By Linda Stack-Chenok

East side, west side, all around the town, you will find so much to do in New York City.  New York is always bustling but even more so during the holiday season.  What about planning a trip there? Here are some of my favorite recommendations to make your  holiday visit  memorable.

Start your adventure walking up and down Fifth Avenue enjoying the holiday windows which are truly spectacular.  Each year they are developed with new themes. It is fun to be in the crush of people on Fifth Avenue, bundled up in their coats, hats, scarves and gloves.  You might want to start on Fifth and 59th and head south. I love the giant red bow around the Cartier store! Soon you will come to Saks Fifth Avenue, which is across from Rockefeller Center, with the iconic white angels blowing their horns on the promenade to the gigantic Rockefeller Christmas tree with its lights always shining.  Why not stop for a spin on the Rockefeller skating rink or a drink of hot chocolate along side the rink? Continuing down Fifth,  be sure to watch for the two stone lions in front of the library building, decked out with their red bows and then on to Lord and Taylor which always has outstanding windows on Fifth and 37th. From there, you can veer over to Macy’s windows on 34th and 7th.

Christmas in New York has many traditional events besides its elaborate Christmas windows. For starters, there is the outstanding Christmas spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall. This show has evolved over the years and now has Santa flying in overhead with his sleigh and reindeer, 3-D elements, and the very moving live nativity scene with camels and sheep. The Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center is delightful as is a majestic performance of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall. But you MUST book tickets in advance for these performances.

Once you have your fulfillment of “festiveness”, I suggest a visit to the new world trade center. This complex is striking with soaring architecture. You don’t want to miss the Oculus which is an above grand head house structure connecting different tower buildings. For sure you will want to get tickets to go to the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building now in NYC with breath-taking   360 degree views of New York. After that, be sure to visit both the outside 9/11 memorial with two reflecting pools representing the foot prints of the two towers that fell, and the underground memorial museum.

Depending on time,  you might want to attend a Broadway play or a visit to one of the great NYC museums. I especially like to go to the Metropolitan at Christmas as they have a special  columned hall where they put up an Italian Baroque nativity,  with  16th century music playing in the background. This annual event leaves me with a peaceful  sensation.  Lastly, I do recommend a walk on the High Line. This is a park-type walking area (1.5 miles) built on an historic freight rail line up above the street along the West Side (from 20th up to 34th Street). It is open year round and is beautifully planted for all seasons. It attracts New Yorkers every day and if you just want to stop and stare at surrounding buildings, there are many comfortable benches to relax on.

New York is a great place to visit anytime, but especially during the holiday season. If you need help planning your trip, please let me know.

New York, New York…
So Festive In the Holiday Season!