New York in December, this was the perfect way for Jack and I to step foot into the states for the very first time. A lot of people asked me why we had chosen to go in December considering it would be so cold. I honestly couldn’t of think of a better time to go! Every time in the past when we have spoken about going to New York I have always said lets go at Christmas time. The idea of seeing New York lit up in full festive glory especially considering Christmas is my favourite time of year seemed the best way to start our festive break.
We booked our trip in May and proceeded to spend the next few months planning how we would spend our week making sure we made the most of our time. We both wanted to experience New York to the fullest. Before we booked our trip, we spoke to several people about whether the New York Passes were worth the pretty penny they cost. I can honestly say they were one of the best things we purchased beforehand, allowing us access to over 90 New York attractions alongside discount coupons to several large New York stores such as Macy’s and Dylan’s Candy Bar. We didn’t stop there, we also booked tickets to see a New York Knicks Basketball game at Madison Square Garden and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on Broadway in Times Square.
Upon arriving in The Big Apple, it was like a whirlwind from the moment we stepped off the plane. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we made it through airport customs and collected our luggage. We flew into Newark rather than JFK as we had been told beforehand if you flew into JFK you would be waiting a while. We knew the moment we stepped off the plane we had made the right choice, before we realised we were in our Uber on the way to our hotel. We opted for a micro-hotel rather than a traditional hotel, called The Arlo Soho based in Lower Manhattan. For us, we found it the perfect base to explore.
Although we were tired from all the travel and the time difference we were determined to begin exploring the city. Our first stop was New York’s iconic Times Square. There is nothing quite like it the atmosphere was incredible and very different to the hustle and bustle of London; of course being in Times Square we couldn’t not take a cheeky trip into M&M’s World where we proceeding to buy over $20 of candy choosing a variety of flavours that are not available to us back home. My favourite were the Caramel M&M’s!
I’m not going to lie we hit a lot of tourist spots over our weeks stay but we did find some hidden gems along the way. One of the perks of going in the festive season was the Christmas Markets at Union Square I would thoroughly recommend heading over if you are visiting in December. Make sure you try a No Chew Hot Chocolate I think it was one of the best hot chocolates I have ever had, definitely worth the $5 price tag. Fifth Avenue is perfect for people watching and a nice stroll. Don’t forget to pop into Tiffany’s and Trump Tower along the way, the Christmas Trees in both are also very impressive and talking of Christmas Decorations, you can also find Giant Christmas Decorations throughout Fifth Avenue. New York most certainly doesn’t do things by halves!
I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting I found some of the attractions; funnily enough they happened to be Jacks picks. Go figure! The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum was fascinating and before I knew it we had already been wondering around for three hours before we realized we were about to miss the next boat to go out to Elise Island to see The Statue of Liberty. It was bitterly cold that day as the temperature had plummeted to -11 but that didn’t stop us as we heading out to see the lady herself; it was worth the cold weather.
Even though Grand Central Terminal is very busy it is also incredibly magical. It’s worth going just to get a picture from the second-level balcony, but if you have more time check out The Grand Central Food Hall, I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised. We ended up back at Grand Central twice, once to see the grand hall and the second time we got especially early to check out the Food Hall, it’s filled with a variety of different cuisine meaning no one goes hungry and everything is delicious. This was the perfect way to start our day!
Top of The Rock has one of the best views of New York where you can see the Empire State Building and the entire downtown skyline. Saying this, each represents a different view over New York. It’s more than worth the effort to visit both. Don’t forget at Christmas you can also go Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Centre!
Although it was sensitive and emotional place to visit the 9/11 Museum and The Memorial Fountains are a beautiful tribute to all the families that suffered and the incredible grounds represents such strength shown by all involved in the day’s events including the police, fire fighters and the general public of New York.
Whilst planning our trip we kind of divided up who planned what, I worked out of the difference places we both wanted to visit and Jack researched and organised difference places for us to indulge. I actually think it worked out perfectly; one of my favourite places we ended up at was called Bubby’s based in Tribeca. I decided we couldn’t go all the way to America without trying American Style Pancakes and I can safely say they did not disappoint, to be fair me and Jack could of shared one of these stacks but our eyes were most certainly bigger than our belly’s when ordering.
We had a variety of weather during our stay; we were rather surprised at how massively the temperature and climate varied. The coldest day was -11 but on our last day it was 10 degrees and we were strolling around central park in comfy jumpers and lightweight coats. I actually found New York quite hard to pack for, going away in December to a location where we knew shorts and a swimsuit wouldn’t be the ideal attire.
I must say over our weeks stay in December nothing disappointed, we would love to revisit New York some day maybe in the Spring Time. For now I can live vicariously through my photographs!
Next: Top Ten Things To Do In New York