Christmas is such a magical time of year, and everybody has their own set of traditions that make the festive period special. Perhaps you always have to watch your favourite Christmas movie with your favourite people, or there’s one particular festive dish you look forward to eating each year.

But it can be fun to mix things up around the Christmas period too, and the excitement of a Christmas trip gives you even more to look forward to!

And what destination could be more perfect for a Christmas trip than New York City? Whether you’re looking to go on a romantic trip away with your loved one, or a fun-filled winter holiday for the whole family, or even with friends, New York is the place to be at Christmas, and here are 6 reasons why.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights

If one thing really marks the start of Christmas in New York, it’s the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights being switched on.

The tree is usually around 70 to 100 feet tall, and has been a tradition for locals and visitors to New York alike since 1933.

Christmas markets

Of course, you will find Christmas Markets all over the world during the festive period, but the New York Christmas markets feel extra special.

Head to Union Square from mid-November and soak up the Christmas spirit, and perhaps pick up a couple of unique gifts for your loved ones.

The window displays on Fifth Avenue

While shopping around Christmas time can be some people’s idea of hell as the streets become packed with shoppers hunting for the perfect gift or the best bargain, it’s well worth battling the crowds and heading to 5th Avenue where the biggest department stores in the city go all out with their window displays!

Ice skating in Central Park

We asked travel experts Globehunters what their number one reason to visit New York at Christmas time, and they said “ice skating on the Wollman Rink in Central Park is a must! It’s so much fun, and something of a rite of passage for those visiting New York at Christmas time.”

Empire State Building light show

You can see the 2016 Christmas Light Show which featured Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on the Empire State Building YouTube channel here. Keep an eye on the calendar on their website for upcoming tower lightings here.

Dyker Heights Christmas lights

Head to Brooklyn to see the most extravagant Christmas decorations around. You won’t experience anything quite like it anywhere else in the world, and it’s a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit!

An easy way to enjoy the lights for those visiting from out of town is by bus, with tours available from companies such as A Slice Of Brooklyn.

We hope this has given you some insight into why New York makes the perfect destination for a holiday around Christmas time!