It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

New York City at Christmas (visited in 2015)

I don’t know about you but when I think about Christmas time I cannot help but turn back into that giddy little four year old girl who was jumping on my parents’ bed at 2 a.m. in the morning screaming, “WAKE UP! IT’S CHRISTMAS!” (P.S. I may or may not still do that (: ). One of my biggest dreams was to see NYC at Christmas time because deep down in our hearts, I think we all want to live out those Hallmark Holiday Movies and in my opinion, New York City is the perfect place to do so. Around the winter holidays, NYC transforms into this entirely new world filled with gigantic Christmas decorations, lights hanging from every street corner, store windows filled to the top with winter displays and moving animations, and the always classic Rockefeller Christmas tree to bring it all together.


(Me and my mom in front of the Rockefeller Tree)

If you know me, you know that I usually like to spend a quiet Christmas at home with my family and loved ones (and my dogs), but last year my mom and I stepped out of our comfort zones and did something I have always wanted to do: take a trip to NYC during the holiday season. Even though I am usually the kind of girl that resists change, I loved every single second of this trip. I had been to New York City twice before this trip, once in the summer and once in the spring, but this trip was an all new experience. Not only does the city look incredibly different with all of the decorations, but the feel of the city changes too to fit the growing holiday cheer. There are so many fun and amazing things to do in NYC at Christmas, it can get a bit overwhelming if you are thinking about planning a trip. So, since the holiday season is growing closer and closer, in this post I have compiled a list of my top recommendations of things to do and see in NYC at Christmas time. Keep in mind I am not a native to NYC so my list might look different from someone who lives there, but as an outsider these are my top picks for things to see!

Top 10 Things to Do/See in NYC at Christmas Time:

  • Rockefeller Christmas Tree- Of course, nothing says “holiday cheer” like a gigantic Christmas tree! Plus, right beside the tree you can rent a pair of skates and go iceskating on the outdoor rink.



(The outdoor iceskating rink beside the Rockefeller Tree)

  • Shopping on 5th avenue- 5th avenue is amazing at anytime of the year, but the decorations and light shows that happen around the holidays are like something out of a fairytale.



  • Seeing the Empire State Building lit up with green and red- It is so fun to see the lights on the Empire State Building change to red and green around Christmas.


  • Go see a Broadway Play- Again, this is something I recommend doing regardless of the season, but there is something extra magical about seeing one of these spectacular masterpieces during the holidays.


  • Check out Top of the Rock at night time- The Top of the Rock has one of the best skyline views of NYC (including a great view of the Empire State Building) and it is a completely different experience to come back and see the view at night.


(Featured in the center is the Empire State Building before the lights were switched to red and green)

  • Check out some amazing seasonal food!- NYC is known for some great food and the holidays are no exception, but for me, my favorite was the seasonal veggies and smoothies!


(Featured here is some healthy seasonal veggies with chicken and rice and a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie- yum!)

  • Spend some time in Times Square to see the holiday ads (and because it is a must!)



  • Go see the famous Macy’s department store that is featured in Miracle on 34th Street.- It is one of the most fantastic places in NYC and you instantly become a little kid again when you see all of the magic that the store has to offer!


(The giant mailbox for letters written to Santa)


  • Look at some of the incredible winter and holiday store window decorations.- Nothing can beat the window decorations for a NYC Christmas. I think the pictures speak for themselves here.




(Anthropologie store beside the Rockefeller Tree)


(Henri Bendel window)

  • And last but not least, spend some time with the people you love- NYC at Christmas time is amazing, but it would not have been nearly as special if I had not been able to share the experience with someone I love. So whether that is your family, your special someone, or some of your best friends, I encourage you to share the joy of Christmas and the experiences that NYC has to share with your loved ones!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone!


The Traveling Brunette

*All pictures taken by me


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