Christmas in New York.

There is something special about Christmas but it’s truly magical when you experience it in New York. I have been lucky enough to spend Christmas in New York twice and must say it has been truly magical. It is by far one of the best times to visit the city whether you celebrate Christmas or not. The city is brimming with festivity, dressed in its best and a great time for everyone to enjoy and soak in the spirit of the festive season.

While many other towns across the country and the world may take a bit of a break, New York is never closed. Its is more on a holiday mode then shut-down so if you thinking of seeing closed doors then be rest assured this is not the case.

There are many things to do during the holiday season in this city but if you really want to feel the magic read my little guide to Christmas in New York.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rockefeller Centre –

I couldn’t think of a Christmas in New York without the celebrations around the Rockefeller Centre. There is the large Christmas tree at the foot of the centre along with its famous ice skating rink which is a landmark event in the NYC calendar. The lighting of the tree itself is a major celebration in the city and is normally lit up until at the end of November. There are several ice skating options in New York during the holidays but the one at the Rockefeller Centre is one of the most popular and can get very crowded.

IMG_0452

Window Displays and Stores –

Just after the thanksgiving holidays are over (which takes place in the last Thursday of November) New Yorkers start to get the feel of Christmas through the dreamy holiday window displays of Manhattan and across the country.

Macy’s in Herald Square shows of some of the best windows and the festivity carry on right through the store which inspires onlookers to get into the holiday spirit. The illuminated windows shine brightest at night, but they are as attractive in day light so if you are around the area you cant miss a visit to Macys during Christmas.

Bloomingdales – Another institution which ushers in the holiday season in great style and pomp. They normally partner up with some of the big film releases around the season and the windows reflect these in full glory. There have been instances when Swarovski crystals have been used to embellish outfits and props to make these windows the best the city has to offer.

DSCN0273

Saks Fifth Avenue Saks has always wowed its onlookers with the dazzle of its window displays and store decorations. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs this year it has transformed all the fourteen windows that face Fifth Avenue into scenes from the beloved fairytale. Apart from that Saks put on a great light show on the facade of its building which is a great crowd puller and fun to watch for the entire family.

A walk along Fifth Avenue –

At the heart of Manhattan and home to Tiffany, Trump Tower, Abercrombie & Fitch and the flagship Apple store, Fifth Avenue is a must when visiting New York during Christmas. A walk through the street can keep you occupied for hours with all the trees along the street light up and most shops with offer and decorations.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular – Enjoy an evening with the high-kicking ladies of Rockettes at the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular where they perform their famous “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” as well as a variety of other numbers.

Visit the Skyscrapers –

New York is synonymous with skyscrapers and there is plenty on offer at the lobby of some of the most iconic ones. Visit the famous Empire State and get views of the city. Enjoy the festive decorations at the lobby of the Chrysler building. Have a hot chocolate at the coffee shop of the Trump Tower decorated with a large Christmas tree. Most of the famous buildings in New York have their lobbied basking in glory with the best Christmas decorations.

Central Park

The perfect way to celebrate Christmas in New York would be a visit to the Central Park with the whole family. There is no better place to go ice skating then in the  heart of Central Park at the Wollman Rink, which is open all day and into Christmas night. Home to some of the biggest Christmas block busters like Home Alone Central Park is the perfect place to feel Christmas in New York. Whether it is a quick trip to the Central Park Zoo or simply taking a relaxed walk with your loved one and enjoying the views of this iconic park draped in it’s festive attire this is a must visit place. It could only get more magical if it was a White Christmas.

There are several ice skating options in New York with the most popular ones being at Central Park, Bryant Park and the Rockefeller but you can choose the one that is right for you based on your location. Whilst the famous ones draw huge crowds and can get very busy there are some around the city which are relatively quieter and less pricey.

The Museums are another great place to experience Christmas in New York with decorations and ice skating outside the Natural History Museum. There are some great views from the Natural History museum overlooking the park and if you are lucky like I was you might just get that picture perfect shot with the snow.

Shopping –

You cant go wrong with shopping in New York and the best time to go would be around  Christmas. If you are looking for great bargains then suggest try and visit in the last week of November and make the most of the Black Friday sales. But if its just for that Christmas feel then Bloomingdales, Macy’s and all the big stores are some of the best places to visit even if it is just window-shopping which can be great fun.

There are two shopping outlets quite close to New York and a very popular with tourists all year round. Both Jersey Gardens and Woodbury Common are great places to complete your Christmas shopping. Easily accessible by public transport and can be a full day outing if you are a shopaholic like me.

Times Square Celebration.

The heart of the Big Apple and the biggest party to finish your Year, there is no better place then Times Square to end your Christmas holidays. The New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square is a classic conclusion to ones holiday and one which was on my wish list. Times Square is a great place to visit through the year but with all the festivities around Christmas it only gets better. It’s lively and bustling with locals and tourists late into the night and my favourite place for people watching.

If you want to be part of the New Years Eve celebration then be ready for a long wait on Times Square as you need to take your place in the afternoon. Depending on the weather wrap up warm with several layers but its truly worth it and an experience you can never forget.

