Christmas in New York

Flickr – jaroslavd
The Magical Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The most wonderful time of the year is even better in New York City, when the City that Never Sleeps gets even brighter for the holiday season. From shopping to sightseeing, Smartsave has the top five things to do in the Big Apple this Christmas.

1) Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

There’s a good reason why thousands of tourists flock to Rockefeller Center to see the 80-foot Norway spruce on display from the 28th of November until the 7th of January 2013. Decked out in 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights and topped with a nine-and-a-half-foot-diameter Swarovski-crystal star, it’s a breathtaking sight that even stops the locals in their track. Be sure to bundle up for the occasion as you snap photos with friends and loved ones in one of the most festive parts of the city.

2) Citi Pond at Bryant Park

Looking to do some ice skating in New York? Avoid the crowds at The Rink at Rockefeller Center and the Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park by heading to Citi Pond at Bryant Park. This 17,000 square-foot outdoor rink, located right next to the famed New York Public Library, is not only free, but opened late as well. Although you’ll have to shell out $14 to rent skates (or bring you own), you won’t need to break the bank to enjoy one of New York City’s favourite winter pastimes. Afterward, do some Christmas shopping at the Fetes de Noel holiday market or grab a bite to eat at the Pond Snack Shop or the rink-side restaurant, Celsius.

3) New York Transit Museum Holiday Train Show

Help the New York icon Grand Central Terminal celebrate its 100th birthday early at the New York Transit Museum’s 11th Annual Holiday Train Show! An ode to the locomotives of the past, get in touch with your inner child as you follow the Lionel model trains making its way towards the North Pole. As you take in the decorated train set with miniature versions of city landmarks, like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building, discover the history of Grand Central back in its heyday as the nexus of long distance and commuter train travel.

4) Department Store Window Displays

No holiday shopping trip is complete without ogling the over-the-top window displays of New York City’s top department stores. Make a stop at Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Macy’s – just to name a few – to admire beautiful dresses, jaw-dropping accessories, and eye-catching themes. For those looking for a little rhythm in their step, Bergdorf Goodman’s 2012 Christmas display pays homage to one of the most fashionable decade – the Jazz Age. It’s sure to be the cat’s meow (or in other words, pretty great). For a more family-friendly Christmas display, Macy’s teaches us the “Magic of Christmas” by showcasing Yuletide traditions throughout history.

5) Holiday Lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

If you want to see the best Christmas lights in New York City, make the trip down to the Brooklyn neighbourhood, Dyker Heights – home to some of the most extravagant Christmas displays you will ever see. After Thanksgiving, homes along several blocks transform into Winter Wonderlands complete with life-size reindeer, huge inflatable Santas and snowmen, and thousands upon thousands of lights. You won’t be able to contain your Christmas cheer as you walk through the neighbourhood. Be sure to visit between 5-9 PM for the best lighting, and don’t forget to keep warm as you walk through holiday paradise.

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