New York is nothing short of a magical place during the holiday season. The city comes alive with decorated Christmas trees, lights, sleighs and Santas walking around. The spectacular window displays add to the ambience during the merriest time of the year. No wonder then that around 65.1 million tourists visited the Big Apple in 2018, according to figures published in the NYC Annual Report 2018-19. The report goes on to mentioning that this was a record high and resulted in New York City retaining its position of being the most popular destination for international travelers to the US.
Apart from attracting business travelers, New York welcomes leisure travelers who visit the city for its numerous world-famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and One World Observatory, says a blog post by US Local Guide. Although NYC is known for its landmarks, of which there are more than hundred, the city is considered one of the best destinations to experience the Christmas spirit. So, here are a few things you can do to have a wonderful time during the holiday season.
Visit the Festive Markets
The gorgeously decorated Grand Central Holiday Fair, Bliss Plaza Holiday Market, Union Square Holiday Square and Columbus Circle Holiday Market offer a wide range of Christmas goodies for purchase, along with food and drinks for you to have a spectacular shopping experience. The festive season does increase the footfall to these markets. So be prepared for a little jostling through the crowd.
Raise a Toast to Fun Time at Christmas Themed Bars
Having delicious cocktails is a holiday tradition in New York. So, get into the Christmas spirit by raising a toast to good times. Whether you’d like to try an exotic cocktail or love your regular cosmopolitan or mojito, there are several Christmas themed bars in town. You could try PHD Terrace, Rolf’s, Ophelia and Jack’s Champagne Club. They have great options in food and desserts too! And, they are open late into the night.
Go Ice Skating
New York has several indoor and outdoor ice-skating rinks, surrounding by restaurants, cafés, bars and shop. You could visit the Rink at Rockefeller Center, Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, Wollman Rink in Central Park and World Ice Arena. This is a great way to get some exercise during your vacation! To avoid the crowd, consider visiting the rinks early morning. If you’re planning a trip much later in the day, do call them to make reservations. Else, you may have to wait in the queue for quite a while.
Take a Christmas Tour
To check out the best store windows, elaborate lights and Christmas decorations, consider taking a walking tours of New York. If you don’t feel like walking, consider renting bikes or taking a bus tour to enjoy the festivities across the city. You may see a huge inflatable reindeer up in the air or a Santa walking by and hear Christmas carols too.
While this is a fascinating time to visit New York City, you will need to brave the holiday crowd. A great way to stay safe is to avoid the Times Square stores during this time of the year, says an article by Lonely Planet.