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Christmas week itinerary check

Milan, Italy
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Christmas week itinerary check

Hi all!

After lots of help from you and some research, I finally got our itinerary sorted out, could you take a look and let me know your opinions/ideas/suggestions? Is it realistic? is it too much? There are some lunch and dinner spots missing (***), suggestions welcome! (no Italian food, if possible)

We are a couple, late 30s, early 40s, been to NYC many times before but never on Xmas. We like good food, photography, shopping and football. We are also meeting relatives there for Christmas.

Hotel is in Grand Central area. We already have tickets for the events listed, restaurant reservations, US SIM cards and a 7-day Metrocard.

Dec. 21

Early afternoon arrival (train from Newark + subway to hotel)

Afternoon/Evening: walk around Times Square area, dinner at Toloache, Toto Ramen, Gotham Market or Szechuan Gourmet ***

Xmas Spectacular + drinks at Campbell Apartment

Dec. 22

morning walk to Hell's Kitchen and Mexican breakfast at Guelaguetza

11 am train or bus to Metlife Stadium

1 pm Jets – Browns game

Afternoon Grand Central market

Dinner somewhere in Midtown ***

Dec. 23

Subway to York St., photography in Dumbo and hot chocolate at Jacques Torres

Subway to Park Slope, walk in the area, brownstones, Prospect Park

Subway to Chinatown, dumpling tour for lunch (Nom Wha, Golden Unicorn, etc)

Afternoon walk and shopping in SoHo

Late dinner at Tao Downtown

Dec. 24

Subway to W 4th Ave (F, M)

Walk through the High Line

Lunch @ Chelsea Market

Walk through to Washington Square Park, Union Square (Xmas Market)

6 pm Xmas caroling @ Gramercy Park

Family informal dinner at Bill's Burgers @ Rockefeller Center (or Les Halles Park Ave if family decides for something more formal - other suggestions welcome, although I realize we might not find a table available on short notice)

Dec. 25

late breakfast at Rock Center Cafe

Day at Central Park

Dinner anywhere that will be open in Midtown area ***

Dec. 26

Morning, Shopping @ Macy's, Lord & Taylor.

Lunch @ Szechuan Gourmet (W39th) / Xi’an fine foods/ food truck ***

Afternoon, Shopping @ Bryant Park market, Bloomingdale's.

Dinner @ The Plaza market (not sure yet, still thinking about the NoMad...) ***

Dec. 27

early morning breakfast with tamales outside the Mexican Embassy, E.39th St.

Tram to Roosevelt Island

1-hour walk in Roosevelt Island (Freedoms park)

Subway back to hotel, checkout

Lunch at a food truck ***

Train back to Newark + flight back home :(

Thanks!

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1. Re: Christmas week itinerary check

Jets/Browns game - then afternoon @GCMarket - you do realize the game will most likely not be over until 4 -4:30 PM and then you have to get back to Manhattan - I'm sure you'll want to change clothes - so that pretty much eats up the "afternoon".

Seems like you have a lot on your plate - have you taken into account - weather, fatigue and just doing too much.

When does it start becoming fun?

I think you are biting off more than you can chew - if you follow the plan as written.

Just my opinion....

Hope you can do all you want and Happy Holiday's

Poppa

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Christmas week itinerary check

The neighborhoods you mention, including the ones in Brooklyn are HUGE - You are underestimating the sheer size of these areas and how long "walking around" them will take -

You have a lot of outside activity - right this minute, it is just 31 degrees, going down into the 20s later - with some snow possibly coming tomorrow; you have an entire day listed for Central Park - you should start to come up with some back up plans for brutally cold/windy/lousy weather days you may very well encounter making being outdoors for hours on end pretty unpleasant.

So - no museums? Not even ICP (International Center of Photography) or galleries with photograph exhibits?

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Boston, MA
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3. Re: Christmas week itinerary check

You will need to be flexible based on weather. The food trucks are great, but there is no place to sit and eat. If it is not too cold, a bench in the sun might be fine. But what if it is 20degrees Fahrenheit and windy? In that case you would get your food and try to eat indoors. you may pull this off near grand central or your hotel or something but not all good trucks will be convenient to indoor spots.

Dallas, Texas...
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4. Re: Christmas week itinerary check

I think your itinerary is actually a pretty good one. You just need to refine it a bit. The Brooklyn Plans are a bit too ambitious. As others stated, the game will take up the entire afternoon.

If you want to try to get into Toto Ramen, I recommend not waiting until dinner time. You could try head there in the late afternoon. It's a tiny place with outrageous lines. I tried to go at 10:30 on a Sunday night and had to give up.

Dec 26 (day after Xmas) is the second busiest shopping day of the year (second only to Black Friday). Expect big crowds in stores. You might consider splitting some of your department store shopping to other days.

I think you can do more on Dec 25. Spending an entire day in Central Park may be unrealistic if weather is cold. For ideas about where to eat Christmas Dinner, start with Opentable.com to see who has availability. It might be a good time to do an American Steakhouse.

Since you are probably eating Christmas Eve Dinner at Rock Center, I think you can find a better choice for Christmas Day brunch (late breakfast). How about a Jewish Deli? Lots of other options as well. If you stick with Rock Center Cafe, you'll need reservations. They appear to be sold out.

Christmas day is a great time to visit Chinatown. If your dumpling tour is self-guided, you might want to switch that around. Just confirm that your particular dumpling spots are open, but many places are. Taking a walking tour of the Lower East Side is also a good option. It's right next to Chinatown. The Big Onion Christmas Day tour is popular.

Some of the Times Square tourist attractions are open on Christmas Day too.

On your last day, I would check out early and have the hotel hold your bags. Do your thing, have lunch, THEN fetch your bags and head for the train. Eating at a food truck with luggage in winter may not be very pleasant.

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Milan, Italy
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5. Re: Christmas week itinerary check

Thank you all for your advice!

Seems my husband was right about the overloaded itinerary (just don't tell him). I'll try to lighten it up, I guess we can skip some shopping and food trucks.

Any food suggestions in Midtown area instead of the food trucks?

I have the museums' info as a back up plan if the weather is bad (we have already been to a couple in our past visits but wouldn't mind to go back); the International Center of Photography sounds interesting, I'll definitely look for some info. We'll probably spend more time than we think in Grand Central, since it's so close to the hotel and nearest subway station, so I'll just remove it from the itinerary, we have also spent there a lot of time in our past visits.

We have been to the Brooklyn Promenade so the Dumbo time will be reduced (probably just the classic photos with the Manhattan Bridge and the ESB in the back) so we can spend a bit more time in Park Slope.

I wanted to do Roosevelt Island on Christmas Day after a walk through Central Park but I'm afraid it will already be dark, perhaps Chinatown and dinner with dumplings is a better option. We already booked Rock Cafe for breakfast, but also the steakhouse option sounds good - decisions, decisions...!

I should probably list the absolute musts and then if there's time (and good weather) for more, I'll just figure it out on the day.

One last thing, if you had to choose one among all the Xmas markets, which one would you pick?

Thanks again!

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6. Re: Christmas week itinerary check

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