January in New York City

by NYJ Team

True, January is known to be the coldest month of the year in New York City. Snow, cold winds and wet weather make many escape the city for warmer regions, however if one comes prepared for the elements, there are some wonderful reasons to visit New York during this month. 

Because January is the month after the holiday rush, visitors will be able to find some super deals in accommodation and travel. Hotels are vying for tourists and will offer excellent promotions during the winter months. One should bear in mind that snowy weather may hamper travel trips and flexibility should be the name of the game when it comes to holiday planning.  

Less visitors to the city also means that tourists need not stand in long lines to find tickets to a Broadway show. Besides ticket availability, prices are usually cheaper as well.  Post-holiday sales are also an excellent reason to visit New York during January and visitors can pick up designer clothes and other specials at the fraction of their price throughout New York City stores.  

New York is a culinary lover’s delight in January, especially during New York City Restaurant Week where visitors can dine at some of the city’s top eateries at greatly reduced rates.  

Visitors are advised to dress well for their visit in January. With temperatures reaching average highs of 36 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and dropping to below freezing, obviously warm coats, gloves and scarves are a necessity. However, visitors are advised to dress in layers as stores, subways and museums are heated. The constant leaving and entering of locations may require the removal and addition of layers as the situation calls for. Wind and rain may also cause puddles and visitors should ensure that their footwear is warm and waterproof. A little forethought in terms of what to bring will ensure that visitors enjoy all the wonderful things that New York City has to offer in January.

Head to NewYorkJourney.com for great deals on New York City hotels.

New Years Eve in Times Square

by NYJ Team

Every year, at exactly one minute to midnight on December 31st, the famous Times Square Ball makes its majestic descent that lasts a full minute until it ushers in the New Year. Millions of people take part in the ceremonious countdown that peaks at 10..9..8… until the final ..2..1 and “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Nowhere is the celebration felt in New York as it is in Times Square on this night. 

The Times Square ball has been a firm New York tradition since 1907, although crowds would regularly gather in the square to welcome in the New Year long before this date. New Yorkers and visitors alike have witnessed this spectacular ritual for every year since, with the exception of two years during the Second World War due to ‘dimout’ restrictions.  

The original ball was made of iron and wood, was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs and weighed a whopping 700 pounds. From 1955 until the 1980s, an aluminum ball was used, temporarily turning into a giant apple to promote the “I Love New York” tourism campaign for several of those years. The new Millennium called for a totally new look for the Times Square Ball and Waterford Crystal was approached to create a ball fit for the occasion. The result was more than stunning – an interesting geodesic sphere, almost six feet in diameter and weighing over 1000 pounds. The effect of the lighting and more than 500 Waterford crystals was a fitting welcome for the 21st century.  

2008 heralds the 100-year anniversary of the much-loved Times Square Ball and in honor of this event, a new LED crystal ball was unveiled. Visitors to this year’s celebrations at Times Square will thus be able to enjoy a fantastic sight that promises to be twice as bright as the Millennium ball. Seasons Greetings!

For a directory of New York hotels in the Times Square area, head to NewYorkJourney.com.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

by NYJ Team

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a not-to-be-missed annual show that is performed at the Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center in New York City. This show combines elements of world-class dancing, dazzling costumes and incredible backdrops to bring together one of the best-loved performances in the world. Indeed, the Christmas Spectacular is viewed by over 1-million people every single year!

The show runs over a period of six weeks and stars the famous Rockettes – a precision dance company based in Manhattan. A total of 140 dancers and actors take part in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular each year, from the beginning of November to the final days of December. While the show started out in 1933 as two simple acts between movie screenings, in 1975 it took on its present length of 90 minutes. Over the years, technology has enabled the show’s creators to take it to dazzling heights, such as the introduction of a 3D movie at the beginning.  

In keeping with tradition, the story outline of the show remains very much the same from year to year. The movie recounts the tale of Santa Claus making his way towards the Radio City Music Hall and the show begins once he lands. Over the years, several new songs and items have been added and, incorporated into the show with much-loved classics such as the act with a theme from The Nutcracker ballet and the March of the Wooden Soldiers dating back to 1933, brings viewers one of the most magical performances in the world. 

This year’s Christmas Spectacular celebrates 75 years in the making of the show. As a result, patrons are promised one of the most extraordinary experiences that they will ever see, including snow, fireworks and incredible new songs and dances performed by the Rockettes. For anyone in New York City over the holidays, this is definitely a show that HAS to be seen.

Click to book tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.