As much as I hate the Winter and I’m always down for a getaway, there’s nothing like spending the holidays in my hometown NYC. If you plan on visiting the Big Apple this month, here are just a few things that will help you get you in the holiday spirit.
Watch a Show
See some of the many shows on Broadway or seasonal favorites like The Nutcracker, Elf the Musical, or the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Although it’s not holiday-themed, I try my best to go see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at City Center. It’s a great show showcasing new choreography and Ailey Classics. This year, they’ll be honoring my FAVORITE DANCER EVER Judith Jamison, and including the production Cry.
In addition to the free ice skating rinks across the boroughs, you can go to Bryant Park, Rockefeller Plaza or Wollman Rink in Central Park. For some of these rinks, admission is free, but you need to rent skates and lockers for storage. As a child and an adult, I’ve always had a great time at Wollman Rink.
Attend Holiday Events
The biggest and best ceremonies are in NYC. See the tree at Rockefeller Plaza or go to Times Square to watch the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve. Another favorite is the Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. You can get a list of free and low-cost events on the NYC Parks website.
Support small businesses and shop the Holiday Markets. The most popular is in Bryant Park’s Winter Village. There are also shops in Union Square, Columbus Circle, The Garment District, and Bowling Green. You can get stocking stuffers and tree ornaments for yourself or gifts for friends and family. Head over to the largest department store in the world Macy’s Herald Square. For easier access, make a reservation online to visit Santaland and get a picture with Santa.
And Window Shop
Since interning (and then working) on 5th Avenue, I always loved walking down the strip to see the window displays. My personal favorites in the area are Louis Vuitton, Saks 5th Avenue, Fendi, Cartier and Bloomingdale’s (The flagship on 59th St and Lexington Ave).