Stuck in the City For the Holidays? Celebrate with These Classics

Kaitlyn Wang
A collage of holidays celebrated around the world.

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and those of you staying in the city on Turkey Day, Christmas or even New Year’s may be wondering how to spend it. There are plenty of holiday events available to New Yorkers, so head out with your friends, family or even alone to get into the spirit.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a New York City Thanksgiving tradition, and is currently in its 90th year. The parade runs down Central Park West and through Midtown, beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24. Most known for its display of jumbo balloons, this year’s parade also boasts performances from Tony Bennett, Aloe Blacc, Christopher Jackson from “Hamilton,” Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, Regina Spektor and many more.

You can line up to watch along the route starting from Central Park West, Sixth Ave. and 34th St. to the Macy’s on Herald Square. The sidewalk gets crowded fast, though, so depending on where on the route you want to be, you should get there a couple hours early. NBC will also be broadcasting the parade live. For more information and the full line-up, visit their website.

Bryant Park Winter Village

The Bryant Park Winter Village is a spectacular holiday market in Bryant Park, which is at 41 W 40th St. between Fifth and Sixth Ave. This year, over 100 vendors will offer food, jewelry, gifts and much more. There’s also a free ice-skating rink, and skaters can either rent skates or bring their own. A classic NYC tradition, the Winter Village is bound to have something for everyone.

The Village’s doors have been open since Oct. 29, and its hours until Nov. 24 are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. From Nov. 25 to Jan. 2, the hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

As suggested by its title, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a magnanimous holiday staple in the city. The show features the Radio City Rockettes, a dance company well known for its unison high kick at the end of every show. With scenes shifting from staircases to snowy forests to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the show promises to be eye-catching and fun.

The Christmas shows begin on Nov. 11 and end Jan. 2, with multiple shows per day at the Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center. On certain days, ticket holders can receive free Santa hats. Find tickets and more information here.

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

Perhaps the most well-known Christmas event in the city, 2016’s Rockefeller Tree Lighting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be live performances during the ceremony. Previous performers have included the Rockettes, Pentatonix, Mary J. Blige and more. You can watch it on the sidewalks or join the millions watching live on NBC.

The tree will remain up and lit until 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, and visitors may get close to the tree during its visiting hours from 5:30 a.m. to midnight daily at Rockefeller Plaza. The tree has been a tradition for over 70 years and is the epicenter of the city’s holiday spirit.

Holiday Windows

The holidays aren’t complete without window shopping, of course, and what better way to do it than with the holiday window displays up? Numerous stores around the city will erect holiday displays to display their holiday spirit, but there are a few standout stores that have annually proved themselves to be breathtaking.

If you have the time, take a stroll through Midtown and catch the spectacular window displays of Bloomingdale’s, Henri Bendel, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Tiffany & Co.

SantaCon

For one day, hundreds of Santas flood the streets of New York participating in, a seemingly nonsensical convention of people dressed in Santa suits for the holiday season. This year’s NYC SantaCon is taking place on Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. For those interested in participating, you must have a suit and be willing to be merry. You must also be of legal drinking age to join in the festivities at certain bars along the route. Furthermore, the NYC SantaCon requires a $10 donation to charity to participate.

For more information on the route and the SantaCon in general, visit the website here.

Email Kaitlyn Wang at [email protected] 

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