I love NYC and go year-round but the best time to go is definitely during the holidays because it really is so magical and pretty. I don’t know if it’s the Christmas music playing everywhere, huge Christmas trees at every corner, or holiday lights everywhere you walk, it’s just the perfect place to be during the holidays. There are just so much to do and it’s definitely so romantic so grab your significant other, best friend, or anyone and take a trip to NYC 🙂 Below are my favorite places to go during the holidays from November-January.
Okay not that much holiday vibes and more like gossip girl (my favorite show) vibes but this is the perfect place for a photoshoot because it is so iconic and beautiful. I was driving up when it was snowing and hoping there would be a lot of snow by the time I get there (I live 2 hours away) to have a nice winter photoshoot but it all melted 🙁 I just walked around with my sister and took pictures at the “Bow Bridge” which has amazing views. You can be super romantic and ride the horse carriages here if you like. There is also a big ice skating rink but I don’t ice skate because I have this really weird fear that I am going to fall and someone is gonna skate over my fingers and then it falls off LOL don’t mind me but if you’re into that then definitely check it out here but read below for two other skating rinks.
Located near Central Park (well depending on which area), you can warm up with my favorite cookie ever at Levain! The flavors are chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chip, and dark chocolate peanut butter chip. Chocolate chip walnut is my favorite and in my opinion, it is the best cookie you will find in NYC. It’s best when it’s fresh because it’s hot, super gooey in the middle, and extra chocolatey. It’s $4 for a cookie but it’s huge and you will want to take some to bring home with you. If you do take them home, just microwave it for 10 seconds and you will have a soft gooey center 🙂
Located right in midtown near Times Square, Bryant Park is a must visit for the holidays! It opens in November and personally, it is better going on a weekday than weekend because weekends get really crowded especially when it gets closer to Christmas. It has a beautiful big Christmas Tree with beautiful pink lights (pink is my fave color) and a big ice skating rink. It is free admission but you would have to pay for your own skate rental of $20. If you want to skip the line, you can reserve ahead for a specific time slot online for $45. If you’re not into ice skating, feel free to explore the cute little holiday shops for winter/xmas accessories/gifts/souvenirs and the food court for snacks. If you have a sweet tooth, head to DO for a scoop of edible cookie dough paired with their hot chocolate. I promise this is the best combo ever!
Saks 5th Ave Light Show
If you take a 8 block walk on 5th ave towards 50th street, you can get your Christmas shopping done and watch a light show at the same time. The famous light show outside Saks is absolutely amazing with music and beautiful colors. The light show plays every 10 minutes so while you wait for the next show, don’t forget to look at the decorative window displays outside Saks. For the best viewing, cross the street and stand on the Rockefeller side to see the full display.
You cannot go to NYC during the holidays and not see this tree! Yes it is crowded and a major tourist area but it’s a classic beauty. You can go ice skating on this rink for a close up view of the tree or even go up the Rockefeller Center to the Top of the Rock observatory for a beautiful view of the city lights. Everything about this center is picture worthy so don’t forget to take lots of pictures!
230th 5th Ave Igloo Bar
This is a rooftop bar with amazing views of the city, including Empire State building so no need to explore the observatory of Empire State Building when this bar is free admission. Snuggle up in an lighted/heated igloo with your closest friends or your other half and sip on hot chocolate. There is a full bar so you can order any drinks you want. If it’s too cold for you, ask for a complimentary red robe to borrow to wear or head inside to the lounge and relax.
Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3
Yes just like the movies, this place is chocolate heaven and home of the $1000 sundae (yup crazy)!!!!! When I think of the winter and Christmas, hot chocolate is definitely on the list so that’s why I had to feature this. This restaurant serves regular food like any other American restaurants but you must try a frozen hot chocolate while here. It is basically all types of chocolate into one frozen drink for complete chocolate heaven. It’s big enough to share but I am a chocolate lover soooo all for me 🙂 This was one of my first dessert things I tried in NYC over 6 years ago so I probably did not even have a working cellphone at that time to take pics LOL so the website picture will do.
NYC is known for its theaters and performances so why not watch a holiday show when you’re already here! My favorite broadway show is definitely Wicked but my favorite holiday would be the classic Nutcracker. Even though I never been inside of Radio City Music Hall, I heard The Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes is a must see for the holidays. Whatever you are into, New York’s theater has a show for you so I would recommend doing research before you go to see what they have to offer 🙂
This will definitely change every year but do your research before you go because New York City is known for its pop up stores, museums, exhibits, and more! This year, I went to the “Infinity Mirror Rooms” exhibit by Yayoi Kusama which I’m sure everyone knows by the famous instagram pictures of the mirrored rooms. I went on a weekend and the wait was brutal… 5 hours of brutalness (is that even a word? lol oh well) to be exact so I would definitely go on a weekday.
Another fun holiday pop up a life-size snow globe inside Google’s pop up store in Flatiron District. The wait was only 15 mins so it wasn’t bad and you get to be in there for a minute so start recording and snapping pics as soon as you walked in. I felt like a kid all over again in a ball pit.
My favorite comfort food to eat in the cold is ramen and this is now my favorite ramen spot in NYC. If you don’t know, ramen is Japanese style yellow noodles served in a flavored broth. At Ippudo, you can choose between a creamy Tonkotsu (pork) broth or a chicken shoyu broth, which is a soy sauce base. I chose the Tonkotsu because this is their original flavor & what they are known for. My bowl came with sliced pork, scallions, bamboo, mushrooms, and I added a seasoned egg and corn to it as well. It is so delicious and I easily finished the whole bowl to myself. Don’t forget to ordered the chicken buns for an appetizer because they are so yummy. I also tried the matcha soju cocktail here because I love matcha everything but this was just too strong.
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed my blog. To be honest, you can walk around anywhere in Manhattan during the holidays and you will see pretty bright lights everywhere and Christmas trees everywhere so be spontaneous and walk around and see where you’ll end up 🙂 Happy holidays everyone xoxo <3