Some places live up to your expectations, while some will keep you wanting more. You can just never get enough of such places, and one such place is New York City. I had visited NYC once and experienced a slice of the city’s touristy stuff. For the place that it is rugged and the unique charm that it flaunts, I wanted to explore it during Christmas. I chose my second visit to NYC for December 2016 Christmas celebrations.
Things that matter when you travel to a place are lodging and food. I happened to get lucky with both. To start with, I chose an Airbnb at Grand Street, Williamsburg. So, what next? I obviously started mingling with the locals to learn about the various traditions and events that highlight Christmas in New York City. Here are a few places that made my trip memorable.
1. Flatiron- The reborn neighbourhood
The Flatiron District is between the Lexington Avenue and the Sixth Avenue. This district boasts a history of being the commercial and residential hub in NYC 100 years ago. Today, it is known for its flawless architecture filled up with historic charm. Shops, restaurants and nightlife in this place make this chic and bustling! If that is the scenario normally, imagine this place during Christmas! Don’t forget to try the Nutella crepes. Relax in the hammocks and arches of this spectacular district’s amazing skyline.
2. Central Park- A place everyone can relate to
Ice skating in Central Park during the Christmas season should never be missed. This park is filled with snow, and the sight is magnificent during winter. After that, I took a walk through the West Central Park to the American Museum of History and the sunset was a wonderful sight.
3. American Museum of History- A journey through America’s history
This museum is set up to depict American history and culture. The American Museum of History has collectables of more than three million artefacts and lets you explore America’s history. Various programs like demonstrations and live theater experience tours are held at this museum. The dinosaurs exhibitions were my favorite.
4. Rockefeller Tree- Symbol of Christmas in NYC
This well-lit tree marks the holiday season in NYC and is the first thing that comes to mind when Christmas in New York City is considered. This tree was lit on November 30, and live performances took place in that area. This was witnessed by thousands within the city and was also telecasted.
5. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights- Rare sights
Apart from Rockefeller tree and window displays of Midtown Manhattan, the Dyker Heights Christmas lights steal the show in NYC during Christmas. Christmas is celebrated bigger, brighter and merrier in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn (Avenue 83 to 86). I was awestruck by professional light displays in this place.
6. Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg Winter market- Food and fun
Brooklyn Flea is a popular weekend market in NYC. Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg Winter market are one of the best winter markets. This indoor market has all you can ask for. You can treat your taste buds to local delicacies as there are more than a hundred local vendors. I loved this Christmas market as it was one of the best experiences.
7. Prospect Park, Brooklyn- Free celebrations
One of the best places to have fun in Brooklyn is the prospect park. If you have kids, this is the place you should head to. There are a lot of free programs, and you can witness Santa’s parade in Green-point. I could see a lot of kids dressed as elves, reindeer and Santa. It’s a great place to take a stroll along the frozen lake and enjoy the view too.
8. Train show at Brooklyn Botanical Garden- Heights of creativity
The train show at the botanical garden in Brooklyn swayed my heart. Train models with natural materials show what creativity truly is! This is a must visit place in NYC.
9. Jane’s Carousel- A flutter in my heart
Imagine a ride on an antique carousel! My heart fluttered when I chose to experience this pleasure. It was built in 1922 and is in a glass pavilion. This experience is worth the hype.
10. Union Square Christmas market- Where quality meets affordability
This market is adorned with more than 100 white and red booths, and you can get quality products without a hole in your pocket. This is where you should be for your Christmas shopping.
As I said earlier, lodging and food are vital aspects for the success of a memorable trip. A lip smacking delicacy that still makes me drool is the Pomodoro Pizza at SoHo. You will not forgive yourself if you leave NYC without trying this Pizza.
On Christmas Eve, I decided to have a home cooked meal instead. Nothing beats a homey Christmas dinner with your love one. We exchanged presents and watched a movie in bed. The perfect way to spend my Christmas!
The Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful, but so unbearably crowded that you’ll either mow down a tourist trying to run or slow down to a crawl. The Williamsburg Bridge is a nice compromise: It’s not too crowded, and the blend of hipsters on bikes, families out for a stroll, and runners is manageable. The view of the lower two bridges can’t be beaten, especially in the early morning. Williamsburg Bridge made me fall for it the second I passed through it and so I decided to take a jog. There’s also great graffiti to be seen on the pedestrian side. This was another memorable thing during my trip to NYC.
So, that was how Christmas in 2016 went for me. Light tours, ice skating, C, parades and delicious local cuisines made Christmas merrier!