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21 Romantic Things To Do In NYC At Christmas (2023)

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Looking for some holiday magic with your special someone? You’re in luck! New York City at Christmas is a romance wonderland, and we’ve got the insider scoop on the most romantic things to do in NYC at Christmas. From cozy carriage rides to dreamy ice skating dates, the Big Apple offers endless ways to feel the love. So, grab your partner and some hot cocoa, and get ready to fall in love with Christmas in NYC all over again.

Romantic Things To Do In NYC At Christmas

  1. Immerse yourselves in a world of timeless artistry and grace with George Balanchine’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” by the New York City Ballet. Considered one of the most romantic things to do in NYC at Christmas, this iconic ballet offers a perfect blend of spectacle and sentiment. The sumptuous sets, from an onstage blizzard to a Christmas tree that magically grows, make for a mesmerizing backdrop to the delicate, poignant choreography.

    As the full New York City Ballet company and School of American Ballet students bring Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score to life, you and your loved one will be whisked away on a dreamy journey to the Land of Sweets and beyond. Balanchine’s legendary choreography ties the visual and musical elements together into a stunning tapestry of holiday storytelling. Don’t miss this classic performance; it’s a beautiful and romantic escape that captures the very essence of the holiday season.

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    Step into a world of childhood wonder for a playful and romantic outing by visiting FAO Schwarz in New York City. Established in 1862, this iconic toy store serves as a reminder of the magic and innocence of youth. As one of the most romantic things to do in NYC at Christmas, the store goes all out with its festive decorations, creating a holiday wonderland that transports couples to simpler times.

    Whether you’re dancing on the giant piano keys, immortalized in the movie “Big,” or exploring the endless aisles of toys and games, the atmosphere brims with joy and nostalgia. During Christmas, it becomes extra special with towering toy soldiers and glittering holiday displays, adding an enchanting backdrop to your date. Amidst the tinsel and twinkling lights, hold hands, share laughs, and maybe even pick out a little keepsake to remember this uniquely whimsical date.

  3. Max_Brenner_in_NYC_181203131757009_1600x800

    Nothing says ‘romantic winter date’ like sipping on the city’s finest hot chocolate. At Union Square, Max Brenner offers a menu saturated with chocolate-infused delicacies, including a wide variety of hot chocolates. Or Bryant Park’s Winter Village is home to No Chewing Allowed, where their truffles morph into liquid bliss.

    And for a hipster twist, Bushwick’s Fine & Raw offers thick, raw hot chocolate that is as natural as it is delicious. Each venue provides a cozy setting where you can clasp your hands around a warm cup, share spoons, and enjoy deep conversations. Plus, chocolate is an aphrodisiac – enough said!

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    If you’re seeking a more spiritual romantic setting, attending a Christmas service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral offers an oasis of peace and profound beauty. Whether you are religious or simply enjoy the artistry of the architecture and music, the experience can bring a special kind of intimacy. The cathedral’s grandeur, combined with the festive decor and soul-stirring hymns, creates an atmosphere where you both can share quiet moments of reflection, making this an emotionally rich and serene date option.

  5. Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards

    Step away from well-traveled tourist paths and embrace a chic, modern holiday experience at Hudson Yards. This emerging neighborhood is just a stone’s throw from Times Square but offers a tranquil and visually spectacular setting for a romantic Christmas date.

    Hudson Yards pulls out all the stops during the holidays, from spellbinding light installations to interactive holiday displays that beg to be explored hand-in-hand. Stroll through the decked-out public spaces and indulge in some window shopping – or real shopping – at the equally festive mall. It’s a date that offers both the sparkle of Christmas lights and high-end luxury.

  6. Best Christmas Dinner Cruises NYC

    Are you dreaming of a date that elevates your Christmas in NYC to the next level? The Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols offers a luxurious escapade that’s hard to top. Imagine sailing around Manhattan’s shores, hot cocoa in hand, as a live jazz band sets the mood.

    With the city’s skyline serving as a twinkling backdrop, you and your significant other can immerse yourselves in the spirit of the season, underscored by the melodies of timeless carols. The cruise creates a sense of being apart from the world yet fully a part of the city’s vibrant holiday atmosphere. It’s a true romantic crescendo!

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    Forget about an organized parade; why not craft a one-of-a-kind Christmas Day experience with your significant other? Begin your DIY tour on Fifth Avenue and wander through midtown, taking in the exquisitely decorated windows and sparkling holiday installations.

    Because it’s Christmas Day, you’ll enjoy the added perk of quieter streets, transforming this excursion into a more intimate affair. Share secret kisses behind the glow of pop-up illuminations and appreciate the city’s festive magic in your own time and at your own pace. It’s a free yet utterly romantic way to savor the holiday season.

