I’ve been to New York numerous times but going to the city at Christmas has always been on my bucket list. Jared (my husband) got the opportunity to go to NYC for work and since I work from home I decided to tag along. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect and I am so glad I decided to tag along it was a great way to see the city at Christmas and save a few dollars since I just had to pay for my flight. If you are heading to New York for Christmas here’s a full Christmas in New York Travel Guide to help with your planning.
Christmas in New York Travel Guide
Since this wasn’t our first time in the city we really wanted to find some local spots to eat at and different things to do outside of the typical tourist attractions. We also got a ton of suggestions from Jared’s co-workers who live in the city so I’ll put any suggestions that we didn’t get to at the end in case you want to explore those recommendations.
Christmas in New York Itinerary
We took an early flight in and landed in NYC around 11 AM. We dropped our bags and I walked with Jared to work down Park Avenue.
After that, I leisurely walked back and grabbed some coffee at Ralph’s and a slice of pizza, by then our room was ready so I worked the rest of the day from the hotel.
Once Jared finished work we met up with his team in Chinatown at Hwa Yuan Szechuan. We had a total feast complete with Bejing Duck, dumplings, fried rice, orange chicken and beef, pork belly, noodles, and more. We were a large party of 14 and we ordered family style so I think we ordered just about everything on the menu and it was all amazing! I never thought I’d like duck but it might have been my favorite thing we ate the entire trip.
Once we left dinner, we popped in Grand Central Station to experience it. We were staying really close by so it was a great way to end the night.
For breakfast, I popped in for a bagel at Bagel Market and then found a cozy spot in our hotel to work.
I did make a lunch reservation at Monterey and it was absolutely delicious! I had the steak frites and enjoyed some people watching and listening to a book while I enjoyed a solo lunch.
After lunch, I grabbed a black and white cookie from the Grand Central Station market and headed back to the hotel for more work.
Once we were both done with work for the day, we had tickets to go see Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. I grew competitive dancing and always danced to Sutton Foster’s versions of broadway songs so I was ecstatic. Tickets weren’t cheap but they were worth every single penny if not MORE. Out of the 15+ Broadway shows I’ve seen it ranked #1 by a landslide!
After the show, we got dinner and drinks at Lillie’s Victorian Establishment. We got a table at 10:44 and the kitchen closed at 10:45 so we barely squeezed in an order of pasta and a steak. This place was decked out in Christmas and was about a block away from Broadway. I highly recommend going if you have a show on your agenda.
We started the morning off with coffee together at Maman. There are several locations in the city but it gives all the blue and white South of France grand millennial vibes.
From there, I knocked out some work before I had lunch at Le Pecora Bianca and met up with my friend Kathleen from Let’s Get Preppy by the Flat Iron. We grabbed coffee at Ralph’s (Ralph Lauren’s coffee shop) and it was equally as delicious and adorable.
I headed back to work and then Jared and I went to Lower Manhattan for dinner at The Odeon. This was a must-visit place for Jared and it was an old-school elevated diner. You need a reservation to get in here.
After that, we got a recommendation to visit Holywater for drinks. This speakeasy bar was all the vibes and had amazing drinks!
I decided to take a day off and enjoy the sights so I woke up ready to explore the city. I started my solo day of exploring at Bryant Park and enjoyed a boozy hot chocolate while watching people ice skate by the tree. I then popped into the holiday market and had a cider donut.
Bryant Park is on the backside of the New York Public Library so with time to kill I decided to go in on a whim and I am SO glad I did! The museum and free and although a lot of people were hanging out on the stairs and taking photos in front the library itself was not crowded. Up on the third floor, there are gorgeous murals and working space. I was kicking myself for not working there earlier in the week. I snagged a book from the gift shop and they stamped it with the NYPL stamp which was a really unique souvenir.
After lunch, I walked down Madison Ave and did some shopping, and popped into William Greenberg for another Black and White cookie. I was told this was the best Black and White cookies in the city and it did not disappoint!
I then strolled down to Bergdorf Goodmans and went inside to see the holiday displays on the 7th floor as well as look at the famous windows.
