We've all seen Christmas in New York in movies like Serendipity and Home Alone. For the first time in my life, I'm spending the Christmas season in some place other than Montreal or Jamaica. I'll file some reports from New York and the Poconos. I arrived last night and, on this beautiful Christmas Eve, I thought it would be a great time to explore what New York City offers at Christmas.
Shopping, of Course
New York is synonymous with great Christmas shopping in Manhattan and its world-famous Macy's holiday windows.
Macy's has been open 24 hours a day for 3 consecutive days since 12:00 AM, December 21, and it closes at 6:00 PM, December 24th. Other major Manhattan department stores like Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue are open until 6:00 or 6:30 PM on Christmas Eve.
Here are a couple of ideas for some unique shopping experiences.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
When these glass enclosed boutiques are trimmed for the festive season, they sparkle and take on a special magic. It's the perfect place to browse for special treasures. There is special entertainment throughout the season (including the screening of holiday movies set in New York City at the Porch (e.g. Miracle on 34th Street). Of special interest to event planners will be the fact that the Winter Village is available for special events, product launches, promotional events.
Union Square Holiday Market
New York’s Union Square Holiday Market is a traditional German-style Christmas market. The over 150 stalls offer treats, goodies and traditional Bavarian crafts that would make great stocking stuffers.
Last year we identified other Christmas Markets in New York City.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
We've all seen photos of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It's a great photo opportunity on Christmas Eve. Second only to New Year's Eve in Times Square, it is one of the most iconic events on the New York calendar. The tree lighting ceremony and concert took place on December 4th this year. It's one of those experiences for the bucket list. The tree lights remain in place until January 7th, right after Epiphany.
A year end meeting in New York that coincides with this annual event would be a memorable way to delight any corporate group.
New York City Ballet brings to life Tchaikovsky's classic as choreographed by George Balanchine. There is a matinee performance on Christmas Eve Day.
Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
For the past 86 years and counting, Radio City Music Hall has had it's annual Christmas Spectacular with the world famous Rockettes. It's glitz, glam and just plain fun.
There are 3 shows on Christmas Eve day (but the fun begins in early November so event planners can definitely work this event into their New York City conference or meeting schedule).
Finally, there are a number of churches right in Manhattan that have Midnight Mass including Trinity Wall Street and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which will be live streaming their service for anyone who didn't make it to New York City this Year.
Wherever you spend Christmas this year, here is wishing you a glorious time with family and friends.
For more place to see on Christmas Eve, also read Christmas Eve Special: Best Places to View Christmas Illuminations and Best Christmas Trees Across the Nation.
Photo Credits: mastermaq