Written by Emily Bayne
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 11/28/2022, edited: 11/28/2022
Did you know that 7 million people flock to NYC during the holidays? It's no wonder — the city's holiday spirit is contagious! Elaborate light displays, decorated storefronts, and towering spruces overlooking Rockefeller Center make this city an urban winter wonderland (and likely why so many holiday movies are set here!)
Another wonderful thing about Manhattan is the plethora of dog-friendly venues, events, and activities that allow dogs during the Christmas season. Whether you’re looking for tree farms, parades, light displays, or local charities where you can give back, our masterlist of dog-friendly holiday activities in NYC is sure to keep your pack busy during the howl-o-days.
The holiday season isn't just about department store gifts, decorations, and Santa — it's about spreading love and giving back to the less fortunate. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to forget that some people and pets don't have a warm home and plenty of food in their bowls. We've sniffed out a few NYC animal charities that would be overjoyed to receive a donation from you this holiday season!
The mission of Second Chance Rescue is in the name — this non-profit is devoted to giving abused, abandoned, and neglected animals a new lease on life. The facility strives to reduce euthanasia rates and find these incredible critters a loving home.
Wag! is proud to "pawtner" with Second Chance Rescue. In August 2022, we co-hosted an adoption event with Second Chance Rescue in Times Square. The cutest part? Wag!'s Chief Marketing Officer, Patrick McCarthy, adopted Olive, a sweet mutt from the adoption drive, and brought her all the way back home to California!
"She’s an absolute sweetheart with her big sister Ziggy," says Patrick. "And she’s been a great addition to the family and good with our kids."
Olive (left), affectionately nicknamed "Ollie", posing for a pic with her sister, Ziggy. Wag! CMO Patrick McCarthy adopted Olive in August 2022 from an adoption drive in partnership with Second Chance Rescue.
Location: Sutton Place
Located at 306 East 59th Street, The Humane Society of New York helps injured, ill, and homeless animals in need, and has done for over 100 years. You can assist the Humane Society by donating necessities like high-quality canned or dry dog food, biscuits, towels, blankets, toys, harnesses, puppy pads, and cleaning supplies.
Opening hours: Varies by location
Bobbi and the Strays is a "furbulous" organization that rescues, fosters, and cares for homeless animals at its two Long Island locations. Bobbi and the Strays is always accepting donations for necessities like clean towels, toys, beds, treats, leashes, collars, harnesses, air-tight containers, dry and canned dog food, as well as sanitizers, stainless steel bowls, poop bags, rubber gloves, and paper towels. Please visit their website for their hours of operation and location information.
Opening hours: Varies depending on location
Pets of the Homeless
has several donation sites in NYC where you can drop off dry and wet
dog food, blankets and towels, leashes, harnesses, treats, and toys for
the less fortunate pups. If you're a vet, you can also volunteer and
offer your services to them to help treat and neuter the homeless
Pets of the Homeless also sponsors Give a Dog a Bone Week, an annual holiday in August that aims to raise donations and awareness for the companion animals of people who are homeless.
Friends Animal Society helps to save homeless pets and provide new
homes for them. It is located in SoHo, at 307 West Broadway, where you
can drop off your donations in person or submit your donation online via
money will help fund lifesaving initiatives like spay-and-neuter and
adoption programs. If you'd rather leave a physical gift, the Best
Friends Animal Society is always accepting chew treats, mats, pet beds,
leashes, dog food, harnesses, and poop bags.
There's nothing like the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, and as much as faux tree lovers might disagree, an artificial tree just doesn't compare. So, where does a pet lover acquire a tree in NYC? Well, you could get one at a big-box store, but what's the fun in that? Here are 3 dog-friendly Christmas tree farms around NYC where you can peruse Douglas "furs" with your four-legged pal.
