1) The Radio City Christmas spectacular - The Radio City Christmas spectacular is a seasonal show that some say makes the holiday season. The show includes lots of singing and some fantastic dance numbers by the world-renowned New York City Rockettes. Many people make the pilgrimage to see the show every year, and it is one of the best ways to get the whole family in the holiday spirit.
2) Ice Skating in Rockefeller Centre - The ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center was opened in 1936; ice-skating under the Christmas tree was instantly (and not surprisingly) a huge hit. People from all over gathered in Rockefeller Centre to ice skate with their loved ones. Today ice-skating in Rockefeller Centre is a family tradition for many, despite the long wait to get on the ice.
3) Sak’s on Fifth Avenue Holiday Window Display- Every year Saks on Fifth Avenue puts on a short story, which is told through their beautiful and elaborate window displays. The whole story takes about 10-15 minutes to get through and it’s a cute holiday tradition to pass some time while you’re standing in the freezing cold.
4) Rockefeller Centre’s Christmas Tree - Rockefeller Centre’s annual Christmas tree holds host to about 125 million visitors each year. This will be the 83rd annual lighting of the tree, this years tree, a 78 ft tall Norway Spruce from Gardiner NY, is approximately 80 years old and weighs about 20,000 lbs. The tree will be illuminated with 45,000 multicolored LED lights, which are attached to about 5 miles of wiring.
5) Z100’s annual Jingle Ball - The Jingle Ball is a concert at Madison Square Garden that hosts some of the hottest names in the music industry. Every year’s lineup is different and it’s guaranteed to be a night full of holiday fun with all of your favorite artists.
6) Santacon- Santacon is an annual pub-crawl in which people dress as Santa Claus, Elves, or reindeer to get into the spirit of the holidays. With all good clean fun intended it is truly a sight to behold, hundreds of Santas and elves stumbling through the streets of Manhattan.
7) New Year’s Eve Ball Drop - The dropping of the New Year’s Eve ball has been a time square tradition since 1907, slowly lowering an ornate ball to signify the passing of the old year into the new one. Since the annual traditions inception there have been 7 different styled balls. The amount of people is absolutely insane, on average about one million people gather in Time Square every year. It’s usually very cold and you have to get there hours before hand if you want a good spot in the crowd.
8) St. Patrick’s Cathedral- The St. Patrick’s Cathedral was finished in 1878 but opened to the public in 1879. The cathedral is 137 years old and just underwent a three-year restoration, which started in 2012 and cost $177 million to complete. The cathedral itself takes up an entire city block between 50 and 51st streets in Midtown, Manhattan. The Cathedral is open for viewing and is an absolute marvel to visit especially if one can appreciate the centuries old gothic style architecture.
9) Bryant Park- Bryant Park is a small park in Manhattan between fifth and sixth avenues and between 40th and 42nd street in Midtown. Bryant Park is an excellent idea if its actually ice skating you are looking to do and not the novelty of skating under the tree at Rockefeller center. The lines won’t be nearly as long and the ice wont be nearly as crowded. It’s even furnished with a smaller Christmas tree and some small craft shops if you are looking to do some last minute holiday shopping.
10) Horse and Carriage ride around Central Park- The horse and carriages have been running in NYC since 1858 when central park first became open to the public. Since then the Horse and Carriage rides have become a major holiday tradition. There is nothing quite like a romantic ride through the park with your significant other to finish off a lovely evening in the city during the holiday season.
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