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Your New York City Holiday Guide

This edit written by Liz King first appeared in a Crain’s New York Business Special Advertising Section.

There is a buzz in the air during the NYC holiday season that is unparalleled. The shops are lit with decorations and lights, the streets are filled with tourists and locals alike and there is just something about all of New York that seems a bit brighter. Of course, the events industry doesn’t slow down for a second this time of year either. We are in full gear with company holiday parties and all kinds of extravaganzas. So – how do you manage the madness in Manhattan? What do you encourage your attendees to do while they are here? Don’t worry – we have your holiday guide right here.

As the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade commences, the holiday madness also begins. While this time can be the most joyous, it can also be very stressful. Whether attending holiday events or hosting them, here are a few tips on ways to help keep stress to a minimum and cheerfulness to a max.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

First, a few tips:

  • Create a plan of action before you head out on the town. Prioritize all the things you’d like to do and make sure you take transportation into account. Frolicking all over the city sounds like a wonderful idea until you’re freezing and spending half of your time on the subway. Make a game plan of local activities and maximize your time before you leave.
  • Mix it Up. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to squeeze too much in one day. Instead, see a few sights, grab a nice meal and then rest a bit. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in a city like New York after just a day or two.

TO DO:

  • Walk along the storefronts on Fifth Avenue. Home to some of the most posh stores in NYC, this Avenue is also brightly lit and well decorated for the holidays. If you’re the shopping kind, bring your credit card. Or, plan for a beautiful walk. You can start in midtown and walk up towards Central Park.
  • Take in the Sights at NYC Museums. During the holidays in particular, there are some great exhibits you need to see like The Origami Holiday Tree at The American Museum of Natural History and the Holiday Train Show® at The New York Botanical Garden.
  • For more of the “real” New York experience, check out local favorite spots that are also celebrating the holidays – there are holiday markets at Union Square, Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, Columbus Circle, and Grand Central.
  • Take in a Show! You can’t come to New York during the holidays and miss the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Nutcracker Ballet or other Holiday Shows on Broadway. Don’t forget to arrive early to the theater or at least be in close proximity so you don't have to rush to make the show on time.  Leave worrying about timing to the Rockettes as they synchronize their kicks.
  • One popular winter pastime is ice-skating and there is no shortage of places to skate in NY. There are outdoor rinks at Central Park, Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center.
  • Last, but certainly not least – the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. This is one of the most iconic holiday experiences in New York and certainly something you can’t miss. To avoid the inevitable crowds, visit the tree during the off hours such as early evening, late night, weekdays or the week after Christmas. Or, if you’re crowd averse, there is a nice tree lit at Bryant Park as well.

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