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A New York City Christmas

By Kaitlyn Davis

Christmas time in New York City is absolutely spectacular! There are so many things to do and places to see, you may need a little help deciding, which is why I'm here. I grew up in New York and know tons of great spots to visit during the Holiday season. There are a few must see places that will take your breath away with the lights, decorations and holiday cheer!

1) Rockefeller Center - Rockefeller Center is the center of New York City at Christmas time. Everyone in the world has heard of the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree, but that towering network of lights and leaves isn't the only thing to see, even though it is the most breathtaking. The walk towards the tree is lined with angel statues, christmas lights, and gorgeous ornaments. This center truly feels like a winter wonderland, and, if you're willing to wait, skating here with your loved one is a truly magical experience.

2) The Window Walk - If you start at 38th and 5th and walk to 60th and 5th, you'll see all of the display windows that the old department stores plan year round for. Places like Lord and Taylor, Saks and Bergdorf and Goodman, design spectacular windows with intricate details that will amaze you. Maybe even run over to Madison Avenue, because the windows at Barney's are beautiful too. Keep one eye in the sky while you're walking along 5th avenue, because a gigantic crystal snowflake rests over the intersection of 57th and 5th.

3) Christmas Shows - 'The Radio City Christmas Spectacular' has been running for as long as I can remember but it never gets old. Everyone loves watching the Rockettes make high kicks in unison, and seeing the trouble that Santa Claus manages to get in to. Another favorite is the 'Nutcracker Ballet' so you can watch toys come to life on the stage and get lost in the music spilling out from the Orchestra pit. I love the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and I'm sure you would too. A new favorite is 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' which shows on Broadway during November, December and January. Kids especially will enjoy watching the green monster with a heart three sizes too small find love and friendship in Cindy Loo Who and the other Who's in Whoville.

4) Central Park - If it snows during your stay, be sure to come out of hiding along with many other New Yorkers to wander around this park. The trees and hills look beautiful in the snow fall, and its one of the only places in New York you could have a raging snow ball fight or build your own Frosty the Snowman. Newlyweds should take a carriage ride, and maybe bring some hot cocoa with them to keep warm. The ice rink is another popular spot, and the Tavern on the Green Restaurant is a nice place to have a good family dinner.

5) Museum Trees - If you love Christmas trees, like I do, than you have to visit the Museum of Natural History and the Met. The Natural History Tree is beautiful and decorated completely with origami ornaments that are hand made and precious. The Met is unsurpassed with decorations however, and you must visit the museum to see the 18th Century Neapolitan angels that decorate this tree and seem to fly off the branches.

6) Bronx Zoo - You may think animals are no different at Christmas, right? Well, the animals aren't, but the grounds of this Zoo are decorated with more than 140 illuminated animal sculptures, over eight miles of tree lighting and more than two miles of architectural lighting. This Zoo is a must see christmas hot spot, and make sure to bring a camera!

7) Grand Central Terminal - The station looks much the same, it is just decorated beautifully with ornaments and lights. The real fun comes at timed intervals when the Holiday Laser Show is projected onto the ceiling, making the constellations come to life! The show is completely free, and you'll find your self humming your favorite christmas tunes while looking at the lights shining 125 feet above you.

8) Bryant Park "Fete de Noel" - Bryant Park will be transformed into a beloved wonderland when this market takes place. Based on the French tradition, outdoor shops and cafe's line the park and it is a great place to walk around. The Park also has a skate rink which is free, and rentals are only 10 dollars, which is a very good deal in Manhattan.

9) Saint Patrick's Cathedral - While New York isn't know for its historical architecture, this gothic cathedral right on 5th Avenue will leave you breathless. The inside is fully decorated on Christmas, and you may hear the choir singing. Light a candle, say a prayer, or just visit their manger in honor of the birth of Jesus. Whatever you do, just visit!

10) Santaland - What better thing is there around Christmas than to see Santa, and take a seat upon his lap. Macy's Department Store has this magnificent Santaland exhibit for little Children so the can whisper what gifts they want into Santa's ear while Mom and Dad are shopping.

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