Deck the halls with boughs of holly – fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. ‘Tis the season to be…
Wait? What’s wrong? Ohhhhh. The Christmas song. Yes, I am well aware it is still summer but there’s really no time like the present to start planning your holiday travel. After all, wasn’t it just Memorial Day weekend three months ago? Yet now it is almost Labor Day Weekend? Think about it – the time that has passed from then until now is pretty much the same amount of time from now until the official start of the holiday season in New York City. Which of course, in the city that never sleeps, starts the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and continues on right through the new year. As it should.
So, you see, it’s not too early to start planning your epic NYC holiday experience and it is my aim to help you do just that with an overview of what we have going on this year. And, as you may have already surmised given the title of this blog, we have got something really fabulous lined up regarding those high-kicking, unbelievably coordinated and oh-so-stunning Radio City Music Hall performers – the Rockettes! Read on to find out how you can take seeing the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® to a whole new level. And, as an added bonus, I have also listed some other merry and memorable experiences, both old and new, that we’ve created for you to partake in to get you into the holiday spirit. Enjoy!
New for 2022: VIP Radio City Roxy Suite Reception & Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes
There is no doubt that most – if not all – of you are familiar with this holiday classic that has been entertaining folks both young and old (and in-between) for the past nine-plus decades. But how many of you have heard of the Roxy Suite? Yup – just what I suspected. You’re not alone – up until a little over a month ago I never heard of it either. Now, not only am I aware of it, but I also recently had the opportunity to visit it in person. You guys – this is a super cool venue tucked away in an equally as cool venue, which, just like the building it is housed in, has a history of its own. Intrigued? Good. Here’s the story in a nutshell.
This luxurious VIP suite, located on the fifth floor of Radio City Music Hall, once served as an apartment for Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel – hence the name. Now who exactly is this man who was important enough to warrant a private apartment of his own in a world-renowned theater? He was a theatrical impresario and entrepreneur who, together with John D. Rockefeller Jr., brought Radio City Music Hall to life. The story goes that originally Rockefeller Jr. planned for that particular part of his now 19-building art deco complex to be an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera. When that fell through, Rothafel – already a successful movie theater operator in the city – who had recently joined the center’s advisory board pitched his idea for “a large vaudeville international music hall.” And, as they say, the rest is history. Fun Fact: The Radio City Rockettes were originally named the Roxyettes, as Rothafel brought the precision dance troupe with him from the Roxy Theatre. They were renamed not long after, when Roxy parted ways with Radio City Music Hall.
So back to the VIP Suite. Walking into this space is akin to traveling back in time to the 1930s thanks to its period pieces and art deco style. Not only are most of its furnishings authentic – but the Roxy Suite also holds some other amazing treasures – among which is a guest book signed by well-known celebrities who’ve partied in the suite throughout the years. And what a varied array of signatures is it – from Liberace to Legend (John), from Chaka Khan to Cheryl Crowe, from Alfred Hitchcock to Al Gore and many more – so fun reading all the famous names!
So, here you are in this exclusive suite which is not open to the public and is not available for anyone but our guests – which is a big deal as the Friday evening after Thanksgiving showtime is a much sought-after timeslot to kick off the holiday season. You and your friends or family or both are hobnobbing in this VIP Suite with otherworldly guests while snacking on hors d’oeuvres and enjoying a buffet-style dinner, both of which are catered by Tao – a global leader in premium hospitality known throughout the world. After indulging in this fine cuisine – and sipping your choice of beer, wine or cocktails from an open bar for a little over an hour, it’s showtime! Of course, your VIP experience also includes tickets to the holiday classic Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® for that evening’s 7:00 pm performance. But not just any old seats – premium seats that are among some of the best seats in the house. I sat in them. Trust me. These are great seats.
Wait – that’s not all! There’s another benefit that comes with this unique experience. Our guests will have a separate, private entrance just for this event where upon entry you’ll be escorted to the historic Roxy Suite compliments of a Personal Christmas Concierge. There will be no waiting in that long line that typically wraps around the building well before show time for you. Talk about a memorable way to start the season – and it’s family-friendly of course.
