Christmas in New York
Christmas has always been a time for a family get together; that the tradition but increasingly in recent years, couples or whole families head for somewhere abroad to the holiday. Most people now get a two week break and it is a chance to fly away somewhere.
While he motive for some is the sun, it is not something New York can offer; it is sometimes the complete opposite yet Christmas in New York still has an appeal. So what can a tourist do beyond of course enjoying Broadway, the cinemas, bars and restaurants?
Some things depend on the climate at the time. There may be snow in Central Park and there will most certainly be wonderful displays in some of the well known department stores on Fifth Avenue keen to attract customers.
It may be possible to skate in Times Square and that is certainly something for a photograph. The Rockefeller Centre Ice Rink is the busiest in New York but it is well worth going there. Two open air rinks in Central Park are popular for those wrapping up well.
It is also worth going to the Rockefeller Centre to see the Tree in Times Square. It is lit just after Thanksgiving at the beginning of December.
There will be special shows at Christmas; have a look and see what is on at Radio City Music Hall. Tickets for Christmas first go on sale in September so if you are booked by then check on the special early prices.
Midtown Manhattan is the place to be whether for shows, Times Square and shopping and there are plenty of hotels nearby. However there is much more to shopping than Fifth Avenue and several markets have bargains for presents over the holidays. Bryant Park on 6th and 42nd has a free European style market with plenty of things to buy.
There is also a holiday fair a little further uptown at Grand Central Terminal right up to Christmas Eve for those last minute presents, everything from jewellery to other crafts while Columbus Circle is another market shopping option.
Further afield Bronx Zoo makes a real effort at Christmas creating a true winter wonderland. Apart from the lighting, there are reindeer, polar bears, storytelling, ice carvings and much more. The Zoo is open throughout the Christmas holiday though closed on Christmas Eve evening.
Many of New York’s churches have the Messiah at Christmas and let us not forget that this holiday is a celebration of a religious festival.
On Christmas Day itself you will obviously want Dinner. There are many restaurants offering this special dinner and it is worth doing a bit of research to see which offers something that attracts you, whether it is the location of the restaurant or the details on offer.
Christmas is a special time in the calendar; New York is a special city. A combination of the two can be irresistible.