Welcome from New York City! Living in Washington, D.C. I had the opportunity to spend my first Christmas in New York City. It is truly a magical time of the year in the city that never sleeps. The streets were packed with tourists and last minute shoppers. Tall Christmas trees stood throughout the city symbolizing the most wonderful time of the year. In addition to the popular spots, I wanted to explore some hidden gems and found some fun things to do on my weekend trip to New York City in Winter.
My journey began with a 3ish hour drive from the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.. I booked a cozy house to spend my stay located in Staten Island. Thanks to airbnb!
December 24th– Grabbed some fresh donuts on our way to our first stop, The Cloisters. The Cloisters is a museum in Upper Manhattan, New York City dedicated to the art, architecture and garden of medieval Europe. The website suggest admission prices, however, you are welcome to pay any dollar amount to enter (kids are entry is free).
Fun fact about the museum, it was built way before I was born, 1938! They have done a great job maintaining it. Check out the pictures below. Definitely add it to your list of non touristy things to do in New York city.
Next we headed to the Union Square Holiday Market. This is a temporary market set up around the Union Square station with merchandise from all over the world. My favorite shop was a one with colorful lanterns from Turkey.
Last stop for the day…..Times Square. We walked around for a bit, trying to get ONE picture without being photobombed, with the streets crowded and everyone else trying to do the same, it got very challenging.
There were street performers showcasing their athletic and musical skills, bright lights and the enthusiastic crowds. I slowly made my way to the ultimate candy store, the M&M store. This store is filled with at least a million pieces of M&Ms (I wonder if they have counted them). The line was too long for me, so I ended up leaving empty handed, but I shall return.
Day 2– Christmas Day, wohoo! It was a beautiful sunny day. We spend the morning strolling through Central Park and people watching.
And then we headed to the Statue of Liberty. Now this was an experience. My friends decided to purchases the passes through street vendors (poor decision), had a gut feeling it was not a good idea and you know how they say your gut usually is right.
So they sold us the tickets by saying no one else was selling them and only private boat tours were happening that day. We were guaranteed a 3 hour ride with 5 different stops… LIES. As we got in line with 700 other people (yes it really was 700), we slowly came to realize that these ticket sellers were scammers. People were sold tickets at different prices with promises of food and drinks on the boat, flexible boat departure times, and so on.
Long story short, we ended up getting on the boat 3 and a half hours later, tickets were non- refundable, could not locate the sellers, no food or drinks were provided on the boat, made some new friends and learned a very important lesson, plan ahead of time and listen to your gut.
Ended the night with dinner at a local pizza place which was one of the few places to remain open for the evening and headed home. New York City is certainly a magical city and has something to offer to everyone. What is your favorite part of the city?
“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”- Simone De Beanoir