December in New York: What to Do During the Holidays

December is my all time favorite month, not just because of my b-day, but because there’s something about this time of the year that I feel makes everyone put their problems aside and smile. So In honor of my favorite month, I’ve created a list of the top 7 things to do in New York City in December.

The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

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First stop on my list is visiting the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. The area is open to the public from 7am-12am daily, it’s completely free and very easy to get to. The closest subway station is the D or F line (47th street Rockefeller Center) or by walking uptown from 42nd street. It may sound far but trust me there’s no need to pay a cab, it’s like 10 minute walk.

Ice Skate

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Next on my to-do list is ice skating. There’s just something about gliding on ice in the middle of the city while listening to Christmas jingles that lightens my soul and my favorite location is Bryant Park. This park is very easy to get to, especially if you are a block away in Times Square, and the wait is not long if you go at a decent hour a.k.a early. Rates: General Admission is free +Β  $20 skate rental.

Aside from the rink at the Winter Village in Bryant Park, there are many other options available depending on where you are in the city:

Rockefeller Center

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The ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center is the most popular rink in the city because of it’s location and publicity so If this is your dream to skate here then go for it but expect extra long lines. Rates: 90 min session for $25(adults) + $8 skate rental.

Wollman Rink in Central Park

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Photo by Gabriella G. Teixeira

Escape the city while being in the city. The Wollman Rink is located in Central Park and it’s a great way of killing two birds with one stone; taking a stroll through the park and ice skating. Rates:Β  90 min session for $12-$19(adults) + $9 skate rental.

The Rink at Brookfield Place

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If you’re downtown visiting the One World Trade Center Museum, right across from it is the Brookfiled Plaza and they have their very own rink facing the Hudson River. Although there are kids, there’s always kids, this ice skating rink gives me more of a romantic vibe so if you are looking for date ideas, your welcome. Also this rink is not as heavily populated as the others I mentioned above so it’s great for last minute-ers ;-). Their rates are $15(adults) + $5 skate rental for 90 min session.

Holiday Markets

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My next favorite thing to do is visit the Christmas markets! If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift then you’ll be amaze at the number of unique items you can find at these locationsΒ  sold by small business owners.

Bryant Park’s Winter Village

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Union Square Holiday Market

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Artist & Fleas at Chelsea Market

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Macy’s Holiday Window & Santa Land

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If you’re a kid at heart then you, my friend, are gonna love this… Macy’s on Herald Square has the best holiday windows every year. This year’s theme is believing in magic which includes a communication center to Santa, an interactive Christmas-themed pinball machine, the North Pole and more. 20161201095629_img_0691

They also turn a portion of their 8th floor into this magical Santa Land that is completely free for everyone. The only fee they charge is for taking professional photos with Santa but we can deal with that, It’s Santa.Β  If you plan on visiting, I recommend going early on weekends and reserving your spot in line here.

Santacon

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Photo by Anthony Quintano

If you need to add alcohol to your festivities (like me), then get yourself some holiday gear and join the annual pub crawl; Santacon. This massive gathering of Christmas characters will be Saturday, December 10th and trust me, it’s never a bad time when you have a bunch of adults playing dress up and drinking.

The Nutcracker at Brookfield Place

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Ballet anyone? I love live performances and even more when they are free. On December 2nd & December 3rd, the New York Theatre Ballet will be performing a one hour version of the Nutcracker for everyone at Brookfield Place. All you have to do is arrive early for good seats and that’s all! Not bad for a mall, right? Click here for the hours of the show.

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New Year’s Eve at Times Square

Dream of watching the ball drop in Times Square? I have but never had the courage to do it. If you dare to be challenged, I suggest you get mentally and physically prepared to camp outside the viewing area from 1pm to midnight. By 2pm NYPD will start to close off streets so forget about hailing a cab to get you anywhere near there and keep in mind there are no portable bathrooms in the area so leave that large bottle of water home. Most importantly dress appropriate, I haven’t had one New Years eve in NY that wasn’t freezing so short skirts and heels are a NO. Oh! and definitely do NOT take a backpack.

Additional tips for your trip to NY

Don’t forget to the pack:

  • Warm clothes (coat, sweater, scarves, gloves, hats)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • A small messenger style bag
  • Portable phone charger
  • A positive mind

Hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below what’s your favorite thing to do during the holidays and if you decide to visit any of the places I mentioned above please tag me on social media, I’d love to see your photos.

Happy Holidays!