There’s something magical about visiting New York City at Christmastime. The whole city is decked out in festive lights, decorations, and music. You can enjoy the iconic sights like the Rockefeller Center tree, the ice-skating rink, and the window displays at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
You can also explore the many holiday markets, where you can find unique gifts, food, and crafts. The most atmospheric at Bryant Park, for example.
And don’t forget to catch a show on Broadway, or watch the ball drop at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. There’s so much to do and see in New York during the holidays, you’ll never want to leave!
But if holiday buzz is all you’re looking for, you’re missing what really makes New York the City of Dreams.
One way to experience it adds even more excitement to the holiday visitors’ unforgettable New York. Go on a Jazz-themed walking tour! Learn about the swanky style setting clubs, bars and entertainment venues from prohibition and beyond.
Take a journey back in time to the exciting “roaring ‘20s” and buzzing 1930s. Start with the Great Gatsby era of transgression and speakeasies in the Times Square and 42nd Street area. Discover the hidden highlife of swanky speakeasies that still exist today as you explore the remnants and reincarnations of prohibition. One of the most evocative is The Ragtrader & Bo Peep in Midtown South. Paying homage to the tailor’s fitting room that once resided here, Bo Peep is a cocktail and piano bar with plenty of red velvet seats. The bar itself was made from the tailor’s table and they serve up fun cocktails with names like “Foxy Lady,” “Sailor Beware,” and “Some Like it Hot.”
After splurging on Christmas shopping at Saks or Macy’s, discover how New York City became the center of cultural influence and social reform, transforming the city into what we know today. Explore the stylish social scenes of the day where history happened and legends were born.
The Empire State Building is not only an example of superb Art Deco architectural style, but a symbol of New York. It was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1931, and it symbolized the ambition and resilience of New York City. It was also the scene of many iconic moments in popular culture, such as King Kong’s climb in 1933 and An Affair to Remember in 1957 and nothing screams “Big Apple” like its iconic image.
But don’t stop at just the Empire State Building, New York offers other examples of Art Deco architecture and design all over its storied streets and avenues. The Big Apple has some of the most amazing examples of this style, from skyscrapers to hotels to theaters.
You can admire the sleek lines, geometric shapes, and colorful ornaments of structures like the Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center, which were built in the 1920s and 1930s. You can also check out some lesser-known gems like the Park Plaza Apartments in the Bronx. Art Deco was influenced by many factors, such as the Paris exhibition of 1925, the rise of technology, and the cultural diversity of New York. It’s a style that reflects the optimism, glamour, and innovation of its time—and nowhere better than in the “City of Dreams.”
Uncover the secrets behind two of New York’s most iconic architectural marvels, Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. One of the most recognizable symbols of Rockefeller Center is the Christmas tree, which is lit every year in a festive ceremony, but these two landmarks are so much more. Part of a complex of 19 buildings that was built in the 1930s by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who wanted to create a cultural hub in the heart of Manhattan, it houses offices, studios, shops, restaurants, and an ice skating rink. It also features a variety of artworks, such as sculptures, murals, and mosaics, that reflect the themes of progress, industry, and humanity. Both Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center are examples of how architecture can express the spirit of an era and a city.
Learn about the trends of the day that shaped our shared popular culture. Visitors to New York may not always think of the Garment District as one of the iconic must-see neighborhoods, but if you want to understand the city’s transformation in the early part of the 20th century, it’s not to be missed. It was here that the city’s immigrants took the first steps to the achievement of the American Dream.
After digging deep in the soul of New York, go ahead and sip a hot chocolate at any of the Christmas Markets that rival the best in Europe, knowing that now you’re in on some of the secrets of the Big Apple.