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Christmas in NYC
updated: Nov 28, 2012, 11:02 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Last March we purchased bargain airfare tickets to NYC. So now we're heading to the Big Apple for a week on Dec. 5th to take in all the Christmas sights.

We have tickets to see the Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes and that's it so far. What are some other "must see sights & experiences?" Thanks!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 347738 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:08 AM

Go see Blue Man Group at the place where they began, the Astor Place Theatre. I have seen them over a half dozen times in 4 different cities and in varying-sized venues, and the smallness of the Astor Place Theatre makes their show that much better.


 COMMENT 347740 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:09 AM

Guy Fieri's slop shack.


 COMMENT 347750 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:28 AM

Oh man! So much to do. What are your interests? So many good restaurants, clubs, parks, other attractions too. Some of my faves;

Battery Park - Just walk around or take a water tour
Union Square
Washington Square Park
Empire State Building
Comedy clubs - most are fun, some good ones near NYU
Natural History Museum
The Met (either one)
Street Kabobs
The Hummus Spot
Bar Bouloud
Mark Joseph Steakhouse
Melampo/Alidoro - Best sandwich I have ever had (italian) go early to have best bread selection
Spotted Pig

I could go on and on, remembering so many good spots.


 COMMENT 347752 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:30 AM

Central Park (you can be a real tourist and take a horse and buggy ride -- at this time of year they are a lot of fun)

Rockerfeller Center -- the skating rink will be in full swing and the tree is always enormous!

Get tickets for a broadway show -- there's a half price TKTS booth in Times Square or you can pre-buy through several online avenues (e.g., playbill.com or just google discount broadway tickets and a number of sites will come up, where you can get discount codes to enter when purchasing your advance tickets). War Horse may still be playing and it was wonderful.

One of my favorite restaurants is the Russian Firebird over in Hell's Kitchen, around the 40's and near 9th Avenue. I highly recommend it.

Also, there are some great delis on Lexington and the 30's.

Macy's at Herald Square will be exciting, as will Bloomie's, FAO Schwartz and Saks 5th Avenue (the flagship store is 9 stories!).

I love to visit Steuben Glass on Madison -- it's like a museum.

MOMA, Gugenheim and the Natural History Museum (Hayden Planetarium) are all wonderful places too!


 COMMENT 347754 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:32 AM

Oh my! Totally forgot the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty (taking the ferry alone is fun) and Top of the Rock.

Go for it -- be a full on tourist!!


 COMMENT 347756 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:36 AM

Good one, blanked on Rockefeller Center. Also skating in central park and the central park zoo. FAO Schwartz. The department stores. A walk through Tiffanies and Cartier. Carnegie Deli and Stage Coach Deli. Serendipity III for deserts. Making me long for a visit back to NYC.


 COMMENT 347757 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:40 AM

The Dakota on the 8th.


 COMMENT 347764P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 11:47 AM

Ellis Island. Everyone should visit Ellis Island. Most of us can find our ancestors in the registries. It is a real eye opener and a terrific life altering experience. You will never forget it once you have been.
Everything else is just icing on the cake that is NYC.


 COMMENT 347773 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:06 PM

I really like the Frick musium too. down the street from the Met Museum. The Dakota is across the street from "Straberry Fields. Go to a corner deli.


 COMMENT 347787 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:20 PM

Do the outdoor ice skating thing...


 COMMENT 347790P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:22 PM

the Iridium Club -small jazz club. Les Paul played there every week till into his 90's. Anything there would be good. Check the New Yorker mag's weekly listing of shows and night spot entertainment for the current bill.


 COMMENT 347791 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:22 PM

Great suggestions! Also, a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge is a thrill. NY Public Library is beautiful. Hayden Planetarium. Russian Tea Room. Pizza anywhere.


 COMMENT 347800P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:33 PM

Weather permitting, do the Circle LIne Cruise around Manhattan Island. You will be with many European tourists and the running commentary gives you a great intro to the city. Well worth the money. Ellis Island is great but try to go when the school kids are not there. Acoustics are lousy with 100s of screaming school kids touring the place. I love the Plaza Hotel, Grand Central Station (have a drink at Campbell's Apt bar). The best music for free is at the Episcopal Cathedral up and across from St. Patricks. Trinity Episcopal has a boys/mens choir to die for. Their advent service on a Sunday morning or their evening choir performances are wonderful.


