Why You Should Visit NYC During the Holidays

Looking for fun, festive things to do during the holiday season?  Well look no further because NYC has got you covered!  From the beautiful sights, to the fun-filled holiday markets and pop-ups, there’s plenty to do and see in the city this time of year.

Upon first glance, you can see NYC has been completely decked out for the season! Stunning ribbons, giant ornaments, grand garlands, and gorgeous holiday décor envelop the streets, buildings, and everything in between.  At night, you can see millions of mesmerizing lights illuminate the city.  Don’t even get me started on the Christmas trees!  From Bryant Park to Rockefeller Center, New York City is bursting with these festive giants. 

Now you may think the city can’t top these holiday embellishments; but brace yourself because Saks 5th Avenue has taken over! Saks 5th Avenue is by far one of the best places to see the extravagant décor of NYC.  Gorgeous lights drape the entirety of this building, creating a beautiful array of twinkling lights, all in preparation for a spectacular show at night consisting of music, beautiful colors, and great fun. This stunning performance is a must-see if you’re in the area this time of year!  Not to mention the gorgeous window displays along 5th Avenue!

In addition, check out Bryant Park, which is booming with holiday spirit! Located in Midtown Manhattan, this park is lined with holiday markets where you can find a plethora of marvels and wonders.  The park is also full of food vendors where you can find everything savory like gourmet soft pretzels, handcraft popcorn, empanadas, dumplings, ramen, lots of cheesy dishes, and all the street food you can imagine, to sweets like churros, donuts, crepes, cookie dough, macaroons, pastries, the well-known Max Brenner chocolate, and so much more!  There’s something to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds and the options are seemingly endless.

Within Bryant Park’s Winter Village are even more attractions to check out. One being The Rink which is a free ice skating rink open to the public.  In addition, Fever-Tree Porch is a free lounge space with a cute restaurant, a full bar, and fire pits to keep you cozy.  Overlook is an observation deck full of games, crafts, and much more, with a great view of The Rink. 

Another great highlight is the Lodge, featuring a plethora of dining options including New York classics; the Lodge Bar, bakeries, coffee shops, Polish cuisine, Tuscan cuisine, a vegetarian restaurant, The Stackery, where you can find the famed chimney cakes, and finally, S’mores N’more by Renegade, where you can build your own s’mores, your own hot chocolate, order giant marshmallows, and buy gift packages for your loved ones!

Right next to Bryant Park is the New York Public Library.  Take a peek inside to witness the festively decorated interior, which compliments the extravagant architecture within.  Now that you’ve browsed the markets, drank lots of hot chocolate, and visited the historic library, you absolutely must visit Central Park!  Complete with the ice skating rinks, top-notch views of Manhattan, horse-drawn carriage rides, a giant carousel, and so much more, this picturesque setting offers the perfect "Instagrammable" moments.

If you’re a big movie buff like me, The Plaza Hotel should be on your bucket list of places to visit!  Embrace your inner Kevin McCallister and live out your childhood dreams!  Speaking of Home Alone, head over to Rockefeller Center to see breathtaking views and find some iconic NYC staples.  Equipped with NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall and their Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes, Top of the Rock, FAO Schwartz, the iconic Ice Rink, and shops and dining galore, Rockefeller Center is the place to be!  Of course, we can’t forget about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, gloriously towering over the ice skating rink (*insert “Heavenly” sound effect*).

Another grand spectacle of the city is Grand Central Station.  Talk about insta-worthy!  This place is buzzing with people, excitement, and energy. The Grand Central Terminal itself is a sight to see, with its astounding ceiling, clock, and light fixtures.  What’s also incredible is the Grand Central Holiday Fair, featuring lots of cute souvenirs, gift ideas, and more!  The food and shopping are also great attractions to experience here.

Now I could go on about the many wonders NYC has to offer during this season, but it’s best to see for yourself!  Instead, I’ll mention a few final places you should add to your bucket list. Rolf’s Restaurant is a German restaurant and bar that more so resembles Santa’s Workshop than a place to eat. Union Square holiday markets and Holiday Fair are other great places to shop, dine, and celebrate. 

At Macy’s Santaland, you can write letters to Santa!  Not only are these letters guaranteed to be delivered to the North Pole, but in addition, for every letter written, one dollar will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation!  Head over to Christmas in Little Italy to find Mrs. Clause Café, a broad variety of gift selections, and even get to see Santa himself!!  Last but not least, be sure to take a stroll through Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to see the most spectacular light display of your life!

All in all, the holidays are a great time to visit NYC.  The city is decked out with beautiful lights and colors, the streets are filled with people everywhere, and the parks are hosting their infamous holiday markets. Not to mention, the FOOD – you’ll never get bored with all there is to see and do here!  Grab your camera and, in the words of Joey Tribbiani, your “Thanksgiving pants” and head on over to the Big Apple for some amazing holiday sights, attractions, food, and more!

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