It may still be October, but the holiday season rolls in fast after Halloween. With your long to-do list of holiday gift shopping and hosting plans for celebrations, we don’t want you to have to worry about where to take your family photos for your holiday cards. NYC is full of holiday hot-spots for adorable photos, and we’ve rounded up a list of our favorites. We know how important a holiday card is; it’s a sign of love and appreciation during the season of joy, and it also updates your friends and extended family on how much your little ones have grown since they last saw them! Holiday cards provide a great opportunity to get creative and have fun with different poses or props as a family. So grab your iPhone cameras, dress your little ones in their winter outfits, and get ready for your holiday photoshoot!
Before the holiday season begins, Halloween is coming up at the end of this month! Check out our guide to Things to Do for Halloween in New York City With the Family.
Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
As one of the largest fountains in New York and one of the most well-known fountains in the world, Bethesda Fountain is a popular spot for holiday photos. The beautiful statue in the middle of the fountain provides a pretty backdrop, and the grandeur of the fountain itself makes for a lovely photo. Note that there’s typically a crowd around the fountain, so try to sit somewhere in which you will not get other people in the background of your photos!
With gardens, walkways, nature backdrops, and gorgeous views of the city, The Highline is the perfect spot for your holiday cards. We suggest walking along The Highline and taking photos at several locations so that you can include a variety of backgrounds in your holiday card. Some of my favorite spots on The Highline for photos are the 26th Street Viewing Spur (have your kids sit on the grand bench and get the city in the background of the photo) and the 10th Avenue Square & Overlook. There’s also artwork throughout your walk that could make for an aesthetically-pleasing background. And if you can visit The Highline during or after a snowfall, even better!
The Flatiron Building
The extremely narrow, yet incredibly tall building is a family-favorite for photos, and holiday cards are no exception. With its interesting architecture and triangular shape, The Flatiron Building is a unique backdrop for photos. Another perk for kids is that The Lego Store and Shake Shack are nearby, so head to these destinations afterwards for some Lego play and Shake Shack milkshakes. If you want to make a whole day out of your Flatiron Building photoshoot, visit Madison Square Park, which is also walking distance from the Flatiron Building.
Not only will your kids love the idea of going to Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, but the beautiful carousel also makes for lovely family photos. Pose with the carousel in the background or hop on the ride and take photos as your on the horses and chariots. With 48 exquisitely carved horses and two grand chariots, Jane’s Carousel is the spot for your holiday cards this year!
The Brooklyn Bridge is the photo spot of all seasons, but it’s especially beautiful in the winter. Try to get as much of the bridge as possible in the photo, and play around with angles! Have your photographer stand really far away for a zoomed out photo on the bridge, and then have them come up closer. Spend the day in Brooklyn Bridge Park after your photoshoot!
A true architectural wonder, The Vessel makes for amazing family photos. You could either climb The Vessel and get photos from the inside, or stand on the outside and get The Vessel in the background. With the diagonal staircases and hexagon shapes, you’re sure to get aesthetically-pleasing photos. However, The Vessel is another place that often gets crowded, so do your best to get your photos without other people in the backdrop. Explore Hudson Yards after as a family!
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Officially open for the season, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is the perfect place to have some family fun on the ice and also snag some adorable photos. What better way to capture the holiday spirit in a card than with an in-action photo of your family on the ice? The holiday decor surrounding the rink is also super festive and will surely get you into the holiday spirit. Dress in warm mittens, hats, and coats, and get ready for lots of candid photos on the 2019 NYC Concierge Choice Award Winner for “Best Family Experience”!
The Central Park icon, recently renovated, is a beautiful backdrop for holiday photos. Feel as if your family is royalty as you climb through the castle and up the spiral staircases. Belvedere Castle also provided multiple different tiers for photos that get Central Park and the Manhattan skyline in the background. We recommend going when there’s a light dusting of snow on the ground, which will truly capture the holiday vibe.
The greenery and intertwined lights of NoMo Soho’s archway create a very festive feel, perfect for your holiday photos! No need to book a room at the hotel; just stop for a photoshoot right in front! Although, you may have to wait a bit before you can take your photos if guests are coming in or out of the hotel, or if there are other people waiting to take their photos — it’s a pretty popular spot.
Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, The Unisphere is a gigantic representation of the continents and mountain ranges. A beloved symbol of Queens, The Unisphere is also a great backdrop for your holiday cards. Sit along the surrounding fountain or stand in front of The Unisphere. Be sure to get The Unisphere from multiple different angles so that you have plenty of options for your holiday card!