Twinkling lights and holiday jingles at every turn make New York City a magical place for the holidays. Whether you’re a kid at heart or have kids in tow, the Big Apple has plenty of fun for the whole family. Here are some of wonderful things to do in NYC with the kids:


What’s the holidays without a visit to FAO Schwarz, the iconic toy store? Your kids’ eyes will pop out of their heads when they are greeted by the floors and floors of toys. This utopia well covers everyone’s wish list with every toy imaginable. Don’t forget to dance on the giant piano keyboard while you’re there!

The holidays in New York City with family

FAO Schwarz during a summer (not winter) visit


The Museum of Ice Cream is an immersive experience meets art-installation playfully catered around ice cream. A playground of pink and frozen treats, the museum boasts fun elements like a pool of colourful plastic sprinkles and a 3-story indoor slide. For the holidays, they roll out, “PINKMAS” adding festive cheer with a PINKMAS tree forest, a take-home paper gingerbread house craft activity, and a life-sized snow globe that makes for a perfect Instagram picture.

The holidays in New York City with family


If you love interactive experiences, Color Factory is another of our fave NYC places (read more here). To add holiday cheer, they launched their special WINTER COLORLAND. For a limited time, visitors may enjoy seasonal treats, jolly new photo opportunities and installations, and a fun ski lift through a confetti storm!

The holidays in New York City with family


For over 8 decades, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center has been a holiday beacon and must-see tradition. This year’s tree is an impressive 85-year-old Norway Spruce that stands 82 feet high. More than 50,000 multi-coloured LED lights adorn the tree and a 900 pounds Swarovski star with 7 spikes covered in 3 million crystals add the crowning glory.

The holidays in New York City with family


The holidays bring out the best in storefront decor, and Macy’s Herald Square flagship store does not disappoint with its famous festive window displays. Stroll from window to window to marvel at the interactive holiday experience.

Inside the landmark department store, head up to the 8th floor to check out Santaland. You’ll be immersed into a whimsical experience enroute to meeting the jolly man himself. Do take note, you’ll need advanced reservations to nab a spot to see Santa.

Holiday Family Fun in New York City

6.  CAMP

For more holiday shopping, CAMP is not only another great shopping destination with the kids, it’s a unique and true family experience. Located in the Flatiron District on Fifth Avenue, at first glance CAMP is a cool store filled with toys and interesting products for kids of all ages. The real magic hides behind a bookcase, unveiling a secret passageway to 10,000 square feet of playspace.  Encouraging interactivity and play, there’s so much to see and do with CAMP’s many fun rooms, workshops and activities.  Not to spoil the surprises that await, just trust that you’ll be happy that you’ve added CAMP to your must-see places.

Holiday Family Fun in New York City


Saks Fifth Avenue brings holiday magic with their iconic windows and light show. This year, Saks has partnered with Sir Elton John in support of his AIDS foundation, The Rocket Fund. In addition to Sak’s $1 million donation, people can shop the Elton John x Saks Fifth Avenue special holiday collection where $500,000 in proceeds will go towards The Rocket Fund, regardless of sales.

The whimsical storefront windows feature rocket ships and nostalgic games, inspired by special gifts from the past and the partnership with The Rocket Fund. Tunes from the Rocket Man himself accompany the glorious light show of over 600,000 dazzling lights on the ten-story-tall facade of Saks’ storefront.

The holidays in New York City with family

Saks 2019 Light Show


Love to shop? Check out the winter village at Bryant Park. Here you’ll enjoy an open-air market featuring artisans from New York City and around the world. Meander through the rows to discover local crafts, artisan goodies and unique gifts from specialty vendors housed in “jewel box” kiosks. You’re sure to find something special.

Holiday Family Fun in New York City

Credit: The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel


Cozy up and savour some decadent desserts like Serendipity 3’s world-famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. This famous NYC sweetspot is perfect after a full day of holiday shopping and activities. Slow metabolism aside, you’ll feel like a kid again at this happy place.

Holiday Family Fun in New York City

Credit: Serendipity 3


Lace up your skates and work off those holiday treats with skating at some of NYC’s most coveted spots. The Rink at Rockefeller Center is famously known as a key holiday destination. Glide across the ice while the bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend Prometheus looks on, and let’s not forget the iconic Christmas tree too. Reserve in advance online for your spot!

There’s also Wollman rink in Central Park with its beautiful tree-lined rink and conveniently located side-rink café to give you sustenance while you skate. Also, in the heart of Manhattan, is the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Rink. It’s a one-stop spot to eat, shop and go ice-skating. The 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is free and open late. You can rent skates or bring your own but be sure to reserve your spot because it’s a busy time of year.

Holiday Family Fun in New York City

Credit: Vlada Karpovich @ Pexels


Take a brisk stroll, breathe in the fresh air. Time in nature replenishes and Central Park is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Love the classic song, “Winter Wonderland”?  Look no farther, you’ll bring the tune to life with a walk in Central Park.

Holiday Family Fun in New York City

Credit: Brady Knoll @ Pexels

Hope this list of NYC holiday activities bring lots of joy your way!  Happiest Holidays to you and your loved ones!

This post is dedicated to my friend Sabrina Taddei and her upcoming NYC trip with her beautiful family.