There’s no place like New York at the holidays!
New York really is pure magic during the holiday season. Even if Christmas isn’t your favorite time of the year, after spending a few days in New York City, you’ll likely get all the feels and find yourself in the holiday spirit. It’s tough not to!
Why? Because there’s so much to experience here. From dazzling window displays on Fifth Avenue to the scent of Christmas trees everywhere––not to mention the Nutcracker and Radio City Christmas Spectacular––NYC transitions to a veritable holiday wonderland. The city is a happier place during the Christmas season and everyone who lives here or visits is happier too. The holiday joy is infectious. If you haven’t experienced New York at the holidays, I highly recommend a trip!
For a teaser, here’s what I love most about this enchanting time of year.
Luxury shop displays allow some of New York’s most creative souls to show off their talents and shine their brightest. Even if my budget doesn’t allow me to shop in these stores, I can window shop all I want. My favorites include Cartier, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, and of course, Bergdorf Goodman, where the windows are worth the trip alone. Each year, the department store’s team creates a unique theme. I’ve heard they start working on the following year’s window designs about a year in advance. And it shows. The windows at Bergdorf’s are always spectacular.
The pleasant aroma of freshly-cut Christmas trees on most every block in the city put me in the mood. Each year, I anxiously await the arrival of the trees––they usually appear around Thanksgiving. If you walk through any New York neighborhood, you can’t miss the parade of evergreens lining the streets.
Walking through the city after dark when beaming holiday lights dangle from awnings and twinkle inside lobbies is something I look forward to each year. Peering into New Yorkers’ high-rise apartments for a glimpse at their decorations is a treat on what would otherwise be an ordinary night in transit. Sometimes, tiny apartments put up huge Christmas trees. And often, majestic trees stand in the center of a single, oversized window, a dozen or so stories high, begging for passersby to look up and admire. Some buildings dress their lobbies to the nines as well. Yes, Christmas is a big deal in New York. The city takes on a mesmerizing glow unlike any other time of the year.
Dinner in a cozy restaurants is a must during the holiday season in New York. Restaurants and bars pull out all the stops with lights, garland, ornaments, trees, poinsettias, menorahs, stockings, and more. . After strolling around town in the winter chill, I want to stop by a local favorite, like Amelie, just a few blocks from my apartment, and warm up with a nice glass or two of red wine and the steak frites. Deep in the bowels of the Financial District, one of the city’s most unique bars is The Bar Room at Temple Court in the Beekman Hotel. Go for a cocktail and a snack. It is worth the splurge.
The oversized menorah on Broadway makes a holiday statement. It’s set on the island in the center of the four-lane avenue on the Upper West Side, and no one can miss it. Each night of Hanukkah, another candle is lit. I love how New Yorkers can observe more than one holiday at a time, and in a way, they celebrate everyone’s holidays simultaneously.
Staying home in my apartment and cooking a nice dinner (or ordering a nice dinner!) and relaxing while I watch a classic New York holiday movie like Elf or Serendipity is a holiday highlight for me. All the while, my Christmas tree shimmers in the background as I sip a few pours from a good bottle of wine. At times, knowing that I live in New York City is enough.
What do you like about New York at the holidays?
Also Christmas photos to put you in the holiday spirit. And winter is a great time to visit New York (just bundle up!).