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    Who says you can’t find magic on a city sidewalk? A stroll along Fifth Avenue and Herald Square to explore New York City’s iconic holiday window displays turns a simple walk into a fairytale adventure. From Bergdorf Goodman to Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, each window is a curated masterpiece of holiday enchantment.

    The intricate details and imaginative themes set a perfect stage for romantic whispers and sentimental moments. It’s like walking through a series of love stories told in glass and glitter – and the best part is that it’s free of charge but rich in holiday spirit. Trust us! This outing perfectly captures the essence of romantic things to do in NYC at Christmas.

    My tip: Here you find the best Christmas Decorations in NYC.

  9. Washington Square Park Christmas Tree

    Imagine standing beneath Washington Square Park’s majestic 45-foot holiday tree as it is illuminated for the first time this season. If you’ve never been, the lighting ceremony, accompanied by traditional carols performed by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet, turns the park into a winter wonderland!

    But don’t worry! If you can’t make the lighting event, the tree will be aglow every evening from 4 pm to 1 am, offering an excellent backdrop for couples looking for that perfect holiday photo. The tree’s twinkling lights contrasted against the dark sky make for a magical, intimate setting that’s hard to beat.

  10. Holidays Under The Stars

    Step into a realm of wonder at The Shops at Columbus Circle, where you can experience “Holidays Under the Stars.” Here, you’ll find twelve massive, handcrafted stars suspended from the ceiling, illuminating the space in breathtaking color.

    With light shows occurring every half-hour from 5 pm until closing, the ambiance is truly romantic. It’s not just a light show; it’s a visual serenade. And since you’re already there, why not explore the Columbus Circle Holiday Market? This romantic date combines the beauty of artful illumination with the joy of holiday shopping, all in a single, unforgettable experience.

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    Watching the Rockettes during the holiday season is a beloved New York tradition, and for good reason. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is an explosion of holiday cheer, complete with carols, dance numbers, and a heartwarming storyline.

    But this show isn’t just about watching a performance; it’s about experiencing the essence of Christmas in New York City. It’s an ideal place for a romantic date, offering a shared experience of enchantment and Christmas wonder. However, booking tickets early is a must, as the popularity of this festive experience knows no bounds!

  12. Central Park in Winter

    Step into the wintry world of Central Park, away from the city’s hustle and bustle, to discover its holiday treasures. While Central Park Lake offers scenic beauty year-round, the winter season casts a magical spell that amplifies its romantic allure. Instead of gondola rides, opt for a secluded bench near the lake and enjoy a thermos of hot cocoa together, taking in the serenity of the water and the snow-capped trees.

    Don’t forget to visit The Loeb Boathouse, which offers a holiday menu to warm up your date night. And if there’s snow, the snowfall turns the iconic park into a winter wonderland, making it an ideal backdrop for a memorable romantic selfie. With fewer crowds in winter, you can have more intimate moments, making it a unique seasonal experience.

  13. EATALY_Downtown_New_York0

    If you’re looking for a date idea that’s both interactive and delicious, consider a cooking class at La Scuola at Eataly. Taught by experts, including the esteemed Chef Lidia Bastianich, these classes offer a deep dive into authentic Italian cuisine.

    Whether it’s mastering the art of making gnocchi or crafting the perfect tiramisu, you’ll find something to whet your appetite. This is not only an opportunity to learn new skills but also a fantastic way to bond with your significant other. Plus, the shared experience of cooking and enjoying a meal together makes for a deeply memorable date.

  14. One of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours : The 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

    What better way to kindle the holiday spirit than with a tour of the most elaborately decorated neighborhood in New York City? Dyker Heights, in Brooklyn, is famous for its dazzling Christmas light displays. Here, a guided 3.5-hour bus tour will take you and your loved one through the area’s most captivating streets, illuminated with thousands of lights and extravagant decorations.

    Not only will you learn the stories behind these festive homes, but you’ll also receive sweet treats and mementos to make the evening unforgettable. So cuddle up on the bus, enjoy the twinkling lights, and indulge in this quintessential New York holiday experience.

    Looking for a map of the decorated houses and most amazing tours? Check out my complete (!) guide to Dyker Heights Christmas Lights.

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    Have you ever wanted to dine in a holiday wonderland? Rolf’s Restaurant in Gramercy offers just that experience, featuring thousands of lights, ornaments, and garlands that create an almost magical atmosphere. As you marvel at the dazzling decor, you can also indulge in hearty German fare like sausages, accompanied by a selection of authentic German brews.

