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Things To Do in New York At Christmas

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It’s no secret that New York City is by far my favourite place in the entire world and when you combine that with my fave holiday – Christmas – you’ve got a recipe for delighted happiness. Even though I’ve never actually been to NYC over Christmas, I have been in November when the festivities were beginning to get underway and there were plenty of activities that I enjoyed doing.

The first time I went to New York was in 2014 with my mum and I know that I’ll remember that trip forever. It was beyond magical and I came home with so many happy memories that I still think about on a daily basis. There’s plenty of things to do in New York at Christmas time and today’s post is all about my favourite things to do while you’re in the Big Apple during the festive period.

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Take in the view from the Top of the Rock

This is hands down my absolute favourite thing to do in New York, and possibly even in the world. I’ve been to the Top of the Rock three times now and still each time I go, my eyes fill with tears of happiness. It’s the most breathtaking view you’ll ever see and to watch the twinkling lights of the city below is really one of the most magical experiences of my life. While a lot of people would argue that the Empire State Building is the place to be, I’d definitely disagree and say that the Rockefeller Center is where the magic is at. My favourite thing about it is that you can see for miles all over the city and you can even see as far as the Brooklyn Bridge and beyond. The Top of the Rock is definitely a place to visit at Christmas time as the city just looks so breathtakingly beautiful; not to mention the fact that the Rockefeller tree will be all lit up (depending on what date you go) and that’s a truly iconic thing to witness.

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Ice skating at the Rockefeller Center

I told you I was obsessed with the Rockefeller Center! I’ve only been ice skating here once but omfg it was one of the best experiences of my life. I literally adore ice skating anyway but to do it in front of my favourite place in the world with my mum really was something else. Just as we were coming off the ice, a man proposed to his girlfriend right on the ice rink and my heart nearly burst with happiness! This is absolutely something you should put on your bucket list as it’s guaranteed to be something that you’ll never, ever forget!

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Admire the views of The Plaza from Central Park

The Plaza is my second favourite place in the city as it’s a pretty iconic setting from a lot of my favourite films. The area around The Plaza is always teeming with people and even though that’s part of the experience, I do really enjoy the view of the beautiful hotel from Central Park as it tends to be quieter so you can enjoy it much more. The Plaza really is one of the most beautiful sights and watching all the glamorous people enter the hotel and gazing in wonderment at the magical horse and carriages parked outside really is a delightful way to spend a few hours in New York.

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Enjoy a hot chocolate in Central Park

Hot chocolate is the pinnacle drink of the festive season so to enjoy a hot chocolate in Central Park when there’s snow on the ground and festive decorations surrounding the park; life really doesn’t get much better. Obviously Central Park is very famous for its own ice skating rink but it can get pretty busy so when we were there we decided against it and instead just admired the skaters while enjoying a delicious hot chocolate.

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Visit the giant Toys R Us store in Times Square

Please excuse the extremely embarrassing picture of me above but it was the only decent one that I could find! The Toys R Us store in Times Square is bloody massive so naturally it’s like heaven on earth when it comes to Christmas time. Whether you’re a kid or not, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the delights that the giant toy store has to offer. From a whole collection of Barbie dolls, to Lego statues to a huge selection of sweets, it’s a place that you could spend hours getting lost in and enjoying!

*UPDATE* The Toys R Us store is actually no longer open in Times Square 🙁

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Take a look around the department stores

There’s nothing like festive shop displays in New York City to get you excited for Christmas and lucky NYC has a plethora of stores that you can wander round and enjoy. Barneys, Macy’s and Saks are just some of my favourites as they really take their festive displays to a whole new level. It’s not just the exterior of the shops that are decorated for the season either; the whole interior of the shops are usually teeming with festive garlands, sparkling fairy lights and beautiful Christmas ornaments.

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Browse the Christmas markets in Bryant Park

Bryant Park is yet another location in the city that’s ideal for doing some ice skating but my favourite thing about it is the amazing Christmas markets that are dotted around the park. There’s some incredible things to be picked up from these market stalls; from festive baubles, to adorable NYC souvenirs to some yummy festive delicacies that you can enjoy while wandering around the park.

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Have you ever been to New York? What would be the number one thing you’d like to do in the city? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.


  1. 14th December 2017 / 7:09 pm

    Oh man this sounds like SUCH a dream, I’ve always dreamed of going to anywhere in America let alone somewhere as amazing as New York! I honestly don’t even know where I’d start, probably with some yummy food, haha!
    Alice Xx

    • chloedickenson
      15th December 2017 / 12:25 pm

      Haha the food is always a great idea! Xx

  2. 15th December 2017 / 9:15 am

    Oh my goodness Chloe, this has just made me want to go to New York even more!!! Ice skating in NY is something I have always dreamed of and taking a stroll through Central Park! Hopefully we are planning to go next year so fingers crossed!

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

    • chloedickenson
      15th December 2017 / 11:55 am

      Haha! That would be amazing Sarah! I really hope you get to go! Xx

  3. 15th December 2017 / 12:44 pm

    Ahh I’m so jealous! I would love to visit New York and it’s definitely on the bucket list! This has given me lots of ideas of what I can do whilst out there when I eventually go! x

    • chloedickenson
      15th December 2017 / 1:35 pm

      Ooh I really hope you get to go soon! Xx

  4. Sharon
    15th December 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news hon, but the wonderful Toys-R-Us at Times Square has shut down! The kids used to love it, particularly the big wheel inside the store! Lots of good memories there!

    • chloedickenson
      15th December 2017 / 7:03 pm

      Oh no! X

  5. 15th December 2017 / 9:03 pm

    I’m dying to go to New York, it’s absolutely beautiful!! X

  6. Abbeylouisarose
    16th December 2017 / 7:52 am

    Aw Chloe, the passion with which you write about your favourite place in the world really puts a huge smile on my face! New York is firmly at the top of my bucket list – I’ve never been to the States but visiting NYC at Christmas time would be all the more magical! Gimmie a hot choc in Central Park any day of the week! I am hopeless at ice skating but I would love to give the Rockefeller rink a go just for the experience!

    Abbey ❄️ http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    • chloedickenson
      21st December 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Ah thank you so much Abbey, that’s so lovely of you! Xx

  7. 16th December 2017 / 8:54 am

    I’d absolutely love love to visit New York at Christmas, I’m pretty obsessed with it too but sadly have only been there once so far. The Top of the Rock view is definitely something I need to witness, I went up the Empire State Building. If love to go ice skating and just admire all the Christmas decorations too. Xx

    Kristy | http://www.thevioletblonde.com

    • chloedickenson
      21st December 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Ooh you’d love it so much Kristy! Xx

  8. 17th December 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I’ve been to New York but would love to go at Christmas with my whole family!! My friends goes to NY just before new year…. TO GET MARRIED!! In Central Park! It’s so exciting. Going to send her a link to this post 🙂 xxxxxx


    • chloedickenson
      21st December 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Omg! That would be my actual dream, tell her congratulations from me haha xxx

  9. 18th December 2017 / 12:09 pm

    I’m hoping to finally visit New York next year with my mum and sister – I’m absolutely dying to go!! It looks beautiful and there are soo many things that I can’t wait to see and do. I will 100% be taking my camera and hopefully getting some awesome shots xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.co.uk

    • chloedickenson
      21st December 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Ooh that would be amazing! I really hope you get to go! Xx

  10. 2nd January 2018 / 3:43 pm

    I wish I’d read this before going to New York, I recently visited in December! Such a great post!



    • chloedickenson
      7th January 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Ah never mind! Thank you for reading xx

    • chloedickenson
      21st January 2018 / 7:10 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Xx

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