JUST LIKE THE MOVIES

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WHEN TO BOOK | NEW YORK - CE­LESTE MITCHELL NYCGO.COM

New York and Christ­mas go to­gether like milk and choco­late-chip cook­ies. Like Santa and Ru­dolph. Like Ma­caulay Culkin and Joe Pesci in Home Alone 2 (if you were born in the ’80s). And about five mil­lion peo­ple agree – that’s the num­ber of vis­i­tors ex­pected to de­scend on the Big Ap­ple dur­ing this year’s hol­i­day sea­son, be­tween Thanks­giv­ing and New Year’s Eve.

“There is no more fes­tive time of the year to visit New York City than the an­nual hol­i­day sea­son,” says Fred Dixon, NYC & Com­pany’s pres­i­dent and CEO. “There is a ro­man­ti­cism around the city at this time of year with car­ollers, Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions, in­cred­i­ble store win­dows and that sense of an­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­cite­ment that comes with the hol­i­days.”

WHY VISIT

If you’ve ever dreamt of a white Christ­mas or wanted to be among the mad­ness of Times Square as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, you prob­a­bly have enough clas­sic movie ref­er­ences com­mitO­tendF­taocme­beOmOokry to know what tOoneFxapceecbt.OOk

If no@te, cscuaepthe.ecOshmo.wau­reel: You (and@thesec­fap­mei.lcyO)m.au ogling the elab­o­rate fes­tive win­dow dis­plays, drink­ing mulled wine, ice-skat­ing be­low the gi­ant, sparkly Christ­mas tree at Rock­e­feller Cen­ter and rug­ging up un­der­neath a blan­ket dur­ing a horse and car­riage ride. You can be as clichedOans yIno­sut­laigk­era–mit’s Christ­mas! On In­sta­gram

“A long-loved favourite is the New York @es­capes­naps @es­capes­naps Botanical Gar­den’s Hol­i­day Train Show in the Bronx and you must see the New York City Bal­let’s iconic hol­i­day clas­sic The Nutcracker!”

Dixon says.

Head to Macy’s, Saks Fifth Av­enue, Bergdorf Good­man, Bloom­ing­dales, Lord & Tay­lor and Tif­fany & Co for the best store win­dows and step in­side any deli, cafe or store to be greeted with the jolly strains of Christ­mas car­ols.

Ice-skat­ing on Woll­man Rink in Cen­tral Park be­neath the twin­kling Man­hat­tan sky­line is an­other quin­tes­sen­tial Christ­mas ex­pe­ri­ence that can’t be beaten.

WHEN TO VISIT

“The hol­i­day sea­son kicks off with larger-thanlife floats in the Macy’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade (Novem­ber 23), fol­lowed by the light­ing of the iconic Rock­e­feller Cen­ter Christ­mas tree (Novem­ber 29),” Dixon says.

When it comes to ring­ing in the New Year in NYC, you may be able to watch the ball drop on TV at home but brave the frigid tem­per­a­tures and you’ll be as­sured of a mem­ory to last a life­time. “The an­nual ball-drop at­tracts a mil­lion peo­ple each year to the Cross­roads of the World, filled with tons of con­fetti, celebrity per­for­mances and an un­for­get­table count­down to the New Year,” Dixon says.

If you’re plan­ning on putting those lug­gage lim­its to the test, don’t for­get the big­gest dis­counts for shop­ping start on De­cem­ber 26, oth­er­wise known as Black Fri­day.

WHEN TO BOOK

The quick an­swer is as soon as pos­si­ble, or start think­ing about next Christ­mas now.

“It’s al­ways the best idea to book early to avoid dis­ap­point­ment, es­pe­cially if your heart is set on a par­tic­u­lar lo­ca­tion and ho­tel as New York City gets very busy at this time of year,” Dixon says.

“It is very af­ford­able the week prior to Christ­mas and then in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.”

PIC­TURE: ISTOCK

Be part of the magic of Christ­mas in New York and go ice-skat­ing at Woll­man Rink.

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