If you´re like us and just love Christmas, then you will love Christmas in New York. This was our first time in New York – back in December 2015 – so here we give you the First-Time Guide to Christmas in New York.
New York in December!
You will just have the feeling that you have been put into a romantic Christmas movie, with hopes, dreams, and magic. All the lights and creative decorations on nearly every building are truly mesmerizing.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
You cannot visit New York without seeing the beautiful world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Together with the large ice-skating rink, Rockefeller Plaza is expected to be New York´s biggest hub during Christmas. From the Christmas Tree, you´ll have an overview of the skating rink, all the Christmas decorations and in the end, you´ll find Saks Fifth Avenue with a huge lightning show.
The tree is erected in mid-November and lit in a public ceremony first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
Giant Red Christmas Balls
They have become an icon for Christmas in New York. This giant red Christmas ornament is dazzling. You´ll find the ornament on 1251 Sixth Avenue, just across Radio City Music Hall.
The 5 must-do’s First Time in NYC
If this is your first time to New York, there are certain sightseeing you cannot miss. You have nearly seen them all in every movie filmed in New York and they are the definition of The Big Apple. They are not all Christmas-nized as much as other stuff around New York, but it is definitely sightseeing you must see.
1. Times Square
You haven´t been to New York before you have stood on Times Square. One of the world’s most visited squares with over 50 million visitors every year. Brightly adorned with billboards, advertisements and the approximately 330.000 people passes every day – you will see for yourself standing in one of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas.
2. Empire State Building or Top of The Rock
You have to do one of these! We decided to take the three elevators to get to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. With the view of New York´s skyline, you are paralyzed and you just keep taking photos.
Top of the Rock is the viewpoint from Rockefeller Center. We have decided to take this next time.
Just a tip: If you spot the sunset time and go up a half hour before, you´ll be having the skyline in daylight and after the sun goes down.
3. Statue of Liberty
We all know her. This beautiful lady standing in New York´s Harbor with her torch and book of the 4th of July declaration and welcoming immigrants arriving from abroad. She can be admired from a distance, but it is also possible to take a ferry to Liberty Island and have a walk around the statue.
4. World Trade Center Memorial
The world stood still on the 11th September 2001. Everyone can remember what they did at that precise moment they realized what happened on TV. It was awful. It was devastating. The memorial is two square reflecting pools with names of every victim from 9/11. Beautiful and simple. Show you care and visit this place.
5. Central Park
Even if it can be a bit boring visiting Central Park in December with bare trees, cold grass, and chilly weather, you have to give yourself a small peek into this peaceful pearl in the middle of one of the world´s most hectic cities. It is possible to take a horse and carriage ride through the park or go ice-skating on the lakes. Believe it or not, Central Park is one of the most filmed locations in the world.
What to wear?
The weather in New York in December are very cold – freezing cold. You really need to bring a nice fleece or good thermals and a warm jacket. Shoes can be a bit difficult, cause we really recommend you to bring warm boots, but it has to be some you can go explore in.
Keep warm – explore – take coffee breaks.
If you, on the other hand, want to visit the west coast of US, please take a look at our Simple guide to San Francisco