 COMMENT 347810 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:49 PM

Ground zero would be high on my list, especially if you go see Battery Park. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Go to an authentic Deli and have a real bagel, they're the best in NYC...it's something in the water I think.


 COMMENT 347813 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:50 PM

Admittedly I'm a scientist, and MOMA is fine, but the Natural History Museum is not to be missed... and yes I do love art, but modern art is not my favorite.

WTC site is hard to miss, but emotional.

Wall Street is cool to see.

And a Broadway show. I saw Spamalot and loved it.


 COMMENT 347816 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:54 PM

Oh, and so something really classy...Have a Bloody Mary at the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel...sit at the bar and gaze at the Maxwell Parrish mural...


 COMMENT 347819 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 12:58 PM

Rockefeller Center FOR SURE, the windows at Lord & Taylor, Saks and Macy's, Central Park Buggy Ride through the city, NY Public LIbrary, 5th Avenue, the Met and the Museum of Natural History (including the planetarium) but if you want to stay Christmas-y I say the windows, Rockefeller Center and Central Park. Also - go to the top of the Empire State Building!!


 COMMENT 347824 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 01:46 PM

New York's hottest new club is called "fuuuhudge"
It's run by a lapsed Catholic priest and his feral pack of cub scouts.
This club has everything, dentists, a gaggle of turkeys, men with tiny hands...
It's that thing where a midget riding a camel wishes you a happy new year from high atop his mount.



 COMMENT 347827 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 01:52 PM

Hot dogs! There are hot dog carts on every corner in Manhattan. Indulge!


 COMMENT 347829 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 01:53 PM

Carnegie and Stage delis are a rip off! So many other and better ones elsewhere.

Otherwise, I'm now homesick. Wish I was there.


 COMMENT 347831 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 01:55 PM

Aaaahhhhh . . . a perfect manhattan at 4 pm at the Warwick Hotel bar -- 56th (?) and Park Ave. or is it Avenue of the Americas?


 COMMENT 347837P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 02:01 PM

We took a tour of Radio City Music Hall that was pretty cool. My husband loved getting to pose with a real Rockette.


 COMMENT 347840 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 02:05 PM

I second the Circle Line double decker bus tour. Great tour guides plus you can get off and walk around (Ground Zero, Wall Street, Italian District, Chinatown, etc...) and then catch another bus and continue on. Lots of good info from the tour guides. You can also go on the night tour across the bridge to Brooklyn and see the beautiful Manhattan sky line. We also rented bikes and rode through Central Park, went to the Top of the Rock instead of the Empire State Building. Much less crowded. We did so much! Have a great time!


 COMMENT 347841 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 02:06 PM

The 911 Memorial is absolutely gorgeous at night. I don't know how late it is open this time of year, or what damage Sandy may have done. Be aware that you need to make reservations which you can do online. It's free.


 COMMENT 347843 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 02:08 PM

Visit 4 time LADL Champion, Gaucho Alum and all around great guy Cliff Korn @ ackerwines(DOT)com.


 COMMENT 347845 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 02:08 PM

1st stop, McSorley's!!! Oldest Alehouse in NYC.

Anything at Carnegie Center and Lincoln Center. 1/2 off tickets available at David Rubenstein Atrium for anything at Lincoln Ctr. Also - if you become a member of Carnegie Ctr, you can sit in for free at 3 pm ish for the rehearsals of whatever's playing that night at 7pm.

If you go to Old Trinity, you'll see remnants of Occupy Wall Street - it's now down to about 5 guys in their sleeping bags with lots of books to read but they're really chatty if you want to talk to them.


 COMMENT 347919 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 04:54 PM

@824: I read the name of the "hottest new club" and my first thought was, yikes, that's exactly something Stefon would say. Turned out it was. Thanks for the laugh.


 COMMENT 347995 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 08:34 PM

Roasted chestnuts from the street vendors! Katz' deli was tasty and it is also the spot they filmed that oh so memorable scene from "When Harry Met Sally" - I'll have what she's having! Times Square and St. Patrick's cathedral (was covered in scaffolds last week, but still an amazing sight inside).


 COMMENT 348019 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-28 10:28 PM

WTC , walk the Brooklyn Bridge , and Top of the Rock (Rockefeller) better view than the Empire and the little brochure they give you expalins all the most importantant buildings to be seen from the Top.


 FIRST DISTRICT agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 01:39 AM

We liked The Top of the Rock, walking on Brooklyn Bridge, the Natural History Museum. The Met, and the Frick.