Returning Beyond Times Square Holiday Favorites and One Other “Newbie”
Chances are if you are going to be in town for our VIP Roxy Suite event on the day after Thanksgiving – aka – Black Friday – you will also be here for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Well in case you hadn’t heard, the festive folks here at BTSQ have many other holiday-themed experiences that would pair nicely with this one – kind of like how turkey and gravy pair nicely together. Or turkey and stuffing. Or turkey and mashed potatoes. You get the idea. First up is the fabulous, one-of-a-kind, indoor Thanksgiving Day parade viewing experience – our Exclusive Thanksgiving Parade Viewing Party At Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.
Here are your options for viewing the most famous parade in the world. Option #1 – You can show up hours before the parade starts, in the pre-dawn darkness, find a spot on the sidewalk, set up your chairs, and hope you don’t have to go to the bathroom because not only might you lose your spot – or have to fight through rows of people to get back to it, but then you have to actually find a bathroom. After all that you’ll watch the parade for another three hours in lord knows what kind of end-of-November weather the universe may be sending that day. That’s one long morning spent on the sidewalk! Now for option #2. You can show up at the elegant Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse at 8:00 am, walk in, take off your coat, gloves, scarf, etc.… and head to a private table reserved for you and your guests. Here, for the next three and a half hours, you’ll enjoy a scrumptious hot breakfast and brunch buffet, fresh fruits, assorted pastries and beverages. Sounding better already, huh? Well, that’s not all. You’ll also have your choice of amazing views of the parade’s floats, balloons and more thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and a second floor (indoor) balcony. Plus, in addition to the parade going on outside the venue – inside the venue there will be a DJ, entertainment for the kiddos and tv monitors with network feed. Oh yeah – all this is in a climate-controlled environment featuring the highest quality of hospitality and the all-important restroom facilities. Word to the wise – this event sold out well in advance last year so don’t wait too long to reserve your space.
Also happening during this timeframe are a few more of Beyond Times Square’s not-to-be-missed holiday experiences. First up are the holiday light tours. When it comes to holiday light displays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a city that does it as wonderfully as New York. The department store window displays actually have specially designated viewing areas complete with red velvet ropes to keep everyone in line and moving along. And it’s not just the windows that wow – many of the buildings themselves are all decked out with elaborate décor and lighting displays in celebration of the season. Then there are all those Christmas trees, the world’s largest menorah and of course the entire neighborhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn which became famous thanks to the PBS documentary Dyker Lights as well as TLC’s Crazy Christmas Lights. Whether you want to stay in Manhattan or head over to Brooklyn we have you covered. You can choose from the Manhattan Holiday Lights Tour to stay on the island, or you can head to another of the city’s boroughs on the Crazy Lights of Brooklyn Tour – or heck, you can do both! And of course – both experiences are conducted via a luxury private vehicle with a professional driver, as well as an expert tour guide who will make sure you see everything there is to see!
Next up is the “new kid in town” – i.e., yet another new experience that we have added to our suite of holiday offerings – our Home Alone 2: Christmas in New York Tour. This one gives you the opportunity to “do” New York City like Kevin McCallister did – but minus the two comical crooks that were in pursuit of him, and not by foot, but rather in the comfort of a private vehicle with your professional driver and knowledgeable tour guide. From The Plaza Hotel to FAO Schwarz (aka Duncan’s Toy Chest) to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Central Park to Times Square and more – you’ll visit some of the most iconic sites and landmarks in the Big Apple all of which were featured in various scenes throughout the 1992 holiday hit and even some extra spots that weren’t. And it doesn’t end there because this experience also includes all-inclusive access to One World Observatory (at One World Trade Center) where you will head one hundred stories up via the priority lane for phenomenal views of Manhattan and beyond, all decked out for the holidays!
The start of the holiday season in New York City will be here before you know it, so don’t put off making plans to join us at our inaugural VIP Radio City Roxy Suite Reception and Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes! Santa’s elves – er – our Destination Experts – are just a phone call or email away and are here to ensure that you and your family and friends experience the holidays in the Big Apple the VIP way. Don’t delay – contact them today because space is limited!