There’s seriously nothing in this world like Christmas time in New York City. The bright lights, the window displays, the shops, the crisp cold air...it all contributes to the alluring appeal that Manhattan has to offer. Last year my boyfriend and I started the tradition of heading into the city a few days before my Birthday (December 23) and spending it, as well as Christmas Eve in New York. This is something I will look forward to year after year. Here’s what we did...
We ended up getting a late start and left in the evening. My dad drove us from Massachusetts to New Haven, CT and we took the Metro North into Grand Central Terminal, which was about a two hour long train ride. By the time we checked in we were pretty tired, so we just walked around for a bit and went back to our room to get a good night's sleep.
We booked three nights at the InterContinental New York Barclay, which is located in Midtown Manhattan. I loved that the hotel is situated near all the touristy hot spots: Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Times Square. The hotel had an old world charm and glamorous feel to it, like it was restored from the 1940’s. The lobby was beautiful with a huge Christmas tree decorated in gold.
We decided to stay close by the hotel and visit all the Christmas sightseeing spots in Midtown.
Lunch at Raffles Bistro
When we woke up we were starving, so after getting ready we stopped in the first restaurant we saw which was Raffles Bistro. I ordered the margherita pizza which was pretty good, and my boyfriend ordered one of their specials for the day which was a shrimp pasta in a cream sauce.
Bryant Park Winter Village
We had been to Bryant Park in the past, but we had never seen The Winter Village which was something we’ve always wanted to do. We walked around and stopped in some of the little shops (there are over 150 of them) like, Jet Set Candy, Woops! Macaroons, Melsy’s Illustrations, Pinky Pilots, Strand Bookstore, and MarieBelle Chocolates. If you’re looking for the ideal holiday gift, this is the place to go! You can literally find something for everyone on your list.
After that we stopped by the giant Christmas tree adorned in purple, red, and blue lights. We were pretty tired from walking around all day so we decided to grab a hot cocoa at Public Fare which overlooks the ice skating rink. We sat back and relaxed while listening to the Christmas music and watched all the skaters skate by.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree
We then choose to head back to our hotel for a little while but we were near the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, so we braved the crowds to stop by and view it. It’s something we had seen before, but Christmas Time in New York City isn’t complete without stopping by for a photo.
Saks Fifth Avenue
As we exited Rockefeller Center we stopped by one of my favorite holiday displays, the Saks Fifth Avenue LED light show. It’s just so magacial that we didn’t care about having to force our way through the large crowds to view it. The light show is a giant candy castle that covers Saks’ building, and is set to music. It features over 200,000 crystals, and over 300,000 points of light that dance to the music that blasts from the speakers. It’s truly breathtaking.
Holiday Window Displays