Visiting NYC in December? 5 things not to be missed.

christmas in nyc

NYC in December is one of my favorite times of the year to be in Manhattan. I love the lights, the Christmas trees, the decorations – and I especially love having snow in the picture – but sadly, not in the forecast for this year!

Also, although NYC is always crowded, the December hustle and bustle is particularly fun and entertaining.

Here are the 5 things I would definitely recommend to all those visiting the city over the next month.

1. HOLIDAY STORE WINDOWS:

The Barney’s windows (660 Madison) are FANTASTIC. Standouts include those by Nick Cave, Rob Pruitt and Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel—the duo behind Antwerp-based artist collective Studio Job. There’s also a very funny, irreverent window by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of Comedy Central’s South Park. See photos below.

Read on below for more on the windows as well as other must-sees along 5th Avenue.

Barney’s Windows:

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My favorite window by Studio Job from Antwerp

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Nick Cave window

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South Park

Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave at 58th St):

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Best they’ve done in several years. Very green!! The theme is extraordinary travel destinations – I especially loved the Southwest cactus window. Gorgeous also to see the windows framed in greenery. (And while you’re checking out Bergdorf windows, I would also suggest you pop over to the Plaza – beautifully decorated for the holidays and perhaps grab a cocktail in one of their bars.)

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View of the Plaza and Bergdorfs from Central Park South

Bloomingdale’s at Lexington and 59th Street:

One of a kind chandeliers by NYC creatives e.g. Allison Eden. All will be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds going to a children’s charity.

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Allison Eden

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Suzanne Bartsch

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Lord & Taylor (424 Fifth Avenue @39th Street):

LOVE these windows – the theme is Enchanted Forest. Lots of adorable critters displayed in a very techie (LED walls etc.) way. Really cool!

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Macy’s Herald Square:

Also, very tech-friendly with lots of family-themes and adorable animals but not quite the finesse of Lord & Taylor. These windows are much more “in-your-face” so probably more popular with the crowds wandering by. Also includes an interactive element where passersby can touch their hands to the window and learn whether they’ve Naughty or Nice (3rd pic below).

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This little girl was “naughty”

 

 

Saks (611 Fifth Avenue):

A candy theme – Land of 1000 Delights – very colorful but not as original and creative as some of the other windows.

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2. ROCKEFELLER CENTER & PLAZA:

A top spot during the holidays. Tree lighting just happened this past Wednesday (my photos were taken before the lighting ceremony). Really festive with the skating rink and the plaza decorated for the Holidays. Great views of the tree, Saks and the Lego store.

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The big tree (unlit) is at the end of the plaza.

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Looking up the plaza towards 5th Avenue and Saks

 

3. BRYANT PARK WINTER WONDERLAND (42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues):

Another very cool spot with a huge winter holiday market – independent booths selling everything from candles to jewelry and hot chocolate. The park overlooks a skating rink and there are several restaurants on site (pricey and not terribly good but very festive).

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Facebook has a pop up on site as well this December where you can test out all manner of new VR gear.

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4. SNAP SPECTACLE SHOP (5 East 59th Street)

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The line extends all the way down 59th Street and up Madison Avenue past 61st Street

This pop up is AMAZING.  It will be open thru end of December. At the moment, the lines to get in to buy a pair of spectacles run about 6-8 hours. It’s quite something to see. However, if I were visiting and wanted to desperately get my hands on a pair, I would hire a task rabbit to stand in line for me. It also really says something when Snapchat’s spectacle store – directly across the way from the Apple Store – has a line 3 blocks long, while Apple has no waiting line…..

 

5. TRUMP TOWER  (57th and 5th Avenue)

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Who knows if he will still be the president-elect after the recount but at the moment, it is quite a scene – huge media presence along with masses of photographers camped out across the street from the entrance to Trump Tower, tons of NYPD and throngs of tourists all wanting to get a photo. Apparently the Secret Service is already commandeering a whole floor of the building so White House North is definitely a site worth seeing.

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