It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year… A NYC Holiday.


When is the best time to have a NYC holiday you ask? The “Big Apple”, the “City That Never Sleeps”, is a great destination to visit in December. Why you wonder?

Many Hollywood films have used New York City as the backdrop for holiday films. Think, “Home Alone 2”, “Elf” and the iconic “Miracle on 34th St”. If you haven’t visited NYC during the holiday season, you may think this ‘tis the season’ spirit could be a false. I can personally testify that this city really does look and feel like the Hollywood films. Making it all the reason to book a NYC holiday in December.

I have been to this magical city multiple times and during different times of the year. My favorite time to visit is December. This city truly brings the holiday spirit to life. The holiday window displays/decor, music, shopping, Santa’s in almost every corner and various holiday activities can make scrooge have a change of heart.

Want to get infected with the NYC holiday spirit? You need as little as 3 days for a NYC Holiday and this destination guide shows you how.

A NYC Holiday – Table Of Contents

Getting Around NYC

Flights – New York City is one of the major international airport hubs of the world. Which means it is easy to get here from any corner of the world. Flights tend to also be quite reasonable in terms of costs.

Cabs – The iconic yellow cabs are everywhere. Start practising how to hail one like a boss especially during peak times, busy areas, etc.

Uber – Uber does operate in New York. An easy way to travel around the city including the various airports which is always useful.

Need to download UBER? Use my $5 promo code for a free ride on your first trip: “r83uv”. Download the app HERE and enter the promo code to redeem.

Subway – The subway system in New York can get you anywhere in the city. Sure, it can be overwhelming at first and you may find yourself going in the opposite direction. Leverage google maps for the best travel options as these are very up to date.

Walk – I can’t stress enough walking when visiting a city and New York is one I recommend by foot. Not only will this give you a taste of how eclectic this city is. It’s also easy to navigate and sometimes much faster than using a car or the subway system.


English is the main language spoken in the “Big Apple”. Given the diversity of people living here and neighborhoods like Little Italy, Bronx and Chinatown, you may find yourself hearing other languages. Embrace it, it’s what makes this city so great.

A NYC Holiday Must Do’s

  • Rockefeller Center – See the Christmas tree, the legendary skating rink and all things holiday happening here.
  • 5th Ave Window Displays – Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s windows on 34th Street are the famous window displays from the film, ‘Miracle on 34th, Lord & Taylor, Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bloomingdales, FAO Shwarts. They are all in the same area of the city and easily walk-able. (Google walking tours HERE to find an array of maps.)
  • Central Park – Stroll through the iconic park, go ice skating or watch people ice skate if you can’t be bothered waiting in long queues and enjoy all the city holiday feels.
  • Bryant Park Christmas Market – Great market to visit for unique and homemade gifts.
  • Rolf’s – Restaurant bar that is decked out in Christmas stuff. This is the most famous one but there is usually a ton of pop up bars that come every year too so do some research.
  • Radio City Music Hall – It’s the most wonderful time of the year after all so why wouldn’t you see the most ‘tis the season’ show, The Radio City Rockettes.

Where Else To Visit While Here

It doesn’t all have to be holiday related. Make sure to see some of the must-see icons below if you have extra time.

  • The MET – Beautiful building with beautiful art to match and yes, this is where “camp” comes to life every year at the MET gala.
  • World Trade Center Visit the site of the 911 terrorist attacks and see how the city is reclaiming this area by honoring the past while moving forward toward the future.
  • Empire State Building – I personally cannot speak for the view since I’ve never been drawn to go inside or to the top but it’s hard not to miss this iconic building when walking in Manhattan.
  • Statue of Liberty – The history, the stories this lady could tell. It’s certainly up there on things to see while visiting.
  • Brooklyn Bridge – Another iconic symbol of NYC seen in many films.
  • MoMA – My favorite museum in the city so I highly recommend this one if you like modern art. The balcony cafe inside the museum that overlooks the garden is certainly a great place to grab a drink and slow down for a bit.
  • Times Square – Yes, it will be super touristy but yes, it’s kind of a must while here.

Where & What To Eat

  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor – Oldest tea parlor in NYC and possibly the U.S. serving delicious dim sum in China Town.
  • Black Tap – Known for their epic shakes. Come on an empty stomach and share either the shake or entree as their portions are massive. Try the ‘Cake Shake’ even if it’s not your birthday.
  • La Mela – One of my favorite places to eat authentic Italian food in little Italy. Big family style portions with all the Italian feels from decor to their Italian American staff.
  • Absolute Bagels – There are ton of places for bagels in NYC and locals will all have their favorite spot but when you get taken to a place that has a line that doesn’t seem to end and then confirm the taste for yourself, you know you’ve been taken to a place worth writing about.
  • Apotheke – Trendy concept style bar with delicious mixologist created cocktails. (TIP: It’s next to Nom Wah Tea Parlor so a perfect place for post dinner drinks.)
  • Serendipity 3 – Another location used as the backdrop for the 2001 film, “Serendipity”. This legendary NYC restaurant is known for their desserts; including the most expensive sundae in the world; the “Golden Opulance Sundae” at a price of $1000 USD (You heard it here; I will have this before I die.) and their iconic “Frozen Hot Chocolate” which I highly recommend and way more affordable then the first dessert mentioned. If I can’t sway you maybe mentioning that the likes of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and Beyoncé have frequented here may seal the deal and have you visit.
  • Cafeteria – Upscale diner with creative fusion items on the menu including their ‘mac and cheese spring rolls’.

Where To Stay

If you aren’t as fortunate as I am to have a good circle of friends in NYC, keep in mind that accommodations in the city can be quite pricey. Consider staying in Brooklyn and Hoboken which are a short subway or ferry ride away from Manhattan.


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