Must Do’s

  • Go ice skating at New York’s iconic rink at the Rockefeller Centre.
  • Watch a Christmas movies in NYC (Miracle on 34th Street or Home Alone 2)
  • Window shop at the extravagant window displays on Fifth Avenue.
  • Enjoy the views of a Central Park in the snow if you lucky.
  • Singh along to The Nutcracker, performed by the NYC Ballet since 1954.
  • Explore the festive Hotel Lobbies of NYC.
  • Soak in the atmosphere at the Winter Village at Bryant Park.
  • Indulge yourself in the treats of the famous Magnolia Bakery.
  • Take a ride on the Vintage Subway.
  • Go people watching at the lively Times Square.
  • Capture a view of the iconic NYC skyline from Brooklyn.
  • Envy the gingerbread house at the William Poll on the Upper East Side.
  • Enjoy the miniature New York Landmarks at the Botanical Gardens.
  • Walk the famous Brooklyn bridge.
  • Bring in the New Year with the famous Times Square Ball drop.

Whether you celebrate it or not Christmas in New York is truly Magical and as they say it in the Big Apple.

                        ”Happy Holidays”

Advertisements

48 thoughts on “Christmas in New York.

  1. I can truly imagine appreciate why you used the term ‘magical’ in describing the atmosphere of New York City during the Christmas season. From everything I ever seen and heard, the entire city does such a wonderful job of all working together to celebrate the season and provide the best of Christmas cheer. I really do hope to get there one day to experience that magical time myself.

  2. I’m not a big shopper, which is the only thing that puts me off about visiting NY at Christmas, that a lot of the attraction for many seems to be the Christmas displays and decorations in and around many of the famous stores. But I’d love to do the ice skating and walk around the city when all festive like this!

    • Indeed something to do for everyone. If you not shopping 🛍 then the ice skating will keep you occupied

  3. Inshallah. I shall visit magical New York some day during Christmas. Till then I have your descriptive post to fantasize and experience it with you.

  4. I’ve never actually spent Christmas or NYE in New York, but can imagine it’s full on. The shopping is too tempting for me, because it’s never ending! I enjoy the window displays however, and would like to try the ice skating rinks too. The miniature buildings at the Botanical Gardens sound sweet!

  5. Thanks for sharing! NYC is also amazing in the autumn! It’s hard to have a favorite time to visit because there is something so awesome about each season! But yeah, Xmas in NYC is an amazing experience

  6. New York is beautiful in all seasons. Festive times are always great to visit a city which is full of vibrant life. I loved how streets of New York are dazzled with Christmas lights and brimming with full festive mood. It must be great to see all hotel lobbies are having bejeweled Christmas trees. Thanks for sharing all details about celebrating Christmas in New York.

  7. I absolutely adore the pictures in this post! Christmas in NYC has been something that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I say Home Alone 2. I want to skate in Rockefeller Center, watch the ball drop, and eat all the cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. Everything you described just sounds perfect!

  8. New York City at Christmas is truly magical. I love to see all the trees lit up and window decorations at the stores. I like watching people ice skate (I have weak ankles!) while drinking hot chocolate. This is a perfect time of year to see all those iconic NYC sites – Serendipity is my favorite (though it isn’t really about Christmas). Fabulous suggestions!

  9. Wow! thanks for a sneak peek into New York’s Christmas. The city truly looks magical and that skyline is magnificent. Have seen it in so many movies but I want to see it with my eyes some day. This is a perfect guide. The walk along 5th avenue must be great fun i believe

  10. Your entire post reminded me of every Christmas movie I’ve ever watched haha. So many take place in NYC over the holidays. I dream of going ice skating at Rockefeller center and see all the window displays at the iconic stores. This looks like a magical holiday, indeed.

  11. I went to New York over the Christmas holidays a few years ago and it was such a fantastic experience! All those lights and decorations are truly beautiful and the city is surrounded by a super special atmosphere!

  12. I’ve been to NY before but I’m desperate to visit again at Christmas time, it looks so magical! I love how everything is lit up and all of the decorations in the stores, they really go to town! Love your list of must-dos. For me, The New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square is high on my bucket list!

  13. New York is a special city but Christmas in New York is so very magical. The window displays in all the shops, the lights, the ice skating. Everything is just so festive. Love all the great suggestions I had not thought about exploring all the decorated Hotel lobbies but that is a fabulous idea and also one that is free. Will need to do that next time I am in the city during the holidays.

  14. I have seen the Christmas atmosphere in New York in some of the movies and would agree that it does look magical. Looking at the pictures here, it seems majestic. Good to know that New York is never closed during this time. Saks Fifth Avenue is unique and not seen decoration like this anywhere. I would go with you that Times Square would be a perfect choice to end Christmas holidays or may be .. go on till New Year 🙂 Have been to New York a few times and now definitely would love to see the Christmas in New York when we plan next!

  15. NYC is indeed festive during the holidays! The touristy stuff is fun for sure for a first timer, but I’ve found the smaller Christmas markets to be my favorite thing to check out during the holidays in NYC. I love the overall vibe of the city during the holidays too – everyone tends to be a little happier and more friendly around the holidays. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  16. Amazing!!! I only want to spend my Christmas in NYC and Berlin! You’re so blessed to be there and witness the icy cold NYC and stress-free people on the greatest time of the year! <3 have a great one!

  17. Its always been a goal of mine to see simon doonan’s window displays for Barney’s but i honestly dont think i could take the crowds! Detroit has similar interests for me that are just as captivating, on a smaller scale. Do there still serve hot dogs on the street in December?

  18. I was in New York recently for a week on holiday. It is such a big, busy and wonderfull part of the world. So much to see and do! I would love to see New York at Christmas time.

  19. I remember a friend who wanted to go to NYC during Christmas for skating in Rockefeller Center. Now I know why. It’s not for me, but I would like to stroll in Central Park and yes, like you said, hopefully it snows. Although I’m not into shopping, I will enjoy walking along Fifth Avenue just looking into the decorations and watching light display on Saks Ave will be a wonderful thing to do as well.

Leave a Reply