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NEW YORK CITY Festive Season In The Big Apple

Christmas In New York
Christmas In New York

“New York, like no other place I’ve visited, really knows how to promote the Christmas spirit.” 

Looking to escape another scorching Perth summer? New York City is a winter wonderland in December and the perfect place to experience Christmas and New Year’s Eve unlike any you’ve ever experienced in Perth. JESSICA PASCO reports.

Getting Around the City

Manhattan has an excellent public transport network in the form of the subway. As long as you are near a subway, getting places is very quick and easy. Most hotels will provide Subway station maps, but you can also pick them up in the subway themselves. Taxis are also convenient and affordable (in comparison to Perth prices) so getting around the city is no hassle.

Areas to Stay

My recommendations are;

  • Times Square/Hells Kitchen

  • Midtown

  • Midtown East

  • Chelsea

In these areas you are within walking distance to attractions such as;

  • Central Park

  • Times Square

  • Broadway

  • Rockerfeller Center and the Top of the Rock observation deck

  • The New York City Library

  • Grand Central Station

  • Bryant Park

  • Penn Station

  • Madison Square Garden

  • The Empire State Building.

  • FAO Schwartz toy store (home to the giant piano from BIG the movie)

Things to Do and See to take in the Festive Season

Ice Skating

Central Park

Ice skating at Woolmans Rink in Central Park was definitely a bucket list item for me, and it did not disappoint. USD $25 includes unlimited skate time on the rink and skate hire, locker hire is an additional charge.

Bryant Park

Free admission to the rink, skate hire charges apply.

Rockerfeller Center

Rockerfeller Center is also a popular ice-skating venue among tourists to really experience the Christmas festivities of New York City. If you prefer to avoid the long lines and over-priced ice skating the locations mentioned above are better alternatives.

On December 1 every year, tourists and locals gather for the lighting of the Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree.

Christmas Window Displays

Some of the best Christmas window displays can be found at the following stores;

  • Bloomingdale’s

  • Barney’s

  • Macy’s Herald Square

  • Bergdorf Goodman’s

Neighbourhood Decorations

New York, like no other place I’ve visited, really knows how to promote the Christmas spirit. Many of the neighbourhoods decorate buildings and light posts and put up Christmas trees making the experience a truly unforgettable one. Just walking around the city will impress you at the effort of the locals and business owners.

New Year’s Eve

The Times Square Ball Drop

The Times Square Ball Drop is a popular tourist attraction that I would not recommend. The NYPD begin setting up their barricades the night before New Year’s Eve.  On the day, people begin arriving to secure their spots very early in the morning so some people spend their whole day and over 12 hours standing around in freezing conditions to ‘get a good spot’. The NYPD close the barricades at 8.30pm and open them at their discretion between then and 11pm.  They are then closed from 11pm until the ball drops.  Bathroom breaks can be tricky and can cause you to potentially lose your ‘good spot’ as a result some patrons wear nappies to solve this problem. 

Table Service at a Nightclub/Bar

Table service at a bar/nightclub is a great way to enjoy your night without having to pay additional money for drinks as the cost is included in your ticket. Many of the bars and clubs offer premium open bar (this does not include your tip). When I visited for New Year‘s Eve 2013-14 I paid $200 AUD for premium open bar and table service which included one bottle of Veuve Champagne and one bottle of Premium Vodka plus all the mixes for a table of four (4) people.