The best time for a Christmas break in New York

The best time for a Christmas break in New York: When to book and when to fly

The ice rink in Central Park, the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, and the incredible lights on Saks Fifth Avenue – New York is home to some of the world’s most famous festive sights. The Big Apple is the ideal place for a winter city break – but when’s the best time to book a December trip?

We can now spill the beans. We’ve trawled through our internal booking data from the past three years to work out the best time to book a winter break to New York. Read on to find out how to get the cheapest flights, when to travel for a chance of snow in December 2018, and which Christmas events you should see in the city that never sleeps.

The cheapest day to fly to New York in December

Cheapest flight in December to JFK or Newark Liberty Airport: £382.19

Cheapest day to fly: 2nd December

Most expensive days to fly: 27th – 31st December

Cost of flying on Christmas Day: Average price of £422.50 – it’s the sixth-cheapest day of the whole month

The best time to book a December flight to New York

Good news – flights are getting cheaper. The average price of UK flights to New York, to either JFK or Newark Liberty Airport, has dropped from £496.87 in 2017 to £397.95 in 2018.

The best time to book your flight is around 277 days before you plan to depart – which would be March. But, if you haven’t booked, don’t worry – the price of flights will remain relatively stable until about 70 days before departure. So, as long as you book before October, you should still be able to get a cheap flight to New York.

When to visit New York for a chance of snow

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, it’s best to jet off for the festive season. The odds of getting snow in the UK in December are pretty low. So, if you want to see that Christmas card image of fairytale lights and a snow-covered city, New York might just be the answer. Having said that, if it’s snow you’re after, avoid travelling between 1st and 9th December – it hasn’t snowed in New York on these dates in a decade.

Best chance of snow before Christmas: 20th December has an average of 1.4 inches of snow, but the record amount is a whopping 13.6 inches.

Best chance of snow after Christmas: 31st December – why not bring in 2019 in snow-blanketed New York?

Best value flights and best chance of snow: 15th December offers the best of both worlds. You can get flights for around £455.91 and there’ll be a 30% chance of snow.

New York’s top 5 Christmas events

Needless to say, New York goes seriously big on Christmas, so you’re guaranteed a magical trip in December, whenever you go. But, for extra sparkle, it’s best to tie in your New York break with some of the city’s festive shows, parades and events. We've cherry-picked the must-dos to help you choose your dates.

  1. Home Alone in Concert, David Geffen Hall: 20th and 21st December
    If this doesn’t make you feel festive, nothing will. For two days only, you can watch the ultimate Christmas blockbuster, Home Alone, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
  2. Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, Walter Kerr Theatre: 1st – 15th December
    The Boss will be bringing his many hits and legendary persona to Broadway for this short-running show, all about his life and work.
  3. Gingerbread Lane, New York Hall of Science: 11th November – 15th December
    This is one for the Bake Off fans. Prepare to be amazed by a mouth-watering 500-square-foot village of gingerbread houses.
  4. Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall: 9th November – 25th December
    The Radio City Rockettes started more than 90 years ago – and no Christmas visit to New York is complete without it.
  5. The Metropolitan Opera takes Mozart’s Magic Flute: 19th December – 5th January
    The Metropolitan Opera has adapted Mozart’s Magic Flute into English, to create a show suitable for the whole family.

- Data is based on publicly available fares booked from UK airports to New York JFK International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport with
- Data is exclusive to departure dates December 1st-31st, and a booking period of Jan 2016 - July 2018.
- Weather data is taken from NOAA -National Centers for Environmental Information. Monthly summaries of snowfall recorded in NY City Central Park 2008-2018: