The holiday season is here again to fill us with joy. It's the most wonderful time of the year, as they say, so why not celebrate in the most exciting city in the world? Fortunately, New York City is a train ride away from Saint Peter’s. Here are 10 fun places in NYC you should go to for the holiday season.
1. The Rockefeller Center
Over the course of many years, The Rockefeller Center has become a sacred part of the holidays in NYC. Tourists from all around the world come to see the beauty of the tree which is approximately 75-feet tall. The annual lighting ceremony will take place on December 4, 2019. Its location is at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY and will be on display until January 17, 2020.
Luis Reyes, a freshman, recalls his time visiting the well known site.
“I was shocked by how tall the tree was in person. You can see it from blocks away. This attraction really spreads that holiday cheer that everyone needs in their lives. I would recommend anybody to go and see it at least once,” said Reyes.
The Rockefeller Tree is free of charge. You can walk along the plaza and have a holiday photoshoot for your Instagram feed.
2. The Fifth Avenue Window Displays
Several retail stores such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue go all out with window displays for local pedestrians to see. Each of them share the holiday theme, but express it with different figurines and colors to create a story within the display.
One year, they used an idea from an animated movie, “Yes Virginia,” a real life story brought to life about a young girl, Virginia, sending a letter to the editor about the existence of Santa. They showed her journey through a series of window displays. Each of these retail stores add their own special holiday touch. This attraction is free of charge as you can admire the displays as you walk along Fifth Avenue.
3. Wollman Rink in Central Park
This ice skating rink is on the east side of Central Park between 62nd and 63rd street. This attraction is more beautiful at night with the shimmering lights shining through the sky. The admission rate is lower from Monday to Thursday starting at $12 with a separate rental skates fee. The weekend fee, which is from Friday through Sunday, goes up to $19. Activities within the rink include: private individual ice skating lessons for beginners or group sessions as well. Hockey and figure skating events take place here as well. Dates are to be determined. Other than the rink, you can enjoy the beauty of Central Park itself. From going on a boat ride, buying at the gift shop or going to the Landscape exhibit to step away from the cold in a while. There’s always something going on at the park even if the weather gets colder.
4. NYBG Holiday Train Show
The New York Botanical Garden hosts the holiday train show annually. It has dozens of train models zipping through the tracks, traveling alongside replicas of NYC’s attractions, from Central Park to the Chrysler Building and even to Yankee Stadium. The garden is made from all natural materials. This show runs through November 23, 2019 to January 26, 2020. NYBG, located in the Bronx, also offers a holiday discounted price of $28 for students with proof of your school ID or, if you attend during weekdays, it's only $20. The admission includes an All-Garden Pass to not only the holiday show but other galleries and garden grounds as well.
5. Dyker Heights Holiday Lights
Dyker Heights is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. Every year, residents of the town build massive holiday displays for many to see. The residents go over the top. The best time to see the neighborhood is between 5 to 9 p.m.. After 9 p.m., some residents shut their lights off so it’s best to plan wisely. There is no required charge as you can just walk by foot through the neighborhood. Tours are offered and if you choose to do it, it’s best to buy tickets in advance.
6. Union Square Holiday Market
This spot is especially great if you need to get some Christmas shopping done. The market has a variety of vendors, food, affordable gifts and much more! Many of the items are handmade by local artists and crafters which makes the market unique. It is located in the southern side of Union Square Park in Manhattan.
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This museum is known to be one of the largest in the United States. All year long, the museum is open and has a variety of artwork to observe. When the holiday season approaches, the Met sets up The Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche exhibit. A 20-foot tall tree is put up that is surrounded by a nativity scene with several detailed angels, the Virgin Mary, infant Jesus and St. Joseph. Admission for students is at a discounted price of $12. The Met is located at 5th Avenue with Central Park nearby.
8. 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer
An annual holiday interactive event that has new daily activities each day, 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer, has giveaways, contests and performances by local artists. Samples of hot chocolate will be occasionally offered to keep you warm. A holiday history tour takes place every Sunday as well. A colorful art display will also be set up for the public to enjoy and take pictures. The event is free of charge and takes place in the Flatiron district in NYC near the famous Flatiron Building. It begins on Dec. 1 and ends on Dec. 23, only running for three weeks.
9. Gigantic Holiday Decorations
Around New York, you can stumble across several gigantic ornaments, the common ones can be found across the street from Radio City Music Hall. It’s a great sight to have your photo taken at.
10. Grab Your Sled!
If by any chance we have a snow day anytime soon, be sure to have your sled handy. Typically on a snow day, many NYC residents love to go sledding. It doesn’t matter how old you are, no one is ever too old for a sled ride! Prospect Park in Brooklyn or Central Park in Manhattan are the most well-known and best sights to go for some sled fun.
“I haven’t really been to NYC during the holidays necessarily but it's interesting to see people coming from all over the world. Especially to see the wonders New York has to offer. I hope to explore more of the city in the future,” said Stephanie Colon, a freshman.