Christmas Shopping in New York

Old Aug 19th, 1997, 01:16 AM
Rachel Case
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Christmas Shopping in New York

My friend and I live in Wales in the UK. We would like to visit New York this Christmas to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping. We would welcome any advice about how to get there, where to stay and places to visit. Ideally we would like to travel as cheap as possible and stay somewhere reasonably priced - our budget isn't very large! Thanks
Old Aug 19th, 1997, 02:02 PM
Jeremy Feldman
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New York is awfully expensive and the Christmas holiday season is a prime travel period. I know of some budget hotels in the Village, but they start at $80/night (and they probably add a bit over the holidays). Even the B&B's aren't cheap in NYC.

However, I did want to suggest one slightly rediculous activity, if you happen to be here over New Years. Every year the Tavern On The Green in Central Park sponsors a New Years Eve marathon run. People dress up in rediculous costumes and jog from the restaurant around the southern half of the reservoir, where they are served champaign in tiny paper cups (the same types of cups that are used to refresh athletes during the New York City Marathon), and then they turn around and run back. I believe there's a prize for the winner, but the most entertainment comes watching drunk people running around dressed to the nines in the middle of the night. Usually the firework display over Central Park begins right after they reach the mid point. The best place to view this madness is at 91st Street and Fifth Avenue. (There's always a crowd, so it's safe.) Walk up to the reservoir fence and bring a camera and a bottle of champaign around mid-night.
Old Aug 19th, 1997, 05:42 PM
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I am by no means an expert on NYC, however, I'd like to share with you a way we saw NYC at a very reasonable price. I realize you don't live in the US, but if you can get a flight to a city in the eastern US, and locate a provider of charter tours, either by coach or whatever, you can create a perfect holiday. We went to NYC the weekend before Christmas a few years ago on a chartered bus tour. We left our destination on Friday morning, rode in the bus to NYC, got there about 5-6 p.m that evening, went to see the Rockettes Christmas performance at Radio City Music Hall, took a walking tour of Rockefeller Center and dinner on our own that night. Saturday morning included a guided tour of the city's boroughs and 5th Avenue, shopping on our own in the afternoon, dinner with the group at Mama Leone's Saturday night plus a broadway show (we saw Joseph and the Amazaing Technicolor Dreamcoat), then Sunday morning we had brunch at Tavern on the Green and the busride home. The total excursion price included hotel (double accom. Fri & Sat night), transportation, shows, food, the guided tour, and we didn't have to fight traffic our worry about parking since the bus company handled it. The total price was less than $800 for two people. Many charter companies also offer this kind of deal over Thanksgiving so people can see the Macy's parade. Also, the shopping we did on our own on Saturday afternoon could have been replaced by a matinee if we wanted to see another show. Hope this helps.
Old Aug 21st, 1997, 01:08 PM
Laura Edlin
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I am a native New Yorker so I don't know the best places to stay but if you get a hold of the 1997 NYC Zagat restaurant survey it will certainly have a variety of places to eat indexed by every category imaginable. At Christmas, making reservations is a must. I would also make your hotel reservations as soon as possible. I know our corporate hotel is already booked!

See the tree and skate at Rockefeller Center. It is truly amazing to glide among the skyscrapers. Something that most native New Yorkers don't know about is the Christmas eve concert at Carnegie Hall. It is held at 10:00 p.m. or midnight (it changes once in a while) and tends to be baroque and classical music by the most amazingly talented high school musicians. It is truly a wonderful way to spend that night.
Old Aug 26th, 1997, 07:06 AM
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NY is very expensive and is probably already booked for the Christmas holiday season. If you're not absolutely set on Christmas shopping think about this as an alternative. Visit just after the holiday. The decor and lights as well as many of the holiday shows are still going on but the bussle for hotels is over and you might have a chance at getting something reasonable. Contact a B&B service like City Lights. The NY yellow pages are on the internat at

No matter where you stay make sure you get a ticket and see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show. It is the most spectacular show anywhere. I thought I was too grown up for this, but believe me you will be in wonderment when you see a real Santa and reindeer fly over the stage or when the living Nativity complete with live camels, donkey, and sheep appears on stage. Its awesome.

Good luck.
Old Aug 26th, 1997, 09:36 AM
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NYC dresses up for Christmas more than any large US city I have seen. Don't miss wandering through the large department stores to look at their lights and decorations. Beautiful. As well, don't miss looking at all the window displays. Truly well done.
Old Sep 13th, 1997, 03:27 PM
L. Hariton
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As a former NY'er, I get homesick every year around Christmas time. Watching the skaters in Rockfeller Center on tv just doesn't cut it! It is a truly magical experience. (Shopping on Fifth Avenue and
also Bloomingdale's and Barney's.) If you're creative, you can sometimes get around the expenses. One New Year's Eve, my date and I managed to sneak up to the roof of the Plaza Hotel with a small basket of champagne & caviar. It was fantastic!
Old Sep 14th, 1997, 02:48 PM
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Old Sep 14th, 1997, 02:57 PM
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I go into the city every year just to see the lights and the skaters in Rockafeller Center, There are carolers there almost every night but deffinitly on the weekend. There is an Embassy Suites just about on Time Square and thier rates are pretty standard. Ask for discounts such as AAA or weekend rates . There are plenty of free things in the city too. Museums, tours of the broadcasting studios, tickets to tapings of talk shows, brousing the up-scale shops. Driving is tricky but if you have the courage there is a city parking lot around 53th and 8th that always has room and is central to alot. If you stay on the beaten path with everyone else you dont need to be any more concerned about crime than any other big city. I've been there many many times with no trouble. E-mail me if you have any other questions....maybe I can help. Maaybe I'll see you there
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 08:36 AM
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Hi Deb:
I will be in NY city on Dec 14th for the one day only. We are celebrating my daughter's 15th birthday.

We arrive at noon and see the Radio City Music Hall Show at 2:00. I'd like to make reservations for dinner at restaurant that overlooks the skating rink. Have you heard of the Rock Center Cafe? Is it casual? Wouls appreciate any advise for the day. We depart around 8:00 at night.
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 08:55 AM
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Julie, Deb's post is from 1997.

I have eaten at the Rock Center Cafe. It is very good and a great place to watch the ice skaters.
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