With all its bright lights, New York City is a wonderful place to visit year-round. However, during holiday time, the city becomes even more spectacular, lit up with even more lights to celebrate the season!
If your family happens to be planning a trip to the Big Apple this winter, you might find your little ones wondering what their trip will be like. Will it be anything like Buddy the Elf’s? Will they get to pass through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and through the Lincoln Tunnel?
I will leave that question for the parents to answer, but even parents might be wondering what attractions they should put on their list. Below I have outlined an itinerary that will allow your family to get the most out of a New York City weekend during the holidays!
Start your trip off by seeing the lights and sights! The ten-block stretch of Fifth Avenue between 49th Street and Central Park is overflowing with memorable sites for the whole family and the best part about including this on your list, is that it does not require admission!
Starting at the northern end on 59th Street, you get a glimpse of the southern end of Central Park. Just one block down, you can get some relief from the cold by stepping inside FAO Schwarz’s flagship toy store. Of course it is a great place for shopping; however, it is also a site to be seen with its real life toy soldiers standing guard at the door, a giant floor piano to play on, and other life size toys throughout.
Going one block further down, you will find the legendary Tiffany & Co. and the massive UNICEF Snowflake hung outside.
Finish your walk up at the famed tree in Rockefeller Plaza on 49th Street. The tree has been a tradition for 80 years now and the holidays in New York just would not be the same without it. The Swarovski star that tops the tree stands taller than most men and this year’s tree is eight times taller than the star!
Just across the street you will find Saks Fifth Avenue, where you can gaze through the extravagantly decorated window displays. The reason for hitting this site last is that you can arrange to arrive just after dusk to see the “Snowflake Spectacular” 3-D light show on the side of the building and still have plenty of time to grab a quick dinner and freshen up for an evening show.
After being on your feet all morning, scheduling a Broadway show for the evening is a great way to finish off the day. With 40 theaters, there is sure to be a show that suits every family. There’s everything from comedies to classics, and if you are traveling with young children, there is even Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Annie, and the wildly popular Wicked.
If all the members of your family are a bit older, the Union Square Holiday Market is a must see. It is similar to Fifth Avenue; unless you purchase any keepsakes there is no cost to visit. Since the market is entirely outdoors, you might need a little something to keep you warm. Just four blocks to the north is City Bakery where you can stop by to grab their signature hot chocolate. Once at the market, you can soak up a bit of holiday cheer by browsing rows and rows of vendors selling unique goods and crafts.
If you’ve got little ones in your family, they might not have the attention span to make it through the market. Instead, start your day off a bit earlier and head up to the Bronx to see the annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden. Though many sections of the garden are outdoors, including the children’s section, you can balance those with the exhibits inside the glass conservatory, which are toasty warm!
Winter in New York City might not have you thinking about taking a cruise, but it’s actually a wonderful experience to conclude your trip. Not only is the skyline beautiful from the water, you will find that many cruise operators enhance the experience by offering holiday themed cruises! Of course it’s chilly outside, but from inside your vessel you won’t know it, and you will still have an absolutely fantastic time.
Christina Loiacono is a travel enthusiast and content contributor at http://blog.zerve.com/. She has spent many years living locally in NYC and has personally enjoyed everything recommended above in this post!
A special thanks to Christina for submitting this very informative Guest Post!
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