"Experience the Charm and Beauty of Manhattan This Holiday Season."
New York City is a magical place in December. During the winter holiday season, there are countless sights to see and things to do for people of all ages and budgets. Every year, millions of people watch the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square on television, but there is no comparison to the thrill of being there in person. If you have not taken advantage of an opportunity to travel to Manhattan, there is no better time than this winter. The month of December is full of holiday activities for you to enjoy.
With all of the hustle and bustle in and around Rockefeller Center, you are sure to find something fun to do. Do not miss the giant Christmas tree and the nearby ice skating rink. If ice skating is not for you, then you can just watch other people skate, or you can walk around and take pictures of the holiday decorations. The area surrounding the rink and the Christmas tree is especially beautiful at night, when the pathways are filled with lights and Christmas figures.
Of course, one of the main reasons people flock to New York City in December is holiday shopping. The downtown area that includes Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, for example, is an upscale shopping mecca. Even if you do not plan to buy anything, part of the fun is checking out the department store window displays at stores like Barneys, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Many people also like to window shop at The Tiffany & Co. jewelry store and the other nearby designer shops. FAO Schwartz, also located on Fifth Avenue, is a fun destination for all ages, and do not forget to visit Macy’s Herald Square with the kids, who can get their pictures taken with Santa Claus.
For culture lovers, there are plenty of opportunities to take in a show or musical event throughout the season. One of the many annual holiday performances is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the world-famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. The New York City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall hosts music events such as concerts by the New York Pops. Away from the noise and chaos of the more crowded venues, churches and other houses of worship usually are beautifully decorated for the holidays, and frequently you can take advantage of their free or inexpensive musical performances.
After Christmas, the city prepares to celebrate New Year’s Eve. According to the Times Square Alliance, an estimated one million people gather in Times Square early on December 31st each year to watch the giant ball drop. But if you would prefer to avoid the notoriously cold and windy weather in Times Square, you can choose to stay warm in one of the city’s many restaurants, clubs or bars. New Year’s Eve party package prices vary, so you have a wide range of options from ritzy to inexpensive. Yet another popular activity is a cruise on the Hudson River, where you can eat, drink, dance, and view the fireworks in the harbor.
These are only a handful of the countless activities and attractions available to you as a visitor to Manhattan in December. Whether you have one day or several to enjoy the city, you cannot help being won over by the enchantment of the holiday season.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, lincolncenter.org
Times Square Alliance, timessquarenyc.org