Winter is coming, and with it all the merry making and gift giving that comes with the closing of the year. Instead of browsing through the Christmas markets in Europe this year, why not try to recreate that memorable New York Christmas you have always dreamed off.
Plan your trip to New York this Christmas with Travelbag, and you might just get that fairy tale Christmas depicted in every romantic comedy ever. Think Serendipity, think When Harry Met Sally, think gigantic Christmas tree, and ushering in the New Year in New York.
The towering Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre Plaza draws thousands of crowds each year, hoping to catch a glimpse of the yearly attraction. The tree is more than 70 years old and boasts 30,000 lights. Fight the crowds if you will, and see as the lights reflect off the golden Prometheus statue nearby. Lights go off half an hour before midnight through Christmas, and 9pm up till New Year’s Eve – when the countdown takes centre stage.
Another movie staple is the Bryant Park ice skate rink, where locals and tourists alike take skating lessons or watch others skate under the snow from nearby eatery Celsius. The rink – coming in at 170-foot-by-100-foot – features skating shows, special events and activities for that nostalgic Christmassy feel.
Whether it’s window-shopping or plain nosiness, be sure to stroll down Fifth Avenue as retailers and offices alike compete in the annual game of one-upmanship with elaborate window displays. Large New York names like Bloomingdales and Macy’s plan their Christmas displays months in advance, some telling stories, or echoing certain feelings shoppers might share. Outside of Fifth Avenue, home-grown eateries like Little Italy and Serendipity make lighting the centre point of their decorative flair.
Toy store giant FAO Schwarz’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue is renowned for its floor piano, where visitors can play tunes by stepping on the massive piano keys. Macy’s Santa land is an elaborate yearly affair, with Santa receiving wishes and lines of Christmas trees, elves, toy trains and snow-filled scenes.
Whatever your religious persuasion, be sure to catch a holiday show, or see regular attractions in the Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Garden in the Bronx, featuring a quarter-mile toy train track passing miniature New York buildings; or the Christmas Spectacular show held at Radio City Music Hall.
This post sponsored by Travelbag.