Best holiday tours in New York City

Celebrate the holidays with loved ones this year and enjoy wrapping up 2021. New York City during the holidays is magical. With festive lights, holiday decor and spectacular seasonal shows, NYC is a wonderful place to spend the holidays.  

Whether you’re exploring the city for the first time or returning with the whole family for a holiday adventure, the Big Apple has endless holiday activities.

Here are eight top holiday experiences in New York City: 

Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise
Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise. Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

1. Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

Hop aboard this winter yacht wonderland and get cozy while enjoying the Manhattan Harbor. This cruise is a 90-minute tour of the city on the water while you and your sailing companions stay toasty in the festive solarium. Sip on hot cocoa and adult beverages while you feast on cookies and other holiday goodies. 

You’ll see the most famous sites in New York City, like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as the lit up Manhattan skyline, all in the warmth of the heated salon observatory. 

Book this tour here.

There is a magic in the air during the holiday season in New York City. Here are eight of the top enchanting tour experiences in NYC.

2. NYC: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Bus Tour

There is no doubt, Christmas in New York City is a unique experience, from the famous festive Macy’s windows to the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. This cozy neighborhood in the middle of southwest Brooklyn has been lighting up hearts with their festive displays since the 1980’s.

Learn about the history of Dyker Heights and the origin of this fun and free holiday tradition from the comfort of the tour bus with your expert tour guide. From Manhattan to Brooklyn, you can explore the neighborhoods during the best time of the year, both on and off the bus.

Finish up the tour at Bryant Park, where you and your loved ones can enjoy the renowned winter market, people watch and get a chance to skate on the famous ice rink.

Book this tour here.

NYC holiday markets
NYC holiday markets. Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

3. New York Christmas Markets and Lights Walking Tour

Dive into the holiday festivities of New York City on this four-hour walking tour through the four best holiday markets of the city. Find all of your holiday gifts at the local vendors and designer shops presenting unique arts, hand-crafted goods and winter fashion items.

Take in the buzzing glow of the city lit up for the holiday season evening as you cruise by the famous NYC winter window displays and boutique shop decor.

Treat yourself to samples of traditional foods and toasty beverages while you and your group admire the different light installations, learn about local lore, including Christmas filming sites and take in the holiday charm.

Book this tour here.

4. Radio City Christmas Spectacular & St. Patrick’s Cathedral

There is no better way to celebrate Christmas than by visiting two of the most iconic destinations in New York City — Radio City Music Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Get lost in the merriment of dancing, singing and laughing at the annual Christmas Spectacular featuring the world renowned Radio City Rockettes. 

This unique 90-minute show is presented at the stunning Radio City Music Hall with over 140 performers, an original musical score and of course, a very merry Santa Clause host. This fantastic tour also includes an audio tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, fully decked out with holiday decor for the season. 

Whether you are with a large group, family crowd, coupled up or solo, you can enjoy the intricate details of the cathedral’s history and rich visual displays at your own pace with this self-guided audio tour.

Book this tour here.

Radio City Music Hall Rockettes
Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

5. New York Christmas Holiday Tour of Manhattan

For those who want to experience everything in our tour, this one’s for you. Start at the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral and see the delights of this year’s holiday decor within. 

Then, move on to the buzzing scene at the Rockefeller Center and enjoy the splendor of the winter ice rink and towering Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Your expert guide will explain the history of the holiday traditions surrounding the start of the building celebrations and take your photos at all the best sights in the area. 

Next, you will walk to Radio City Music Hall to learn about the Rockettes and the merry annual Christmas Spectacular. Once you are ready for more New York City adventure, you will travel downtown to the Bryant Park Holiday Market and see the most beautiful window displays from the 5th Avenue shops. 

Let the kids enjoy the sparkle of this year’s window theme during a time you’ll never forget in NYC. End in front of Macy’s and learn a little bit more history about the building before you are free to shop, dine and enjoy other holiday activities in the area.

Book this tour here.

6. Botanical Garden: Holiday Experience Ticket

Discover the wonder of the New York City Botanical Gardens at their beloved Holiday Train Show and GLOW: An Outdoor Color and Light Experience. 

Celebrate the holiday train show for the 30th year of spreading holiday joy through its miniature winter wonderland. Both kids and adults alike can admire the splendor of the chugging train displays, which includes over 175 of the most iconic New York landmarks, brought to vivid life by natural seasonal materials like acorns, seeds and pine cones.

Afterward, you and your companions can enjoy the Let It GLOW experience. Soak in the majesty of the Botanical Gardens and historic New York City buildings once the sun sets at this enchanting 1.5-mile vivid world of color.

The Garden is illuminated with glitter, bright centerpieces, thrilling color displays, plant stories and botanical installation to create a dramatic one-of-a-kind spectacle.

Everyone in your group can enjoy drinks, hot cocoa, tasty treats and more at the feature Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-up. Here you will also be treated with ice-sculpting, nightly music performances and shops.

Book this tour here.

Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show
Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show. Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

7. 3.5-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

If you are looking for a shorter holiday tour, this is your best option. Get in the Christmas spirit with this magical tour through Brooklyn. Start off by making your way through Battery Tunnel and the festive Dyker Heights district. 

Once you have strolled through the most decorated borough streets and enjoyed all the best Christmas displays of Brooklyn, you can hop back on the tour bus to visit the Brooklyn Bridge. Here, everyone can take a moment to be present and make memories while seeing the breathtaking Manhattan holiday skyline.

Book this tour here.

Dyker Heights lit up neighborhood
Dyker Heights lit up the neighborhood. Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

8. NYC: New Year’s Eve 2022 Party Cruise with Appetizers, Drinks and Champagne

This year, start 2022 with the New York City skyline as your backdrop. Kick things up a notch and appreciate the end of 2021 with this one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve Hudson River cruise. 

Enjoy champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres and more at the open bar aboard the celebration cruise. Dance yourself into the New Year’s spirit with the live onboard DJ and enjoy the company of old and new friends as the iconic New York City firework display rings in the new year.

So, this year make the holidays extra special with a festive end of the year adventure to New York City and book one (or three) of these incredible tours in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Book this tour here.

Find even more exciting fun around the city through GetYourGuide. You can find skip-the-line tickets, expert-led tours and more cultural activities in New York City here.

Helen Kuhn
Latest posts by Helen Kuhn (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *