New York City Travel Guide
What to do in New York at Christmas
There is so much magic in the air in New York City during the holiday season. I have always wanted the chance to feel that magic rather than just seeing it through pictures, television and other’s perception. After experiencing this amazing trip, it’s true that no one does Christmas better than NYC!
One of the resolutions I made with myself when I turned 40 is to start checking off those items on my bucket list. So, a girl’s trip to The Big Apple was definitely in order! It was even more magical than anticipated, because we got to experience their first snow of the season at Christmas time! It was absolutely beautiful and there’s nothing like a trip to NYC to get you in the Christmas spirit, especially with snowflakes falling!
Our Favorite Travel Spots for Christmas in NYC
We were only there for a quick weekend and jam packed everything we could into our short stay! A few of our favorite things that were on our wish list that we loved were:
Rockefeller Center – You must see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree that is larger than life, along with the beautiful ice-skating rink. Go inside The Rockefeller Center and buy tickets to the observatory called The Top of the Rock. You will be able to see all of the city lights and so much magic happening from 850 feet up. Talk about magical! Saks 5th Avenue and Macy’s Windows – Seeing these window display’s and the inside of Macy’s far exceeded our expectations. The attention to detail and the amount of creativity that goes into decorating these windows is just breathtaking. This is certainly a must on your to-do list and something you just can’t miss on a trip to New York during Christmas time! Don’t stop at just these two though! While you are on 5th head to see Barney’s, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf-Goodman, too!Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park – We almost skipped right passed this on our walk to Macy’s, because we were running short on time. I’m so glad my girl Mandy got us to stop, because this was truly remarkable. This open-air village has vendors selling unique items, an ice skating rink, a huge Christmas tree and food kiosks. It’s a great place to stroll around and do some Christmas shopping.The Modern – Thanks to Mandy’s mom and Aunt, they recommended we try The Modern Bar Room at MoMA from the amazing service and food they received during their trip to NY. It overlooks MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden and was absolutely amazing. We loved it so much that we ended up eating there twice! Once for dinner and then for Sunday brunch. I highly recommend grabbing a reservation, and note that gratuity is already included in the price of the entreé on the menu! Shows – There were just so many options and it’s hard to make the decision when choosing a show! We decided on Kinky Boots and Waitress on Broadway. Both were really great, but Kinky Boots delivered a bit more pizazz, along with a very unique and contraversial story line. We were lucky to be there during the month that Jason Mraz was on Broadway for Waitress and even got to snap a selfie with him! He was really funny in Waitress and if you ever get the chance to see him in a show…go! Times Square – You must stop into the Famous Original Ray’s and get a slice of the best NY pizza, stop by the little ornament shop Christmas in New York and get a personalized ornament, eat at Ellen’s Stardust Diner and Lillie’s Victorian Establishment, but make sure you have reservations! If not, it’s a two to three hour wait!
We could have planned a bit better than we did before going, but we wanted this to be a fun and relaxing trip. Sometimes sightseeing can get exhausting and although we planned to not spend all of our visit in Times Square, somehow we neglected all the boroughs this time around! For us, Atlanta girls, this was exactly what we wanted though! Next time, I would like to take Knox and step up the sightseeing to add The World Trade Center Memorial, The Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park. I would certainly plan several weeks in advance and make reservations to restaurants like Dirty French in Ludlow Hotel, Gato and Momofuko, or Estella, and stop in Sant Ambroeus for a decadent cup of hot chocolate and Betony for a cocktail.
I am excited to get off the beaten path my next trip to New York and visit neighborhoods that I haven’t ventured to yet. Thanks to my sweet friend Jessica, who blogs over at Used York City, I now know all the local hangouts and hidden gems in the city! If you’re planning a trip to NYC or are a local looking for new ideas, check out her new book ‘Treat Yo’self in the City’, featuring the best of New York…as used by New Yorkers.
I love Kim’s motto, that “a girl can do it all with a crockpot, lipstick, and a cute pair of heels.” The only thing I’d add to that list? A planner filled with your wish list to-do’s! Don’t put off your bucket list items for “someday”…make that day today. From the simple (try that new coffee shop on the other side of town) to the slightly more petrifying (sign up for a trapeze class). I’m a firm believer that inspiration can be found wherever we look, and life gets infinitely more interesting the more you venture out and use your city, wherever it may be! -Jessica Tiare Bowen, Founder of UsedYorkCity.com
Even though we only scraped the surface of all there is to see and do in New York, we will all be back to do exactly what Jessica encourages! To fill our planner’s with our wish list to-do’s and get out there and venture out to see all of “used” New York and the rest of the world today instead of someday!