December is one of the most popular times to visit New York City. The city is full of Holiday decorations, from the tree at Rockefeller Center to the elaborate Holiday Window displays to the houses of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
In addition to the decorations, and shopping, there are plenty of seasonal things to do in New York in December, like the Holiday markets, Ice Skating, the popular train show at the New York Botanical Garden, and Christmas-themed shows.
The month (and the crowds) culminate for New Year’s Eve. Who hasn’t dreamed of counting down the last seconds of the year in Times Square? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As in most people who do it once, never do it again. If you don’t want to stand out in the cold for hours, there are many places that offer packaged dinners and champagne toasts to celebrate the new year in comfort.
Weather In New York In December:
December is the start of the winter season in New York.
During the day, the city experiences an average temperature of 6°C (43°F). At night time, the temperature usually falls to 0°C (32°F).
There are some days when New York witnesses even lower temperatures, around -2°C to -3°C.
The chances of snowfall, however, are quite low in December.
At max, the city sees snowfall on 3 out of 30 days.
So if you wish to have a vacation without snow becoming a hurdle, December is the perfect time for you.
The sea temperature during the Christmas month is 9.6°C (48.7°F). So, forget about having beach picnics and swimming in the sea.
As far as rainfall is concerned, be prepared because it rains 13 out of 30 days in December. Most of the rain falls on the first ten days of the month.
The length of the day is 9 hours throughout the month. The humidity remains low and heavy cloud cover ensures limited UV exposure.
The speed of the wind increases from 9.4 miles per hour to 9.9 miles per hour.
READ ALSO: What to wear in New York in December?
How to pack for New York in December
You need a good winter coat! Most New Yorkers will wear down feather coats in the winter. In addition, bring hats, gloves and a scarf.
Wear layers! It is well worth it to bring base layers (thermal clothing). Uniqlo’s heatech thermals are a good cheaper option.
Keep your feet warm and dry! If it rains or snows, streets may get wet, icy, and snowy for days. Winter boots are essential. As are good warm socks. Be aware when choosing boots, that the sidewalks are salted, to melt the ice. Salt may stain your leather boots!
What to do in New York in December?
There are year-round activities, we recommend, like going up a skyscraper, boat rides to see or visit the statue of liberty, museums, and walking tours of New York’s many can’t miss neighborhoods!
This is a list of seasonal activities and December-specific events and deals. Take advantage of coming to New York during the Holiday Season!
- Christmas (National Holiday)
- Chanukkah (Menorah Lighting and events – Dec 18 – Dec 26, 2022)
- New Years Eve
- Bryant Park Winter Village (Holiday Market)
- New York Botanical Garden Train Show (Bronx)
Music and Entertainment
- Met Opera
- New York Philharmonic
- NYC Ballet Nutcracker
- Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
- New Years Eve in Times Square
- New Years Eve Fireworks in Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge
- NBA Basketball: New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets game.
- NFL Football: Giants or Jets game.
- NHL Hockey: NY Rangers, NY Islanders or NJ Devils game.
- College Basketball at Madison Square Garden