|Yes Virginia! There is a Santa Claus and tons of things to do in NYC after Christmas. Photo taken at Macy’s
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year to visit New York City. From gigantic trees to mind-blowing festive windows and caroling in the streets, the city has something for everyone. What’s best, with the holiday season the most tourist-averse gothamists tend to be a bit more patient with the crowds flooding the streets and the subway stations.
Although for some people Christmas is over the 25th of December, the city that never sleeps proves them wrong: There is still plenty to see and do if you plan to spend New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple. I have selected my five favorite plans to enjoy what’s left of the holiday spirit. Care to join me? Click on the pink links for all the info!
|Image via Radio City Music Hall
Surely one of the most beloved traditions of the real gothamists, Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular is a treat that enchants kids and adults alike. The show contains dozens of Santas and spectacular numbers performed by The Rockettes, a group of extremely talented line dancing ladies who really can kick high in the air. If you really want to experiment a winter wonderland in New York City, this is your show.
|Image via www.freetoursbyfoot.com
This is undoubtedly the heart of Christmas in New York (and one of the most crowded spots in the city aside from Times Square.) Rockefeller Center Plaza has it all: A gigantic Christmas tree, an open-air skating rink with kids and adults swirling to beautiful carols and holiday songs, and a beautiful display of cherubs that compliment Prometheus golden skin. A word to the wise: Skating in the Rockefeller Center Plaza rink is extremely expensive, but totally worth it!
|Image by Jusay Photography via the Bryant Park official blog
This is undoubtedly one of my favorite spots in the city. Located right behind the magnificent Public Library building, the Winter Village includes dozens of sellers of anything you can think of. What’s best, it also has an impressive Christmas Tree, a beautiful bar called Celsius, and the only free skating rink in the whole city. For more information, visit http://www.bryantpark.org/things-to-do/wintervillage.html
4. Fuhget about Manhattan for A While!
|“The Blue House” at Dyker Heights.
Yes, it’s right. Although Manhattan has a great deal of things to do and see, there is a lot going on in the rest of the boroughs. If you are only staying in the city for three days, I encourage you to budget time to visit two wonderful spots: The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, and the wonderful crazy Christmas lights at Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. If you have time constraints, I highly recommend hiring the services of A Slice Of Brooklyn, a wonderful local company that makes awesome tours of the area and brings you to the best spots by bus. I myself decided to go with them to avoid a three-hour subway commute and it was one of the best experiences ever. However, if you are the walking type and can’t splurge $50, you can also contact Free Tours By Foot. They make awesome New York City Lights tours for free – you just have to tip your guide (and please be generous, those guys are seriously the best!)
|The house that started it all at Dyker Heights (or should we say Dyker Lights?) has a lot going on
5. Do Some Window-Shopping
|Lord & Taylor outdoes is Holiday Windows every year!
I get it. New York City is one of the most expensive places on Earth. The good thing is that there are plenty of things to do on a budget if you want to experiment what Christmas looks like after the 25th. One of them is just strolling 5th Avenue from Bryant Park (42nd Street) to Central Park. You won’t regret seeing the beautiful holiday displays from the biggest retailers. My personal favorites? Lord & Taylor’s Winter Wonderland and Saks’ Winter Wonders of the World. Also, don’t miss the outliers like Macy’s (34th St and Broadway), Barneys (Madison Avenue and 62nd Street) or Anthropologie at Rockefeller Plaza.
|The Holiday windows at Saks are insanely beautiful. All images are my own.
Missing something? You’re right. I didn’t include Times Square in this guide because you’ll probably head there anyway. This is the sign that I am now a total Gothamist that avoids the most touristy spot in the city…
Disclaimer level 0: The author received no compensation to write this article and paid for her own tickets. All the opinions are the author’s own.