Christmastime really is the most magical time of the year – especially in New York City! Twinkle lights pop up around town, the snow begins to fall, and people are smiling even though the temperatures have dropped. Below are some of my suggestions for those spending November through early January in the City:
Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt: Last year, I made it a goal to find 25 Christmas trees around the city from December 1st through Christmas Day. You can find some of them on my Instagram Stories. The trees are beautifully decorated and it’s a great way to explore different neighborhoods around town from the tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side all the way down to the tree outside of the New York Stock Exchange in the Financial District!
Festive Bars & Restaurants: New York City’s restaurants and bars really get into the holiday spirit – some even completely transform into Winter Wonderlands! My favorites are Rolf’s, The Lodge Rooftop at STK Meatpacking, Miracle on 9th Street, and Moxy’s Pink Holiday Pop-Up. Many of these stay festive into the New Year!
Window Displays: You can’t go wrong strolling along the sidewalks checking out the holiday window displays with a warm drink in your hand and your sweetheart’s hand in the other. I suggest starting at Macy’s on 34th Street and Seventh Avenue and then curving around uptown to make your way to the popular 5th Avenue displays. Don’t forget about Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street and all the stores in SoHo. They will not disappoint!
Tea Time: I love afternoon tea and am really hoping it becomes the new Happy Hour here in the States. With sandwiches, scones, desserts, tea, and champagne, what more does one need?! You must take a break from window shopping to have afternoon tea at the Plaza. If you are questioning tea time, then check out my blog post on my first afternoon tea experience. Holiday tea at the Plaza’s Palm Court made me a believer!
Movie Magic: Since you’ll already be visiting the Plaza (a filming location of Home Alone II), you might as well recreate some other iconic holiday movie scenes. Visit Macy’s (Miracle on 34th Street), skate at Wollman Staking Rink in Central Park (Serendipity), or check out the Empire State Building all lit up in red and green (Elf).
Hot Chocolate Tour: If tea isn’t exactly your..cup of tea, I suggest going on a hot chocolate tour! Since I consider myself a hot chocolate connoisseur, here are my favorites around the City:
- Squish Marshmallows (Bryant Park): The homemade marshmallows that come in a variety of flavors are my favorite!
- City Bakery (Flatiron): You must get the giant homemade marshmallow added for a couple extra dollars. Are you sensing a pattern here?
- Martha’s Country Bakery (Queens, Brooklyn): Martha’s is a bit of a journey outside Manhattan, but it is totally worth it because they have peanut butter hot chocolate. I repeat – peanut butter hot chocolate, people!
- Serendipity 3 (Upper East Side): Can you come to New York City during the holidays and not try the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity? I think not!
- Black Fox Coffee Co. (Financial District): Anytime I have a coffee meeting in Lower Manhattan, I try to meet at Black Fox. The hot chocolate is delish and the location is very Instagram worthy.
I hope these ideas help make your holiday season in New York City a little more festive. I’d love to hear your favorite things to do in the City during the this time of year – comment below!
Stay fit and fabulous (and festive),