Christmas in New York City
There is nothing quite as magical as New York City during the holidays. With the magnificent lights, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the glitzy store displays, and Christmas cheer in the air, it is an overall amazing experience to celebrate in the city. Check out my top sights and activities to make the most of your holiday weekend in New York City.
ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND TREE
My recommendation for the best view of the tree is to go early in the morning. We walked around Rockefeller center at about 9am and had tons of space to take pictures and see all the decorations. Of course the downside of this is that you don’t get to see it all lit up, but you also avoid getting stuck in a mob of people that could take you an hour to escape (true story). I’ve never ice skated because the wait is always long and the rink is so crowded that it doesn’t seem worth it to me.
BRYANT PARK WINTER VILLAGE
One of my favorite parts of winter in the City is the Bryant Park Winter Village. Grab a hot cocoa and browse the holiday shops built up around the ice skating rink. I bought a candle and a cutting board from local vendors as gifts for my friends back home. The ice rink opens on Oct. 31st and goes through March 5th, and the holiday shops open on Oct 31st and go through Jan 5th. There are also tons of events that are hosted here so check out the website to see if there is anything fun happening during your trip!
RADIO CITY ROCKETTES
A New York City classic, the Radio City Rockettes is a fantastic show to get you in the holiday spirit! With multiple shows a day, you’re bound to find one that fits into your schedule. Not only are the Rockettes extremely talented dancers and performers, but the whole show is a magical holiday experience. It is also a treat to go inside Radio City Music Hall and see the famous venue all decorated for Christmas.
All of New York City is dressed up for the holidays, and Central Park is no exception. Check out the multiple Christmas trees and ice skating rinks around the park. You could also take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snowy winter wonderland.
DEPARTMENT STORE DISPLAYS
The sparkling department store window displays are a sight you can’t miss during the holidays. With Macy’s starting this tradition back in the 1870s, many NYC retailers have taken up the trend of creating dazzling displays to impress holiday shoppers. One of the more popular displays is Saks Fifth Avenue because of the impressive light show on the facade of the building.
The most popular Christmas bar that I’ve seen is Rolf’s in Gramercy Park. We showed up at 11am and there was already a 45 minute wait to just get in the door. We decided to pass on Rolf’s and go to Paddy Maguire’s Ale House just down the street. This bar was also full of fun Christmas decorations and was far less crowded. You will find that most bars have some kind of Christmas theme so you just have to look around for the vibe you want.