Everyone has seen the Christmas movies that are set in New York City. The famous Rockefeller Christmas tree, the Rockettes, window displays at the department stores, and all of the decorations around the city are all very well known. New York City at Christmas is iconic, and I always dreamed of experiencing it during the holidays.
A few months ago I decided to make my dream a reality, so I purchased a ticket to New York City in December. I left a few days after Finals finished up for the Fall semester. My sister and boyfriend both joined me on this holiday adventure.
I had been to New York City a few times before, which was helpful since I pretty much knew my way around Midtown Manhattan. We stayed at a hotel a few blocks away from Times Square. Of course, while we were there for three days it was the coldest it had been all December. We were freezing! Nevertheless, we walked around for three days straight. It was nice to stay right in the middle of the city, since it was a close walk to all of the holiday sights we wanted to see.
My sister had never been to New York before, so our first stop was Central Park. It was raining, but we still had a fun time walking around looking at the ponds, as well as the ice rink! The weather started to get pretty gross, so we headed to the Plaza Hotel to try and see the iconic lobby. We weren’t aware that you had to be a guest to get access to the lobby, but at least we got to show my sister the most famous hotel in Manhattan. We spent the rest of the day wandering around Midtown looking at the storefronts, as well as looking for good restaurants.
The second day we were there was the coldest of them all. Luckily, we had tickets to see the Radio City Rockettes. However, it was about a 15-20 minute walk from our hotel to Radio City Music Hall. We braved the cold, and it was totally worth it! Seeing the Rockettes in person at Radio City was one of my bucket list items. They’re amazing dancers when you see them on TV, but even more incredible when you see them in person. The show was spectacular, and it really put me in the holiday spirit.
After the show, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). It’s located about halfway up Central Park, so we decided to take an Uber up there. I had seen TV shows that occasionally took place in and around The Met, but they definitely didn’t do it justice. The museum is massive! We walked around for about two hours and were nowhere close to seeing all of the exhibits. My favorite exhibit was the Egyptian exhibit. I loved seeing ancient art pieces from way back.
The next day we woke up early to go to one of the best bakeries in Manhattan. It is called Magnolia Bakery and they have a location in Rockefeller Plaza. We then headed to the Top of the Rock. I had been to the top of the Empire State Building twice before, so I wanted to see the city from a different viewpoint. Once you’re at the top you can see all of Central Park, which was my favorite part. It was a gorgeous day to be on top of Manhattan, since you could see all of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the boroughs, and New Jersey. We stayed up there for awhile taking in the sights and snapping as many pictures as we could.
Once we were done, we headed down to SoHo. I’d never been to SoHo before, so we walked around the stores down there. It took us awhile to get from Midtown down to SoHo, but it was worth it. It was awesome to see all of the huge retailers flagship locations.
Each night we ended up at Rockefeller Plaza gazing at the Christmas tree. I always used to see it on TV during Christmas specials, but it was so much larger in person. The lights shimmered perfectly in the cold New York air, and the hustle and bustle of the large crowds helped to forget about the cold.
I’ll never forget standing there under the tree, overlooking the ice rink, and watching the light show on the side of Saks 5th Avenue. Christmas in New York was an unforgettable experience, and I encourage everyone to try and make it there at some point during your lifetime!
Until next time,