NYC's Best Holiday Tours

Taking a festive tour is one of the best value-for-money ways to experience NYC's holiday transformation during the Christmas season. From glittering boat cruises to intimate private excursions, we've compiled some of our favorites in this list.

November 29, 2023

Immerse Yourself in the Spirit of Christmas with NYC's Best Holiday Tours

The holiday season can be an incredibly magical time to visit New York City. There are so many things to see and do, from shopping for unique gifts to admiring festive decorations to enjoying delicious holiday meals. And one of the best ways to experience all that the city has to offer during this special time of year is by taking a holiday tour.

There are many different types of NYC holiday tours available, ranging from glittering boat cruises to intimate private excursions. No matter what your budget or interests are, there is sure to be a tour that is perfect for you.

In this blog post, we have compiled a list of some of the best NYC holiday tours. We have included tours that are great for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. And we have included tours that cover all of the major NYC holiday attractions, such as the Dyker Heights Christmas lights, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and Radio City Music Hall.

So if you are planning a trip to New York City this holiday season, keep reading to find your perfect holiday activity.

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Now on to the list ...

Walking / Pedicab Tours

After-hours Private FAO Schwarz Experience with Champagne, Candy Raid Gift

Where: Rockefeller Center

Price: $169.00 per person

You can have a one-of-a-kind holiday adventure with the Private FAO Schwarz Experience at Rockefeller Center. This exclusive group tour offers a private, after-hours in-store escapade to avoid the long lines and extensive wait times during the bustling holiday season. Guests will have the opportunity to play, shop, and receive a guided tour from an official Toy Soldier. The festive experience includes a champagne toast, a delightful candy bar raid, dedicated time at the iconic big piano, and a special take-home gift. 

Christmas in New York: Private Holiday History Tour

Where: Herald Square + Rockefeller Center

Price: $150.00 per person

Led by an expert guide, this first-class tour takes you through the heart of Manhattan, exploring the inspired stories behind iconic holiday sites. Begin in Herald Square to unravel the origins of festive customs and the magic of Macy's on 34th Street. Stroll through a local holiday village market, witness dazzling displays on Fifth Avenue, and bask in the magnificence of Rockefeller Center. Feel the true spirit of Christmas at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Along the 2-hour journey, capture iconic holiday pictures to commemorate this unforgettable experience. Whether discovering the history of Santa or marveling at whimsical windows, this tour brings the spectacle of the city to life, offering a unique perspective on classic holiday traditions.

Private Central Park Pedicab Tour

Where: Central Park

Prices: 1 Hour (4 stops): $100 for 2 people, 2 Hours (7 stops): $200 for 2 people

A private Central Park Pedicab Tour is an ideal way to explore the iconic holiday film locations from Home Alone 2 and Elf. With a licensed tour guide, ride comfortably through Central Park, discovering the spots where Kevin met the pigeon lady and Buddy had a snowball fight. Capture memorable moments at famous locations like Bethesda Fountain and Bow Bridge. As you cruise past landmarks, including The Dakota and Belvedere Castle, hear stories about celebrity homes and movie scenes. This one-hour guided tour offers a unique perspective, ensuring you cover all the must-see spots and learn the fascinating history of Central Park's festive film connections.

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Vehicle-based Tours

From Manhattan: Private Brooklyn Christmas Tour by Limousine

Where: Brooklyn + Downtown Manhattan, includes pick up at hotel

Prices: $948 per group up to 7

Experience the holiday charm of New York City in total luxury with a Private Brooklyn Christmas Tour by Limousine. Begin with a hotel pickup in Manhattan and head to Dyker Heights, known for its brilliantly lit houses in one of the city’s classic Italian-American neighborhoods. Capture the festive atmosphere as you stroll amidst green and red lights. Continue to Dumbo for scenic views of Manhattan and a closer look at the Brooklyn Bridge. Explore the Wall Street Area, snap pictures with the iconic Charging Bull, and visit Battery Park to catch sight of the Statue of Liberty. Relax in a luxury limousine throughout the tour, soaking in the Christmas spirit and relying on a professional driver for tips and recommendations. The journey concludes with a drop-off at your hotel or preferred location, leaving you with lasting memories of the season's magic in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Guided Dyker Heights Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Where: Brooklyn, includes pick up in Times Square

Prices: $60.00 per person

As night arrives in Manhattan, jump into a comfy shuttle in Times Square for a 3.5-hour holiday tour around Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. See the Christmas lights in these neighborhoods, where houses are decked out with toy soldiers, Santa Claus, and reindeer. Explore a long-standing tradition in these Italian-American communities, guided by an expert who shares stories behind the displays. Stroll through the streets and learn about the creativity and passion of the residents. On the way back to Manhattan, enjoy the lit-up skyline, and make a stop at the Brooklyn Bridge for some holiday snapshots.

