Skip to main content

New York's Holiday State of Mind

Dec 04, 2012 03:27PM, Published by tina, Categories: In Print, Life+Leisure, Today


New York's famed Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center


Gallery: New York's Holiday State of Mind [3 Images] Click any image to expand.



“Oh, Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind... and that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here, maybe I can do something about it,” said Kris Kringle (played by Edmund Gwenn) in the classic holiday movie Miracle on 34th Street.

East coast, west coast or land-locked, no matter where you call home no one can deny the New York state of mind when it comes to celebrating the holidays.  As has been tradition since 1924, New York’s most festive of seasons begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and carries on until the ball drops at One Times Square celebrating the turn of a new year. From the twinkling pageantry of more than 30,000 lights adorning the tree at Rockefeller Center, to the hustle of the very best holiday shopping, to the simple quiet romance of a single horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park, its no wonder millions of people from across the globe visit New York City this time of year.

After the last Macy’s balloon is folded for storage and the Thanksgiving menu turns promptly into sandwiches its time to feast your eyes on the country’s most popular tree.  Most agree the season begins with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, which took place on November 28. Solar panels atop Rockefeller Center power more than five miles of multi-colored LED lights. Over the years the colorful and towering tree has ranged in size from 50-foot pines to 100-foot Norway Spruces.  This year’s tree will be the 80th on record and approximately three million visitors will view the awe-inspiring sight. The lighting ceremony always features celebrity guests, musical performances and more. The tree can be seen from the ice-skating rink below and both are a must-visit for anyone in New York City during the holidays.  The festive scene will leave you hungering for more; fortunately the Rock Center Café serves contemporary dishes ranging from burgers and salads to prime rib and seafood all within view of the center’s world-famous Tree, Ice Rink and the celebrated Prometheus Statue.   Definitely an evening well spent.

After seeing the sights many will want to check off a few loved ones from their “nice” list with a bit of shopping. Believe it or not you can continue some serious sight seeing and shopping at the same time. Central Park is a favorite holiday destination for many, both for its carriage rides through the snow and for the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Not to be outdone the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park can also satisfy your urge to splurge- together more than 200 merchants fill both parks through early January selling everything imaginable from clothing and jewelry to holiday crafts and art. 

For those who want to take their shopping indoors yet still see some of New York’s celebratory sights- there is no better time of year to visit famed toy store FAO Schwarz than Christmas. Named after its German immigrant founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz, America’s oldest toy store is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary. Macy’s Herald Square is well known for its elaborate and festive window displays. Each year the flagship store features a set of displays depicting scenes from Miracle on 34th Street in addition to a surprise, never seen before second set. Families travel the globe to see Macy’s Santaland Village to have Santa hear their holiday wishes and have their picture taken with Kris Kringle himself.

Along the way kids are awestruck marveling at the model train displays, talking trees, overflowing bags of toys, and lavishly decorated Christmas scenes.

Event more toy trains come to life at the Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal-the New York Transit Museum Gallery shows off its annual holiday train show featuring Lionel trains traveling through a two-level, 34-foot-long miniature New York City and countryside scene.

As if the everyday sights and sounds of the city aren’t enough visitors just have to take the time to fit in a theatrical performance or two.  At Christmas the must see performance has to be the Radio City Christmas Spectacular a holiday song-and-dance spectacular, featuring the legendary Rockettes is now in its 85th year. The high-kicking Rockettes continue to combine classic scenes like "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and "New York at Christmas" with some brand new numbers and cutting-edge light shows, which transform Radio City Music Hall's interior into a true winter wonderland.   Just as classic is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, which allows young and old to discover the joy of Dr. Seuss' quintessential holiday tale as it comes to life on the stage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The hit song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" will have the whole family singing along. 

