This weekend, when I posted a photo of the tree at the Rockefeller Center Plaza tree, I was asked what to see during a trip to the city during Christmas. I thought that I would take today to go over some fun things to do during the holiday season!
Rockefeller Center Plaza
This is one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season – I honestly can’t even remember a year when I didn’t see the tree. Sure, it’s crowded over here but it feels like Christmas. Be sure to notice the angel statues, the giant nutcrackers, and the skaters down below. Bonus: If you look down Fifth Ave, you can sneak a peek at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (currently, the exterior is being restored but you can still go inside).
I haven’t done this before, but I do know that skating at Rockefeller Center is not only pricey, but something you’ll have to wait (a while) for. If you’re set on skating, be sure to check out the Citi Pond rink at Bryant Park and Wollman Rink at Central Park. Granted, neither option is particularly cheap but they’re slightly more reasonable.
The Store Windows
What do Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Saks, Bloomingdales, Barneys, and Bergdorf Goodman have in common? Aside from the obvious, they all decorate their store windows! Sometimes it’s just fabulous scenes with beautiful clothes and sometimes it’s a holiday story that will warm your heart. Each year they’re different but they’re always worth seeing. If you’re short on time or just don’t want to wait on line, you can always walk behind the line and peer around the crowd (hey, we’ve all done it!). Also, even though these stores tend to be crowded with the holiday season, this is a great place to use the rest room if you’re out and about.
Right now, you could go dizzy with choices for Holiday shows and if you have the time, I would recommend trying to grab some tickets. There are classics like The Nutcracker (my favorite) and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes or new shows like A Christmas Story and Elf: The Musical. Of course, you could go see any show you want – it doesn’t have to be holiday themed – it’s just fun to take in a show.
The Staten Island Ferry
I know – this is clearly a biased thing to recommend when Joe and I live in Staten Island but I always recommend the Staten Island Ferry to friends coming into the city or coworkers who have recently moved to New York and everyone always loves it. When it’s not a commute, it’s a great ride. Not only is it relaxing, you get great views of the Statue of Liberty (which is currently closed due to Hurricane Sandy) and Ellis Island. If you go to the other side of the boat, there are also great views of Brooklyn.
Take a Walk
Manhattan is filled with so many interesting neighborhoods that it’s fun to just walk around! Each area has its own personality with different shops and restaurants. Thanks to the Health Grades being posted in the window (typically next to the menu), it makes it easy for you to pick a place to eat on a whim. Some of the best restaurants that Joe and I have been to with friends have been the ones we just decide to stop into.
So, those are a few of my favorite things to do and see in Manhattan during the holiday season. Do you guys have recommendations for other holiday activities in Manhattan? Is there something that you love to do each year? Maybe something fun you just discovered?