When I had accepted a position outside of Boston, we knew that we would take a weekend trip to New York City – as it is our favorite city. When we started planning our trip we knew that we wanted to see the Christmas lights and experience the holiday season there. My schedule wasn’t ideal to take a long weekend to the city, but fortunately, I worked with some amazing women who worked together to help me have the trip of a lifetime.
I had just got off work on a Friday morning when we traveled to Boston to catch a Greyhound bus to NYC. Our initial impression was that we would sit in a nice bus and sleep the entire way to our destination – BUT life doesn’t pan out like that. Instead, we woke up from our sleep to find we were about two hours away from New York City and our bus had broken down. Joy! We could have addressed this many ways, but we chose to enjoy the time together and laugh about the experience. After sitting on a broken down bus for a couple extra hours, we eventually made it to the city!
After a good meal, we crashed at our Airbnb for the night. We were so excited when we woke because it was SNOWING! We quickly got up and made our way to the Rockefeller tree to see this iconic decoration.
After we stood among the crowd to enjoy this giant Christmas tree – we made the walk to get lunch. We headed down a street, that just happened to have been blocked off. It was so neat to stand in the middle of a usually busy street in NYC and have the street to ourselves.
On our way to lunch, we stumbled upon Times Square. We’ve been here before but not when it was actively snowing so this was a neat way to experience it. We didn’t stay long, as we were growing hungry but we couldn’t turn down some photo opportunities!
After a delicious lunch of burgers, we walked to Bryant Square Park. During the holiday season, this park puts up an ice skating rink, small shops and food stands. I was also excited because there was a pop-up shop of Do – a cookie dough place in NYC…so delicious. It was still snowing and it was quite busy but we enjoyed the small shops and the beautiful tree that was on display there!
The sun had set, the snow continued to gently fall amongst the city and we decided that it was time for some backlit shots! When we left our Airbnb that morning, we brought along all we needed knowing that we couldn’t pass all the great photography opportunities. We stood outside the New York City Library and spent some time together to get some fun shots. Overall, our first day in New York City was an absolute success and we still had a couple more days to spend there.
The next day, we woke up and headed out to meet my friend Heidi. She is a travel nurse and also on an assignment in Massachusetts, we had planned to meet in NYC to explore the city together. We met at Grand Central Station that morning, here we grabbed some food and walked to indoor market in the station. After we got some fun shots, we headed to see the Rockefeller tree together.
The Rockefeller tree is so beautiful so we didn’t mind seeing it again, after all we came to see the sights of the holidays! This time someone handed us a postcard with a picture of the Rockefeller tree on it with some facts – which I have to share because they are so cool! The 2017 tree weighed 13 tons, stood 85ft tall and had 5 miles of lights around it. They sought out these trees for years in advance, since they have to be aesthetically pleasing from every angle, kinda cool stuff. After the tree, we headed towards the subway to make our way to a Christmas themed bar we had heard about. We walked down 5th ave, enjoying the lights and the decorations. We then stumbled upon another Christmas tree, snapped some cute pictures and then made our way to East Village.
When we arrived at Mace, we knew we had come to the right place. Before we came to New York City, I did some research to find unique holiday experiences around the city. One place that stuck out was this bar, Mace, turns in Miracle on 9th Street during the holiday season. This bar was SO much fun and we can’t recommend it enough. The decorations were so unique and lively, the music was fun and festive and the drinks were delicious! We sat at the bar, enjoyed the cocktails and the experience and actually learned how to play dreidel. We seriously can’t wait to go back to this bar, it was an experience that we will never forget and these memories we will forever cherish!
After Miracle on 9th Street, we headed to 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar to experience a rooftop at night in NYC. We sat on top of a skyscraper in heated igloos and enjoyed some snacks and cocktails. While this was a very cool experience, it was nothing compared to Miracle on 9th Street. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the view of the Empire State Building and enjoyed every minute in our favorite city.
The next day, we woke up and were craving crepes from Viva la Crepe. We made our way to Manhattan and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. The last time we were in New York City, we spent many breakfasts eating crepes here and having happy hearts. One of the perks of this place is that its right next to Central Park. We made our way to the John Lennon memorial, which was so beautiful. Naturally, we walked this park for a couple hours losing track of time and feeling lost in the city.
We had spent most of the day walking and so we discussed if we should call it a night or continue on. This was our last night in the city and so we came to an agreement that we would head to the Rockefeller tree to see it lit up at nighttime. I love that you can stand in the same place at different times of the day and have a completely different view, especially with holiday lighting. We enjoyed the light show that Saks Fifth Ave had displayed, it was so well done and well executed.
After enjoying the sites and the crowds, we decided to call it a night. On our walk to the subway, we saw more holiday lights and took our time to enjoy every last minute in the New York City. We were truly exhausted at this point but we couldn’t deny the opportunities to see sites that we may never have the chance to experience again. We try to take every moment for what its worth and soak it all in.
The next day, we sat in Bryant Park and filled our belly’s until it was time to catch our bus back to Boston. Experiencing the holiday season in New York City was absolutely amazing and we would recommend it to everyone. The decorations, the markets, holiday-themed bars and the overall feel of the city. Every time we visit NYC, we enjoy it more and more and always find hidden gems. If you ever get the chance to experience New York City, especially during the holiday season, you will not be disappointed!