This here is your complete guide to what to do, where to eat, and what to wear for Christmas in New York City. It’s a magical place to be at a magical time.
What To Do:
If your time in the city is limited, here’s a quick blueprint.
- Ice skating at Wollman Rink- If you can skate for more than 10 seconds without falling and cracking your tailbone on the ice, this will be fun. Am I projecting? I think I’m projecting. Go at night- it might be a little crowded, but there’s Christmas music, lots of lights, and I hear they have great hot chocolate!
- Window shopping at department stores- The window displays at places like Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman are legendary. Plus, you can kill two birds with one stone- admire the festive displays, and get a lot of holiday shopping done!
- Sledding in Prospect Park- You can sled? In the city? You bet. Take your kids- or yourself. This is New York. No one is going to judge you. You should bring your own sled- you usually won’t be able to get one there.
- Visit the Union Square Holiday Market- Go craft crazy! This seasonal market is open until Christmas Eve, and there’s no end of beautiful and unusual trinkets. You can go shopping for your loved ones, or just pick up some cute things for yourself!
- Visit the Metropolitan Museum- Sure, the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza is pretty cool, but have you seen the tree in the Met? There’s an entire exhibition, with tree lighting daily at 4:30 PM.
Where To Eat:
This is what I’m most excited about. I want to eat at all of these places!
- Sant Ambreous- This place is supposed to have the best hot chocolate in the city. I believe the rumors. The hot chocolate here is made with no milk, no water, just chocolate. Have a pastry with it (they’re famous in their own right!), or just enjoy a cup of chocolate.
- Rolf’s- The classiest German restaurant in the city also has the most impressive holiday display. The restaurant is so lavishly decorated you’ll feel like you’re eating sauerkraut in Santa’s workshop!
- If you’re looking for something a little unusual for Christmas Dinner, visit Lakruwana in Staten Island. The Sri Lankan restaurant is open on Christmas, and has an unforgettable buffet.
- Pete’s Tavern- The oldest bar in New York City, which also has a full Italian menu. They are also open on Christmas Day, although you’ll have to make a reservation. It’s worth stopping by to have some spaghetti and admire their decorations!
- Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria- If you want to go traditional Italian, and you really, really, really like fish, they’re serving a traditional feast of the seven fishes on Christmas!
What To Wear:
Since you’re in New York, you probably want to dress up a bit! Here are some recommendations to keep you from getting frostbite while you look stylish.
- Woolen tights or leggings- You can wear your little black dress, just wear some thick woolen tights or leggings so your legs aren’t icicles after an hour! You might even want to consider layering these under jeans, especially if you’re walking all day- New York is COLD.
- High Boots- Save the cute booties for when the temperature is above freezing. Make sure your boots have good tread- it can get icy!
- Blanket Scarf- These look good on everyone and go with everything. There’s the added bonus of keeping your neck nice and warm, and not letting Arctic winds get inside you.
- Puffer Jacket- You know, it seems like every time I think puffer jackets are over, they’re back in Vogue. Figuratively and literally. They’ll keep you warm while you trek all over the city, and probably get you a few compliments, too!
- Beanies- Add a touch of holiday spirit to your outfit with a festive beanie- try a gold, glittery one, or maybe one with a pom pom.