There’s a reason New York City is featured in so many holiday movies and television shows: It’s iconic. Swathed in lights, bedecked with ornaments and encircled by a sense of wonder, NYC magnifies the magic of the season. It is also the perfect place to spend time with the people you love. Whether you’re taking advantage of an ultra-low fare in order to introduce the kids to NYC for the first time or simply want to feel like a kid again yourself, there’s more than enough to see and do. Here are five can’t-miss experiences for your consideration.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Would you really want to visit NYC without stopping by the national tradition that is the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree? The annual tree is not only a beauty to behold, but also part of NYC history. The tradition began in the midst of the Great Depression, when workers — desperate perhaps for holiday cheer — used strings of cranberries, paper garlands, and tin cans to decorate a 20-foot balsam fir that they’d pooled their money to buy. Today, more than 125 million people visit Rockefeller Center to experience the glory of the 100-foot-tall tree in person.
5th Avenue Window Displays
Holiday window displays have long been considered the jewel in NYC’s holiday crown. It all begins in mid-November, when the largest NYC department stores unveil one-of-a-kind tableaus meant to outdo each of their previous displays. You and yours are the winners when it comes to this annual contest of creative wills. You can find the most popular display at Bergdorf Goodman, where fantastical storytelling has become a tradition.
Bryant Park Winter Village
Tucked between Manhattan skyscrapers is the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, a piece of Americana if there ever was one. Rows and rows of shops are set up selling artisanal goods like jewelry, clothing, home décor and handmade gifts. A portion of every purchase made is donated to park maintenance, allowing you to feel good while picking up a one-of-a-kind treasure.
Wollman Rink in Central Park
Few things help release the stresses of daily life like gliding on ice on a crisp day in NYC. Located between 62nd and 63rd Streets in Central Park, is a rink that was meant to commemorate the family of Kate Wollman, a native Kansan. Today, it’s where skaters of all kinds get to act like kids.
No holiday list would be complete without a reminder of “The Nutcracker,” performed by the illustrious New York City Ballet. How better to celebrate childhood than to immerse yourself in the story of a nutcracker who comes to life, defeats an evil mouse and whisks his young human owner to a magical land filled with dolls? Whether you’ve seen it once or a hundred times, “The Nutcracker” is always a thrill.
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