JUST LIKE THE MOVIES
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.”
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“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!”
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.”
Be part of the magic of Christmas in New York and go ice-skating at Wollman Rink.