From: Thursday, October 26, 2023
To: Tuesday, January 2, 2024
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and by “it” we mean Christmas in New York! Just a few weeks after all the Halloween events wrap up, the city and the best New York attractions turn into an illuminated winter wonderland, decked out with Christmas trees, holiday windows and Christmas lights. Even the most tourist-averse New Yorkers have to admit that it’s a pretty spectacular sight.
- Over 5 million visitors head to NYC between Thanksgiving and New Years, so there’s plenty of opportunities to bump into new guys or meet old friends and have a very queer Christmas in the big apple. Book your hotel well in advance. Check out these best rates for hotels close to the best markets.
- New York’s seasonal markets offer the best decorations, food and winter activities to get you in the Christmas spirit. If department stores with their holiday windows leave you cold, spend your winter at a holiday market.
- NYC’s best holiday shopping spots have everything from ice skating to vintage goods for one-of-a-kind Christmas presents. Stay through dinner as you snack on grub from the city’s best food trucks, and make sure not to miss the tree lightings.
- Take a two hour tour of the best of the Christmas markets with insider tips and advice on how to get the most out of a Christmas Trip to NYC!
- Or take a 6 hour private VIP tour complete with driver and guide.
Here are the top holiday markets of the season.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
- Open From October 26, 2023 – Not only is there free ice skating on Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (bring your own skates!) but also more than 125 holiday shops, including a bunch of new kiosks and eateries. And after you shop and skate, warm up at spacious rink-side restaurant Celsius.
- Discover the best hotels in Midtown West, close to the park.
Union Square Holiday Market
- Open From November 16–December 24, 2023 – If there’s one alfresco shopping event worth braving the cold for, it’s this one. This European-style winter market boasts more than 150 local and national vendors hawking an impressive selection of handcrafted gifts, ranging from jewelry and accessories to leather goods and artwork.
- Check out the brew-your-own beer kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop; handmade, monogrammed stuffed animals from Hazel Village; and wooden puzzles and board games from Kubiya Games.
- Stay at the Hyatt Union Square, a perfect location for exploring with really comfy beds and 24 hour gym.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
- November 28th –December 24th , 2023 – Central Park is a favorite holiday destination, both for its natural splendor and for the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in its southwestern corner (right near the entrance). The fair comes back this season, bringing goodies and gifts for all ages from more than 100 vendors.
- Stay at the Courtyard New York Midtown West, with spacious rooms (when compared to other NYC hotels), great breakfast options and close to all the festive fun.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
- Awaiting Dates (Typically mid November) – It’s hard to imagine a more romantic excursion than going to a Christmas market in Grand Central—gawk at the swirls of constellations on the roof inside, then check out the towering, bejeweled tree to get a new
meaning of “bright lights, big city”.
- Consider the Concorde Hotel, perfectly located in Midtown East close to the markets, with large rooms, great in room amenities, an excellent gym and friendly staff.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree
- Midtown – between 48th and 51st Streets. The first lighting is at the end of November – Awaiting Dates. The tree will be lit daily from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6am to 9pm.
- Every Christmas, thousands of New Yorkers (and tourists) travel to the bright and brilliant nexus of town: the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. This year’s version will be the best one yet, so whether you’re stopping by for the ice-skating or to see the Lighting Ceremony, you will certainly feel the magic when you witness the wonder of the 78-foot, 10-ton Norway Spruce illuminated in over 45,000 LED lights. Seriously, you have to see it. Not only is this one of the best NYC events in December, but there’s also a ton of festive things to do around the landmark.
- Time your visit with the Santa Sing A long
Christmas & The City, New York Store
- Open every season of the year, stock up on unique Christmas ornaments and delicious hot chocolate at Christmas & The City.
Christmas Pop Up Bars
- Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday décor, professionally-developed cocktails and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to,
Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit.
Holiday Windows in NYC
- Nothing says Christmas in New York quite like the world-famous window displays. With this holiday-themed walking tour, don’t miss the best displays decked out to celebrate the season. See the celebrated Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, stop at department store windows adorned with seasonal decorations, and see Radio City Music Hall—home of the beloved Radio City Rockettes.
Gay Christmas Events in New York
Hell’s Kitchen has show-stopping drag queen performances and multiple options for a night out, but so does West Village (or Greenwich Village) or Bushwick and Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Our advice, spend one night to each one of these neighborhoods and try different parties on the same night. Move around and find your flow!
This list will be updated as events are confirmed.
