My previous blog(s) on what to do in New York City during Christmastime have proven to be among my most popular posts. I’m including links to those two and am adding a few more fun things to do while you are here visiting. You ARE coming to New York City during Christmas aren’t you? So much to do, so little time….Top Ten Things To Do in New York City during Christmastime and the later version: Top Ten Things To Do In New York City During Christmastime UPDATED!
The season really does officially kick off with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade BUT each year retailers move the calendar dates closer to Halloween than Thanksgiving. Literally I swear Duane Reade was decked out in red bows and candy canes the day AFTER Halloween.
1. ROCKEFELLER CENTER: There’s so much holiday here that it makes the list every year. NOT only should you go and see the tree and watch the ice skaters, you should also check out The Top Of The Rock. With the country facing economic catastrophe and the world between two wars, John D. Rockefeller’s vision for his center never wavered. Rockefeller Center and the observation deck were his gifts to Manhattan- a place for locals and visitors to marvel at the city he loved. Yo
u can visit this spectacular observation deck during the day or night. I opted for a night when there was a full moon and all I can say OMG.
2. CATHEDRALS and CHURCHES: Some of New York City’s grandest structures are the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Among the most accessible are St. Thomas’ on Fifth Avenue and St. Bart’s on Park Ave. Take a moment and visit one or more of these places of worship, you won’t be disappointed. The peaceful atmosphere (although a bit hectic at St. Patrick’s during Christmastime), the magnificent altars laden with red poinsettias and the glory of their stained glass windows is well worth a drop in.
3. THE HIGHLINE and EATALY: There are “touristy” things to see and do and there are some that are more so. Apparently, Eataly has become a must see, must stop for literally thousands of visitors. This is the gastronomic retail empire created by Lidia and family and Mario Batali. Go, see, eat, buy and who knows you might even have a Lidia spotting. As for the Highline, so many of my friends and relatives take visitors there, I felt I should include it. It is a 1 mile long linear park elevated above the City and affording fabulous views. If it’s not freezing or windy when you are here, you might want to walk along this man-made wonder which actually preserved the a scenic path where the former cargo trains ran.
4. CANAL STREET: If you haven’t picked up all your gifts yet, this is the place to go. You will find a splendiferous display of wares you won’t believe. Handbags, perfume, gadgets, scarves, hats, gloves, jewelry, more jewelry, watches – you are truly in a shopper’s paradise on Canal Street.
5. MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC: There are so many venues for holiday music, I couldn’t possibly list them all. A few highlights to consider are starting December 17th are:
17 — Gotham Holiday Swing, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, Garrison Keillor, Nellie McKay, the Hot Sardines, Jonathan Batiste & the Stay Human Band and others, 8 p.m., Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. $55-$65. (212) 840-2824 (the-townhall-nyc.org).
17-28 — Michael Feinstein’s Holiday @ Birdland, 8:30 p.m., Birdland Jazz Club, 315 W. 44th St. $75-$200. (212) 581-3080 (birdlandjazz.com).
19-20 — The New York Pops, “Under the Mistletoe with Ashley Brown,” conductor Steven Reineke, Essential Voices USA, 8 p.m., Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium, Seventh Avenue at 57th Street. $37-$112. (212) 247-7800 (carnegiehall.org).
21 — The New York Pops, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” narrated by John Tartaglia with Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA, choreography by New York Theatre Ballet and actors from TADA! Youth Theater, 2 p.m., Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium, Seventh Avenue at 57th Street. $75-$400. (212) 903-9734 (carnegiehall.org).