After a quick straw poll of the Discover Travel team it was decided that if we could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, it would be, New York! Immortalised many times over in song, TV and film, who can forget the festive scenes from films like When Harry met Sally, Elf, You’ve got mail, Serendipity and of course, Miracle on 34th street. I have visited New York about 12 times and one of those occasions was the week before Christmas and it truly is a special atmosphere.
What to do – One of the iconic images of Christmas time in New York is the Christmas tree and the ice rink in front of the Rockefeller centre on 5th avenue, a tradition of 75 years now and a must do. While you are in that area you can pop into St. Patricks Cathedral just across the road. Carry on up 5th Avenue to the edge of Central park and you can enjoy a carriage ride around the park and ask to be dropped off at the famous ice rink, a wonderful experience with an iconic back drop. If you want to see a festive show, what better than the Radio City Christmas Spectacular which runs until January 2nd and is another great tradition of 80 years.
Shopping – At this time of year it is all about the window displays, now as good as Ballentynes is, New York window displays are the premier league, the main players are Barneys, Bloomingdales, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylors and my favourite, Macys where one set of windows depicts scenes from Miracle on 34th street and one set changes each year.
Food – Not just at Christmas, New York is a great place for foodies, be it pretzels and pizzas on the street or a table at the River Café in Brooklyn with a view of that magnificent Manhattan skyline, New York offers some great food experiences. My favourite is a tour of the Delis such as Katz’s Deli – famous for that scene in when Harry met Sally, The Carnegie Deli – home to the Famous Broadway Danny Rose Sandwich containing one pound of meat. If it is New York Cheese cake you are after then look no further than Juniors deli with 3 locations around town.
If you have a bit more time, add on Europe to your Xmas holiday – a great option now with the Qantas and Emirates codeshare relationship.