Location: Granite Springs
When: Daily from 10 AM–5 PM
At Stewart's, you can cut your own tree, enjoy fresh baked sweets, snag some local produce and dairy products, and sip on a steaming cup of cocoa. All friendly pets are allowed at Stuart's Farm in Granite Springs, NY, as long as they're leashed and under your control at all times. Your pack will adore this family-owned establishment!
If you live in Albany, you won't want to miss a visit to Majestic Tree Farm! Besides fresh firs, this whimsical farm sells homemade garlands, wreaths, centerpieces, and even mailbox huggies. Leashed dogs are welcome as you select the "pawfect" tree for your den. We recommend stopping by during the weekend, when Majestic Tree Farm offers mulled cider and cookies to shoppers!
When: November 25, 2022–until (closed Mondays)
The Utica area may be a little out of the way, but a trip to Henderberg's Christmas Tree Farm is well worth the drive! This farm has garnered fame for its dyed Christmas trees in years past, but unfortunately, these are unavailable this year — but they're expected back in the 2023 season! While you won't be able to get a neon pink or purple tree, you can get a quality spruce, take a wagon ride, and have your picture made with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer!
The Big Apple is famous for its bright commercial and residential light displays. Here's where to see Christmas lights in NYC with your fluffy BFF.
Location: 83rd and 86th street and 11th to 13th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Dyker Heights looks like the set of a holiday movie, with stunning window displays, timeless white lights, and gorgeous brick homes. Since the early '80s, families have flocked from all over to visit this Brooklyn neighborhood, and a local publication even named Dyker Heights the best street for window displays in all of New York!
Almost the whole neighborhood participates in this long-running tradition, but the best viewing spots are between 83rd and 86th Street and 11th to 13th Avenue. Besides twinkling lights, you'll also see giant nutcrackers, life-size nativity scenes, and Santa's workshop. Don't feel like walking? There are even commercial bus tours! (However, it's unclear whether dogs are allowed on the bus tours — call ahead to check if you're interested.)
Washington Square Park should definitely be on your itinerary for holiday dog walks in NYC. This park has the second longest-running tree-lighting event in the city, barely edged out by Rockefeller Plaza. Your pup will love the open space to walk, sniff, and live out their sugar plum dreams. Make sure you bring your camera for a pack selfie in front of the park's colossal Christmas tree! The best part? Admission is just $25 per car!
Location: 6751 Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool, NY
When: November 14, 2022–January 13, 2022
If it's too cold to walk, consider seeing the lights by car at one of New York's many drive-through light shows. Families go crazy for Lights on the Lake, a Finger Lakes exhibit featuring animatronics, music, elaborate lighted scenes, and more. You must purchase your tickets in advance via the website. Tickets are $10 on weekdays and $20 for weekend visits.
Parades are a great way to get the family in the holiday spirit. While there are many holiday parades in NYC you and your human kiddos can go to, not all parades allow dogs. This Christmas, you don't have to leave your pup at home! Below are "pawsome" dog-friendly parades in the NYC metro area where you can unleash some cheer with your pup by your side.
Location: West Beech St., Long Beach, NY
When: December 10th, 2022, 6 PM
Antique cars and emergency vehicles, all adorned in lights, make this nighttime parade a unique and fun holiday tradition. The best part? Canines are welcome! Grab a cup of hot cocoa and find a curb to sit on as you and Fido greet the season and watch the lights pass!
Location: Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
When: December 18, 2022, 6 PM
If you love music and carolers during the holidays, we recommend the Unsilent Night event at Washington Square Park in New York City. Watch as thousands gather to walk the streets with classic boomboxes accompanying them as they sing Christmas songs. Your pup is welcome to howl along, too — this parade welcomes anyone who wants to sing!
Wishing you a very happy howl-o-day from the Wag! family to yours! We hope this roundup of dog-friendly holiday activities in NYC gives you some ideas to make beautiful new memories with those you love most!
Whether you're bringing your pup along for the adventure or leaving them behind, Wag! has got your pet care needs covered. Download the Wag! app today for walks, drop-ins, pet insurance, and more!
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