I’ve definitely reached a bit of an age where family holidays are becoming a little bit few and far between (‘What do you mean it’s just you and dad?!) There are rarely any more 3am-alarm-rushes to the airport, frantic shared suitcase packing and even less Kevin McCallister moments (thankfully). However, this December things were a little different. With thanks to Virgin Holidays, Mama P’s birthday and a few days where we all had free calendars- we were able to hot foot it to the Big Apple for a bit of Christmassy fun, in the city that constantly feels like you’re in a film, especially at Christmas time…
With it being my dads first time to the city we were determined to pack in as much as humanly possible (with big help from City Mapper, a bossy Liv and a bit of preplanning)- and managed to tick off everything from the tourist must-sees to scarpering around the West Village to point out Bob Dylan’s previous haunts. So, with that, I thought I’d pop together a bit of a mini festive themed ‘guide’ to seeing the city over the weekend at Christmas!
Staying: The Redbury
One of my top spots in New York to stay is around Broadway, and The Redbury comfortably falls into one of the most convenient locations for easy access to some of the cities favourite spots- making it a top pick on our trip this year. Decked out with an interior inspired by the Big Apple’s vast arts and music culture, each room boasts a heavenly bed, plenty of space (for a boutique hotel)- and access to the hotels delicious Italian restaurant, Marta- not bad for a flying visit!
29 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016
Seeing: Central Park at night
Even if you just fancy poking your nose into the hotels dotted around the border of the park (~cough~ The Plaza for ultimate Kevin M feels ~cough~), paying a visit to the Park in the evening is a sure fire way to feel festive in the city. Whether you’re going after a slap up at Sara Beth’s , taking a night time stroll- or even getting a guided tour- there’s plenty of notable Christmas film spots to keep your eyes peeled for too- and you can certainly tick off Pigeon Lady circa Home Alone 2 and Elf (sans Central Park Rangers)…
The Rockerfeller Centre:
This is a little bit of a no brainer, but I couldn’t not mention a visit to one of my favourite spots in the city, the Rockefeller Centre. At Christmas this spot is known for it’s infamous Christmas tree and ice rink (pre note: the rink is serious $$$) but it’s worth hopping by to admire it and catch a glance at the skaters. It’s nearly always busy this time of year- but Top of the Rock boasts some of the best views of the city, so I’d definitely recommend that if you fancy some birds-eye-goodness too. Additionally, this spot is pretty close to all of the best department stores too- so if you want to seriously get your Will Ferrell on, I’d pop that in too!
If you’re heading to New York for a special occasion, I can seriously recommend making a booking at the exceptionally beautiful The River Cafe over in DUMBO. With views stretching across the whole of Manhattan, and a brunch and breakfast menu including everything from the most insane chocolate pancakes (with gold bits, GOLD BITS, homemade omelettes and plenty of other surprises- it’s definitely a meal to remember (and a pretty amazing one at that too).
1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
I’m not sure any visit to NYC is complete without a visit to Balthazar. Although admittedly it can be a little touristy (hey, I’m a tourist!) there’s a reason why it’s so well loved- and whether you’re heading in for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or even a coffee- it’s a pretty wonderful experience, especially at this time of year.
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Whilst wandering around the West Village, we made the obligatory stop at the Magnolia Bakery to sample some of their festive treats and warm up a little from the cold. Picking our their chocolate flourless cake and brownies (and admiring their Egg Nog cupcakes from afar)- it’s the perfect Bradshaw-inspired spot to defrost and a definite one to tick off.
401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014