10 Things We Love About the Holidays in NYC

Sep 16, 2015

The holiday season transforms New York into an iconic winter wonderland unlike any other, from glittering lights that dot the streets to Fifth Avenue window displays decked out in holiday cheer. Here are 10 reasons we’re looking forward to the holidays in NYC this year:

1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Attracting more than one million people per year, this holiday tradition for more than 80 years keeps on kicking. Travelzoo members can see the Rockettes from Orchestra seats for $32 (reg. $65). Choose any performance Nov. 13 - Jan. 3, including Thanksgiving weekend.

2. Hotels Rates Drop … Big Time

During the holidays, hotels in New York City are as low as $129 per night and include exclusive perks only when you book through Travelzoo.

3. Lighting Christmas Trees

See the tallest Christmas tree in America at Rockefeller Center or head to Washington Square Park for the holiday tree under the iconic arch. Pro tip: Before heading to the park, stop by nearby Peanut Butter & Co. and get a lunch and hot chocolate to go for 50% off.


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4. Ice skating

Rinks around the city open mid-October. We recommend heading out early for the first skate of the day to avoid the crowds. The Wollman Rink at Central Park is also slightly larger than the ones at Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park.

5. Shopping the Union Square Holiday Market: Nov. 19 - Dec. 24

Check off everyone on your list. The Union Square Holiday Market has more than 170 vendors, from jewelry and holiday decorations to sweet and savory treats. Pro tip: For a great photo opp (free), head inside and upstairs to Burlington Coat Factory on the park’s south side.


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6. Fifth Avenue Holiday Window Displays: Mid-November - Dec. 31

Stroll Fifth Avenue and peruse holiday displays of luxury shops like Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel and Tiffany and Co. Don’t forget to visit the shops further south: Lord & Taylor and Macy’s.

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7. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Nov. 26

Arrive early and know the parade route. If being in a crowd of 3.5 million on the day of the parade seems overwhelming, see the free big balloon inflation the day before instead.


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8. Christmas at Rolf’s

This Gramercy Park German bar pulls out all the bells and whistles for Christmas. Make reservations and dine under hundreds of twinkling lights and ornaments.

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9. Sledding in Central Park

Enter the park at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue to get to the steepest slopes in the park: Pilgrim Hill.

10. NY Botanical Garden Train Show

Classic model trains chug along thousands of feet of tracks that weave through replicas of the city’s landmarks. The Holiday Train show held indoors runs Nov. 21 - Jan. 18. Buy timed tickets in advance (weekdays and evenings are least crowded) to avoid arriving to a sold-out show.

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