As many of you know, I absolutely adore New York City. Spending Christmas in New York has always been a dream of mine. So seeing the city decked out in lights this year only made me fall more in love with that incredible place.
My mom, sister, and I went for a girls trip to shop and see all the awesome Christmas attractions! The shopping was top notch, as expected. But I have to humbly brag for a moment, because I got an $80 Free People top for $2 at Lord & Taylor on 5th Ave during their store closing sale.
*flips hair over shoulder*
Lol but really though we found some awesome Christmas deals and saw so many gorgeous pieces we could only dream of having in our closets.
We spent over three and a half hours in Macy’s if that tells you anything lol.
As for the attractions, my mind is still blown. If you’ve never been to NYC at Christmas time, you have to add that to your bucket list right now!
I’ll outline everything we were able to do in our weekend trip for you guys below!
First off, we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Time Square and it was a perfect location for all the stuff we were doing! That being said, we obviously walked through Time Square a couple times. If you’ve never been it is pretty impressive; however, it is extremely overcrowded with tourists just so you’re aware.
Window Displays on 5th Ave
For anyone who doesn’t know anything about New York, 5th Ave is known for being the main drag for tons and tons of shopping. During the holidays, the store fronts are decorated with elaborate Christmas displays! We checked them all out first during the day while we shopped and they were seriously incredible. We went back through another night to see them all lit up and in action!
Saks Fifth Ave is the most elaborate of them all with a humongous light show performed to music covering the entire front of the building. The photos are amazing but do absolutely no justice compared to the real deal!
The Saks storefront is directly across from the Rockefeller Center just so you know!
Rockefeller Center Tree
The photos really don’t do this justice at all either you guys! It is absolutely ginormous and oh so beautiful. We also checked this out in the daylight and lit up at night – both were equally as stunning!
They do have ice skating in front of the tree, as I’m sure you’ve seen in movies. It’s a little more expensive, spectators have to pay, and it’s quite crowded – I would recommend skating in Bryant Park if you’re wanting to ice skate at all! (More on that to come.)
Ice Skating/Christmas Market in Bryant Park
The skating rink is just as beautiful with Christmas scenery, but a little more cost friendly and less crowded! It’s surrounded by all the little shops of the Christmas Market that I would also recommend checking out! There are so many unique things to look at, yummy food, lots of hot chocolate, and some great gift ideas!!
If you want the ultimate Christmas decor, this place is a must! They book out pretty far in advance; however, they have tables for walk ins so ask for that when you arrive! We only had to wait about 15 minutes when we went for a late lunch around 2pm.
They have German food, so we all split a sample platter of their specialties, which was pretty tasty! If the wait for a table is extremely long, I would just grab a drink at the bar as opposed to waiting for a table and food!
Frozen on Broadway
Seeing a broadway show is a definite yes in my book, every time! We saw Frozen on this trip and it was SO adorable!
Confession…I have never seen the movie Frozen.
Please don’t come after me lol.
I’ve seen bits and pieces but never the entire movie through and through; however, after that broadway show I think it’s about time! The kids in those shows always blow my mind! When I was their age I was picking my nose and cutting my own hair in the bathroom sink with safety scissors.
Hard Rock Cafe in Time Square
If you’re near Time Square and looking for a place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle for a bit – this is a great option! The restaurant is on the basement level and has tons of really cool things to look at! Their guitar wall is so amazing, but I think it’s nice because you can relax in a different element for a little while!
Ground Zero Memorial & Museum
I could do an entire blog post on this you guys. We were all absolutely speechless walking through the 9/11 museum. I had been to the memorial twice before but this was my first time actually going in the museum and it is 110% worth it.
I have goosebumps just thinking about it. They could not have possibly done a better job designing that place or putting all of the memoirs together. I could not believe my eyes at some of the things inside.
We spent about two and a half hours in there, but you could really go through in as much or little time as you wanted. There are guided tours, audio tours, or you could just explore on your own. We just did our own thing, which I recommend because every piece has a story and explanation written on a plaque beside it.
There is a huge line outside to get tickets and then another line to get inside. Buy your tickets online. I cannot stress that enough – it’s the best way to utilize your time. When you purchase your tickets they will give you an entry time. At that time (or shortly before) you will get in the entry line, which moves pretty quickly. You just have to go through airport style security.
Sippin Santa Bar
On a much lighter note, we went to the Sippin Santa Bar and it was SO cute in there!! This is a pop up bar that is decorated in beach-style Santa decor! They serve all their drinks in specialty Christmas mugs and have Christmas music playing all throughout! They have a food menu as well, we didn’t eat but I would recommend just going for a drink due to lack of space! (Shocker, New York)
Another super fun bar to check out is 230 Fifth. This is a rooftop bar that my sister and I went to a couple summers ago when I lived out there. During the winter, they put up a bunch of little igloos to sit in! This was so much fun!!
The igloos are first come first serve, so you just walk around until you find one with enough open seats. The idea is to share with other groups, which is also kinda fun to chat with other people! Although they are big enough that you don’t have to talk with the other people in your igloo if you don’t want to!
This store is humongous!!! Like seriously it stretches an entire city block! The very top floor is where you will find the elaborate Christmas decor, the giant snow globe, the letters to Santa station, and Santa himself! You do have to make a reservation in advance to meet the big man in the red suit, but the whole experience even without that part is seriously amazing!
The Plaza is so beautiful inside and out! We went later in the evening and there was a pretty fancy looking event happening, so we could only really go in the front door and see the tree in their lobby since we didn’t get the invite lol. So you may have better luck during the day although I can’t say for sure!
We explored around Chinatown for just a little while. It was not decorated for Christmas, but I think its always fun to walk through there and look at all the unique little shops!
Also not really decorated for Christmas, but this is another really fun place to check out! My mom and I split a Cannoli from one of the stands and oh my goodness it was delicious!! There’s also a store here that has tons of ornaments and Christmas decor for sale year round! My sister and I had gone through there a few summers ago, so we didn’t go in because it was so packed. It’s pretty cute in there though!
Natsumi (Sushi Restaurant)
These last few have nothing to do with Christmas, but we ate here one night for dinner and it was SO delicious!! Everything was super fresh, the service was excellent, and the drinks were great!! Highly recommend!
Haswell Greens (Live music bar)
We spent one night here after dinner and had SO much fun! We got a table near the band, had a few drinks and watched a bunch of people dancing on the dance floor! The band that was playing that night had a set that was all 1990’s and 2000’s greatest hits, which was so much fun to listen to!
Il Forno (Italian Restaurant)
Last but not least, one more restaurant suggestion! We ate dinner here one evening and the food was super tasty!! The service was great and they were really quick!!
We had such a fun filled trip and were able to do SO many different things in a weekend because we planned in advance and knew what we wanted to do during our time there!
Okay let’s be real for a second…Christmas in New York (really anytime in New York) requires a good, comfortable pair of shoes to wear around everyday. We averaged about ten miles per day just from walking around the city! I wore these shoes everyday and was SO glad I had such a cozy pair with me or I would’ve been quite the crabby pants!
Below is a photo of me resting my feet before dinner lol. My mom sent this for me to include in here haha. I know I look like an idiot but I needed to get the blood flowing back to the rest of my body after a long day of walking, and this was the best solution. I have absolutely no shame whatsoever lol.
5 Days Until Christmas!!!
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