How to Enjoy On Location Tours in New York at Christmas

Published Date:

Last Updated:

Share post:

Who can forget that romantic scene in Serendipity when John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale strolled onto the ice at Wollman Rink in Central Park? What about Macaulay Culkin and the pigeon lady in Home Alone 2? Regardless of your movie taste, when you think about movies during the Christmas season, there is really only one location that stands out – New York City! How does taking a tour of all these amazing movie sites sound? Well, thanks to On Location Tours in New York, you can now experience all of your favorite movies and much more on the one and only Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour!

on location tours

As you prepare for the holiday season, if you are looking for something to get you in the festive mood, visit New York City and be prepared to be whisked away in a sea of Christmas cheer. The Big Apple is the ultimate 24-hour city all year round, and the Christmas season is certainly no different.

on location tours in new york city

Thanks to On Location Tours, we were able to experience an amazing tour of various parts of the city, in particular, those iconic locations and attractions specific to your favorite movies and TV shows.

What You Need to Know

On Location Tours was established in 1999 and offers a wide variety of guided tours around both New York City and Boston.

If you film it, they will come

The Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour is one of On Location Tours seasonal offerings and runs from November 27 to January 1 on a daily basis. Two different times are available at both 3:00PM and 5:30PM so hopefully there will be one that fits your schedule (if not, I strongly encourage you to make time in your itinerary because it is well worth it).

macys on location tours

At $36 for adults (plus $2 ticket fee) and $26 for children (plus $2 ticket fee), many may consider this to be an expensive tour but when you realize that this is a 2.5-hour tour of New York City, hopefully, you will be convinced that you get ‘plenty of bang for your buck’.

Tours begin at The Shops at Columbus Circle and before taking the tour you will receive a VIP discount booklet with a number of offers to persuade you to indulge in a little retail therapy before hopping on the bus tour.

Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Highlights

Central Park

The tour started out by the gates of Central Park and our tour guide highlighted some of those key scenes located inside this park that I am sure we are all familiar with. From Home Alone 2 to Serendipity and Love Story, Central Park has proven to be one of the most stereotypical movie locations not only in New York City but throughout the world.

central park on location tours

As the tour continued, we were treated to several impromptu movie clips onboard the bus followed by a number of questions from our awesome guide.

Those that provided the right answer received a special treat (don’t want to give too much away but if you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy it!) and certainly kept everyone entertained while cruising down the streets of downtown Manhattan.

central park home alone 2

Lincoln Center for Performing Arts

We passed by the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and this was one of our first stops of the evening as we all had the opportunity to capture a few pictures of this stunning building. Movies like Ghostbusters and West Side Story have featured scenes with the Lincoln Center as the main focal point.

The plaza in front of the Center contains a gorgeous fountain that provides a relaxing addition to the architectural masterpiece that is the Lincoln Center.

lincoln center

Upper East Side

After leaving the Lincoln Center and passing back by Central Park, we headed to the Upper East Side to the restaurant which is most famous for the hot chocolate scene in Serendipity (unsurprisingly the restaurant is named Serendipity 3).

upper east side on location tours in new york

A short drive from here saw us park beside Bloomingdales and an opportunity for everyone to capture some memorable shots of the seasonal window displays.

on location tours in new york

This is one of the real highlights of this tour because when it comes to stereotypical window arrangements, there is no other location quite like New York City!

on location tours in new york

A short drive over to Barney’s saw another short stop to take in the detailed displays that oozed elaborate design and flair. From the gigantic owl to the psychedelic ‘love mixtape’ boom box, this was a perfect example of New York City creativity at its finest.

barneys on location tours in new york

Fifth Avenue

The final stops on our Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour saw us venture along Fifth Avenue to view more amazing window displays.

lord and taylor on location tours in new york

The Lord and Taylor department store was celebrating their 100th anniversary for their iconic location on Fifth Avenue. The window displays depicted a whimsical journey through an enchanted mansion.

fifth avenue new york city

Regardless of the theme, you can be sure that Lord and Taylor will be one of the most creative throughout New York City and definitely one of the highlights on this tour.

on location tours in new york city

Saks Fifth Avenue is another store that really promotes the holiday season much like the rest of the city. The art deco culture of the 1920s was stylistically portrayed in a modern setting through the Saks window displays.

Tour Finale at Macy’s

What better way to end the tour than by making a final visit to the infamous Macy’s store. When you think about department stores in New York, there are probably none more famous than Macy’s so this was a perfect place to show our gracious appreciation to our tour guide while at the same time enjoying the amazing displays on offer.

macys new york city

The theme at Macy’s was ‘Santa’s Journey to the Stars’ and depicted an animated story of a young boy with a magic telescope enjoying Christmas on a variety of different planets.

on location tours in new york

I loved this theme as it portrayed how children can still enjoy the dreams that Christmas brings along with the modern era of technology.

on location tours


If you love the Big Apple and you love movies, then taking a tour with On Location Tours in New York City is a no-brainer. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and provided a great experience for everyone while touring this beautiful city.

All of the components of the Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour make this a worthwhile experience, and definitely a great way to spend a couple of hours on a cold, Winter’s afternoon in New York.

on location tours in new york

The epic window displays throughout New York City are a sight to behold, but of course, we will all have our favorite locations on the tour depending on personal taste. Whether it’s an iconic movie scene or perhaps peering at the famous Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, this tour of New York City will provide something for all the family.

on location tours in new york city

Disclaimer – We would like to thank On Location Tours for providing complimentary tickets for the Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour. These are solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post. 

Share on Social...

Chris Boothman
Chris Boothman is the co-founder of A Brit and A Southerner. Born near Manchester, England, Chris moved to USA in 2006 where he soon after met his wife and travel partner in crime, Heather. They have since embarked on an amazing journey of travel as they challenge others to follow in their paths of working full-time but also being able to travel frequently! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Chris at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here