Christmas is, without a doubt, the most wonderful time of the year and what better place to spend the holiday season than in The Big Apple itself, New York City? Whether you want to shop ‘til you drop, strap on some skates or simply want to enjoy the festivities, here are some tips on making your New York Christmas holiday as magical as it can be.
The Rockefeller Center is the most popular place for ice skating at Christmas and you’ll probably recognise it as it’s been in many films and television shows. The rink is the place to go if you want to show off your moves, as you’ll have hundreds of people watching on from the sides who’ve come to see the huge tree and decorations.
If, like me, you’re more like Bambi on ice, the Wolloman Rink in Central Park is a good place to start. The rink is a lot bigger so you’ve got more room to practice and the queues tend to be smaller. Plus, what could be better than ice skating among the natural beauty of Central Park?
In my opinion, the best way to see the city’s holiday lights is on a hop-on bus tour. As you’re on an open-top bus, there are no crowds blocking your view so you can get some pretty amazing pictures of the city all lit up. You’ll also learn about the history behind them from a knowledgeable guide, whilst saving your legs from the walk.
If you want to see bold, bright and over-the-top displays, you need to venture out of Midtown, down to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. All the houses in the neighbourhood compete to have the best and most impressive displays and they include everything from chimneys with giant inflatable Santas coming out of the top, to lawns filled with herds of LED reindeer.
You can’t visit New York without a shopping spree on 5th Avenue; it’s full of designer shops where you can get those all-important last minute Christmas presents. You’ll also want to check out Macy’s and Bloomingdales department stores; they’re the best place to bag a bargain as they always have discounts in the lead up to Christmas. If you’re looking for more personal gifts, head for Union Square Holiday Market. You’ll find all sorts from knick-knack stocking fillers to handcrafted Christmas tree decorations.
Whilst you’re out and about browsing the shops, be sure to stop and admire the window displays; they’re a big deal in the States. Every shop wants to be bigger and better than the other so they put a lot of time and effort into creating magical displays filled with just about everything to do with Christmas.
See a show
Seeing The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City has to be on the top of your Christmas in New York to-do list, it’s certainly on top of mine. It’s the best Christmas-themed show in town with live music, singing, dancing and even ice skating. With the help of tap dancing reindeer, a flying Santa and a parade of dancing wooden soldiers, the whole family will soon be in the Christmas spirit. If you like to keep things a bit more traditional, take a visit to the New York City Ballet for a performance of the Nutcracker. Every year around Christmas time, they put on performances of the iconic ballet with their own choreography.
Have you been to New York at Christmas? Let me know your favourite thing about The Big Apple in the comments below.