- A Drag Queen Christmas – Awaiting Datesat the Town Hall with some famous Christmas lip syncing queens. The Town Hall is a performance space at 123 West 43rd Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue near Times Square
- Bendelacreme & Jinkx Monsoon New York – Awaitind Dates Join Ru Paul Drag queens for some fun Christgasm songs and sketches at the Town Hall Theatre.
- The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – Awaiting Dates. A new run, new show with even more spectacular performances.
Ice Skating in NYC
- Experience New York City on skates with a visit to one of the City’s famous ice rinks, many open-air versions of which are open from late fall to early spring. Central Park’s Wollman Rink comes with killer views of the Manhattan skyline,
while Rockefeller Center’s seasonal rink allows you to skate beneath the famous Christmas tree.
- Enjoy some of the most amazing views while skating at the Vale Rink at William Vale hotel in Brooklyn. The ice rink is located on the 23rd floor of the hotel.
The Empire State Holiday Musical Light Show
- A defining feature of the New York City skyline since 1976, the Empire State Building lights have captured the world’s imagination for decades. We maintain a tradition of changing the color of the lights to recognize important occasions,
holidays, and organizations throughout the year. Take a skip the line tour and enjoy the show.
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
- Nothing says Christmas like Dyker Heights, perhaps the most famous display of lights on the planet. Locals have been decorating their homes—personally and professionally—since the ’80s, making it a true NYC winter wonderland.
Christmas Holiday Statue & Skyline Cocoa Cruise
- The 1920s-vintage style motor yacht called Manhattan will be decked out with holiday decorations and steamy holiday beverages. On this cruise, you’ll be able to still listen to holiday jams, sip on hot cocoa and people watch the most famous New Yorker there is—Lady Liberty!
Best Christmas Hotels in New York City
We have chosen hotels within walking distance of some of the gay bars, and a short taxi ride to the others.
The New York EDITION Arlo NoMad Hotel Cassa Hotel citizenM Hotel
Where to stay close to all the gay bars
Our top 4 selections with the best rates.
The Marlton hotel is in the heart of
Greenwich Village close to the gay bars
For further information and advice on
Christmas in New York Website
Most of the gay bars are located in the Christopher Street and Time square areas; we have found hotels closes to the gay bars in each area that have the best revues with our hotel partner Booking.com
Book with confidence. Get the best Prices from our partner Booking.com
We have chosen hotels in New York that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
Located in the iconic landmark Metropolitan Life Clock Tower 22 m from Madison Square Park, The New York EDITION offers a Michelin star restaurant and free WiFi access. Featuring oversized windows and sweeping city views, every room includes photography by Melvin Sokolsky.
Located right in the heart of Manhattan, this hotel is just 1 minute’s walk from Times Square & within 5 minutes’ walk of Central Park & Columbus Circle. Rockefeller Center & the Empire State Building are within 15 minutes’ walk. A flat-screen TV & a small refrigerator with free water
Arlo NoMad is 644 m from Madison Square Park, 322 m from the Empire State Building & 805 m from Herald Square. The access to the Subway Train 6, on 33rd Street & Park Avenue, is 322 m from the property. Each room at the hotel is sized at 150 square feet, with a refrigerator, flat-screen cable TV,
InterContinental New York Times Square is spread across 36 stories & offers accommodation with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Manhattan skyline, Hudson River and Broadway Theater District. rooms includes flat-screen TV, work station, spa-inspired bathroom
Highlights of Christmas in New York City
Book with confidence. Get the best Prices from our partner Expedia
We have chosen hotels in New York that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
A full-service spa, a restaurant, and an indoor pool are available at this smoke-free hotel. WiFi in public areas is free. Additionally, a 24-hour health club, a bar/lounge, and a spa tub are onsite. All 212 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and iPads. Comforts include pillowtop beds
This smoke-free hotel features a restaurant, a fitness center, and a bar/lounge. Additionally, valet parking, and 24-hour room service are onsite. All 155 rooms offer comforts like pillowtop beds and, plus 24-hour room service and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. WiFi, coffee makers
Along with a restaurant, this smoke-free hotel has 2 bars/lounges and a fitness center. WiFi in public areas is free. Additionally, a coffee shop/café, a rooftop terrace, and a 24-hour business center are onsite. All 489 rooms offer free WiFi, Netflix, and LED TVs with digital channels
Along with 3 restaurants, this smoke-free hotel has 3 bars/lounges and a coffee shop/café. Additionally, a snack bar/deli, self parking, and a business center are onsite. All 115 rooms offer comforts like pillowtop beds and Frette Italian sheets, plus free WiFi and LED TVs with cable channels