I know, it’s the most wonderful time of the year…or perhaps it’s not, but you are already planning your trip to experience the best of NYC in December. So here I am again with another top 10 but this time with my favorite Christmas experiences in NYC! Make sure to follow me on instagram and let me know which one is your favorite! You can follow me at @marthasachser and @blognyandabout!
I’m obsessed with Christmas in NYC it’s my favorite time of the year even though I’ve been living here for almost 10 years, it never gets old and I hope these tips can help you make the best of your time here!
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See the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
This is a NYC classic, locals and tourists add the show to their Christmas list every year and for a reason! The famous Rockettes take the stage and transport you along with nutcrackers and Santa himself to a land of magic and… New York City! You can get your tickets online HERE or at the Radio City Music Hall!
See the Christmas lights in Brooklyn!
Dyker Heights became one of the most popular destinations in NYC for Christmas enthusiasts! The now very popular neighborhood in Brooklyn gets super busy in December, but with crowds arriving as early as the day after Thanksgiving! But usually by December 15th is when all the houses participating of this Christmas show are fully decorated and they usually keep them up until January 6. How to get there? There are some tour companies offering daily tours departing from Manhattan but if you have time and the day isn’t too cold – and you feel like walking, put on the GPS “Dyker Heights Christmas Lights” to go by car or you can take the subway line D (to 71st Street) or R (to 86th Street) and from there you can walk for about one mile or take the X28 bus. The subway stations are not so close to Manhattan, that’s why the tours became super popular.
Go on a dinner cruise
Baby it’s cold outside, but it’s warm and cozy inside one of the many dinner cruises that sails through the rivers and views of Manhattan all year long. There are lunch, brunch and dinner options but I recommend the last one, New York is breathtaking at night and at sunset (well, if you’re lucky to be here on a sunny winter day, of course!)! Some of them are more casual with DJ and some more formal with a band playing live music! Here are some pics of my last dinner experience and you can book yours HERE!
Watch the Brooklyn Tabernacle Christmas Celebration
The Harlem gospel choirs of NYC are famous worldwide but Brooklyn Tabernacle is getting more and more popular. Every year they perform their special Christmas Celebration with a play filled with music and worship. If you are interested, make sure to stop by and for more info and schedule, check the official website HERE! Address: 17 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201,
Window shopping at Macy’s and 5th Avenue
It takes one step outside to see that Christmas decoration is a serious business in NYC and department stores work hard every year to create the most creative and magical windows that guarantee a night of entertainment for the entire family! My favorites are Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Saks 5th Avenue. If you are wondering what it looks like, make sure to follow me on instagram (@marthasachser) cuz I’m always sharing more of Christmas in NYC in real time!
Have fun at SantaCon
Santa Con is one of the funniest days of the year. It usually takes place on the streets of Manhattan on the second Saturday of December. And it is basically what the picture below is telling you: people dressed up as Santa walking around or pub crawling in the city, grabbing people’s attention, posing for photos and acting silly. Some people also dress up as elves or reindeers and it is overall a fun event! Learn more HERE!
Have a photoshoot
Photo sessions are one of the best investments of your trip! No worrying if everyone is in the same photo, if the photo will come out good or if a crazy person will grab your camera and go (or even drop it)… Photo sessions are the best gift you can give yourself or a loved one to remember their days in NYC! And you can book your session with yours truly by checking my website here: www.marthasachserphtography.com. Seriously, follow me on instagram (@marthasachser) for some beautiful NYC locations that will inspire you to have your moments in the city captured!
Watch the Nutcracker at New York City Ballet
Another Christmas classic, Licoln Center is the stage for this beautiful performance by the New York City Ballet. Tickets aren’t the cheapest (U$85 to U$180) but you can try to find better deals. Try to arrive earlier to get in the mood and not disturb the audience (it is pretty quiet during the performance). For more information and schedule, click HERE!
Enjoy all the main NYC attractions for the best price
If you wanna save time, I recommend getting CityPASS to skip ticket lines and save money on the main attractions. There are also other passes available that include way more attractions and tours such as FLEX Sightseeing PASS, NYC Explorer PASS and the New York PASS, which are some of the favorites.
Try the classic flavors of the season
I know it is kind of obvious but a trip is not complete without trying some of the classic flavors of the season: pumpkin, cinnamon, peppermint, and apple everything (pie, cider…)…Make sure to stop by a local coffeeshop if you’re not into Starbucks so much.
See the Christmas Tree Lighting and the Saks 5th Ave show at Rockefeller Center Plaza
This is a classic for all Home Alone fans. The tree lighting is a huge event every year, so arrive as early as possible if you wanna get a good view of the show and the tree. To see when the event will be held, visit the official website HERE! Another free activity is the light and music show offered by Saks Fifth Ave, it’s usually 5 minutes long and it runs every 10 minutes starting at 4:30PM until 11:35PM. You can learn more about Christmas events in the Rockefeller Center Plaza area HERE!
Feel the Christmas vibe at the Winter Villages
New York has a nice variety of winter villages, but Bryant Park has to be my favorite…There are many local vendors selling everything from candles to hot apple cider! Besides, there is a small gourmet market and the ice skating rink is also right there facing a beautiful Christmas tree. My second favorite winter village is the one located at Union Square, if you have the chance to go, go and explore the area and its countless stores, restaurants, coffee shops and farmer’s market.
Enjoy one of the many ice skating rinks
There is something magical about ice skating in NYC. Probably the rinks surroundings but truth is that if you are coming to NYC in the winter, ice skating should be in your list! There are 4 popular options: Central Park, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center. But you can also skate at Brookfield Place, Prospect Park and Pier 17, other popular spots. My favorite one is Central Park and the most crowded one is Bryant Park (it is the cheapest one), so get there early if you wanna move a little faster.
Take the kids to see Santa
This time of the year is even more magical for the kids! There are many places to meet Santa Claus but some of the most popular are Macy’s, the Plaza Hotel and the Brookfield Place.
Don’t forget to follow me on instagram and let me know which one is your favorite! You can follow me at @marthasachser and @blognyandabout!
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