In December, the Christmas spirit really hits New York and it’s a wonderful time to visit the city. The Christmas shopping in New York is amazing, but there are so many things to see and do after the shopping is done. Here are some of the things I think you should check out, if you are visiting New York during this time of the year.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The tree is more than 20 meters tall and beautifully decorated. The lights in the tree are turned on at a big ceremony held on November 30 (2016) and the tree remains lit from 5:30 to midnight until January 7.
There’s also an ice skating rink in front of the Christmas tree, but it is rather pricey. The entrance fee is $25-32, depending on which day and time you have in mind, and there’s an additional fee of $12 for rental of ice skates.
The giant Christmas ornaments on 6th Avenue
The ornaments in front of Exxon Building on 6th Avenue are among my favorites, and judging from the photos on Instagram I’m not the only one who adores the giant decorations. They are most beautiful after dark
Exxon Building 1251 Avenue of the Americas, between 49 and 50th Street
Bryant Park Winter Village
From late October to the beginning of January, Bryant Park is transformed into Winter Village. Where the lawn use to be, there’s a big ice skating rink, which is free of charge to use. You can buy snacks and drinks from the vendors and shop for Christmas presents and souvenirs at the Christmas market lining the park.
The ice skating rink in Bryant Park is open each day 8am-10:30pm
Christmas decorations in the department stores
The department stores across the city make a real effort creating enticing displays and decorations. Macy’s on Herald Square is probably the most famous and they are known for going all in. The Christmas decorations and shop windows are really something special and shouldn’t be missed. The 9th floor at Macy’s is dedicated to Christmas shopping and holiday atmosphere.
In New York you’ll often hear people referring to the Christmas season as “The Holiday Season” or just “The Holidays” so even non-Christians feel included in the celebrations. In the stores, it’s more common to be greeted with a “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.