Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…It’s Christmas time in the city…are you humming holiday tunes yet? Too corny? But isn’t that the point of the holiday season, to bask in traditions that you carry
over from your childhood or create for your own children to make beautiful memories? It’s safe to say that Christmas time in New York is the stuff memories are made of and every child and adult should experience the magic.
The season officially kicks off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day
Parade and ends with the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. But the starting point for most people is the famous tree, lit up in all its glory, at Rockefeller Center. If it’s cold out, and chances are it will be freezing, grab an overpriced hot chocolate and watch the skaters on the Rockefeller Center rink below. If you really love skating, head over to Central Park’s Wollman Rink and check out the park’s beautiful holiday lights while you are there.
On your way uptown, make sure to pass by the fabulous window displays at Barneys and Bergdorf
Goodman. And FAO Schwartz, the grandest toy store in the world, is not to be missed. On Third Avenue, stroll by the Bloomingdale’s window displays and then cross the street for a treat (or two or three…) from Dylan’s Candy Bar. And don’t forget about the creative displays in the famous midtown department stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.
Heading downtown, stop into Grand Central Terminal to see the grand light displays on the Sky
Ceiling. And the Grand Central Holiday Train Show at the New York Transit Museum and Gallery
Annex features vintage trains made by Lionel, American Flyer and Louis Marx & Co., dating back to the 1920s. The exhibit features a full train track with a fully functioning train and a miniature New York City background. If trains are your thing, the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show is a beautiful scene of the city built entirely from plants and natural material. The handmade miniature trains that run through the landscape are equally impressive.
If you are seeking entertainment, the annual Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes, awaits you at Radio City Music Hall. The Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center is great for younger kids, and The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet is wonderful for older children. All the way downtown, the South Street Seaport is turned into the 19th century, complete with carolers and a variety of entertainers from that era. And all the way uptown, the Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo features more than a hundred illuminated animal and holiday sculptures, the Holiday Express Train and the Polar Bear Express Experience along with music, storytelling and live reindeer.
So put on your hats and mittens, bundle up your kids, and make Christmas time in New York part of
your family’s tradition. No matter what’s going on in the world, no matter what’s going on in your life, the holiday spirit in the city is infectious. May peace, joy and love be with you this holiday season and always.