The department has sent a letter to bar owners from Midtown to Chelsea, asking them not to serve people dressed as Kris Kringle during next month's annual SantaCon bar crawl.
The letter says that drunk participants overwhelm sidewalks and terrorize neighborhoods.
A number of bars have already promised to comply.
The NYPD says it has zero tolerance for an annual holiday tradition.
Lieutenant John Cocchi, of the Midtown North Precinct, says "having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood."
Cocchi says the negative impact of the charity bar crawl "will far outweigh the short-term benefit."
However, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says he has no problem with the event.
"This is an event we support. It's what makes New York, New York. There has been some rowdy activity by a small handful of people," Kelly said.
The event website offers a code for participants to follow, including not drinking "more than Santa can handle."
SantaCon will be held on December 14 this year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)