HOW TO SPEND THE HOLIDAYS IN NEW YORK CITY – A SPECTACULAR OUT-OF -A -MOVIE EXPERIENCE!
I love New York all year round, but there’s something about the holiday season that makes the Big Apple even more magical. All the lights and the fuzz turn the city into what feels like a gigantic seasonal movie set! The Christmas spirit is in the (cold) air!
I was always curious of what it would be to experience the holidays in New York, and I would dare to say that it all started when I was a kid and first watched Home Alone, but as a young adult, it was Elf who reinforced the desire to tick this off of my bucket list!
I had an incredible time so naturally came here to share with you all my tips so you can have a wonderful time yourself!
Let’s begin with my number one activity, the highlight of my trip:
THE ROCKETTES – RADIO CITY
When the festive precision dance show finished I was there clapping in the dark with tears running down my face. Yep, it was entirely magical!
“The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular” have been running since the 30’s! That’s how amazing it is. So for starts I recommend you book tickets to see this remarkable show in Radio City Musical Hall. You can find some videos on YouTube to get an idea of what it is like, but of course, don’t expect that to make it real justice!
Pro Tip: All the surrounding area outside is absolutely beautiful and you’ll find many “Insta-worthy” locations. My favourite being the enormous Ornaments (Christmas balls), diagonal to Radio City and right outside Chase Bank.
HOLIDAY WINDOW DISPLAYS
Brands and designers use the window displays in November and December to completely knock it out the park. To finish the year with a huge boom! I’m pretty sure they work all year on these epic pieces. If you love fashion like I do, or simply appreciate creativity, you will be blown away by the extravagant decorations that cover the stores all around the city, especially around the 5th and 6th Avenue area. Everything shines! It’s brilliant! Make sure you have some spare time to stroll around and of course, shop along!
Pro tip: There will be many brand activations. This means brands create events to get you to see their new special products and also to experience their launches. I found out Chanel Beauty had one and I managed to go and have a great time there (and also got some goodies). So keep an eye on social media for your favorite brands in case they announce events like that.
I’d dare to say that the Rockefeller Plaza is the epicenter of New York when it comes to Christmas. The lights are only on from 5:30 pm until 11:30 pm each night.
The seasonal displays in the Channel Gardens are stunning and for that same reason you will find a lot of people trying to capture their best selfie there, but with a little bit of patience you can get a nice photo!
SAK’S FIFTH AVENUE
I was walking around at night and suddenly bumped into a huge crowd of people staring at this magnificent building in a corner (Sak’s department store) the facade is covered on probably millions of lights it plays a stunning light show on repeat. Definitely make a stop there!
CHRISTMAS TREE AND ICE SKATING
There are several ice skating rinks in the city but the most iconic is the one is the Rockefeller Plaza. The decorations are so so beautiful, the rink has a good size and you’ll have the also iconic gigantic Christmas tree, and fountain in the background! It’s usually very crowded and there’s significant waiting lines (unless you get VIP passes), but if you go early in the morning you won’t have to wait too long. After having some fun skating, you can find many options around to sit down and have hot chocolate and any holiday treat! (Look up “Lady M” they have the most delicious desserts, I promise you’ll love it!)
VISIT FAO SCHWARZ
To be honest I ended up there because it was raining and we needed a place to shelter but it ended up being the most fun place to be stuck at! I definitely recommend giving a quick visit to this unique store. What is it? It is basically a high-end toy store. The brand is known by it life-sized stuffed animals, interactive experiences, brand integrations, and games. And although I guess it’s all meant for kids… you, young adult can also have fun!
CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN NEW YORK CITY
There’s plenty of options! Bryant Park, The Union Square Holiday Market and The Columbus Circle Holiday Market I went to all of them! You can find the perfect Christmas gifts in these lovely markets. They have everything you can think of, including beautiful crafts, jewelry, clothing, beauty products from small businesses, etc.
GRAND CENTRAL STATION
Any time of the year is good to visit this special train station (I do it every time I’m in NYC!) there’s some Christmas decorations, nothing crazy but still lovely to see and take some pictures.
Partying in New York can be wild! And if you love dancing and cocktails like me, you can easily find the best clubs to enjoy a night out!
Photos by @legreatwave