Holidays in New York City

The holiday season is in full swing here in New York City.  Even though it is warm and sunny and hardly seems like December, the city is glittering with hundreds of lights, decorations, and elaborate set pieces in the department store windows.  Some classics are back , including the giant Nutcrackers and ornaments on Sixth Avenue, as well as the snow covered Christmas tree decorated with bird “ornaments” at the New York Public Library.  The department store windows are all new and spectacular, and the Empire State Building will sparkle even more, thanks to its new LED lighting system!

The annual Holiday Train Show is open at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx; it is only a quick ride on Metro-North, and well worth the trip.  The Rockettes are celebrating 85 years of the annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, and if you have never seen it, try to go this year–you won’t regret it!  (Discount tickets are often available online.)  Three different ice skating rinks in Manhattan alone can provide a classic New York holiday moment: The Rink at Rockefeller Center is surely the most famous, but don’t forget Wollman Rink in Central Park, and Citi Pond in Bryant Park, right behind the New York Public Library (free admission!).

Shopping is at the heart of the New York City holiday experience, so try to stop by the various holiday markets that appear all over the city — in Bryant Park and Central Park, from Grand Central Terminal to Union Square, out to Fort Greene, Brooklyn.  You can browse seemingly endless stands filled with unique gift ideas that will be sure to please even the most selective of Secret Santas, or eclectic holiday grab bags.  Of course shopping in New York also means a walk down Fifth Avenue or up Madison to admire the great department store windows at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Ave., Lord and Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, and Macy’s.  Macy’s is also home to “Santaland” where you can take that iconic picture with Santa Claus.

Finally, don’t forget the neediest among us, as we prepare to celebrate the season.  A great New York tradition is the New York Cares Annual Coat Drive which is trying to collect over 200,000 coats this year to provide warmth to those who are still in need after hurricane Sandy.  Operation Santa Claus is also a great charity that lets everyone play Santa by answering ‘Dear Santa” letters from local kids with a Christmas wish.

Enjoy the slideshow with images from past holidays in New York City, and don’t forget to contact us for your personalized holiday tour in the Big Apple!

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