Tis the season! As the holidays creep upon us, I'm getting more and more excited. There is so much I want to do, and only a couple more weeks left to do it. Christmas in NYC is probably my favorite time of the year. Before I lived here, my parents and I would plan an annual Christmas trip here and it was the highlight of my December by far. Now that I'm here, I'm have a little more time to do it all... and I plan on going full tourist this month. Here are a few things on my list...
- Pick up a hot chocolate at City Bakery. I mean, c'mon, have you ever seen marshmallows like that? They are irresistible!
- Rolf's goes all out for Christmas time. We're talking about a major transformation with Christmas decorations literally covering every surface. Don't think you're going for the food - Rolf's isn't a destination place any other time of the year, but during Christmas, it's definitely worth a visit, especially if schnapps is your thing...
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been around for years and is a December institution in NYC. Yes, it may be slightly corny, but it is also damn good.
- If you're not feeling the Rockettes, then maybe you're more of a Nutcracker fan. I could see either, but the Nutcracker is a classic, and also totally worth it.
- Swing on by the Miracle on 9th Street holiday pop-up bar. A cocktail bar, decked out in Christmas decorations, serving festive drinks like The Grinch and Three Wise Men for the whole month of December? Yes, it's as good as it sounds.
- Holiday markets and seasonal shopping pop-ups are so fun and special. I love home made goods - jewelry, food, candles, etc. You find the most special little pieces at markets like this. Bryant Park has a great group of holiday shops, but the Union Square market is at the very top of my to-do list for this Sunday...
- Ice skating! When else do you have an excuse to throw on some ice skates and fall on your butt numerous times? I don't have much interest in doing the rink at the Rock or Central Park (seriously so crowded), so I may attempt a more off the radar one - The Standard Plaza opens a rink every year and it is the perfect place to drink afterwards (or before if you're feeling so inclined).
- Grab a drink at the Mandarian Oriental Hotel Lobby Lounge. This bar has a panoramic view of Central Park; incredible sight, especially when the snow is falling.
- Take a stroll down 5th ave or Madison ave, if I'm feeling a bit nuts that is. The crowds are a bit obnoxious, but some of the window displays and decorations that the stores put out are totally worth it.
- Santacon. Dressing up as santas and day drinking on a Saturday? Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. It's Dec 13th by the way, if anyone would like to join...
- Check out the FAO Schwarz toy dynasty. C'mon - pretend you're a kid for a day! They really put some work into their displays, it's unreal! There's also a wall to wall candy store. Need I say more?
- Sip on a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3, yes, the one from that movie. Can you see the trend with the hot chocolates? I can't get enough..
- Pay a visit to my favorite market in the city - Chelsea Market. I could have filed this under the holiday markets category, but since Chelsea Market is a year round thing, I kept it separate. Of course, it's even better to visit during the Christmas season.
- Grab an Apple Betty from Toby's Estate Coffee in West Village. What is an Apple Betty? It's an almond milk cappuccino with house made apple syrup and spices. That or a Peppermint Mocha with homemade ganache from Intelligentsia Coffee in Chelsea. Beat that Starbucks!
- This one is a little off the radar, but probably my favorite NYC Christmas activity of them all... Chris Botti has an annual holiday residency at the Blue Note during the month of December every single year. Holy cow do I love me some Chris Botti. He is incredible on the trumpet, and does some amazing collaborations with other artists. If you are the least bit of a jazz fan, do NOT miss this show. It's unbelievable.
I've also kicked off my holiday gift guide series, so in case you've missed it, you can check them out below.
Have a great weekend!