The greatest part about holidays is that they’re not nearly as exclusive as they sound. Although you may celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, the solstice, or refer to Christmas as “Xmas” specifically, the spirit of the holiday season is all-encompassing. You’re more than welcome to enjoy it. And for travelers looking to soak up as much of the holiday atmosphere as possible, there’s no better destination than New York City.
“New York,” you scream. “I can go there any time!” Well, that’s true; New York isn’t some mysterious or exotic locale. It isn’t exactly off the beaten path. However, around this time of year, the city that never sleeps turns into a magnificent metropolis of lights, sights, and sounds.
There’s no excuse not to visit this city if you want to experience the holiday atmosphere. And if your mind still isn’t made up, here are five reasons you should take your bite out of the Big Apple.
Five New York Holiday Staples Worth Seeing
1: The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
Since 1933, a Norway spruce, standing over 70-ft high, has been placed at Rockefeller Center every year. This Christmas tree is an American staple. Even if you’d rather call it a “holiday” tree or by some other name, this is a quintessential holiday tradition, and when lit, the tree is a truly amazing centerpiece in the plaza.
2: Christmas Displays
Cruising the streets around many parts of the world, you’re bound to find different holiday displays, whether it’s a plastic Santa hanging out on a roof or a nativity scene in someone’s front yard. But in NYC, the city’s strip of department stores decorate their respective window displays with some amazing Christmastime fare. Macys, Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Saks, and on and on – you’re enveloped by the holiday spirit.
3: Seasonal Food
New York City is home to some of the world’s finest cuisine. From French and Italian to Indian fusion and Moroccan delicacies, the “melting pot” idea is made reality in the Apple. Seasonal menus are created to celebrate the holidays, so whatever your tastes, whether they’re trending curious or staying traditional, you’ll be well fed and happy with the food. It’s not a sight to see, of course; but we all know that eating and the holidays go hand in hand.
4: The Entertainment
Your entertainment options are virtually unlimited. You don’t have to spend big, either. It doesn’t cost much to go ice skating. A carriage tour of the city is really inexpensive, especially when you take the time to find some deals. There’s a wide range of holiday-themed Broadway shows on a nightly basis. Sporting events, concerts, and much, much more; it’s all there for you in the city.
5: Amazing Lighting Displays
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and department store window displays are beautiful, but there are lighting displays in the city that are far more impressive. Take the holiday lights at the Bronx Zoo for example. All the paths in and around the zoo are lighted, and there are over 140 lit sculptures inside the zoo, of animals and holiday staples. It turns into a true winter wonderland, perfect for kids, with rides on the Holiday Express Train, characters in costume, and much more.
The city certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but even Ebenezer Scrooge himself couldn’t hold out for long during the holiday season. Christmas just brings the best out of us all, and NYC will speed the process along.
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