2023 Dyker Heights + NYC Holiday Lights Tour

Where: Brooklyn + Manhattan, includes pick up at the Empire State Building

Prices: Luxury Bus: $99.00  per person, Luxury SUV: $750.00 per group up to 6

This tour is a combination of a Manhattan and Dyker Heights tour for the Holidays. Starting in Midtown, it traverses Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the World Trade Center. The journey then takes you by the historic New York Harbor to the enchanting Dyker Heights neighborhood, transformed into a dazzling holiday wonderland. Pause for photos at Brooklyn Bridge Park, cross the Manhattan Bridge, and explore Chinatown and SoHo. You'll see incredible views of the Empire State Building from Washington Square Park, culminating at the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.  The package includes a friendly tour guide, WiFi on board and an air-conditioned vehicle to help you get around in comfort.

New York City Luxury Holiday Bus Tour at Night

Where: All of Manhattan, includes pick up in Bryant Park

Price: $99.00 per person

Departing from the festively adorned Bryant Park, the luxury bus takes you on a magical journey through the city's top holiday spots, beautifully illuminated at night. Highlights include visits to the Winter Garden and Oculus downtown, along with Macy’s department store holiday windows, while you savor the included Belgian waffles and hot chocolate. The tour culminates at the iconic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Enjoy the festive atmosphere of Bryant Park, Hudson Yards, Macy’s, and Fifth Avenue while traveling comfortably on a luxury bus.

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Boat Tours

NYC Holiday Boat with Santa as Surprise Guest & Statue of Liberty

Where: Pick up in the Lower East Side

Price: $35.99 per person

An extra special festive Holiday Boat Cruise that doesn’t break the bank departs from Pier 36 in the Lower East Side, featuring a surprise visit from Santa Claus. This 60-minute sightseeing adventure takes you within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, offering ample opportunities for photos with Santa at no extra cost. Cruise under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, witness the breathtaking New York skyline, and enjoy entertaining commentary about major landmarks. Take advantage of indoor and outdoor seating with large open windows for optimal views. If you're feeling peckish, there are cookies and hot chocolate available for purchase. For adults, there's even a cash bar on board!

New York Harbor Live Holiday Jazz Cruise

Where: Pick up in Hell’s Kitchen

Price: $118.00 per person

Pause and unwind from holiday stress with a serene jazz cruise along the New York City skyline. Perfect for couples, families, and friends seeking a tranquil escape, this cruise features live jazz against the backdrop of iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy snacks and refreshments from the onboard bar, including one complimentary alcoholic drink. Cruise past notable sites such as One World Trade Center, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Governors Island National Monument, all while relishing sweeping views of Manhattan's financial district and skyline. It's a calm and festive way to recharge during the holiday season, and likely to get booked up fast.

New York City Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

Where: Pick up in Hell’s Kitchen

Price: $118.00 per person

Begin with a convenient pick-up in Hell’s Kitchen and then sail along the Hudson River, taking in iconic sights like the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Embrace the festive spirit on this cruise by enjoying live jazz, singing along to Christmas carols, and treating yourself to Christmas cookies paired with a cup of spiked hot cocoa from the onboard bar. The elegantly decorated yacht creates a cozy atmosphere for reveling in the magic of the season while enjoying sweeping views of the city's landmarks. This cruise perfectly captures the essence of a festive New York, offering a delightful blend of carols, cocoa, and captivating views.

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Our team of trip consultants builds tailored plans for travelers from around the world visiting NYC. We’ve built a wide range of plans for family trips, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions, even for solo travelers treating themselves. Each plan is built with a 3-step process:

Step 1: Bucket your must-see attractions

Step 2: Add in restaurants, rooftops & other hidden gems

Step 3: Create a custom map and provide transportation tips, so you know the best way to navigate the city.

Click here to have our team tailor your New York trip itinerary today or check out a few of our sample plans here.

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