As soon as New York’s Thanksgiving celebrations come to a conclusion, preparation for Christmas begins in earnest. The City That Never Sleeps is a wondrous paradise during the Christmas season, shedding its frequently tough exterior in place of a lights and decorations. Discover this festive wonderland during your stay with thesqua.re this Christmas.
The official start of New York’s holiday celebrations is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. This year, the parade will run on the 23rd November and will be the parade’s 90th birthday. Head out onto the streets of central New York to witness balloons, floats and the arrival of Santa Claus.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree
Although there are several famous tree lighting centres across New York, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting is the most famous by far. On the 29th November at 20:55 precisely, NBC’s Today hosts will light the iconic tree that sits outside the Rockefeller Centre. Adorned with over 50,000 LED lights, the event is broadcast live on television, but it is no replacement for seeing it in person.
Bryant Park Winter Village
One of the most anticipated openings of the New York calendar, Bryant Park Winter Village runs from 28th October to the 4th March, getting increasingly busier over the Christmas period. With a 17,000 square foot ice skating rink, 150 kiosks, food vendors and mulled wine distributors, Bryant Park Winter Village is located outside the Bank of America.
Tchaikovsky’s famous Christmas ballet has become synonymous with yuletide goodwill. Artistic director George Balanchine created a New York City infused version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, which has been performed every Christmas at the Lincoln Centre since 1954. With shows running from November 28th through January 3rd, the closest subway station is the 1 train at 66th Street. There are performances most days, with two a day during most of December.
New York hosts several Christmas markets, where you can purchase handmade gifts, decorations and festive treats. A unique way of doing your Christmas shopping, the markets are incredibly popular on weekday evenings. Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Artists and Fleas at Chelsea Market and Grand Central Holiday Fair in addition to the Bryant Park Winter Village are some of the most popular, but New York is a city that rewards exploration and that is the same with Festive markets.
Take a Picture with Santa
What is Christmas without a picture of Santa Claus? When in New York, Santa isn’t camera shy and is more than willing to pose for pictures with children and adults. Macy’s Santaland, Winter Wonderland and Bloomingdale’s are Santa’s favourite spots, so be sure to visit him there.