Holiday Spirit in New York City

I’ve lived in NYC for over twenty years and there’s just no place like it in the world for the holidays. It really should be on everyone’s bucket list. Here are some of my favorite places that instantly get me in the holiday spirit.

Ice Skating in Bryant Park

This is by far one of the most romantic parks in NYC and it just gets better in the winter. I used to waitress at the restaurant here when it was simply a park surrounded by tall sycamore trees.   Now it’s a hub-bub of festive activity with a carousel, holiday shops and restaurants.

General admission is free, however renting ice skates is $14.

Best Shopping

Holiday Fair at Grand Central Terminal

Anything you do at Grand Central Terminal has an air of elegance to it. Now imagine holiday shopping under all that beauty. Every holiday the iconic train terminal features 76 artisans making everything from hand blown glass to hand knit gloves. There’s pottery, handbags, ties, baby stuff. All which say “I didn’t buy this at the mall.”  NYC is host to many holiday markets, but this is the only one held indoors. It’s good to be warm

Holiday Extra: Don’t miss the holiday light show that is projected on Grand Central’s famed ceiling every half hour.

Holiday Fair at Grand Central Station New York

Best Hot Chocolate

Jacques Torres on Hudson Street

A trip to his flagship store and chocolate factory is a must when you come to the city. Here is where you see Mr. Torres’s magic when it comes to handcrafted, made-from-scratch chocolates. The highlight is the chocolate bar where you can order a velvety hot chocolate or if you’re feeling more naughty than nice, a wicked hot chocolate which has cinnamon, all-spice and ancho chili powder. Mr. Torres recently opened an outpost in the concourse of Rockefeller Center.

Jacques Torres Hudson Street NYC

The Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden

The word enchanting doesn’t begin to describe the Holiday Train Show which features 140 of the Big Apple’s most iconic buildings not only in fanciful miniature form but all completely made of plants using seeds, pine-cones, twigs, leaves and bark. Part of the fun is trying to guess what organic material was used to create things like the tiny fans in the original Yankee Stadium or the windows of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. My favorite: the naked bum of a statue made from the shells of two pistachio nuts.

Brand new this year is the Eero Saarinen designed TWA building at JFK airport.

Through January 9th

Train Show at New York Botanical Gardens

UnSilent Night

A family friendly music parade and moving art piece, UnSilent Night has been going on for twenty years! If you want to participate just go to their website to get one of four tracks of music in the form of a cassette, CD or MP3 to be played on whatever you have that amplifies music. Kudos to you if you actually travel with a boombox but of course your phone will do as well. Walking through a specially chosen route through the evening streets, it’s a wonderful way to actually be apart of the holiday energy of New York City. This year the event will be held on December 15th at 7pm.

UnSilent Night NYC

What’s your favorite holiday attraction in the Big Apple?

Read more:

Top Picks for Travel Gifts

3 Great Places for Holiday Lights

My Holiday Travel Survival Guide




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