    The restaurant itself is a snug and intimate setting, providing the perfect backdrop for a cozy holiday dinner. Amidst the overwhelming visual splendor, each bite and sip feels like a celebration, making it an extraordinary venue for a Christmas date night in NYC.

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    Fancy a date that fuses culture and romance? Exploring the free art galleries in Chelsea provides not just an enlightening outing but also a chance to share intimate thoughts and preferences as you wander through spaces filled with contemporary art. Nestled in the 20s between 10th and 11th Avenues, these galleries offer an ever-changing array of cutting-edge works that can spark meaningful conversation and maybe even inspire a bit of hand-holding.

    And what’s more romantic than sharing a glass of complimentary wine and some snacks at a gallery opening? If you do your homework, you’ll know just where to go for these perks. As a lovely, wintry bonus, consider extending your date with a stroll along the High Line. It’s an elevated park offering public art installations, cozy gardens, and unparalleled city views. And in winter, you’ll enjoy the space without the usual crowds, making it one of the most romantic things to do in NYC at Christmas.

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    NEW YORK, USA-OCT, 18: The Mall in the Central Park, October 18, 2016

    Ever thought about merging a classic city tour with a personalized photo shoot? NYC Photo Journey offers just that. It’s an excursion through some of New York City’s most iconic locations, such as Times Square, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge, with a licensed tour guide who also happens to be a skilled photographer.

    This unique blend of sightseeing and photography offers you the chance to capture those irreplaceable, candid moments of romance against the backdrop of the city’s landmarks. If you’re more about the glam shots, the journey also offers specialized Influencer and Professional shoots. All in all, it’s not just a day’s outing but a treasure trove of memories captured forever.

  18. Winter_Bryant_Park_New_York_191102210844006

    The Winter Village at Bryant Park is a feast for the senses. Picture skating with your significant other at the 17,000-square-foot rink before refueling at The Lodge Deck, a rinkside pop-up restaurant offering seasonal cocktails and hearty fare.

    Moreover, if shopping is on your agenda, the village has about 60 kiosks teeming with handmade and unique New York City-specific gifts. And don’t overlook the Small Business Spotlight booth featuring minority-owned businesses. Amidst the twinkling lights under the winter sky, the village offers an irresistibly romantic setting for a memorable holiday date.

  19. Best Christmas Markets NYC

    Imagine wrapping up in your coziest scarves and wandering through the twinkling stalls of a bustling holiday market. For starters, Union Square Holiday Market is an NYC classic, offering a myriad of shops showcasing handcrafted goods and gastronomic delights. But not to be outdone, Brooklyn’s The Makers Show at City Point is a weekend extravaganza featuring unique finds from vendors citywide.

    Both markets exude a warmth that only the holiday season can bring, making them perfect for a cozy, hand-in-hand stroll with your loved one. With this, it’s not just about shopping; it’s about the atmosphere, the holiday spirit, and the shared joy of discovering something new together.

    My tip: Here you find the best Christmas and Holiday Markets in NYC.

  20. Bar_Alphabet_City_NYC_The_Cabinet_John_Shyloski_210825081209002

    So, you both love the holidays and cocktails? Say no more! Miracle on 9th Street and Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack are here to add a dash of whimsy and a sprinkle of romance to your holiday outings. These holiday pop-ups are perfect for couples who love to keep things kitschy and fun. Imagine you and your partner sipping drinks named “Run Run Rudolph” or “Christmaspolitan” in a setting bursting with holiday decor.

    Yet, these aren’t just bars; they’re little pockets of pure Christmas joy. Plus, they’re popping up all over the U.S., so you can experience the magic in NYC’s East Village at The Cabinet Mezcal Bar or in Williamsburg at Thief. So, go ahead, get dressed in your coziest holiday sweater, and sip some liquid Christmas cheer!

  21. Brooklyn_Botanic_Garden_Christmas_Lights_221114185248004Photo_by_Liz_Ligon_Courtesy_of_Brooklyn_Botanic_Garden

    The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Lightscape is more than an ordinary walk in the park – it’s a magical journey designed for couples to experience awe together. As you stroll through the delicately lit paths, each twist and turn offers a feast of lights, music, and art installations.

    Highlights include the “Supernova,” a towering 24-foot Moravian star, and a mesmerizing Fire Garden. As you explore, a curated playlist of hip-hop classics sets a rhythmic atmosphere, enhancing the enchanting glow of over a million lights. What makes the experience even more special are the seasonal treats available along the way, such as hot cocoa and mulled wine, making the $34-$39 per adult admission a worthy investment in your holiday romance.

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