Travel Guide: Christmas In New York

At the time of writing this, it is December 1st and we’ve just put up our Christmas Tree and are getting ready to decorate the rest of the house. This time last year, we were getting ready to spend Christmas in New York, so the tree was all we put up. But onto the actual article: a guide the Christmas in New York.


Santaland/Macy’s (Herald Square)

We went as a group of adults, but we still went to Santaland. It is kind of like walking through a short north pole stage set. But it didn’t have quite the Christmas magic I was expecting. At the end you can go and see one of several Santa’s, but we left that bit for the kids.

Macy’s as a department store is 11 floors and has a lot to offer. I spent most of my time looking at Christmas decorations, clothes and make up.

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Santaland – Macy’s

Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue has several shops that dress their windows for Christmas. However they aren’t all Christmas themed. Fifth Avenue also provides access to the Rockefeller Center which has the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree and ice rink. This is a show stopper in the evening because it looks most impressive when the tree is lit up in the dark. Facing it on the other side of Fifth Avenue is also the Sax light show, which adds to the festive feel.

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Rockefeller Christmas Tree

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Sax Fifth Avenue Light Show

Sixth Avenue

Head out through Rockefeller to Sixth Avenue and you will be by Radio City Music Hall. Here sits the giant baubles in front of the Exxon Building. There is also a few other light up displays nearby, such as the Reindeer in front of the Fox Building.

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Baubles

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Reindeer

Empire State Building

The top part of the Empire State Building also lights up in red and green for the festive season.

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Empire State Building

Christmas in New York is not the family sitting around the festive meal in a cozy picture book house. In fact it is a good idea to check what places are open Christmas day. We ended up having pizza – which while delicious wasn’t particularly festive. However we did see some amazing iconic sights. It is also worth remembering that it is really cold so dress warmly.

 

Krystal xx

Top Free Attractions In New York City

  1. Times Square

This colourful hub is an LED wonderland and also has most of the shops you could want to go to.

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Times Square

  1. Fifth Avenue

You don’t have to shop to check out this iconic street.

  1. Central Park

The greenest part of Manhattan and miles of iconic greenery from so many movies lies within Central Park.

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Central Park

  1. The High Line

As an elevated linear park, the High Line gives you an elevated view of the surrounding area.

  1. The Brooklyn Bridge

For a view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines as well as a view of the Hudson River and a distant view of the Statue of Liberty, a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge is a must.

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Brooklyn Bridge

  1. Macy’s/Santaland

Macy’s is awesome any time of year, but extra fun and festive at Christmas.

  1. Rockefeller Center

Watch the ice skating and check out the massive Christmas Tree and Rockefeller Center. It’s also a great place to see the light show on Saks at Christmastime.

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Rockefeller Center

  1. Bryant Park

For a bit of greenery with a nearby famous public library, check out Bryant Park.

  1. 9/11 Memorial

A beautiful and somber memorial where the Twin Towers once stood.

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial

  1. Grand Central Station

This restored station is another icon and on the roof, you can see a tile they left to show the condition the station was previously in.

Please note, these attractions are in no particular order.

Happy Travels

Krystal xx

 

Seeing Lady Liberty in the Flesh

A trip to New York is not complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. But what is the best way to see this iconic monument?

IMG_3142I personally, think the best way to see it is up close and personally. But the only way you can do this is via a trip with Statue Cruises. Onsite, Statue Cruises are incredibly and lack customer service skills. The lines are long (3+ hours at the height of the season). Booking your tickets online will save you getting in line for tickets and may allow you to go up in the Statue where tickets are very limited.

After waiting in line for the boat for a rather long time. You will go through a security screening. They want people to remove hats, scarves, gloves etc. So expect to strip half your layers in winter.

The boats themselves are designed to have nearly everyone standing, with rails on the sides and hand holds from the ceiling. The windows provide an excellent view, but could benefit from being cleaned.IMG_3167

You arrive at the back of the statue, where there is a souvenir shop, toilets and a place to eat and drink. Following the path around to the front of the statue gives you a great view of both the statue and the end of Manhattan.

