There’s no better place to get into the Christmas holiday spirit than New York City! Soak up the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city with its brilliant lights, incredible holiday displays and the seasonal smell of roasting chestnuts. Ahhhh!
Personally, I think the chestnuts smell better than they look, so I just take a sniff, then grab a cup of hot chocolate from a street vendor and start strolling through the streets of midtown for a NYC holiday boost…
Macy’s Herald Square
First stop is Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street, between 7th and Broadway. What better place to do some holiday shopping? It’s ginormous! With eleven floors covering a full city block, this is the largest department store in the world!
It’s also the home to the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Watching the parade live on nationwide television is a family tradition for many, but to see it in person is an event, if you’re brave enough to battle the crowds. Live performances, spectacular costumes, grand floats, marching bands and celebrity appearances mark the parade. As always, the last float will bring Santa. He and his elves will be in Macy’s Santaland from the day after Thanksgiving until December 24th. The 13,000 square foot North Pole Village on the 8th floor is a must see!
Head north on 7th Avenue, between 42nd and 47th Street to Times Square. It’s truly extraordinary. If you’ve never been there, you’ll see what I mean. Larger than life billboards and rolling videos keep this area completely lit 24/7. It’s absolutely over the top! (I can’t begin to imagine the amount of electricity running through here..) Be one of the million to visit Times Square on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year! While you’re here, check out the broadway shows offering discounted show tickets for the day’s performances at the TKTS booth.
From Times Square, head over to 5th Avenue and make your way north to Rockefeller Center. The holiday displays along the way are amazing as each store vies for the best display. You can’t miss Rockefeller Center’s winter wonderland. It’s a vision of holiday cheer, with ice skaters rounding the rink in front of the tremendous Christmas Tree. Visitors come from all over the world to see it. If you’re really lucky, it will start snowing while you’re there. What a beautiful scene. Skate, sing, relax, people watch, enjoy..! The 2015 Tree Lighting will be held on December 2, 2015. The tree will be lit until January 6, 2016.
St. Patricks Cathedral
Need to warm your toes for a few? Right across from Rockefeller Center, you’ll see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Take a quiet walk through this massive, breathtaking church. It is open to all denominations. You’ll find yourself staring in wonder at the prisms of light entering through the magnificent stained glass windows.
A little further north is the entrance to Central Park. You can find a horse drawn carriage to take you through the park at 59th and 7th. Most rides are only through the southeast corner of the park, so it’s not very long, usually about 20 minutes. It’s a great and memorable way to view the park. If you are interested in a longer trip around the park, there are packages available. You can make a reservation at www.centralparkhorses.com.
No holiday trip to NYC is complete without watching a performance of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. The Christmas Spectacular has been a NYC holiday tradition since 1932.
You can find discount tickets to Radio City, as well as several other events, on Living Socials NYC Deals.
Get a Go Card, which allows you to package your own itinerary or the City Pass for $114, admission includes the following six events:
1 Empire State Building Experience
2 American Museum of Natural History
3 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
4 Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum
5 Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
6 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
No matter what you decide to do, a NYC holiday trip is a great way to kick-off the season!! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!