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Christmas Time Is the Best Time to Visit New York City

Sarah has been to New York City every season and goes every year in December.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

New York City is magical all year round because there are so many things to see and places to go. If you've never been to New York City before, you'll feel amazed the first time that you visit because the city is so huge. Even though there's something magical no matter what time of year you visit, the best time to visit is during Christmas time. It doesn't have to be on Christmas Day or even that week but you should definitely visit in December before the holidays are over.

There is much more to see during the holidays such as the large iconic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and the ice skating rink. The Rockefeller tree has been an icon since 1933 and it's so popular that there is even a tree lighting ceremony every year at Rockefeller Center. The tree lighting ceremony usually takes place a few days after Thanksgiving. This year the tree lighting ceremony will take place on November 30th at 9 pm. However, before the tree lighting ceremony, there are usually many live performances by popular musical artists which make the tree lighting ceremony very popular to see. On the day of the tree lighting ceremony, many people gather in the Rockefeller Center area so it gets very busy. If you want to see the tree lighting ceremony, you should get to that area early afternoon to get a good view because, in the evening, the whole area gets blocked off by the police due to overcrowding.

The Rockefeller Christmas tree usually stays up until early to mid-January so there's plenty of time to see it. You can also ice skate at Rockefeller Center underneath the beautiful Christmas tree though it's very expensive. The price is anywhere from $20-54 per person and skate rentals are $10 so it's pricey but it would be a great experience if you want to try it. If the Christmas tree isn't worth seeing in your opinion, there's still more to see! By Rockefeller Center, there's a free projections and lights show on the Saks Fifth building. The show is daily starting around 4:30 pm until 11:30 pm every ten minutes and the show lasts about five minutes. It's very beautiful to see, there's music and it's similar to how the projections at Disney make the building look like it comes alive. It's definitely worth seeing.

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Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue Window Displays

If you've never been to New York City during Christmas time, you have to see the Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue window displays. Both companies put a lot of time and effort into making unique and beautiful window displays each and every year. Each year is a different theme so even if you saw the window displays five years ago or even last year, it's never the same the next year. Therefore, you definitely have to see them for yourself. Pictures on the internet or from someone's phone don't show how amazing the window displays are. The window displays are usually up until the beginning of January.

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Macy's Santaland

At Macy's, you can also visit Santaland where you can walk through Santa's workshop and an imagined magical forest on your way to meet Santa. Last year, Santaland was open from November 26th until December 24th. It's free to meet Santa and you only need to make a reservation online or in front of Macy's Santaland. Once you make a reservation, you just arrive there in your timeslot and you get to go inside Santaland. There are a lot of cute things to see inside and it's great for little ones. Even if you're not a kid and you don't really want to meet Santa, it's still cool to see the inside of Santaland. The only part of the experience that costs money is if you want to purchase any of the pictures Santa's elves take for you while inside Santaland or if you want to purchase your picture with Santa. If you don't want to purchase any pictures, the entire experience is free!

Central Park

Everyone wants to see the iconic Central Park when visiting New York City but there's something extra special about seeing Central Park covered with white patches of snow. Even though it's cold, it makes for great pictures of a snow-covered Central Park and it's interesting to see the lakes covered with ice. Central Park is beautiful during summer when it's warm and nice to sit outside because it makes for great picnic weather. However, everyone wants a picture at Central Park with the beautiful white snow and this can only be seen in December, January, or February. Sometimes there is still snowfall during the month of March or early April but not as much as in the winter months.

© 2022 Sarah Wong

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