Whether or not you believe in Christmas magic, watching Christmas decorations, visiting lively Christmas villages and shopping in Christmas markets is sure to life your spirits!
Here are some of our favorite must-see places in and around New York city we’d recommend. However 2020 being oh so special (read between the lines) make sure to check before hand if any of these places have cancelled the 2020 decorations or if you need to book a time slot prior.
1) Manhattan, New York City
NO place comes as alive as New York City in Christmas, bedecked in magical decorations wherever your eyes take you.
- Rockefeller Center
Heart of Christmas decorations in the city has to be Rockefeller center! With the iconic Christmas tree and skating rink, little wonder this is the go-to place for both locals and tourists around the world.
- Bryant Park Christmas village
There are ice rinks, and then there is the Bryant Park ice rink. You can either do ice skating, visit the market that is setup around the rink or simply soak in the vibes with hot chocolate in hand, sitting on a bench watching the Christmas tree.
From here you can head to Kati Roll company a block away for their mouth watering kati rolls, or walk 6 blocks down to Koreatown on 33rd street, for some piping hot ramen noodles!
- Walk along Fifth Ave
Walk along 5th avenue, starting from 33rd street uptown enjoying beautiful window displays on either side of the street, heading up to Saks Fifth Ave on 47th street for the famous Rockette light show.
- Union Square
If you didn’t have enough of the Christmas markets then do checkout this one in Union Square. Its more about witnessing the festivities rather than shopping. There’s also food available at the stalls here alongwith hot apple cider and hot chocolate.
If you are in mood for some fancy food then checkout this restaurant – Max Brenner, heaven for chocolate lovers. Be prepared for long waiting times though especially during the holiday season. Another must try place, a vegan sushi restaurant – Beyond Sushi.
2) Peddler’s Village, Lahaska PA
Ever seen any of the Hallmark Christmas movies? Well this place is straight out of one of those movies. A small Christmas village set up in this town of Pennsylvania called Lahaska. The moment you enter, you feel like you are in a fairytale world – A huge Christmas tree right in the center, Christmas lights all around, food and hot chocolate stalls and numerous little shops.
These shops sell variety of stuff so if you haven’t yet shopped for everyone on your list, you could get that done here. With a hot chocolate in hand, hopping in and out of the shops from sub zero temperature to nice heated atmosphere is a relief no doubt but then what is Christmas without the cold weather and snow!
There’s a small indoor area to display gingerbread houses made by locals as part of a competition that happens beginning of December.
Lastly, do not miss the grand old carousal and the play area/indoor arcade for kids.
3) Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
We personally haven’t been able to explore this one as yet but have heard from so many people about the beautiful decorations that residents and professional decoration companies go on doing right after Thanksgiving. If you are planning to drive then be prepared to walk some after you park. There are also guided tours if you want to skip the hassle of looking for parking, taking public transport etc. It is said to be one of the most unforgettable experiences for adults and kids.
4) Multiple farms and light shows in NJ/PA
A lot of farms set up for holiday lights and decorations with an option of either hayride or drive-through in your own vehicle. Some farms even have train rides. There are fire pits to keep you warm, make S’mores and meet & greet Santa and his elves. Here are some farms that you could check out;
- Demarest Farm, Hillsdale, NJ
- PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
- Didonato’s magical drive, Hammonton, NJ
- Shady Brook Farm, Yardley, PA
5) Bronx zoo, NY
Bronx zoo has quite a few attractions for the holiday season. Animal lantern safari, ice carving sculptures, costumed characters and many more things for kids and adults. You can head over on their website to book your tickets for available timeslot.
If you found this post helpful or have any other place to suggest then do leave us a comment and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @lensandsunscreen