It's a shame that you won't be able to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Check to see what's on Broadway and try to see a couple of the productions.

We got tickets to see Dave. That was fun!


 RONNIEB agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 06:29 AM

Eat at Nonya's, 199 Grand in Little Italy next to Chinatown. Amazing Malaysian food. (Great Italian pastry/ice-cream shop next door too!)


 EZ2 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 07:28 AM

Pizza, Italian Ices, Egg Cream, Chinese food ,Little Italy, Chinatown, Hot Dogs , Bialy's and Bagels,,go to 33rd and 3rd..Macy's and Bloomingdales..FAO Schwartz..Yankee Stadium,Shea Stadium..The Met..Kennedy center..main library at 42nd street..Barneys 7th ave @ 17th st..The park (central) I will post more later


 COMMENT 348075 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 07:42 AM

Champagne truffles at the Teuscher Chocolate store in Rockefeller Center!

Walk through the Waldorff Astoria lobby and see if you can recognize all the places from all the movies that have been filmed there.

Speaking of movies, wanna see a film or TV show being shot? Check out "On Location Vacations," which is a website that posts where people are filming in New York City and other destinations around the country.

Have a Blue Martini at the Algonquin Hotel in Midtown Manhatten, where New York's cultural and artistic elite have gathered and schmoozed for a century, where "ideas are shared, insights arrived at, and the designs that result shape the cultural fabric of the city."


 COMMENT 348097 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 08:29 AM

Take the Staten Island Ferry round trip for a wonderful and inexpensive view of Statue of Liberty and other sites.

Take the 59th St. Bridge over the East River to Roosevelt Island for stunning views.

Both are inexpensive and fun!


 COMMENT 348100 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 08:32 AM

Depending on your interests the museums are not to be missed. There is a Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan museum right now.

Any type of food in NYC is a fantastic experience - from street vendors to little Italy to Chinatown to rays pizza and on and on, but if you are in the market for a memorable and special foodie's night out, do not miss the Gotham Bar and Grill in the village wwwgothambarandgrillcom . Yes, it is pricey, and the food is spectacular. We were there in the summer visiting family and had one of the best meals I've ever eaten.


 COMMENT 348106 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 08:38 AM

sounds like edhatters are a well-travelled bunch. This list is a keeper! I'd also reccommend checking @chowhound.com >> NYC board for more specific dining queries and discussion.

Will any of these attractions be impacted by the storm damage? Like using the subway, street closures, etc? Have not been keeping up with NYC post-storm news.


 COMMENT 348137 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 09:31 AM

We were in NYC from 11/12 through 11/19, and at that time all the subways were running again, but a few still had interruptions at certain times of day for repairs or cleanup of tunnels or stations. South Seaport. Battery Park ,Staten Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty suffered badly from Sandy so they are still not likely to be ready for tourists. I agree that Katz's Deli (on Houston near 2nd Ave.) is much better than either Carnegie or Stage Deli. Much better food.
Sarabeth's is a NYC classic for breakfast or brunch. It is on Amsterdam Avenue near 76th (not quite sure of the street, but it is the street that borders the Natural History Museum on the north)
Walking around Brooklyn (we like the Williamsburg area), going to the Brooklyn Museum and the Botanic Garden nearby, visiting Brooklyn Brewery, are all fun and things that most visitors to Manhattan don't bother with. There are lots of great little restaurants in Brooklyn, too, usually cheaper than in Manhattan.


 TROLLEY TOM agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 09:33 AM

Before you go contact Big Apple Greeter via email and arrange a walking tour. These are free tours given by locals that want you to love their city as they do. We have done it twice and both times it was wonderful fun. Other cities often have this too.....obviously with a different name.


 COMMENT 348287 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 12:23 PM

Ground Zero. The new Trade Center, the museum. Remember.


 COMMENT 348336 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 01:18 PM

Rock Center, they have a nice outdoor skating rink and great Xmas decor. Xmas big city style.


 COMMENT 348559 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 08:13 PM

Truffles at La Maison du Chocolat.


 COMMENT 348576P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 08:59 PM

Saks 5th Avenue window display.


 COMMENT 348592 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-29 10:11 PM

Get a bagel from Essen Bagels. They are the BEST! Go see some amazing improv at Upright Citizens Brigade. Be prepared to laugh your head off!


 COMMENT 348954 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 03:47 PM

I just read that the Stage delicatessen has closed. They charged too much for too little, but it's still a shame.


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