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Top 8 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do For Christmas In NYC

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With its snowy, bustling streets, New York City is a great place to spend the holidays. If you’re looking for some things to do to get into the Christmas spirit this year, here are 8 off the beaten path things to do in the Big Apple.

NYC christmas lights with angels and a christmas tree

1. Enjoy A Festive Meal

Enjoy a festive meal with a visit to Lillie’s Victorian Restaurant. This restaurant offers not only delicious plates but also jaw-dropping Christmas decorations from floor to ceiling.

Christmas tree with ornaments hanging and lights

2. Check Out A Holiday Market

This option may be slightly less off the beaten path than some of the others on this list, but visiting the Union Square Holiday Market is still more than worth it. Whether you’re just wanting to browse the countless festive offerings from an equally large number of vendors or you’re looking to pick up some Christmas presents for loved ones, the Union Square Holiday Market is sure to be a memorable outing.

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couple looking at christmas lights in a market in NYC

3. Go On A Holiday Cruise

If you’re looking for a festive and classy way to spend this holiday season, consider checking out a holiday yacht cruise. This cruise, in addition to beautiful views of the city, features jazz music, hot cocoa, and of course, some holiday caroling.

Cruise boat on a body of water at night

4. See Holiday Lights At The Bronx Zoo

If you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy, head over to the Bronx zoo to experience their holiday festival. This celebration includes light displays, entertainment, and holiday treats. Tickets are available online.

Holiday Lights At The Bronx Zoo

5. See A Holiday Train Show

Here's a great option for those looking for a family-friendly activity this holiday season! The New York Botanical Garden is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but a visit during the holiday season will offer some extra festive cheer. Their holiday train show features not just an assortment of Christmas decorations but also miniature Christmas trains running through them. Tickets are available online.

Holiday train show with model train

6. Visit The Grand Central Holiday Fair

Union Square Holiday Market isn’t your only option when it comes to finding some memorable and one-of-a-kind Christmas presents. Grand Central Holiday Fair is another market. Located in Vanderbilt Hall, this market features 36 local vendors. The market is open now through December 22nd and has featured everything from hand-crafted jewelry to original art pieces in the past.

ornaments hanging in a booth for sale

7. Head Over To Staten Island

Head over to Staten Island to enjoy a truly memorable and jaw-dropping festival. The festival features countless intricate lanterns, as well as live entertainment. The Winter Lantern Festival is a great choice for visitors of all ages, making this the perfect option for families looking for festive things to do in New York. Tickets for the Winter Lantern Festival are available online.

staten island christmas lights at night

8. Enjoy A Festive Ride In A Vintage Train Car

If you’re looking to take the subway this holiday season, you might get to add a uniquely festive twist to your trip. The Holiday Nostalgia Train, a vintage train car, is set to operate each Sunday until Christmas along the 1 line. Better yet, it costs the same as the usual train car, making this a cost-friendly way to add a little Christmas cheer.

Enjoy A Festive Ride In A Vintage Train Car, vintage carriage on a train

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