Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmas in New York City Travel Diary #1

The feeling of being in New York at Christmas is a difficult feeling to explain, you simply have to experience it to understand that there’s nowhere quite like it. New York has a special place in my heart and I’ll always love it no matter what the season, but it’s extra special at Christmas time. The weather god was also working in my favour this year as we arrived to a snowy NYC!

After a missed connection in Toronto and an unplanned overnight stay in Canada, we arrived in NYC at 9am to clear skies, beautiful views of snowy NYC and mind-numbingly cold temperatures and I couldn’t have been happier to get off the plane and start our back to back festive itinerary that I had meticulously planned (because I’m a control freak like that.)

We started our first day in NYC by exploring Times Square. We got up early so we could make the most of every second in NYC and Times Square was much quieter than normal. We started with a Starbucks Egg Nog Latte and a festive treat. Coffee in NYC always seems so much more special than coffee anywhere else in the world.

We then explored Times Square, starting at M&M’s World, which was huge! I’ve never seen so many different kinds of M&Ms. We look lots of cheesy photos then crossed the street to Hershey’s World, where we did exactly the same thing. You can’t beat a cheesy photo on holiday!


We spent lots of time wandering around and taking in the sights on Times Square. Times Square definitely isn’t a place to tick off a list, it’s an experience that you need to be present in. There are so many random things going on you can easily miss the best things about Times Square if you’re not in the moment.

There were a few pop-up events in Times Square while we were there. The NYE Wishing Wall was open so we each wrote down our wish for 2018. The wishes are dropped onto Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Such a cool idea and I loved reading other people’s wishes too. Gifted also had a gingerbread scene which represented Times Square through the years.

When we’d finished in Times Square we wandered along to the beautiful Grand Central Station. It’s such an iconic New York landmark and such a grand building. I loved all of the yellow taxis outside of the station, it was just so..New York City! We walked past the New York Public Library and, naturally, took a hundred pictures of the Chrysler Building too.

On the way back we stopped at Macy’s to check out the Christmas window and do a little shopping. We wanted to see Santa too but he was fully booked so had to schedule it for later in the trip. Macy’s window was great, although it’s not my favourite NYC window. Macy’s know how to ‘do’ Christmas though, it’s so festive in there. We also stopped at Pinkberry for some of the best frozen yoghurt ever. I just love Pinkberry!

We booked tickets to an afternoon showing of Elf at Madison Square Garden. I’ve seen it before and just loved it so wanted to go again. It was every bit as good the second time around. The movie is amazing, but there is something extra special about watching the show, at Madison Square Garden in NYC at Christmas!

Finally we took a bus tour to see Dyker Heights Christmas lights. I’d wanted to do this for a while and we tried a DIY tour last time we were in NYC and epically failed, getting completely lost and genuinely fearing for our lives. I was so happy we got to do it and it was worth every single second – I loved it! Definitely up there with one of the best nights of my life that I will definitely remember. Sometimes it's the small things...When I have my own home, it is definitely going to be decorated like Santa’s Grotto. I love the Christmas spirit in NYC – it’s like nowhere else!

Today was the most perfect first day in NYC!

If you enjoyed the first day of our travel diary, check back tomorrow for updates on what else we get up to.

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