By this time, Jared and I met up for drinks and dinner. We planned dinner at Ci Siamo but arrived a little early so we had drinks and appetizers at Hidden Leaf. This is a hidden bar on the second floor of a theater and I had the best cocktail I’d ever had in my life. It featured popping boba and I’m still thinking about it!
Dinner at Ci Siamo was good but it had been hyped up way too much so I’d probably skip this place if I had to do it again. The pasta and fresh Foccacia were amazing but everything was average.
There was also a hidden ice rink and tree in this little courtyard that was practically empty so if you want something more low key I’d recommend this ice rink!
Another solo day by myself while Jared was working but this time I got tickets to Funny Girl with Lea Michele! AHHH! I planned to go to a nice lunch alone before the show but I was exhausted so I decided to grab a bagel watch some Netflix and leisurely get ready for my matinee show.
On the way to the show, I stopped by Rockefeller Center and the Hill House pop-up store. It was extremely crowded but it was cool to see the tree in all its glory.
Funny Girl was AMAZING but I didn’t have great seats which kind of killed the vibe. I wouldn’t say it replaced the ranking of Music Man at number 1 but definitely in the top 3! Lea Michele’s voice sounded perfect, truly like I was listening to the soundtrack.
After the show, I took it easy, and then Jared and I went to dinner at Fleming by Le Bilboquet. This was our favorite dinner of the trip! The food was showstopping and we actually ended up sitting outside alone so it felt so romantic. They had heaters and blankets so it wasn’t cold at all but it was nice to have some quiet alone time to enjoy a fancy dinner.
From there, we headed down a few blocks to Melody’s Piano Bar for drinks and live music. This was the cutest local spot. It was tough to get a table but luckily we snagged one and hung out there the rest of the night.
This day was our first full day where neither one of us was working and we could enjoy exploring together!
We started the day off with coffee at Ralph’s pop-up in Rockefeller Center, saw the tree, and then headed to Central Park for a carriage ride.
While we were on the carriage ride through Central Park it started snowing… I mean could you ask for anything more magical?!
From there, we wanted to go look at the brownstones in the Upper East Side so we strolled from 77th street to 85th looking at the houses and decorations.
We stopped in for lunch at Lexington Candy Shop which is an iconic diner that still hand mixes their sodas. It’s on Oprah’s list of favorite places in NY and has recently gone viral on TikTok.
It was starting to rain so we enjoyed walking around The Met for a few hours admiring art from Van Gough, Monet, and more.
Jared had a few bucket list shops he wanted to pop in and shop at then we rested before seeing The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular that evening. Jared said this was his favorite show. I absolutely loved it and the show was full of wonder and pizazz buuuut, to be honest with you the crowd was not great. There were a lot of people moving around and coming in late, taking photos and videos, and not delivering proper theater etiquette. Going to two iconic Broadway shows the audience was at two totally different levels, but the show definitely got me in the Christmas spirit.
After the show, we met up with a friend for dinner at Quality Bistro which was delicious and so cute! We tried to go out for drinks after but we found most bars closed at midnight on Sundays so we ended up going back to the hotel…so much for the city that never sleeps.
This was our final day and we had an afternoon flight, so we went down to the Flat Iron building and stopped at Macy’s to see the displays before heading to the airport.
Overall, our trip was amazing and magical! I am glad I can check this off my bucket list! We did it big and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Clinton Street Bakery (Brunch)
- Emily West Village (Get the pretzel bun burger)
- Buvette (Reservation needed)
- The Noortwyck (Brunch or Dinner)
- Polo Bar (Hard to get in – but call the day of at 10 AM and 5 PM for cancellations)
- Blank Street Coffee
- Swingers (Unique udnerground minigolf bar)
- Five Acres (Rockefeller Center)
- The Campbell Room (Speakeasy Bar at Grand Central Station)
- Alice in Wonderland Statue in Central Park
- Belvedere Castle (Scene from Stepmom)
- Romeo and Juliet Sculpture
- The Vessel at Hudson Yards
- Saks Light Show
- NYSE Christmas Tree
- Sleep No More (An Interactive show based on Macbeth)