Don’t be home alone this Christmas and join the millions who come to New York each Christmas to experience Christmas New York style. Big, bold and super friendly (ignore the unfair reputation of New Yorkers being rude). It is a city that will embrace you and fill you with Christmas cheer.
New York is famous for the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, but there’s one structure at Christmas that is as almost as famous. The Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre in midtown Manhattan. For over 75 years, it has delighted crowds and for many, its lighting ceremony marks the start of the Holiday season.
While at the Rockefeller Centre, do some skating boots and take to the ice for a magical time in one of the most romantic activities in New York. Although, if you want to save some money for shopping (it is New York, after all) head instead to the equally fun and free Bryant Park which is also home to the Bank of America Winter Village. Here you will find entertainers, storytellers and even festive fitness classes.
Another enchanting New York Christmas experience is a horse and carriage ride in Central Park Take a gentle sixty minute ride through Manhattan as New Yorkers hustle and the New York skyline sparkles while your carriage operator narrates your tour. Prices average around $200 for a party of four adults.
Like Melbourne, New York has a famous and wonderful community driven Christmas Lights display at Dyker Heights with 11th to 13th Avenues hosting the best of the displays. The one hour travel time by public transport from Times Square is worth it to see the exquisite decorations adorning these homes and gardens.
Visit Saks and Macys. Not simply to shop, but to witness how New York does Christmas window displays with both stores putting on a festive extravaganza with light shows and themed displays that very few cities can match.
A Christmas visit to New York is not complete unless you take in a live Christmas Show with two of the best being the New York City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” and the Radio City Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. The latter features over 140 performers , original music and some high kicking dancers and has been thrilling audiences since 1933.
“The Nutcracker” performed by the New York City Ballet is a seasonal classic. From the opening Overture, Tchaikovsky’s music will leave you spellbound while the grace, strength and elegance of the ballet dancers will enthral you. Make sure to book in advance.
Where to stay in New York
Below are our top picked properties for the stay in New York this Christmas
Lotte New York Palace
Located in the center of New York City in midtown on 50th and Madison Avenue, the hotel is walking distance to some of the city’s best restaurants, attractions, shopping and cultural institutions, including Radio City Musical Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, and is all decked out for the holidays.
The Plaza Hotel is a New York icon, made even more famous by Christmas movie Home Alone 2 (Lost in New York), is the go-to festive destination for many a visitor to Manhattan. The team at the Plaza work overnight on Thanksgiving to decorate the hotel and have guests wake up in the morning to a festive surprise. During the holidays, this grand New York hotel is brought to life with festive, yet elegant decorations and seasonal cheer.
Right in the heart of the Meatpacking District, close to Chelsea Market and the High Line Park, Dream Downtown places you in a great position to enjoy the finest of festive New York
The Standard East Village
For the past few years The Standard, East Village has transformed its year-round garden into a winter wonderland from late November through to the following March. The hotel also host a Christmas tree market with Fraser firs provided by Williamsburg’s Crest Hardware.
The Peninsula New York
With its great location, close to shopping, sightseeing, and shows this hotel is a fantastic base for your Christmas trip.