It’s the holiday season in New York! NYC can get to some chilly temperatures in December, but you’ll still want to see the iconic lights, trees, and windows that are up for the season.
Experience the New York City holiday season you know and love from your favorite films and TV shows. See some iconic filming locations from movies you’ve seen over and over but wouldn’t know where to find. In just a few hours in a nice warm bus, watch some movie clips while you pass some holiday sites with On Location Tours.
Guest post: this post was written and contributed by Jake Sussman from On Location Tours, an award-winning sightseeing tour company specializing in bringing your favorite movies and TV shows to life while showcasing the best the city has to offer. Check out our “New York City Sightseeing Itinerary for Movie Buffs” over on their blog – great year-round!
Planning to see lots of New York City attractions? Check out the New York City Explorer Pass® –the more you do the more you save.
In addition to stopping at the Friends apartment and the Ghostbusters firehouse (which will spread joy no matter the time of the year), pass Barney’s, the store featured in the Will & Grace Christmas episode, where Jack must design an iconic holiday-themed window.
You’ll pass Radio City Music Hall decked out in holiday decorations, which is, of course, home to the Christmas Spectacular and the Rockefeller Christmas tree itself, the backdrop of Kevin’s reunion with his mom in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.
Getting in: NYC TV & Movie Bus Tour tickets are included as an attraction choice on the New York City Explorer Pass.
Calling all Upper East Siders at heart! You know that the gang from Gossip Girl absolutely slayed it in those winter coats and scarves, and you can live your best Gossip Girl lifestyle right in the middle of the holiday season.
Get off the bus at the Palace Hotel, where Dan and Jenny attempt to smuggle a stolen Christmas tree for Serena, only to be intercepted by Lily (phew!).
You’ll also be able to stop for a photo opp at Constance Billard School for Girls (the Museum of the City of New York in real life), and stand in the very courtyard where Jenny and the glee club perform “Santa Baby.”
Getting in: Gossip Girl Sites Bus Tour tickets are included as an attraction choice on the New York City Explorer Pass.
If you’re ready to brave the cold, take the Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour to see one of the most filmed locations in the world.
On this tour, you’ll see sites from New York TV shows and movies like Enchanted, Broad City, Kramer vs. Kramer, and much more.
Plus just in time for the holiday season, you’ll stop at the Duck Pond where Kevin gives the pigeon lady a gift on Christmas in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and the fountain that Santa’s sleigh flies over in Elf.
Getting in: Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour tickets are included as an attraction choice on the New York City Explorer Pass.
If you prefer your bus tours slightly shorter and slightly more 90s, maybe the When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour is right for you.
See the spot where Harry and Sally get a Christmas tree from a shed, down to the Santa dressed Salvation Army employee. Plus, the tour begins and ends at McGee’s Pub of How I Met Your Mother fame, with tons of warm coffees to snuggle up with on a snowy New York day, all with a special On Location Tours discount after the tour.
Getting in: When Harry Met Seinfeld Bu Tour tickets are included as an attraction choice on the New York City Explorer Pass.
In this limited edition tour, you’ll see sites exclusively from holiday-themed films to get you in the Christmas spirit. Pass by sites from Elf, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Eloise at Christmastime, and more. Plus, you’ll get off the bus to see the department store windows up close, which are only up for a limited time.
Please note: Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour tickets are not included as an attraction choice on the New York City Explorer Pass tickets available for purchase online.
There you have it – our picks for the best guided tours to go on to truly experience New York City holidays, just like in the movies.
Whether you are traveling with young kids, teens, or just adults, we’re sure you and your family will have a great time.
Pick up a New York City Explorer Pass and save up to 50% on combined admission to some of the tours mentioned in this post and lots of other popular New York City attractions.