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Christmas In New York

December 24, 2013

There really is nowhere quite like New York at Christmas time

There’s a reason it is featured in so many holiday movies—the city is simply magical this time of year. Here’s how to plan a New York Christmas to match your favorite movies.

Elf

To get in touch with your inner Buddy the Elf, head to the top of the Empire State Building, home to the office of Buddy’s dad. Sure, it might be cold and windy, but the views of the city decorated for the holiday season are spectacular.

Relive Buddy’s date with a trip to the famous Rockefeller Center. The area is extra festive this time of year with a huge Christmas tree and outdoor ice skating rink. The rink normally opens around the end of November and stays up all winter. Bundle up and enjoy hot chocolate after your adventure—who knows, maybe you will find the world’s best cup.

Buddy likes to play in Central Park, and so can you. The huge urban oasis is chilly around Christmas time, but offers lots of activities. Start a snowball fight, build a snowman, or grab a warm drink and wander through the park’s expansive trails. There is always something to discover in the park’s more than 800 acres.

Miracle on 34th Street

The real star of the classic Christmas movie is Macy’s department store, located fittingly on 34th Street. Macy’s is a true star of the holiday season as well as has lots of things to get visitors in the Christmas spirit. The store puts up incredible window displays each Christmas that are known around the world. You can also visit Kris Kringle himself in the store’s massive Santaland or see a special puppet show at the holiday Puppet Theater. A word to the wise, Santaland lines can get out of control on weekends, especially close to Christmas. For the shortest wait times, go on a weekday morning. If you want to talk to Santa directly, you can call Macy’s famed Santa line (212-494-4495) to get straight to the big guy himself.

Another fun toy extravaganza happens at the flagship FAO Schwartz store. It’s not featured in Miracle on 34th Street, but Susan Walker definitely would have liked it. The store gets all decorated for Christmas and it is the perfect time to try out that giant floor piano that brings out the kid in everyone.

Home Alone 2

Kevin takes a trip to the world-famous Radio City Music Hall, and you can too. The Rockettes perform a festive holiday Christmas Spectacular throughout December—get tickets early because it is the hot show in town. You can also take a tour of hall decked out for the season without seeing a show.

Another Home Alone haunt is the Plaza Hotel on 5th Avenue. The hotel has lots to offer during the Christmas season—stop by to look at its beautiful Christmas tree or visit Santa. Rumor has it a Yeti makes snowflakes for the tree (you can’t make this stuff up). There are live music and entertainment performances throughout the season, and a special visit from the Plaza’s most famous resident, Eloise, who wishes all guests a merry Christmas.

Ice skate like your favorite runaway at the Wollman Rink in Central Park. The rink is open throughout December and gives visitors a unique chance to skate under the New York City skyline during the day and sparkling lights at night. Skate school is open to those who might need a little extra practice. Enter the park at West 59th Street for the easiest access to the rink.

Turn your Christmas vacation into a perfect fit for the silver screen and experience the magic of New York during the holiday season. Plan your trip right here on Trekeffect.

-Michelle Kaiser

Michelle Kaiser