Christmas in New York is a dream for so many, which is why we’ve chosen it as our travel spotlight this month. It is the most wonderful time of the year, and a very special time to be in New York City. There is so much to do and see…exciting shows, places to visit, shopping and decorations all over the city. If you enjoy Christmas and everything that comes along with it, New York is the place to be! The winter weather in NYC is cold, but if you don’t mind layering up in plenty of warm clothes and jackets, it is a great time to visit. There’s simply nothing better than celebrating Christmas in the city that never sleeps!
The highlight during Christmas in New York is the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. It’s truly something that you can’t miss, and during the holiday season it is THE most photographed thing in the city. Each year the Norway Spruce tree, which has grown for over 90 years, arrives in NYC from various towns in New York and Pennsylvania. The famous tree is typically around 85 feet tall, has over 50,000 LED lights and boasts a tree topper that is made from 25,000 real Swarovski crystals. The Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, and once lit, remains on until early January. On average, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center receives nearly 500,000 visitors each day, making it the highlight for tourists all over the world.
Another huge attraction during Christmas time in New York is ice skating. The most famous rinks are the ones in Bryant Park, the Rink at Rockefeller Center which has the Christmas Tree in the backdrop, and the famous Wollman Rink in Central Park. Speaking of Central Park…it’s always a great destination to visit, no matter what the season. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the already beautiful, peaceful and magical park covered in snow.
After you’ve seen the tree and done some skating, you’ll want to be sure and take a stroll through the streets of New York to see the holiday window displays and do some shopping. The entire city is decorated with wreaths, bright lights and holiday signs. New York City is home to Fifth Avenue, one of the most famous streets for shopping in the world. Calvin Klein, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana have flagship stores there, as well as less expensive brands such as Hollister, Adidas, Apple and Abercrombie & Fitch. Other must-see shopping areas include the Shops at Columbus Circle, SoHo, the Meatpacking District and Herald Square.
Finally, no Christmas in New York trip is complete without tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. A true NYC Christmas classic show, it features over 140 dancers who perform for 90 minutes on a unique stage set in sparkling costumes. The stars of the show are Santa Claus and his elves – “The Rockettes”. With the reputation of being the one of the best dance groups in the world, The Rockettes perform perfectly and flawlessly. The popular show features up to five performances per day, but the shows do sell out relatively quickly. Ticket costs range from $50-$400 – and the good news is that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.
The Big Apple has plenty going on during the holiday season and can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the city. It is highly recommended that you book a tour to completely zone in on the Christmas atmosphere. And if you’re fortunate enough to be in the city that never sleeps on Christmas Day, there is no reason to stay in. Many of the restaurants, broadway shows and main attractions are open for your enjoyment.