If this doesn’t sound like you, the Staten Island Ferry provides a free boat ride and passes by the Statue of Liberty and tour boats also pass by the statue. But Statue Cruises is the only one that will allow you to get up close and personal with the statue.

Happy Travels.
Krystal xx

Silence in NYC: An Infrequent Event

Silence is a moment of stillness or quiet. In New York that is fairly hard to come by and treasured when it does. Here are some moments of silence in the city that really does never sleep.

Silence is a quiet frozen stillness, like on this pond in Central Park.

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Silence is a respectful pause of reflection, like here at the 9/11 Memorial.

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Silence is when you finally get out of the crowds and no one is around, like this little corner behind a wall by Fox.

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Silence for a moment is golden, silence for a lifetime is bleak.

Krystal xx

Viewing Platforms In New York (Manhattan)

It’s been a while, I’ve been doing some exploring around the globe and spending more time writing content for other people than myself, but hopefully in this new year, I’ll be able to share all the latest with you.

Recently, I spent a fair bit of time in New York City and over the next little while I will give you all my tips and tricks to seeing New York. First, I’ll start off by talking about the different viewing platforms.

Empire State Building

If you’ve ever seen Sleepless in Seattle, you’ll have seen a sneak preview of what it is like up in the Empire State Building. But unless you’re first in the morning or there last thing at night like they were, it probably won’t be so empty. But that is ok, because with so many other attractions you have to line up for ages so you want to be there first thing in the morning. But with the Empire State Building, what really impressed me was their crowd control. When we went first thing in the morning, it was fairly quick to get in. When we went in the afternoon, the line was hallway around the bottom of the building. Yet the line moved quickly and there was a lot of staff making sure things were orderly and being available to provide information. They also kept spaces near doors clear for those going to other places. Then inside there was more moving through the line, going through security scanning and then finally up to the first inside viewing platform. But again the line did keep moving. The inside viewing platform is particularly great in winter (the time I was there) as it is warm. That is on the 80th floor. You can then either take the lift or the stairs up to the 86th floor to the outside viewing platform where they also have the famous binoculars. For a keen photographer like me this was the best place to get photos through the fencing. But going up there at night in winter like we did was pretty chilly. Both viewing platforms offer a good view of the city and particularly of the Freedom Tower.

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One World Observatory (Freedom Tower)

We had to check out One World as it was the newest, the tallest and offered a Winter Wonderland experience. The Winter Wonderland experience was a quick animation in the lift about how New York’s skyline has changed and virtual frosted windows which didn’t work the day we were there. For One World you have to line outside in the freezing cold with a line that doesn’t seen to move (especially if you’re in the voucher line like we were). There is one staff member on waving people through, a lack of information available and did I mention cold? Once you get inside to buy your tickets you can’t go straight up like you did in Empire, you have to come back at a certain time (so I’d recommend buying your tickets online for a set time if you can then just showing up 20 minutes before that time). Out the other side of the Freedom Tower is the Westfield mall and it is in here by the Subway that you line up at your time. It also means you can fill in time there out of the cold in winter until your timeslot. Lining up, the staff weren’t particularly helpful and got annoyed if people lined up too early. Once inside, you are taken up in a lift to floor 102 then run through a couple of presentations before you get to the viewing platform. The viewing platform is inside and at night very reflective. They also ran other presentation up on the viewing platform that you could choose to listen to which was very informative. The view here is the best of the bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River. You can also dine up there with a panoramic view.

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We choose not to do this platform in the end because it was near the Empire State Building, but it is best to do during the day as it offers a great view of Central Park. You can also see the classic Empire State Building. It looked like more of the lining up was done inside so it may also be a better winter venue.

So if you’re going to New York, these are all good spots to see the city from, but if I had to pick one, I’d definitely pick Empire State Building.

Krystal xx