Saturday, December 1, 2012

Top 10 Must See Places in New York City during the Christmas Holidays

Since I did not have the time to put this list together before leaving on our trip, I figure a 3 hour train ride (with wifi) is the perfect time to do it.  Traveling by train often gets overlooked since there are so many travel options now available.  I have to say that having the luxury of being able to stretch out (and having our favorite apple products with us) makes traveling more than just a means to an end.

All four of us ~ I'm blogging while the rest of the family are on iPads
iPhone Photo
© Corrie M Avila

Top 10 Must See Places in NYC during the Christmas Holidays
  1. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree ~ if you haven't read my previous post, click here.  There is something so magical about the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza.  If you've seen photos, or watched it on TV, trust me ~ they do not do it justice.  It is worth the trip to see this in person.
  2. Top of the Rock ~ Slightly less known than the Empire State Building, but a great view nonetheless.  Also, so close to Rockefeller Center, that I'm hoping there is a nice view of the Tree and the Ice Skating.  This will be my first time going to the Top of the Rock.
  3. Broadway Show ~ Either purchase tickets in advance (if show, date, and time are not flexible) or go to a TKTS booth on the day of.  They offer discount tickets for same day showings.  We are going to hit TKTS when we get into NYC ~ I am hoping for Mary Poppins, but there are so many good shows right now, I'm sure we will find something for the whole family.
  4. Jane's Carousel ~ This is a must see for any NYC visit.  The carousel was built in 1922 and recently was moved to Brooklyn, NY.  It is set on the East River and is encased in a glass structure so the view is magnificent.
  5. Conte's Market ~ I may be biased because my Uncle is the Conte in "Conte's Market," but pay them a visit, you will not be disappointed!  In a society of chain stores and fast food, Conte's Market stands out and reminds us of what NYC once was.  Not only do they sell meat, but they also sell sandwiches, lasagna, and some of the best roast beef I've ever had (cooked right in the store).  You are treated as a person and not a number.  And don't be too suprised if you come in and there are some very handsome gentlemen singing in Italian and playing music.  If you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of Midnight, the black cat who protects "her" store :)  Conte's Market can be found on E 89th Street and York Ave.
  6. Grand Central Terminal ~ Grand Central is celebrating their 100th Anniversary and they also are having their 11th Annual Holiday Train Show.  I believe it is free and my boys will LOVE it!
  7. Bryant Park ~ Nestled right next to the New York Public Library, this is a park that hosts movie nights during the summer and an ice skating rink during the winter.  You've heard of ice skating in Central Park and Rockefeller Plaza, but this is slightly less known and therefore less touristy.
  8. Radio City Christmas Spectacular ~ This show runs from Dec 1 through Dec 30 at the Radio City Music Hall.  I have never personally been, but everyone that I know that has gone has loved it. 
  9. Fifth Avenue and Times Square ~ If you've seen "Miracle on 34th Street," you know what I'm talking about.  Christmas window displays are everywhere and the stores are decked out in their finest.
  10. Central Park ~ You have all the typical attractions here, but something you must do is to go on a horse and carriage ride through central park.  It is romantic, whimsical, and full of Christmas Magic <3
On another note ~ we are doing something we've never done before... we are going into NYC without hotel reservations.  My sister (who lives in Manhattan) suggested we use an app called "hotel tonight."  It has many major US cities to choose from.  The rooms are discounted because the hotels are trying to fill up to capacity.  The benefit ~ spending less money on your NYC hotel, the downfall ~ you have to wait until noon on the DAY OF to book your room.  So being that it just passed noon, we now have a room for two nights and we are paying 50% less than the listed price.  I'll keep you updated on that :)

Please feel free to add anything to the list in the comments section ~ we are here for five days and would love more suggestions!

Happy Shooting!

Corrie <3


  1. Museum of Natural History - go at midnight and wait for the exhibits to come alive, leave the museum and cross over into central park . . . quite an attraction, i heard . . .

    1. oh yeah, forgot about that one!! must be a sight to see :)

  2. Hey Corrie! Of course, being your mother, I suggest the SI ferry over to the SI Zoo! You always loved going there as a young child and enjoyed our visit there in 2001! love ya, Mom

    1. The Staten Island Children's Museum is also another good place to visit. We did that on our last trip here.

  3. For my little grandkids, I strongly suggest the Rockerfella Center Christas Show over a broadway show . . . but that's me - a first balcony seat right up in the front of the balcony where the kids can see everything!
    You mentioned "Mary Poppins" and i imagine your kids would love that too - hope you get great close up seats!
    hugs, Grandma