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Christmas in New York City

A number of years ago I was in New York City for an incredibly geeky reason during the second week of December.

On Saturday morning we started at Brooklyn Bridge Park, admiring the fantastic views of the lower Manhattan skyline. While we were there we started seeing all sorts of people dressed in Santa suits, and all headed towards the bridge.

If there is one thing I've learned in my travels, it's that if someone is dressed up in a goofy outfit your best bet is to follow them because they are undoubtedly headed somewhere you want to be (this also works when following lederhosen-clad guys carrying tubas in Innsbruck, btw).

These Santas all kept streaming towards the bridge, more joining at every intersection and alley. We followed them across the bridge to the Pier 15 Seaport, filled with waterfront bars and restaurants. And every table was full of Santas. We had unwittingly stumbled upon SANTACON. And it remains one of my favorite New York City memories.

New York City is a favorite travel destination for all sorts of travelers, but I think the city is truly at its best during the winter holiday season. Here's my Top Ten of Awesome for NYC in the winter time!

  1. See the world's largest menorah (standing 32 feet tall!) at Grand Army Plaza in Midtown! Lighting takes place each night of Hanukkah (December 18 - December 26 2022) at various times.

  2. Tour locations used in Christmas movies! This includes the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree featured in Home Alone 2 and Elf, The Wollman Rink from Serendipity, Macy's at Herald Square from Miracle on 34th Street, and so many more.

  3. Get Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3.

  4. Sample the wares at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market.

  5. Head over to the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn to see the Christmas Lights.

  6. Head to Radio City Music Hall for the Radio City Spectacular starring the Rockettes.

  7. Grab some chicken and rice from the nearest Halal food cart and park yourself Bryant Park and view the Empire State Building holiday light show. Check out the Bryant Park Winter Village while you're at it!

  8. Stroll, or take a horse drawn carriage ride, through Central Park. Pair it with hot chocolate for good measure!

  9. Swing through FAO Schwartz for all your toy needs! 5th Avenue is also full of amazing holiday window displays.

  10. Visit Chelsea Market for stocking stuffers and live events.

Get out there and have fun in NYC (but remember: the yellow ones don't stop)!

Thinking about adding a trip to New York City for next year? Contact your travel designer!

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