Cartier in NYC

Top 5 Things to do In NYC at the Holidays

NYC knows how to do the holidays right. There’s no place else I’d rather be. I know there’s a ton to do and see here, but at the holidays, there are certain things I have to do or it doesn’t feel like December. I’ve selected 5 of my top things to do for you and you better hurry! Some end pretty soon.

Cartier in NYC

Number 1: Nostalgia Subway Ride

First up is the Holiday Nostalgia Rides on old school subways from the 1930s to the 1970s. I did this a few years ago and it was pretty neat. Some people decide to dress up in clothes from eras gone by. It’s something to do maybe once or twice. You definitely want to check out this page to find out when it’s running (Sundays – the 22nd and 29th are the only ones left) and at what stop you’ll want to board.

NYC Subway

Number 2: 30 Rock Tree & Lightshow

You know how every year they have a televised special dedicated to the lighting of the Christmas tree in NYC? For those of you who don’t know, it takes place at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This place gets mobbed the entire holiday season, but it’s part of the fun! I mean, this is where Kevin’s mom finally finds him in Home Alone 2. One thing I didn’t know till I went – there’s a light show that goes on at Sak’s 5th Avenue across the street daily starting at about 4:35pm to 11:35pm, every 10 minutes.

Number 3: Holiday Windows

This leads us quite nicely into our next grouping… Holiday Windows! Growing up in suburbs of Chicago, we would go down to the city to see the windows at Marshall Fields (now Macy’s). It was such a great tradition. Guess what, NYC has a number of department stores that do window displays for the holidays. Some are downright weird and you wonder how the heck they are holiday themed, but that’s part of the fun.

Bergdorf Goodman754 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Bloomingdales1000 Third Avenue 59th Street, New York, NY 10022
Saks Fifth Avenue611 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022
Macy’s151 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

Number 4: Ice Skating

The number one thing I remember from being a kid in NYC at Christmas time was seeing the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. There was something so magical about it. This rink in the middle of a giant city and it was down low, so all the other people could look down and see you skating. That’s also the rink that’s the most packed! Luckily there are a number of rinks in the city. In fact, according to this Time Out post, there are way more choices than I thought! My top three are:

  • The Rink at Rockefeller Center
  • Bank of America Winter Village At Bryant Park – the only free admission rink
  • Wollman Rink in Central Park – this is the rink from the movie “Serendipity.” It’s also cheaper than Rockefeller Center’s ice rink.
Winter Village, Bryant Park

Number 5: Holiday Markets

Last up are the holiday markets. I think these are fun to walk through and maybe buy some food. The stalls tend to have the same sort of stuff for sale, and a lot of jewelry, but if you’re into that, this is your mecca! I didn’t realize there were so many holiday markets in NYC, but this post set me straight. My faves are the ones at Bryant Park (in little huts near the ice rink), 14th Street Union Square, and the one in Grand Central Terminal. I also think it’s fun to see Grand Central all decked out for the holidays as well.

Holiday Market, Grand Central Station

There you have it, my top 5 things to do in NYC during the holidays. I would love to hear what you like to do in the city for the holidays. Or even what you do in your city for the holidays!

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