We love Christmas in our hometown, and we love Christmas in Cincinnati. We love Christmas just about anywhere, in fact. You know we’re big believers in exploring your little corner of the country. However, we’re also big believers in the fact that sometimes you have to bend the budget a bit and treat yourself to an unforgettable experience.
Jessica had always heard nobody does Christmas like New York City, so she was ready to see what all the fuss was about. Of course, NYC did not disappoint. Thinking about visiting? Scroll on down for Jessica’s Christmas in New York City tips and recommendations:
- The Rockettes – We knew we were in for a treat, but we had no idea just how wonderful this show would be. Plan to arrive 45 – 60 minutes early to avoid crowds and treat yourself to the “good seats!” You won’t regret it.
- Central Park Carriage Ride – we spent a magical 45 minutes clip-clopping around Central Park.
- Saks Holiday Light Show – Disclaimer: the crowds are not to be taken lightly. We stumbled upon their light show on our way to dinner and were quickly swallowed up by a sea of onlookers. Worth it, though!
- Ice Skating at Bryant Park – Sure, Rockefeller Center is the tourist hot spot, but Bryant Park is cheaper, and tends to be less crowded. Which means … less people to witness you wipe out on the ice. $20 per person or free with your own skates. Speaking of Rockefeller Center …
- The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center – The star of the show. The beating heart of Christmas in New York City and a definite on the must-see list.
Where we shopped:
- Macy’s – Nothing puts us in the mood to shop like a well-decorated department store. Hello christmas lights and red velvet … goodbye paycheck.
- Holiday Markets at Bryant and Central Parks – a great place to find one of a kind souvenirs an stocking stuffers.
Where we ate/drank:
- Del Frisco’s ($$$-$$$$) – Conveniently located across from Radio City Music Hall and steaks well worth the price tag.
- Flute – 1920’s themed champagne speakeasy with an intimate atmosphere *Swoon*
- Da Marino ($$-$$$) – Lobster ravioli that will change your life, generous wine pours and a piano crooning in the background. Heaven with a side of marinara.
- The Carnegie Club – warm up with a Manhattan next to the fireplace at this shmoozy cigar lounge. Easily our dad’s favorite spot!
- Lillie’s Victorian Establishment ($$) – Victorian elegance greets you at every turn in this magical little place. Lunch served on fine china and tea in delicate porcelain had us feeling like royalty.
Where we stayed:
- Central Park Mariott on 54th street – the front desk staff offered to hold our bags while we waited for our room so we checked our bags and headed to lunch. This hotel was a great price comparatively for the season and was in a great location, centrally located between Times Square and Central Park.
Favorite thing we brought along:
- A vintage fur – because, if not in New York at Christmas time … when? Faux or authentic, bust out that vintage mink and get your Doris Day on.
Once all the holiday boxes were checked, there were a few more things we had to see before we left….
- Downton Abbey Exhibit – We can’t get enough Downton Abbey, so when we found out the exhibit was in town we had to make a stop. Well worth the time and money!
- Natural History Museum – we stopped in to check out the exhibits and see where Night at the Museum was filmed.
- Choir Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Catholic or not, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a welcome break from the chaos of the Christmas crowds and a beautiful choir performance that will gently bring you back to the true meaning of the Christmas season. Plan to arrive early – we grabbed coffee and windowshopped our way there.
- Chicago at Ambassador Theater – One of our favorite movies, and we finally got the chance to see it live! The Ambassador Theater is a perfectly intimate auditorium, plan to arrive a little early (30 minutes at least) to avoid the rush!
- Good Morning America – We decided to wander down to Times Square to see if we could catch any of the Good Morning America live shots. We got lucky and wound up on TV behind Meteorologist, Ginger Zee. 15 seconds of fame …. Check.
- New York Public Library – where are our fellow Sex And The City fans? Carrie and Big’s wedding was supposed to be held here in the SATC movie, but the New York Public Library has so much more to offer.