Santa Claus leads kids in the illumination countdown. Bryant Park's tree lighting festival comes complete with professional skaters on the Bryant Park Rink. Gather around the Mad. Holiday Tree for live music, give-aways and treats. Join in for a day filled with music, train rides, refreshment, and more. A cherished, family tradition featuring carols, Cantori choir, Orbital Brass, candlelight, candy canes, and hot chocolate. Broadway Under the Stars.
Photo by Jody Mercier. Santa stops by Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center! Hit up your neighbors, or better yet, a local nursing home or assisted living unit. Everyone loves a good Christmas carol. Most cities offer some sort of Christmas light display. Find yours and get out with your family or loved ones. One of my all time favorite free things to do for Christmas is to drive around neighborhoods in search of the gaudiest lights we can find in a good, not mean way.
Turn up the Christmas music on the radio and make it a contest. Cost: FREE except for possibly your life. Ice running has become a tradition every year, but is obviously dependent on where you live.
Scary, free, and thrilling. Baby M has not been invited on this activity yet. Meanwhile, nearly half a mile of track lays down the path for zipping trains, evoking memories of childhood Christmases that were anchored by the sound of a train twirling around the tree.
Another family favorite in New York City? The neighborhood hosts an "unspoken" competition in which every house tries to outshine and out-decorate the other, making the neighborhood a destination for walking tours and cars rolling by.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa to go and observe the marvels of the neighborhood. But warning: You might just need sunglasses. Yes, yes, yes: We know this is touristy. But there's a good reason for that. Soar to the top of the Rockefeller Center via an elevator to take in the views at its observatory, Top of the Rock. You'll be able to take in the many lights of the city from above, including a red-and-green Empire State Building.
If department stores with their holiday windows leave you cold, spend your winter at a holiday market. If you think A Christmas Carol is enchanting now, just wait until you see it performed by candlelight in a 19th-century home by an actor playing the part of the British author.
Bonus: Come early for mulled wine and tasty snacks! This place takes the holidays to the extreme by stringing up thousands of lights, ornaments and garlands throughout its snug interior.
Marvel at all the shiny things, then indulge in some hearty sausages and German brews. Harry Styles. Even if I had a million dollars, I would never take my kids to any other Santa. An important part of keeping a handle on your own finances is to be thankful for what you have. This year we are working closely with Denver Rescue Mission.
We helped with their Thanksgiving turkey drive and will be assisting with Christmas donations too. Perhaps reserve a future date to serve after the holidays to really make an impact. Fold a piece of paper in half; draw a green triangle on the front; hand your kid some stickers and markers and have them make their own Christmas tree cards for those they love. A lot of cities set up special ice skating rinks for the holidays.
Denver has a free rink—just pay a couple bucks if you need to rent skates. We normally add a couple movie nights to our Advent calendar so we can be sure to hit the classics. Does that sound weird? One World Observatory. Matthew Murphy. Mireya Acierto Getty Images. Dan Niver for MSG. Walter Bibikow Getty Images. Serendipity 3. Every season, over , people visit this Italian-American enclave in southwest Brooklyn to admire the vibrant, colorful spectacle, as each house is decked out in extravagant Christmas lights and decorations.
To explore the area, there are lots of guided tours to choose from, whether you prefer to take in the splendor of it all from the comfort of your bus seat or simply walk past the stunningly decorated houses, hot cocoa in hand. A holiday market filled with food and artisanal boutiques keeps visitors happy and entertained, while carol singing and a grandiose Christmas tree add to the jolly atmosphere. Times Square is a constant spectacle, and even more so in December, when its bright neon lights combine with seasonal magic to put passersby in a festive mood.