Shopping, dining and strolling through the city that never sleeps can provide endless holiday entertainment opportunities.  And just when you think the party is over the Times Square Ball Drop rings in the new-year. Each year millions across the globe tune in to watch the city’s famed celebration but absolutely thing compares with the joy and exhilaration of ushering in another year than watching with your own eyes from the streets of Manhattan.




radio city new york holidays madison square garden times square


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/29/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/29/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Yoga Around the World - Morning Session

    06/29/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Journey around the world as we explore how yoga is practiced in various countries. This camp will...


  • CycleBar at Athleta

    06/29/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Athleta welcomes Studio of the Month CycleBar to lead a free class inside the store! Bring a wate...


  • Cooking Show Favorites Camp

    06/29/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Ready, set, cook! Inspired by our favorite cooking shows, we’ll head to the Kitchen for a unique ...


  • Yoga Around the World - Afternoon Session

    06/29/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Journey around the world as we explore how yoga is practiced in various countries. This camp will...


  • Urban Foodies Camp: Deep in the Heart

    06/29/2017
    02:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join us as we taste our way around the city and tour Southlake’s finest food vendors, restaurants...


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/30/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/30/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Athleta Girl Summer Camp - Dance Series

    06/30/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    June's Athleta Girl Summer Camp Series wraps up with a dance class led by Miss Twister Dance Comp...


  • Cooking Show Favorites Camp

    06/30/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Ready, set, cook! Inspired by our favorite cooking shows, we’ll head to the Kitchen for a unique ...


  • Athleta Girl Summer Camp - Dance Edition

    06/30/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    June's Athleta Girl Summer Camp Series wraps up with a dance class led by Miss Twister Dance Comp...


  • Urban Foodies Camp: Deep in the Heart

    06/30/2017
    02:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join us as we taste our way around the city and tour Southlake’s finest food vendors, restaurants...


  • PARTY ON!

    06/30/2017
    07:00PM — 10:30PM

    Join us each Friday night for our weekly ballroom dance party! A great mix of ballroom, latin, c...


  • 2017 Mansfield Farmers Market

    07/01/2017
    08:00AM — 01:00PM

    In continuous operation since 2004, the Mansfield Farmers Market has experienced a renaissance in...


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • Join us for the annual Independence Day Parade as we celebrate America's birthday in historic dow...


  • Medallion Help-Create - School is Out!

    07/01/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Hip, hip, hooray! School is out for summer! Vetro is celebrating summer break with fire and flame...


  • Brunch Time!

    07/01/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Watch our resident critters enjoy their Brunch every Saturday at 10am! Our arachnids and amphibia...


  • Spotlight on Pythons!

    07/01/2017
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Pythons are the largest snakes in the world-and the coolest! Get a chance to hold our python, Cai...


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    07/03/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    07/03/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Mystery Basket Cooking Camp

    07/03/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Calling all chefs! Cooking shows have nothing on Taste Buds Kitchen's tasty cooking extravaganzas...


  • Lone Star Park in conjunction with the City of Grand Prairie will host the annual Lone Stars & St...


  • Southlake Stars and Stripes

    07/03/2017
    06:00PM — 11:00PM

    It’s that time of year again; Southlake’s annual Stars & Stripes celebration is right around the ...


  • Light Up Arlington

    07/03/2017
    06:00PM

    Spend the evening in Downtown Arlington Texas enjoying great food, entertainment, and family fun!...


  • The Rockin’ 4th of July

    07/03/2017
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Mansfield's favorite summer tradition is back for its tenth year, the Rockin 4th of July Celebrat...


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    07/04/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Summer Art Camps

    07/04/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Mystery Basket Cooking Camp

    07/04/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Calling all chefs! Cooking shows have nothing on Taste Buds Kitchen's tasty cooking extravaganzas...


  • Fort Worth's Fourth

    07/04/2017
    02:00PM — 10:00PM

    Fort Worth's Fourth celebrates 10 years on the Trinity! The family-friendly festival returns t...


  • Lone Star Park in conjunction with the City of Grand Prairie will host the annual Lone Stars & St...


  • Bring your own chairs, blankets and picnic, there will also be concession available. Patrons are ...


Read This Month's Digital Issue
Stay connected with us
Follow us on Instagram