Hi everyone! I’m excited to share all about our trip to NYC over the holidays. Below are the top 5 magical things to do during Christmas in NYC! Tristan and I went to NYC at Christmas back in 2015, right before we started dating. It was SO cold that trip (teens & 20s) & crowded, I honestly didn’t enjoy it at all. We stayed really close to Time Square in a tiny hotel that wasn’t nice at all (can’t even remember the name). I am happy to say that our trip this holiday season changed my perspective completely… we had an amazing time. This time around we decided to stay at the Mondrian Park Avenue. It was far enough away from the crowds at Rockefeller Center & Time Square that it was a refreshing escape from the madness. The hotel itself is very nice & close to everything, including two train stations. The weather was in the low to mid 40s the entire time & there was NO rain which was really lucky. We definitely had to bundle up but it wasn’t so cold that you would get frostbite if you had an cm of skin showing.
We arrived on Saturday 12/21 in the afternoon & checked in to the hotel then took the train over to Chelsea Market. Walking around Chelsea Market is a lot of fun… you could spend hours eating & drinking. We tried Very Fresh Noodles & Doughnuttery… both were SO good. We left & walked along the High Line, which is super cool. We took the train over the Brooklyn to see Tristan’s sister & had a delicious dinner at Aita Trattoria.
On Sunday, we took the train to Columbus Circle & walked around the Holiday Market… it wasn’t too crowded because we got there right when it opened. Most of the vendors are very over-priced but being on the edge of Central Park, it’s the perfect place to grab a cocoa then stroll around. We wanted to ice-skate at Wollman Rink but weren’t able to because Tristan had pulled a muscle in his foot :(. We went back to the hotel & had brunch at their restaurant, Cleo. I made a dinner reservation at Rolf’s German Restaurant about 2 months in advance for 4:30 that day. Unfortunately I can’t recommend Rolf’s, as beautiful as it is, for a few reasons –
- We waited outside for 30 minutes despite having a reservation.
- It’s required that each person order an entrée if you have a reserved table.
- The food is HORRIBLE. Actually inedible. I didn’t enjoy the spiked apple cider either.
It’s gorgeous inside & if you can get there early to grab a drink at the bar, totally worth it. Definitely not worth making a reservation, waiting in the cold, & dropping $60+ on completely inedible food. After dinner we walked around Rockefeller Center, stopped to see the Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show, & then went to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular. It was SO magical, we both absolutely loved it.
Monday morning we went to Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish for breakfast… the line was so long but it is definitely worth it. We walked over to the Grand Central Holiday Market. It’s decorated so nice at the holidays & we were able to grab a few Christmas gifts. Then we went to Washington Square Park… it’s nice to walk around & the tree would be really pretty lit at night (we were there mid-day). From there we walked around Soho, shopping for Christmas gifts, and had lunch at Black Tap. The burgers & milkshake were really good, I would definitely recommend. We went back to the hotel to freshen up & then to BarSixtyFive at the Rainbow Room for drinks & appetizers. The view is really nice but the outdoor area was closed due to the cold & wind. I think it would be so much better to go on a nice day when you could enjoy the view & the outside deck. Afterwards we walked to Bryant Park Holiday Shops & Winter Village. It’s my favorite! We got a lot of Christmas gifts, had a few spiked cocoas at The Lodge, and then headed back to the hotel.
The next day was Christmas Eve & we had brunch at SERRA by Birreria at Eataly before hopping on the train to Massachusetts. The food at SERRA was great & it’s super cute at the holidays. Eataly is also a great place for gifts.
Overall the trip was really fun & I can’t wait to go back at the holidays. If you’ve been at Christmas, what was your favorite thing? Comment below!
CHRISTMAS IN NYC: TOP 5 MAGICAL THINGS TO DO
- Ice-skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park – The most quintessential NYC activity & much less crowded & chaotic than the Rockefeller Center & Bryant Park rinks.
- Bryant Park Holiday Shops & Winter Village – My absolute favorite Christmas market! I love the tree, ice-skating rink, & the enclosed ‘Lodge’ with a bar & food stands.
- Christmas Spectacular starring The Radio City Rockettes – Such a magical show for any age!
- Eat at SERRA by Birreria (Eataly Flatiron) – They transfer the rooftop at Eataly into a winter alpine experience… both the food & atmosphere are great!
- Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show – It’s mesmerizing!
Pin this post for next year!
Other holiday travel guides: