December in New York City

by NYJ Team

December is the most wonderful time of the year, and a wonderful time to visit New York City! Show off your best moves on the Rockefeller Center skating rink by the twinkling lights of the spectacular Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Shopping, shows and New Year’s Eve in Times Square are just some of the fun things to do in the city during the festive holiday season.

The Tree at Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree at 50th Street and 5th Avenue is a beloved New York tradition and a must-see Manhattan holiday attraction. Located at Rockefeller Plaza (which spans from 48th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues) the branches of towering tree are circled in thousands of twinkling eco-friendly lights. The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony typically takes place in late November or early December. The televised star-studded event features ice-skating performances on the ice rink and draws thousands of spectators.

Skating at Rockefeller Center
The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center opens in mid-October, but it’s a particularly wonderful winter experience for travellers visiting New York in December. That’s because in December, visitors and New Yorkers alike can glide and twirl around the ice under the towering sparkling beauty of the Rockefeller Center tree, just like a scene out of a movie! Rent skates or bring your own, and be prepared to wait during peak times as only 150 skaters are permitted on the rink at once. Skaters can stop for a bite at the Rock Center Café, located right by the ice. The world-famous rink is accessible from 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Visit www.therinkatrockcenter.com for hours of operation.

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
Need to kick your Christmas spirit into high gear? Check out a performance of this renowned Christmas show to get you right into the spirit of the holidays. The Radio City Music Hall, located on 6th Avenue at 50th Street, hosts the annual Christmas Spectacular which features dazzling choreography and the world-famous high kicks of the Radio City Rockettes. From Santa’s workshop coming to life to the popular “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” this beloved tradition will delight the entire family. Tickets can be purchased online at www.radiocitychristmas.com or through Ticketmaster.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square
Planning to spend New Year’s Eve in New York City? Consider heading to Times Square to watch the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball drop at 11:59p.m. This symbol of New York City draws a crowd of up to a million to Times Square each year, and the vibrant celebration includes fun freebies such as confetti bags, pom-poms and balloons. Revellers will enjoy a festive firecracker display and exciting performances by top entertainers. The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is covered in thousands of Waterford crystals, creating a stunning kaleidoscope of colours and patterns as it makes its descent from its perch on a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. Visit www.timessquarenyc.org for tips on the best viewing areas, a schedule of New Year’s Eve events and how to get to Times Square.

New York City is a fantastic shopping destination any time of year, but the bonus of visiting in December is getting to do your holiday shopping while taking in the incredible holiday storefront windows at shops like Macy’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. A couple of tips- keep in mind that December is peak travel season in New York City, so arrange travel plans well in advance, and remember to bundle up as the weather is typically quite chilly.

When planning your trip to New York City, check our directory of hotel listings to find hotels close to the sites and attractions you would like to see.

November in New York City

by NYJ Team

November hosts several big events in the Big Apple, such as the New York City Marathon and the New York Comedy Festival. And with the holiday season is fast approaching, the city is alive with the excitement of both Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas holidays. From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the unveiling of the legendary holiday storefront windows, November is a beautiful time of year to experience the magic of Manhattan.

New York City Marathon
This annual event which takes place the first Sunday is November has evolved over the last few decades from a modest few dozen runners to the largest marathon in the U.S. The course runs through all five boroughs in New York City, with the finish line located in Central Park. Over two million spectators fill the city to cheer on their favourite athlete, and the event is watched by an estimated 315 million viewers around the world. Entry to the New York City Marathon is gained by a lottery system due to its massive popularity- more than 100,000 people apply each year. For more information on the race, visit the official site at www.macys.com/campaign/parade/parade.jsp.

Holiday Storefront Windows
The Fifth Avenue shopping area and its world-renowned boutiques are already a popular destination for travellers, but the stunning holiday storefront windows are an absolute must-see. Unveiled in mid to late November, retailers like Bergdorf Goodman at 57th and 58th Streets offer holiday shoppers creative and colourful displays that draw crowds of window-gazers. Sak’s Fifth Avenue at 50th Street showcase animated windows with imaginative themes; past windows have been inspired by children’s story books and feature mannequins adorned with creations by famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren. Macy’s also unveils an elaborate set of displays along Broadway and 34th Street, with the windows along 34th inspired by scenes from the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street. And not to be outdone by the others, Bloomingdale’s flagship location at 59th Street unveils spectacular holiday displays in its Lexington Avenue windows with a different theme every year

New York Comedy Festival
Comedians like Ricky Gervais, Tracy Morgan and Andy Samberg are some of the big names that take the stage at the New York Comedy Festival, along with 150 other entertainers. Shows take place at ten venues across New York City, including Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Carolines on Broadway. Tickets to each event can be purchased online at www.nycomedyfestival.com.

Other fun events to check out in New York in November include the annual Chocolate Show, where visitors can cross the chocolate lovers off their Christmas list. The show features hundreds of exhibitors offering delicious delicacies. This massive all-about-chocolate event also features demonstrations by chocolatiers and pastry chefs, and a chocolate fashion show. Tickets are $28 and available online at www.ticketmaster.com.

 When planning your trip to New York City, check our directory of hotel listings to find hotels close to the sites and attractions you would like to see.