Everyone looks at me with a strange side eye look when I tell them I’m not coming home for Christmas. Surely I must be crazy? Doesn’t everyone try and make their way home at Christmas time? Well not if you’re broke from living in New York City and not if you feel like home has lost the Christmas magic it used to have.
When I was younger Christmas was all about sneaking down in the early hours or the morning and seeing the surprises on everyone’s face at what awaited us, cringey jokes around the Christmas table and spending time with family. But my brother turning into an adult meant the magic is well and truly gone.
So where do I go to find the magic again? Stay exactly where I am in New York City and pretend I’m Kevin in Home Alone 2.
If you find yourself in New York this Christmas (or dream of going one day) here are a few things you can do:
1.The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall is a long tradition in the city. If you feel like seeing some Broadway magic with a Christmas twist this is for you. The Rockettes are practically an institution here. They have appeared at Radio City Music Hall in hundreds of stage spectaculars, and have participated in many historic and memorable events—like travelling abroad to entertain the troops and support wartime effort, and performing at the inauguration of the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, in 2001. They do 5/6 shows a day and tickets range from $60-$250.
2. Christmas Markets
New York isn’t pretending that it can compete with the likes of the German Christmas markets but they are still worth a visit.
The Bryant Park Christmas Market- One of the prettiest and most centrally-located holiday markets. It surrounds the skating rink that is installed in wintertime in the middle of Bryant Park. There are more than 100 small stalls offering one-of-a-kind items including winter clothing, sweaters, hats and mittens, handcrafted bags, jewellery, decorative goods, local foods, and more. This market is open until January 5th and opens until 8pm every day.
Union Square Holiday Market- Over 100 vendors fill the park and you will find truly unique items here, many with New York themes, and also lots of food options. This market is open until Christmas Eve.
Columbus Circle Market- The ultimate Christmas Market located beside the Wollman Rink in Central Park’s. Open until Christmas Eve this is a must visit for all the Christmas vibes.
3. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
Every year, the residents of Dyker Heights Brooklyn deck out their homes with elaborate Christmas lights. Many homes are professionally decorated, with some displays costing up to $20,000. They say it’s not a competition but it reminds me of that movie Deck the Halls and whos lights can be seen from space.
4. 5th Avenue Lights
Many of the stores on 5th Avenue go all out with decorations this time of year. Just walk down the avenue (try not to go in) and you will see the amazing displays of Cartier, Tiffanys among others.
Happy Christmas X