Christmas time in New York City is magical. The Rockefeller Christmas tree, all the store decorations. The entire city feels alive. There is nothing like Christmas time in New York City. If you haven’t experienced it, it is a must add to your bucket list.
My wife decided to surprise me with a family trip to New York City for my birthday. I hadn’t been back there since 2010 and I’d had expressed my interest in wanting to visit soon. She figured Christmas time was a better time than any to go. Our son wanted to see snow, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to. I regaled him with stories of the time I was stuck in New York City during the blizzard of ’09. That was about as close to snow as he would get.
We were only in New York City for 4 days so we had to pack a lot in. First off the list was visiting the Rockefeller Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. As you round the corner and at first glance of the tree you’re taken back by it’s sheer size. It has the be the biggest tree anyone has ever seen, just covered in what is probably a million twinkling lights. After the initial shock and awe of the tree you are then shocked by the seas of people swarming the tree. Everywhere were selfie sticks, group photos and cell phones waving in the air like a rock concert.
For my birthday I just wanted to visit One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial and the Brooklyn Bridge. I have faint memories of seeing the Twin Towers from when I was younger, but standing under One World Trade Center and seeing the tower fill the sky was impressive. While looking at the water fountains around the memorial, it’s hard not to think about what happened there years prior. Names etched into the walls with memorials serving as a reminder to that day.
As we descended upon the Brooklyn Bridge, the wind stiffened up over the East River. While not bitter cold, there was a nip in the air you could feel upon your skin. Crossing over the bridge has always been one of my favorite memories in New York City and I was equally happy this time around to share the memory with my family. While we did stop for a few selfies, we quickly made our way to Brooklyn Bridge Park where my son played in the playground while I was taking photos of the Financial District Skyline.
Our last full day was marred by rain for the good part of the day. Walking down 34th street with cold rain splashing you wasn’t pleasant. I rather have just dealt with the cold than have the freezing rain hitting us. As the clouds broke for a period we walked to Central Park where we walked the Literary Walk with statues of literary greats adorning the walk. We made our way to end to the Bethesda Fountain. My son was excited as he exclaimed that a certain part on the terrace is where Thor took Loki back from the first Avengers.
We strolled around the fountain and back through Central Park where we witnessed two engagement proposals. Our tour of Central Park finished with a tourist tradition of taking a horse drawn carriage ride through the Central Park. Another item off my wife’s bucket list.
Our last stop on our magical trip was back to Rockefeller Center to visit Top of the Rock. With the persistent clouds and rain covering the night sky, my chances of seeing the skyline diminished quickly, however; as we made our way to the elevator to reach the top, the clouds and rain cooperated. What did not cooperate was the wind. Violent and cold, it whipped at us with such fervor. I made my way to the top floor of the observatory and promptly made my photographs. I didn’t want to be up there another minute with that wind.
The trip was amazing as were the memories made. Again Christmas time in New York City is special. I would recommend everyone visit just once in their life and see the Rockefeller Tree and all the store decorations. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us this holiday season.