5 Ways to Capture the Holiday Magic in NYC with Your Teen

by Rachel Naud


Picture this: you and your teen stepping into a winter wonderland right in the heart of New York City — it’s the start of a holiday adventure like no other. 

As a parent, you’re on a mission to make this trip not just enjoyable but downright unforgettable for both you and your teen. The key is to craft an experience that resonates with them, creating moments they’ll look back on with a smile.

Here are 5 places to create an unforgettable family holiday at the Big Apple.


See the Tree: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Behold the splendour of NYC’s cherished Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Lit daily from 5PM to midnight, this magnificent tree comes to life during its grand lighting ceremony on November 29th, setting the stage for festive joy. On Christmas Day, its radiance brightens the city for a whole 24 hours, and the magic lingers until January 13th at 10PM. The tree is adorned with 50,000 multi-coloured LED lights and crowned by a spectacular three-dimensional 900-pound Swarovski star, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018.


Holidays 2023 in New York: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree


When to Experience the Magic:


Stay in Style: NH Collection New York Madison Avenue



Selecting the right accommodation can set the tone for your entire trip. NH Collection New York Madison Avenue, nestled on the historic Madison Avenue, offers more than just a place to rest. This 100-year-old red brick building not only encapsulates the essence of New York’s advertising legacy but also boasts modern luxury with a serious Mad Men vibe. Awarded the title of Luxury Travel Advisor’s 2022 “Most Instagrammable Hotel” in North America, the hotel blends avant-garde design with a prime location, placing you within walking distance of iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Times Square and Central Park. 


NH Collection New York Madison Avenue

NH Collection New York Madison Avenue


Before you and your teen begin your day exploring, fuel up at Serafina Restaurant with its elaborate European-style breakfast buffet, complete with freshly baked pastries, meats, cheeses and fresh eggs made to order. In the evening, this is the place for delicious pasta and pizza, with portions to please any hungry teen. Afterwards, sit at the MAD Bar & Lounge and sip on a cocktail themed from the 50s and 60s while your teen instagrams his or her mocktail with style. After all, The NH Collection New York Madison Avenue isn’t just accommodation; it’s an experience designed to make your trip a story worth sharing.

Immerse in the Experience:


Witness New York Tradition: Central Park Holiday Lighting

Create lasting holiday memories with your teen by immersing yourselves in the timeless tradition of Central Park’s holiday lighting ceremony. 


Central Park Holiday Lighting

Central Park Holiday Lighting


Celebrating their 27th year, feel the warmth of holiday lights on Central Park, share a moment with Santa and his hot cocoa, and witness the trees light up the Harlem Meer. Join in on November 30th at 5:30PM, or catch the festive glow throughout the holiday season.

When the Park Sparkles with Lights:


Groove at Jingle Ball: Madison Square Garden


New York Holiday: Jingle Ball

New York Holiday: Jingle Ball


Gift your teen the magic of live music at the iconic Jingle Ball at the Madison Square Garden. Let the music of iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball NYC transform Madison Square Garden into a festive celebration on December 8. Featuring artists like Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, and Sabrina Carpenter, this music fest is a perfect way to groove into the holiday spirit.

When the Melodies Fill the Air:


Experience the Train Show: Grand Central Terminal


New York Transit Museum's Holiday Train Show

New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Train Show


If you ask any true New Yorker, navigating the streets of the Big Apple is part of the fun, and the train ride is your ticket to an authentic New York experience.

What better way to see the city’s magnificent landmarks than the New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Train Show? Watch Lionel model trains wind their way through a captivating 34-foot, two-level layout of a miniature electric railroad, showcasing New York’s famous landmarks and on to the North Pole. Find this must-see exhibit at the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery. It’s a unique way to enjoy the city’s charm and make special memories with your teen. 

When to Catch the Train Magic:

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