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The 2018 - 2019 Holiday Season in New York City

Updated on September 17, 2018
TR Threston profile image

T.R. Threston is an award-winning luxury travel writer based in New York City.


New York is arguably one of the most magic places to be during the holiday season. People are bustling about the city streets, stores are dressed up for the occasion, and, yes, tourists come into the city in droves. Is it worth it? You better believe it!

Events 2018/2019 Holiday Season in Manhattan

Here is just a sampling of things to do in Manhattan and around the city in the 2018/2019 holiday season:

Ice Skating is just one of the many favorite holiday time activities available to visitors and locals alike

Bryant Park
Bryant Park | Source

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

2018 - 2019 Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

The annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting celebration is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 from 7 PM to 9 PM. There is no charge to attend the lighting, but arriving early -- make that super early (from 2 PM onward) -- the better location and view you will be able to secure for yourself.

For those who wish to make the event extra special some tour operators have teamed up with local restaurants and are offering tree lighting dinner packages including:

  • Your VIP Pass with tickets beginning at $399 per person
  • NYCVP with tickets beginning at $699 per person

Gridlock Alert Days

Manhattan becomes incredibly congested with vehicle traffic during the holiday season, and as a result "Gridlock Alert Days" are implemented by the city. This is a request that the public takes advantage of trains, buses, subways, taxis, and walking to help ease traffic -- especially in Manhattan. While it isn't mandatory to adhere to Gridlock Alert Days, drivers may find their nerves and tempers in short supply on these days.

Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral will be celebrated by Timothy Cardinal Dolan on December 25, 2018

Tickets to attend Christmas Eve midnight mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral are required.  (A lottery is held each year prior to Christmas, and it should be noted that entering the lottery does not guarantee ticket fulfillment.)
Tickets to attend Christmas Eve midnight mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral are required. (A lottery is held each year prior to Christmas, and it should be noted that entering the lottery does not guarantee ticket fulfillment.) | Source

How to enter the lottery for tickets for 2018 Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

To enter the lottery for Midnight Mass 2018 at St. Patrick's Cathedral, visit online at:

Submitting a lottery request through this form doesn't guarantee that your request will be fulfilled. Lottery ticket winners will receive notice by November 25, 2018.

Questions? Call 646-537-7830 x828 or email

Restaurants and Hotels during the Holiday Season

Restaurants are especially busy during the holiday season in New York City. Many have already started taking reservations for popular dates such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve via telephone and online reservations systems such as Booking at table at your favorite restaurant for your preferred date and time are highly advisable! Likewise, hotels are often booked solid for the holidays (especially Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve) in Manhattan, so, it is highly recommended you secure your hotel reservations early!

© 2018 TR Threston


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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 months ago from UK

      This is great timing for anyone planning a trip later this year. I have friends coming to New York to celebrate a birthday in the holiday season.

    • profile image

      Zac Ford 

      8 months ago

      Great list of things to do! Will be visiting NYC in late November and I am so happy to see that there are lots of things going on during that time of year.

    • David Goldberg profile image

      David Goldberg 

      8 months ago

      For once a diverse list of things to do. Well done!

    • profile image

      Lisa Bennett NJ 

      8 months ago

      Really informative, it's nice to have all of this stuff in one place!

    • Lynette Flowers profile image

      Lynette Flowers 

      8 months ago

      Great list of things to do!


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