. 

The best houses with Christmas lights are around 11th Ave. to 13th Ave. and from 83rd to 86th Street. You can take the train, Uber, rent a car, or take a tour.

If you’re not from New York, visitors enjoy the tours through Dyker Heights the most, since they will bring you to the best houses. The lights go on around 5 PM and off around 10 PM. Expect crowds on the weekends and closer to Christmas.

NY Tip: When driving, make sure to put WAZE on! There are Red light camera tickets, as well as, Speeding light tickets, meaning you need to go 25 MPH just about everywhere in Brooklyn. Very annoying, I know! This is actually the same for Manhattan and the rest of the boroughs. Dyker Heights tour!

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

NYC Christmas Decorated Bars and Restaurants

If you are in search of Christmas decorations in New York, why not add some Christmas Spirited restaurants and bars! 

Some of the most popular Christmas decorated bars and restaurants are: 

  • Rolfs Restaurant: This German Restaurant is decorated in Christmas Spirit year-round and is one of the most popular places to visit during the holidays. Address: 281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010
  • Lillie’s Victorian Establishment: This pub has one of the most beautiful Christmas window displays in NYC and really cute decorated inside located right by Union Square. 
  • Oscar Wilde: They are New York’s longest Bar at 118.5 ft and Whiskey Bar with over 300 varieties of Whiskey! They have a really unique space and dress it all up for Christmas. Address: 45 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
  • Miracle on 9th street Pop-up Bar: Another fun and festive pop-up bar in Manhattan. Click here to book! 
  • Igloo Bar at 230 Fifth Rooftop: This bar is super popular during the holiday season since you get to be on the rooftop in the Igloos with views of the Empire State Building. It is a staple to the NYC holiday list. Need reservations.
  • The Greens at Pier 17: These clear cabins are really popular for their see-through cabins and are another fun place to eat. Need reservations.
Lillies Victorian NYC Christmas decorations
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment

New York City’s Botanic Gardens

This holiday season you can find incredible Christmas decorations at 3 of New York’s gardens.

The New York Botanical Garden has its annual train show every year along with NYBG GLOW event where the garden is decked out in holiday lights! Furthermore, they even have a 21+ event with drinking in the garden at night!

Then at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, you can explore Lightscape, which has dazzling lights situated all around the garden and the famous light arch that people love taking pictures under.

Last but not least is the new Astra Lumina at the Queens Botanical Garden. This festive lighting event is an immersive experience that is all around celestial star walking. You can learn more and get tickets now!

Best NYC Christmas Decorations and Photo Spots: Wrap-up

This covers some of the best places to enjoy Christmas decorations during your trip to NYC!

Want to do fun tours and attractions? New York passes allow you to receive a discount for the major NYC tourist attractions like the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, etc. The best passes and tours can be found at:

Did I miss any of your favorite NYC Christmas displays, or do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Found this NYC Christmas Decorations Guide Helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Best NYC Christmas Decorations
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.