This time last year, I was lucky enough to visit NYC. New York, New York. The Big Apple. What dreams are made of. And, just after Cyber Weekend and a couple of weeks before Christmas, it was festive as heck. Happy Holidays were everywhere and it was truly the most wonderful time of the year. So, for those planning to visit NYC this year – or maybe you’re already planning for next year – I’m bringing you my round up of the Top 10 Things To Do In New York At Christmas.
1.Visit Time’s Square At Night
An obvious one to start of with – but what do you think of when you picture New York? The bright lights of Times Square! One of the first things I did when stepping off the plane was get the subway straight to Times Square to soak it in for myself. I’m not gonna lie, it was a shock to the system and although not one of the most beautiful places of the city, made it truly feel like a visit to NYC!
2. Stroll Through Central Park
One of the most beautiful places in New York is Central Park. There’s really no way to explain how surreal it is to stroll through a beautiful green park in all its peacefulness, knowing you’re right in the middle of the one most cosmopolitan cities in the world. It’s green fields and lakes are juxtaposed with the beautiful art deco buildings surrounding it, and as you look up you will see the trees reaching up to the skyscrapers on the edge of the park.
3. Visit Santa at Macy’s
My Christmas as a child revolved around the first time I could watch the absolute classic film Miracle on 34th Street. Since then, I’ve dreamed of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and going to visit the REAL Santa at Macy’s during the Holidays. So, when I visited NYC at Christmas, I had to do it for myself. It’s free for anyone to visit Santa – my top tip would be to book a slot online to avoid the queues. Even though I was 25, it was a truly magical experience!
4. Go Watch An NHL Game
Something that I don’t see recommended very often in New York travel games is to go and watch a local sports game, but, considering you’ll be visiting New York in Winter – it’s ice hockey season! Although ice hockey isn’t a big deal here in the UK, having watched my local team Manchester Storm as a kid I was desperate to see an NHL game! We went to see the New York Islanders (seeing The Rangers would be like seeing United when you visit Manchester, right?) and it was incredible. And part of the start of my new obsession.
5. Warm Up With A Slice of Pizza Pie
One of my favorite things about New York was how many cool and quirky independent eateries and bars there were. You guys know I love a drink and we took full advantage of slipping into quirky dive bars to warm up! When feeling chilly, you also need a bit of warmth from food and it would be a crime not to try some New York Pizza Pie! Grab a slice at the world famous, Roberta’s Pizza, like us and you won’t be disappointed.
6. Have Bottomless Brunch At A Revolving Restaurant
Something else I’ve not seen recommended a lot is the Bottomless Brunch at The View. The View is the only revolving restaurant in New York and provides 360 views of Times Square – a truly amazing experience! Sure, it’s a little pricey, but it’s all you can eat for two hours alongside 2 mimosas and is a lovely excuse to get dressed up. I would definitely do it again and highly recommend it if you’re celebrating a special occasion – I visited on my 26th birthday!
7. Visit Top Of The Rock At Night
During my visit to New York, I visited both the Empire State Building during the day and Top of the Rock at night, and the view of the big apple from the Top of the Rock at night was far superior. Not only was it beautiful to experience it in the open the area with lights twinkling as far as the eye could see, the advantage of visiting the Top of the Rock is that you can see a view OF the Empire State Building, which is totally reminiscent of the New York Skyline images you usually think of.
8. Walk The Brooklyn Bridge
Wrap up warm, put a pair of comfortable shoes on and get the subway to DUMBO (Down Under Brooklyn Bridge for those not in the NYC Lingo). This was one of my favourite places in New York, not only for the super cool coffee shops and hipster interior design stores, but for the spectacular views of the New York landscape. These are truly the sort of images I picture in my head when I think of the Big Apple and they were just as beautiful at night! Don your trainers and walk the Brooklyn Bridge – it can be icy cold in Winter but the views are truly worth it. Much better than walking the High Line which most people opt for, in my opinon.
9. Get the Staten Island Ferry
I always feel like having a boat trip on holiday truly makes it feel like a vacation – and the best part about getting the Staten Island ferry is that it’s free! Simply head over to the port and wait in line for the ferry and enjoy a short ride over to Staten Island from NYC. You’ll get a great view of the Statue of Liberty for free (avoid the rip off tourist trips) – just make sure to not go at commuter time when it gets crowded. Stand outside for the best views and a refreshing sea breeze!
10. Explore Manhattan In The Snow
We did so much walking in New York and one of the things that we did unplanned but that turned out to be the most memorable was exploring Manhattan in the snow! Of course, you can’t plan the snow, but you can plan a tour around some of the big sights in Manhattan – look out for 5th Ave, the Christmas light shows on department stores like Saks 5th Ave and architectural buildings such as the beautiful art deco Chrysler Building. Grab a New York coffee from a street van for added cool – and warmth – points!
If my Top 10 Things To Do In New gave you a craving for me, feel free to see what else I got up to in New York in my vlog of my holiday below. Enjoy!