“I passed through the seven layers of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.”
Spending the Holidays in the city can be some of the best memories. The very first Christmas Jmo and I spent together was in the city. Exploring Central Park on Christmas Eve, getting last minute gifts at Duane Reade, and ice skating on Christmas Day were some of the best memories I have ever had in the city.
There is something truly magical about being in New York during the Holiday season. Today, I am sharing down below my favorite places to visit in the city to get yourself in the Holiday spirit.
Bank of America Winter Village: Located in Bryant Park this is one of my favorite places in the city during the holidays. Filled with the best markets, ice skating, and a Christmas tree, it really is a one-stop Christmas experience.
Union Square Holiday Market: A Holiday market filled with unique items, many of which are locally made. It is located in Union Square, so if you are spending any time in the area be sure to stop by.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market: I have always loved Columbus Circle, possibly because it is home to my favorite restaurant (The Porter House) and located at the corner of Central Park. But the addition of a Holiday market during the season makes it even more perfect.
Hotels to Admire
The Plaza: Holiday decorations are in full swing once the season gets started around Thanksgiving and The Plaza always has the most glorious decor inside and out of the hotel.
Lotte New York Palace Hotel: Possibly my personal favorite. Not only is this Gossip Girl location one of the best hotels it happens to have the most beautiful Christmas tree that you can’t miss. And if you are lucky there will be an amazing Gingerbread replica of the Palace Hotel inside the lobby.
Hotel Plaza Athenee: A recent discovery and by complete accident. After taking pictures last year we came across this dreamy hotel with some amazing holiday sparkle.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center: The first rink I ever visited in the city over seven years ago. The view of the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree while you skate is dreamy. I highly recommend going at least once.
Bryant Park Rink: Memories of Christmas Day make this skating rink special to me. I would say this is by far the most crowded rink out of the three but I love it.
Wollman Rink at Central Park: Who doesn’t want to skate in Central Park. Surrounded by buildings and trees it really is a beautiful experience.
Holiday Store Windows
Macy’s: Macy’s always has fun store windows. Sunny the Snowpal is the main attraction this year as she and her friends help Santa on Christmas Eve. Not only is she the star of the windows she will also star as a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy’s is located at 151 W. 34th Street.
Bergdorf Goodman: Fashion rules Bergdorfs and the statement is true for their holiday windows as well. This year the windows and store are filled with beautiful #BergdorfGoodies. Bergdorfs exclusive Laduree macaron is back and located on the 4th floor, the Flour Shop pop-up is located on the 5th floor, and the BG Holiday Shop is located on the 7th floor. It is all the sweets at 754 Fifth Avenue.
Saks Fifth Avenue: TONIGHT (November 19 at 7pm) the unveiling of not only the store windows but the BEST LIGHT SHOW ever will occur. The theme this year is called ‘Theater of Dreams’ which is all about the beauty of Broadway. Be sure to stop by any night from 5pm-11pm, as the light show goes off every 10 minutes at 611 Fifth Avenue.
Bloomingdale’s: A new Grinch movie is out and what better theme is there than a Grinch themed window display? Bloomingdale’s chose to be creative and incorporate fashion and the Grinch in a fun whoville way. The windows are located at the 1000 Third Avenue location.
Tiffany & Co: Little blue boxes and a whole lot of Holiday vibes are easy to find at the Fifth Avenue Tiffany’s. Have breakfast at The Blue Blue Box Cafe, explore all the fun holiday decorations, and maybe even add some presents for under your tree.
Rolf’s: Looking for all the decorations you could dream of? Well…take a trip to German restaurant Rolf’s and get the full Holiday decoration experience. Check them out on Instagram to see what I am talking about. It’s simply amazing.
FAO Schwarz: Honestly I haven’t been to the fun toy store in years since it closed its NYC doors in July 2015 but fortunately for us they have reopened in Rockefeller Plaza. Even if you aren’t a kid, a visit to FAO Schwarz is a must.
Rockefeller Center Tree: One of the most iconic Holiday trees in the country and featured in your favorite movies and television shows. This year the tree is from Wallkill, NY and it stands 72-feet tall. Tree lighting will happen on November 28th at 7pm and stay up until January 7, 2019. It is the perfect photo opportunity and it is absolutely magical.
The Nutcracker Ballet: What is Christmas without seeing the ballet? George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker opens on November 23rd and is a must see when in New York during the holidays.
The Christmas Spectacular: Honestly there is nothing more New York during the holidays than seeing The Radio City Rockettes in the Christmas Spectacular. Young or old, this is fun show that you have to see at least once.
The Upper East Side: I love the upper east side, whether it is Christmas or the middle of June this is one of my favorite places to wonder aimlessly. Filled with beautiful stores, buildings, and brownstones you really can just get lot in the magic. Find some of my favorite holiday excitement from 63rd Street to 80th Street but be sure to split your time between Madison Avenue, Park Avenue, and Lexington Avenue.
Talking about all the best Holiday experiences has me wishing I was spending the holidays in the city. Nothing is more special than spending your favorite holiday in your favorite city. Maybe next year? Or maybe this year if I can somehow convince Jmo that is a great idea. Wish me luck!
If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays in the city, have all the fun and enjoy all the magical moments. I promise you will love it more than you ever imagined.
Photos by: Kelsey Crawford; emariegraphy.com