New York City during the holidays is a magical time. Lights sparkle from the sides of buildings, couples and families glide across ice skating rinks, friends take photos in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and show goers get to experience the joy of live performances. Family holiday travel is the perfect time to make memories and enjoy all the holiday fun that the city has to offer. With so many options, from classic activities to new trends, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The following are time-honored traditions that have influenced many families during their holiday travels. These are just some of the classic family vacation ideas that are sure to draw a smile from people of all ages.
Holiday Shows in NYC
The Rockettes have performed in New York City since 1932, offering their famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Hundreds of families travel to see this classic show every year. For added fun, book your ticket through Beyond Times Square and schedule a meet and greet with the Rockettes and gain an exclusive photo that is sure to make it onto your Christmas card.
The Nutcracker first debuted as a ballet production in December of 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. A classic Christmas story, The Nutcracker explores a family’s Christmas Eve celebration and the blossoming of love. Composed of enchanting musical numbers as well as emotional and exciting performances, the show is perfect for a holiday family vacation. Children and adults alike can experience the wonder of an adventure and the magical journey of falling in love.
First published in 1843 by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol is a tale of transformation, learning from one’s mistakes, and changing for the better. Adapted for the stage in 1844, the production has been a long-standing tradition with many families. With the bonus of 12 cherished Christmas Carols, the Broadway show is perfect for a family holiday.
There is something magical about putting on a pair of skates and gliding around a rink surrounded by lights and decorations. NYC has some of the most popular places to ice skate with family, friends, and loved ones.
Located in the heart of Midtown, near Times Square, the Rink at Rockefeller Center is a tradition kept by thousands across the country. You can visit the rink for a casual skate or gain access to exclusive wintertime experiences. The Rink at Rockefeller normally opens in October and always welcomes thousands as the holiday season begins.
The Rink at Bryant Park’s Winter Village is the city’s only free admission ice skating rink. Guests can cozy up before or after their turn around the arena in The Lodge, (opens at the end of October), a glass-enclosed eatery that includes a beer garden and bar that are sure to satisfy any craving. The Polar Lounge offers rink side access that works wonderfully for small groups and parties, or even a tiny holiday family get together.
Christmas lovers can unite in this list of fun and festive eateries and bars. Family holiday travel can be made even better by a holiday meal surrounded by all things red, green, and sparkly.
Rolf’s German restaurant is a favorite during the holiday season, especially for couples. Decorated with over the top décor, the restaurant offers authentic German food with extravagant holiday cheer. Starting in November and spanning through April, Rolf’s transforms itself into the ultimate winter wonderland full of Christmas lights, ornaments hanging from the ceiling, tinsel strewn about, and beautiful pine garland.
Christmas themed bars cater to the adult crowd this holiday season with themed cocktails, seasonal brews, and holiday eats that soothe the soul. With locations all over the city, such as Midnight’s in Williamsburg, Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack, The Lodge at Gallow Green, just to name a few, Christmas themed bars are a fun excursion for those looking to indulge in a little Christmas cheer in a unique way.
Brooklyn’s Holiday Markets offer more than just food and drink for holiday travelers. The market highlights antiques, unique gifts, local artists, and vendors that showcase creative and one of a kind pieces. For those more interested in food, the market does offer artisanal foods as well.
Traveling with the family doesn’t have to be stressful; instead it can be fun and exciting. Family holidays in NYC can consist of dinners between twinkling Christmas lights, turns around skating rinks, and cups of hot cocoa during the chilly winter weather. So get out and explore NYC this holiday season! If you have any questions or would like to plan your family holiday travel in New York City, reach out to our team today.