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If you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas road trip destination, head to New York City this holiday season.
New York City is famous for its food, nightlife, and theater—but it’s also one of the best cities to find your festive spirit! From ice skating at Coney Island to a traditional Jewish Christmas dinner of Chinese food at Hutong in Lenox Hill, you’ll have an unforgettable holiday in the city that never sleeps.
Before you set out for the world’s greatest Christmas destination, check one more item off your holiday list and make sure you’re prepared for the drive with roadside assistance and the right car insurance. Car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry can help you find the cheapest rates on your car insurance by comparing rates from 50+ leading providers.
Strap on your skates and get out the eggnog: your comprehensive guide to the perfect NYC Christmas road trip is here.
Where to stay
You’ll need a cozy home base for your festive adventures in the Big Apple—but finding an affordable hotel room in New York that’s bigger than a shoebox can feel impossible!
Whether you’re traveling with family, trying to get away from the crowds, or willing to pay a little extra for an over-the-top Christmas experience, these three hotels have your back.
- Sohotel: Located just off the Bowery in downtown Manhattan, Sohotel is the oldest operating hotel in NYC. This hip, affordable hotel is a good bet if you’re traveling with a big group. Their rooms include suites and family rooms that sleep up to six people at a time. Cost per night: from $119
- The Hoxton Williamsburg: Don’t want to stay in Manhattan? At The Hoxton in Williamsburg, you’ll sip cocoa in a glass igloo far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. All proceeds from the $1 hot cocoa go to the Coalition for the Homeless. Cost per night: from $269
- The Plaza: If you’re willing to go all out to stay in a true holiday dream hotel, book a room at The Plaza. This luxury hotel takes Christmas seriously—from the 18-foot Christmas tree to the extravagant holiday menu and weekend gingerbread house baking sessions, this is the place for the quintessential New York Christmas. Cost per night: from $1,080
Pro Tip If you’re staying at the Plaza, ask about their Home Alone 2: Fun in New York package that lets you relive scenes from the iconic 90s Christmas movie!
Where to eat
The holidays are all about food, and so is New York City! It’s hard to go wrong, but here are a few spots you’ll want to make sure to hit as you explore the city’s festive offerings.
- Bubby’s ($$): For the Christmas brunch of your dreams, head to Bubby’s in Tribeca, where you’ll be treated to a full brunch menu including holiday specials like Roasted Duck Cranberry Hash and Eggnog Pie.
- Petee’s Pie Company ($$): The “Absolute Best Pie in New York” is baked at Petee’s Pie Company, which has locations in the Lower East Side and Clinton Hill. Choose from festive flavors like maple whiskey walnut, black bottom almond chess, and—of course—farm-fresh pumpkin.
- Hutong ($$$$): When you think of “Christmas dinner,” you might imagine a turkey or a roast ham, but Chinese food on Christmas is a New York Jewish tradition. You could order orange chicken from whatever takeout spot is closest to your hotel—or sit down for a modern Chinese fine dining experience at Hutong, where you’ll eat in an Art Deco dining room inspired by 1920s Shanghai chic.
Pro Tip If an elaborate brunch isn’t your speed, opt for a true New York City breakfast with a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from your closest bodega!
What to do
You’ll have no shortage of choices for fun things to do in NYC, but for maximum holiday magic, check out the following options.
- The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden ($$): Take the Metro North up to the New York Botanical Garden, where you’ll find a breathtaking display of the city’s architectural landmarks painstakingly recreated from acorns, pine cones, and tree bark. Miniature lights and model trains winding through this natural wonderland make the Holiday Train show an unforgettable Christmas experience.
- Holiday Markets: Choose between the four vibrant holiday markets that pop up around Manhattan in December. You’ll find unique artisan gifts and delicious holiday treats at every market, but go to the Winter Village at Bryant Park if you want to ice skate for free before you shop. Head to the Union Square Holiday Market if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift.
- Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo ($$): Forget a visit to Santa—a visit to the family holiday at the Bronx Zoo will make this a Christmas your kids won’t forget. Immersive light displays, hot cocoa, wildlife theater, and ice-carving demonstrations light up the night at the zoo throughout December.
- Ice skating at Abe Stark Rink ($$): Nothing says magical NYC Christmas like ice skating in Central Park—but the magic can be hard to find when you’re skating in a crowd. Skate smart: go to Abe Stark Rink on Coney Island instead.
- Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Up ($$): Seek out a professional crafted Christmas cocktail at this festive pop-up. Miracle’s locations change by the year, so make sure to check the map before you head out!
Pro Tip Holiday hotspots like Rockefeller Center and Saks Fifth Avenue will be crowded, so try to go on a weeknight or during the day if you want to cross them off your bucket list!
Why you need roadside assistance
New York City might be a magical place—but the drive into the city can be anything but! Before you hit the road for your NYC Christmas road trip adventure, make sure you’re ready to brave the traffic with roadside assistance from Jerry.
For under $10, you’ll get access to emergency services like vehicle towing, fuel delivery, lockout services, and more. You can even get Uber credits or rental reimbursement if your car breaks down!
Finding cheap car insurance
During the holiday shopping season, the last thing you want to do is pay more than you need to for your car insurance. To make sure you’re getting the lowest rate possible, download the car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry before you set out on your New York Christmas road trip.
You won’t pay for the app, you won’t have to fill out forms, and you won’t have to wait for quotes. Just answer a few basic questions about yourself and your car, and Jerry will compare rates from leading insurance companies to get you the best rate. Once you’ve found a quote you like, Jerry can cancel your old policy and save you money instantly!
“Jerry was absolutely worth it. I saved $150, which might not sound like a lot, but really helps me as a New York City resident.” ––Jameson T.