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TOP 5 things to do during Christmas in New York

Updated: May 18, 2018

Ever wondered how Christmas feels and looks like in NYC?

I had a wonderful time with my friend Giulia, discovering some new places I haven't been to before. My dad's from NYC and I went there quite a few times too but I never had a chance to visit some of these places Giulia introduced me to.

Giulia is a really old friend of mine from kindergarten. We both went to a school called "Celio Azzurro" located on one of the seven hills in Rome, the monte Celio.

After her studies Giulia ended up working in NYC and now she's finally settled with the company she always wanted to work for.

Having her lived in NYC for several years gave me the perfect opportunity not only to catch up with her but also to enjoy the exquisity of some very interesting places in town.


The first place we went to was a place I had no idea existed, a Christmas super decorated bar, pub, restaurant in the heart of New York that stays christmasy up to 6 months per year (till april):

1)Rolf's - 281 3rd Ave

Snug German restaurant & bar with an old-world vibe known for its elaborate holiday decorations.

here you'll find christmas signature drinks and cocktails, limited seating which makes it even more exclusive and the beer served here includes the famous HB Hofbräuhaus from Munich.

Booking is mandatory and needs to be done way ahead of time.

The music here is rigorously Crosby, Sinatra, Martin so you understand the mood I'm talking about!

Decorations are so exaggerated that you can hardly fit at the bar. Drapes of decorations, lights and christmas balls hang over your head and the lighting is just so cosy.

This eatery has: 15,000 Christmas ornaments, 10,000 lights, 800 dolls, and thousands of icicles.

The restaurant spends between $60,000 and $65,000 annually for these decorations.

christmas divider
2)Saks Fifth Avenue - 611 5th Ave

Posh department store chain carrying designer apparel, shoes & accessories, plus home goods & more.

After a couple of Christmas drinks we ended up at Saks Fifth Avenue on 611 5th Ave, a must Christmas visit in New York.

It's shopping malls and boutiques are saturated with christmas decorations all mechanically and electrically moving so to recreate a surreal and realistic display window.

On this year's occasion the main theme was the Celebration of 80 years of Disney’s “Snow White”.

This area is easy to reach, you walk around and enjoy the cosiness without spending a dime! Much effort is put by all the shops around to make it worth while your visit.

Do NOT forget to come here during Christmas!

saks fifth avenue celebrating 80 years of snow white
saks fifth avenue celebrating 80 years of snow white

saks fifth avenue celebrating 80 years of snow white
saks fifth avenue celebrating 80 years of snow white

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3)Rockefeller Center - 45 Rockefeller Plaza

Right behind me as in behind me while I was taking these pictures, you'll find Rockefeller Center - 45 Rockefeller Plaza.

Another must visit during Christmas! You'll find an ice rink here, a panoramic view from the "Top of the Rock", Christmas decorations everywhere, Christmas statues, the filming location to one of the scenes of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" and a great place for doing some photography. Check it out!

Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st Streets in New York City. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree:

The tree is erected in mid November and lit in a public ceremony in late November or early December.

Since 1997, the lighting has been broadcast live, to hundreds of millions, on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center telecast on a Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

An estimated 125 million people visit the attraction each year.

The tree, usually a Norway sprouce 21 to 30 meters tall decorated with 18,000 lights has been a national tradition each year since 1933.

The 2017 Christmas Tree Lighting took place on November 29, 2017; the tree remains on display until January 7, 2018.

christmas divider

For food you usually want to be quick cause NYC has so much to visit. We recommend trying this amazing restaurant:

4)Totto Ramen - 248 E 52nd St

Bustling outpost featuring Japanese ramen soups with a variety of toppings in a snug, low-lit space.

Here you're greeted with great cordiality. Japanese hosts take your jacket and hang it right behind you as soon as you get in. Tables are few so you'll end up eating at the main table where the cooks work at. Stools are fixed to the floor and hangers below the table secure your belongings without them being on the floor. You can spot everything the cooks are cooking and understand what techniques they use for their cuisine. My observation was that they had huge bags of rice inside their huge ramen pots. I asked why and they told me that the rice releases a lot of starch ensuring a thick soup to add the ramen to.

Sake is also served here and I loved the fact that it was sealed like a coke can lid over a glass bottle. Food was great, I absolutely loved it. Sake also good.

Food and beverages:4/5

Price: 5/5

Customer service: 5/5

Cleanliness: 4/5

Comfort: 3/5

I believe this is one of the best places to have a quick and really cool, honest bite!

christmas divider

Best Home Alone 2: Lost in NY filming location is the:

5)Plaza Hotel - 768 5th Ave

Opposite Central Park, this landmark, 19th-century luxury hotel is 1.4 miles from the Empire State Building. The elegant, French-style rooms have bathrooms with gold-plated fixtures, plus Italian linens. Some rooms have private terraces. Suites offer city views, powder rooms and butler's pantries. Some are are bi-level.

Kevin McCallister Donald Trump Plaza hotel Home alone 2 Lost in New York
Kevin McCallister meets Donald Trump in the Plaza hotel on Home alone 2 Lost in New York

You'll find it unique here as you'll remember all the places of the film you watched as a kid.

The Plaza hotel is owned by Donald Trump and is one of the most luxurious hotels in New York city. It's very cosy and I personally liked it a lot.

It's location is right next to Central Park so you can end up here before or after a beautiful walk,

That's it from us on New York now, let us know what your favorite places are! Don't forget to share this post with your friends so they can go for a visit too!

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Sources to our information are part of our own personal experience, some taken from Wikipidia and others from official sites.



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