New York City is an attraction for tourists all year long, but it has a special charm during the holiday season. The metropolis transforms into a winter wonderland this time of year, offering visitors the ability to visit many iconic attractions. Here are some of the biggest draws, best eats and most luxurious hotels to enjoy during your visit to the city.
What to do
The epicenter of Christmas in New York can be found at Rockefeller Center. That's where you will get to see the famous tree, a 78-foot tall, 10-ton Norway Spruce covered in over 45,000 LED lights. For the true 30 Rock Christmas experience, do some ice skating on the rink in front of the tree. You can also take in a show while you're there, as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (now in its 88th year) is playing at the nearby Radio City Music Hall. This cheesy but beloved show features a recreation of the nativity, alongside the world-famous dancing Rockettes.
Another NYC theatre staple of the holidays is the New York City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's "Nutcracker." Having premiered in 1954, this NYCB classic remains a huge draw every year.
Head a few blocks south of Rockefeller Center and you will find free ice-skating on Bryant Park's 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (just remember to bring your own skates). It is all part of Bryant Park Winter Village, which also includes 128 holiday shops, among them kiosks such as Mary V's Burger and Super Mac + Cheez.
Where to stay
As the oldest operating hotel in New York City, the historic Algonquin Hotel has been a Midtown Manhattan landmark since it first opened its doors in 1902. Over the last 100 years, the hotel has retained its glamour and luxury, making it the perfect place to enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas in New York. It also offers an incredible location, since it is just steps from Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Bryant Park. To book a room at this elegant 4-star hotel, visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycak-the-algonquin-hotel-times-square-autograph-collection/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2.
A slightly more affordable option can be found at the Manhattan Club Hotel, which offers a great Midtown location and excellent accommodations at a surprisingly low price. Situated near Central Park and Carnegie Hall, there is a lot to like about this residential-style timeshare. You can make your reservations at http://www.manhattanclub.com/.
What to eat
Where does one even begin? New York City is a foodie's paradise, with almost too many incredible options to choose from. But if you stick to Midtown restaurants, there are a few standouts worth singling out, and Keens Steakhouse is chief among them. For a classic experience, this wood-paneled NYC institution has a throwback feel and a menu to match, with bygone items like mutton chop.
For something a bit more exotic, try Indian Accent at Le Parker Meridien New York. This location is the first international outpost of an acclaimed eatery that is currently India's only entry on the S. Pellegrino list of the world's best restaurants. Dishes like the pork-belly vindaloo and blue-cheese naan are not to be missed.
For an iconic Christmas feast, make reservations at Central Park's Tavern on the Green. This restored, legendary New York restaurant serves special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals, with seasonal treats like roasted figs and eggnog parfait among the offerings.
From winter activities to famous shows to delicious dinners, there is no shortage of fun to be had during Christmas in New York City.