One of my bucket list trips happened last weekend: New York City at Christmas.
I did my best to document what I could while fully being in the moment and taking it all in. I’ve compiled my favorite parts of the trip and recommendations below.
#1 Bryant Park
This place felt like Christmas. It’s kind of infamous among locals for the ice skating rink (An alternative to Rockefeller and Central Park.) but there are also unique shops where I bought the cutest bag. If you are looking for Christmas gifts, you’ll definitely want to swing by. (Or if you just want to feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie.) Also, I had the BEST hot apple cider. They have plenty of food trucks with all different kinds of desserts, coffee, hot cocoa, and actual food.
#2 Sprinkles Cupcakes
Before we left, my friend that actually lived in NYC for three years said the one thing she really wanted to do was get a cupcake at Sprinkles. I’m not going to lie, she loves sweets and when she said they’re the best cupcakes in the world and we have to take time out of the mere 48 hours we had in NYC to get one, I thought it was a little bit dramatic. Please understand me, fellow foodies, she was not being dramatic at ALL. Go to Sprinkles. Buy all the cupcakes. Be happy.
#3 Magnolia Bakery
No, this has nothing to do with Chip and Joanna Gaines. However, it has everything to do with world famous banana pudding. We went to the one near Rockefeller but there are multiple locations throughout the city. They also ship nation wide. You’re welcome.
# 4 Do
My friend may not have been dramatic about Sprinkles, but what is dramatic is the video you’ve seen going around on facebook about the store in NYC that sells multiple flavors of edible cookie dough. No one in our group was personally impressed. It wasn’t bad, but it was really sweet and none of us were able to finish what we ordered. I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one again. Get the cupcake and some banana pudding.
#5 Washington Square Park
The good thing about visiting Do is that it placed us just a few blocks away from Washington Square Park. One of the things that I really wanted to do was Central Park. It’s one of my favorite parts of the city. It wasn’t really practical for multiple reasons on this trip but I was so excited we were still able to stop here. The thing about New York is it moves so fast. I love experiencing the city but I’m definitely more laid back and slow paced, which is why I love visiting the parks there. It’s the best way to slow down in the midst of the chaos. We were blessed enough to experience the first snow of the season and it was pure magic.
#6 Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company
You cannot go to New York without getting a real New York bagel. This place had so many different bagel and cream cheese options. (I always get Lox on my bagel.) Plus, the servings are huge! I stopped by the morning we were headed out and it was the perfect cherry on top of the trip. 10/10 recommend!
#7 The Classic Christmas Decor
Believe it or not, 6th avenue is really the only place where there is big Christmas decor in the city. Of course, this is a must see. Just make sure it’s at night because there’s nothing to it in the day!
#8 The Window Display at Saks Fifth Avenue
I didn’t take pictures of this because it was late and my phone was dying, but they wouldn’t have done it justice anyways. The creative masterminds behind each one of these displays is incredible. Every year, the theme changes. This year it was Snow White. As if that wasn’t enough, there is a light show that takes place on the side of the building every 10 minutes or so from about 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM. Make sure you’re there for it! Saks Fifth is right across from Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller and right down the street from Bryant Park. Take the time to see this!
# 9 Rockefeller Christmas Tree
I don’t think you could go to NYC at Christmas and not see this iconic beaut. It’s every bit as beautiful in person as you would imagine it to be. Like I mentioned before, it’s directly across the street from the window display at Saks Fifth and Radio City Music Hall, and just a bit down the street from Bryant park. Doing all of this in the same evening wasn’t stressful at all and is totally doable. (Magnolia is also on the same block…just sayin’.)
#10 The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
I’m still trying to figure out how they do it…
You will be in awe the entire show. I cannot recommend this enough! It was well worth the money we paid. Also, when buying tickets – I don’t really think there’s a bad seat in the house. If you do one thing in New York City at Christmas, do this.