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Traveling to New York City during Christmas

Haleiwa, Hawaii
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Traveling to New York City during Christmas

My family and I are thinking about traveling to NY for Christmas, from Dec. 20-28. I've never been there during the winter months and I don't know what to expect. We are traveling with two children, ages 9 and 6. We're from Hawaii, so we're not real use to the cold weather. How cold could we expect it? We do have relatives that live in Manhattan, and we would like to stay near that area to be close to them. Any suggestions on hotels? Our budget is about $250-$300/night and it needs to be clean and in a safe area. We would like to do the usual tourist things like visiting the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Rockefeller Center, etc. Any other suggestions on what to do during Christmas? and does anyone know if most of the attractions are open on Christmas Day? We're a family that also likes sports. Does anyone suggest attending an NBA or NFL game?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

It will be VERY cold. Much colder than anything you've probably experienced before and at that time of year it's possible it will snow. You'll need several layers with a warm coat, hat, gloves, scarves plus warm, comfortable, waterproof boots with good treads in case it does snow and then turn to ice.

For Christmas related things this is a great thread from last year: tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k6976…

But it's a great time to be in NYC and for those dates you should get some good hotel deals. The decorations and Holiday vibe is great.

Brooklyn, NY
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2. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

** Does anyone suggest attending an NBA or NFL game?**

I mean, if you like sports, why not?

Perth, Australia
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3. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

I come from Perth, Australia to New York winter and go from 95-100 degrees to… well really cold. I bring thermal underwear and I wear it every day. Others from the UK and other colder areas don't need to but I do. Then I have a few layers over my thermals. I love most sports but no way would I go to a NFL game and sit outside in a stadium in the winter. I'd recommend a basketball game at MSG or Barclays Center (indoors). I leave your other questions for others. Happy planning- you will have a wonderful time.

Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

When we were there last Christmas I remember it was 19 degrees Christmas morning as we walked to breakfast. Painfully cold. But invigorating !

One thing that comes to mind is Dyker Heights, a neighborhood in brooklyn where the yards have unbelievable decorations. yelp.com/biz/dyker-heights-christmas-lights-…

Search this forum for messages on this topic.

Also, Christmas caroling at Gramercy Park or Washington Square Park. The christmas market at Bryant Park or Union Square.

Have a great trip.

NYC / Fire Island...
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5. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

"....Any other suggestions on what to do during Christmas? and does anyone know if most of the attractions are open on Christmas Day?..."

Our favorite Christmas “window” stroll (around 3 hours walking) goes from Central Park along Fifth Avenue to around 48th Street viewing the lake and bridge in the Park (59th Street near 5th Avenue), the store windows at Bergdorf’s (between 58th & 59th Streets) and SAKS (49th Street), stop in at St Thomas’ (53rd Street) and St Patrick’s (51st Street) to hear the bells and view the altars, watch the skaters at Rockefeller Center (between 49th & 50th Streets) and marvel at the Tree and then walk to Bryant Park behind the Library at 42st Street to shop at the Holiday Market. It may be a little chilly (dress warmly), but it can be a delightful afternoon!

Note: In past years the Bryant Park Holiday Market was open on Christmas Day and it is at the (individual) vendors’ discretions to open their particular stalls and shops on that day. This coming October/November you may want to check for more information at:

http://www.theholidayshopsatbryantpark.com

Yes, some attractions are closed on Christmas Day, but for fun that day how about the Rockettes at Radio City, or ice skating at Rockefeller Center, or a stroll on the Highline or Brooklyn Bridge, or a helicopter ride, or a walk in Central Park?

CH

Dallas, Texas...
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6. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

Can you skew your dates just a bit earlier to leave just after Christmas instead of staying through that pre-New Year's weekend? Prices jump up considerably for that weekend. You still have some decent options within budget, but get on a site such as Kayak and play with the dates to see the difference. You might be tempted to skew earlier.

NYC / Fire Island...
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7. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

"....We're from Hawaii, so we're not real use to the cold weather. How cold could we expect it?..."

Having lived in NYC 40+ years, we have experienced our share of Decembers...and they can be everything from warm and balmy to brutally cold & wet. Consequently, for visitors we recommend “layered” clothing, for instance silk “long johns”, t-shirts and/or collared short sleeved shirts/blouses, cotton/wool blended skirts or trousers and sweaters, overcoats or trench coats, hats, scarves, gloves and galoshes. That said, all of these items can be purchased in NYC if you need them.

In any case, if you access the following Website 2-3 days prior to your travel date from Hawaii and you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect weather-wise when you land in NYC and for your subsequent stay:

http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/10001

CH

NYC / Fire Island...
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8. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

"....We're a family that also likes sports. Does anyone suggest attending an NBA or NFL game?..."

Of course. You will have a great time!

CH

Haleiwa, Hawaii
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9. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

Thank you for all your suggestions! I got a lot of ideas now, ideas that I never even thought of! I bought a couple of down Patagonia sweaters this morning for my children, they were on sale, so I jumped on that deal! I'm hoping one jacket will last us the entire 6 days!

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Traveling to New York City during Christmas

Like Pedro, we come from a warmer climate, but have been to NYC for Christmas - New Year 3 of the last 6 years. It's very doable.

We only take one coat each - it's knee length (not a jacket). I think this is better given the wind can whip around your legs.

I am not a fan of thermals UNLESS I am outside ALL day. The buildings (cafes, restaurants, shops, museums etc) are VERY warm. Taking off the coat, gloves, hat, scarf, and even lambswool liners in the boots is possible; but it'd be hard to take the thermals off discretely.

Glad to hear that you've started buying things in advance. The idea of spending precious holiday time looking for things that you immediately need might cause problems - what if it's below 40 degrees farenheit when you arrive?

I find this FAQ very useful on the matter of clothes and footwear:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60763-c104021/New-Yo…

And do look at the thread that Aynat has suggested....all the Christmas must do's for the time you're there. I agree with Larry about seeing the Christmas lights at Dyker Heights in Brooklyn - you can do this on a tour; but it's easily doable on your own.

Another very fun thing to do (even without children!) is the Breakfast with the Toy Soldier at FAO Shwartz. You must book this in advance. email them on:concierge@fao.com

Have a great time.