New York City at Christmas

Oct 9th, 2002, 09:44 AM
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New York City at Christmas

We are thinking about our first trip to NYC the four days prior to Christmas? Is this a good time to see a few sights, Christmas shop in Manhattan catch a broadway play and enjoy the holidays, or would it be too busy and drive us wild? Just curious? Coming from Iowa are we ready for this? Two adults and two teen girls?

Oct 9th, 2002, 10:14 AM
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The more the merrier
Oct 9th, 2002, 11:13 AM
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Christmas is an absolutely magical time to be in NYC. Yes, it will be extremely crowded and busy. But that's part of the fun!

If you want to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City (the Rockettes Christmas show), you should try to get tickets now. I would also suggest booking a hotel soon as it is a busy (and expensive) time of the year.

Broadway shows will also be crowded -- may be tough to get your first pick of shows if you wait too long.

Some real highlights -- the Christmas displays in the windows of the big dept stores like Saks, Lord & Taylor, etc. The Christmas decorations on Fifth Avenue. The skaters and decorations at Rockefeller Center. Again, decorations at Radio City. FAO Schwartz!

Only you can decide if December is too much hustle and bustle for you and your girls.
Oct 9th, 2002, 11:32 AM
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It will definitely be very crowded, but here's a little secret: Most of the stores open early the week before Christmas. If you get in at 8 am when they open, you usually have about 2 hours of peaceful shopping. Another piece of advice: make a plan! Know the floorplan of your store and hustle! Keeping that in mind, you will be sipping cappucino on the sidelines as the morning crowd hits the door.

NYC is a big place and there is always plenty to do during the holidays. When you get here, grab the magazine "Time Out" which lists many events going on in the city. The store windows are beautiful, many churches have wonderful concerts and the Christmas trees at Rockefeller Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art are wonderful.
Oct 10th, 2002, 01:32 PM
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Glad to hear you're coming to visit the big apple...and BOY will you think it's big if coming from Iowa! The previous posts were great and I would definitely take in consideration what was said!...Walking straight down from Central park on 5th Avenue will be fantastic. You can start with a carriage ride through the park, or maybe ice skating at central park (they'll be a long line)...walk down on one side of 5th Ave is the Plaza Hotel and across the street is FAO! keeping walking down you'll pass Saks Fifth Ave and Rockefellar centre. The city is wonderful this time of year! Enjoy.
Oct 10th, 2002, 02:07 PM
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Not to repeat what everyone else has said already (apparently that gets some people on this board quite annoyed), but Christmas is the BEST time to visit New York. We're going this weekend and again in December.

I can definitely vouch for the Christmas Spectacular. I'm a somehwat cynical person and it even warmed my heart ;-)

Personally, I would not go to NYC the week before Christmas expecting to shop. What I mean by that is, don't go and expect to actually buy Christmas presents. The stores will be a zoo. Do all your Christmas shopping before and then just go window shopping in New York. If you see something you like, get it, but if you expect to buy Christmas presents, the amount of people and hassle will just stress you out. The best thing to do is watch everyone else shopping madly and be able to stand back and laugh

Also, even though New York is VERY busy, you can always get away from hustle and bustle (or is it hussle and bussle?). Central Park is nice, and maybe there'll be some snow

Also, walk up Broadway from Times Square, past Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center and into the Upper West Side. This is a bit calmer than midtown, but there is still so much to see and do (lots of cafes, stores, salon/spas, etc)

Don't forget to explore some of the other areas of the city, especially Soho, Union Square and Chinatown.

The best parts of New York are usually not the most touristed areas. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods to explore, just in central Manhattan alone.

It's a hell of a town!!!!
Oct 10th, 2002, 02:14 PM
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My fiance and I have gone to NYC for a weekend in December every single year since we've been together (the last 5 years). It's a great tradition for us...I LOVE NY AT CHRISTMASTIME! GO!!
Oct 11th, 2002, 03:00 AM
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When is the best time to go before Christmas? I can go any of the first three weekends in December, but the weekend right before Christmas would save me from taking a day or two off. Will all the decorations and the tree at Rockerfeller be up by the first weekend?
Oct 11th, 2002, 04:52 AM
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Philip -- how could I have forgotten the Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Museum? It is my favorite part of the season! Good catch.

Monique -- the tree at Rockefeller Center may be in place, but not lit on the first weekend in December. Christmas decorations will probably just be going up. While the stores will already be "Christmas-ed" up, the fabulous windows with moving tableaux of Christmas stories will probably not be ready yet. That doesn't mean it isn't a great time to be here, it just isn't finished yet.
Oct 11th, 2002, 05:03 AM
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I believe the Rock Tree will be lit on Wed, Dec 4 this year, so it depends on what you consider the 1st weekend in December (Dec 1 is a Sunday)!
Oct 11th, 2002, 06:25 AM
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For me, the crowds at Xmastime are part of the charm. Good idea to get into the stores early if you really plan to shop, but the hustle and bustle outside the stores makes it more fun.

One note: You'll probably want to do a lot of walking, so make sure you bring appropriate clothes and shoes. It gets cold. To warm up, you can slip into places like the Trump Tower or one of the ritzy hotels just to look around or have a warm drink at the coffee shop.

You'll love it, and so will the teens.
Oct 11th, 2002, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for ALL of the replies. Sounds like it will be great fun -- still waiting to see what family schedule is here before we make any final plans... hope it does work out..
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