What To Do In New York During Christmastime!

city-guideIf you guys caught yesterday’s post, you know that my parents were in town during the week of Christmas. It was a ton of fun – we ran around the city trying to fit in as many festive things as possible, so I thought it would be fun to share what we did! Because even though Christmas is over, it’s never too late to start planning your next holiday trip to the Big Apple, right?!

Where to go in New York during Christmastime…

Rockefeller Center Treechristmas-in-new-york-city-rockefeller-christmas-treeBe ready for large crowds but just wiggle your way through and try and stand by the northeast corner of the tree just above the ice skating rink. You should be able to see Saks Fifth Avenue through there and every evening they put on musical light show against the building! (Check it out here.)christmas-in-new-york-city-saks-5th-ave-light-show

The Radio City Rocketteschristmas-in-new-york-city-radio-city-music-hallThis was my first time going since 2004 and it was so magical. If you are taking the subway there, just be ready to be stuck for a bit in a crazy crowds right at 50th street, which is a combination of tree traffic as well as just general holiday busyness. One quick tip, if you have tickets already, they are going to usher you over to 51st street so you’re best bet is to try and get off at a subway stop that is a few blocks up, like 53rd and 7th ave and walk down and over, which help avoid the mobs of people.christmas-in-new-york-city-the-rocketteschristmas-in-new-york-city-radio-city-music-hall-rocketteschristmas-in-new-york-city-the-rockettes-2

Ice skating

Bryant Park, Wollman Rink at Central Park, Rockefeller Centerchristmas-in-new-york-city-bryant-park-ice-skatingBryant Park is the only free rink in the city so if you have skates you are good to go! If not, you can easily rent a pair, just be prepared for a bit of a wait. Each rink has a different feel but is just as magical. I’ve had the privilege to skate at each one, so just decide which backdrop it is that you want and go for a spin on the ice!

Christmas Markets

Union Square, Bryant Park, Columbus Circlecolumbus-circle-holiday-market(photo)

I love the Christmas markets because there is a mix of food as well as eclectic gifts and independent designers tucked around every corner. They are really fun to go to at night since they are all lit up and you can shop with a hot cup of hot cider in hand.

Central Parkchristmas-in-new-york-city-central-parkI would suggest starting out at the bottom of the park at 59th/60th street on either the west or east side and walking in because you’ll pass the ice skaters, walk by Bow Bridge, the Carousel and The Loeb Boathouse. If the weather is decent, the views and scenery are incredible.christmas-in-new-york-city-central-park-the-beresford

The Shops at Columbus Circlechristmas-in-new-york-city-columbus-circle-jpgNot only is there great shopping here, there is a snowflake light show that takes place and you can head up to the second floor and look out over Columbus Circle and the park while it happens. During the day, the view outside is pretty incredible and at night, the lighting is really festive.

Fifth Avenuechristmas-in-new-york-city-5th-ave-lightsNavigating through 5th ave is an activity and skill in itself – it’s incredibly hectic and crowded but if you can just ebb and flow with everyone else and take in as much as you can while doing so, it’s pretty magical. My favorite is the big snowflake that hangs in the middle of the street across from Tiffany & Co. The Bergdorf Goodman windows are so impressive, so make sure to stop and take a look.

Rolf’sdscn0486Rolf’s is a German restaurant located in Gramercy Park that is known for their crazy decorations and the fact that they keep them up until May. I had never been before but my parents and I wanted to try it out and see what the hype was all about. There was a slight wait even at 2:45 on a Wednesday, but the line moved quickly. I recommend getting there right when they open at 12 and try and get a table. But if all you have time for is a drink, it’s definitely worth checking out for a hot toddy or Christmas cocktail.

St Patrick’s Cathedralchristmas-in-new-york-city-st-patricks-cathedral2In all my years in New York, I had never been inside this incredible church and it definitely didn’t disappoint! Take a minute to just stare at the amazing and intricate details inside this magnificent structure. It blew me away.christmas-in-new-york-city-st-patricks-cathedral3christmas-in-new-york-city-st-patricks-cathedral

The Peninsula Hotel
christmas-in-new-york-city-the-pennisula-hotelI love slipping inside the fancy hotels along 5th ave because they are all so beautifully decorated and give you some reprieve from the crazy crowds outside. This is a gingerbread house replica of The Peninsula Hotel!

The Plazachristmas-in-new-york-city-the-plazaThe Plaza is a New York staple and gets really decked out at Christmastime. You can have afternoon tea inside, grab a bite to eat in the food hall, or just pop in quickly to check out the tree!

Also cozy drink suggestions: Fireplace Drinks or mulled wine at Spotted Pig!


Happy (almost) New Year, everyone! I just wanted to take a second to thank you all so much for reading, whether you check in daily or every now and again. It’s great to have you here!

Cheers to having a fabulous year in 2017! xo

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