There are family traditions, holiday traditions, and religious traditions and then there are New York City traditions. The holiday season in the city is truly unique because of that. Being such a diverse place, the people see countless decorations and celebrations bringing light to cultures and traditions. I lived in New York City all my life and there are some things I look forward to seeing once the holiday season begins. Here are certain things that occur in the city only when this time of year comes around…
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Christmas has always been a big deal here in the city. Every year they bring it to life with people walking around in Santa Claus’ suit, covering everything with yellow lights, and department stores playing holiday songs on repeat. One of the most beautiful things to witness is the Christmas tree located in Rockefeller Center. Every year I try to pass by it at least once to gasp at its height, over 65 feet, and amazing decorations and lighting. It is truly one of those traditions for New Yorkers that tells them Christmas is coming. Rockefeller Center holds a special ceremony for the lighting of the Christmas tree where they have live artists and ice performances. It stands until January 7th, so bring a loved one or your whole family to see the famous Christmas tradition.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Yes, Santa Claus and the Rockettes are coming to town. Another popular New York City tradition, starting in 1933, is going to see the beautiful female dancers and singers, known as the Rockettes in Radio City Music Hall. The show is only available during the holiday season, November 9th–December 30th, and is a really well made production. I went to the 75th anniversary of the show and it was a really fun experience. It made me believe in Santa Clause again because of the stage design, the holiday spirit, the sparkly costumes and amazing dance precision performed by the Rockettes. If you have family, especially with small children, I do recommend taking them to see this show because it will make everyone excited for Christmas and really appreciate the spirit and purpose of the holiday season which is being together.
Come cold weather comes outdoor ice rinks in the city. My friends always want to go because now it is the best time for it. The ice rinks are filled with little kids, young couples, and friends enjoying themselves in this cold weather. The best ice skating rinks in the city are Citi Pond in Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center Ice-Skating Rink, and Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park. You will have to pay for admission for all the rinks except Citi Pond because it is free if you have your own skates. Personally, I think the winter season is one of the best times in the city because so many events are happening to celebrate the holidays. Why not take advantage and enjoy it.
The Holiday Markets
A popular holiday bazaar located in Union Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle. It’s a bunch of little stores packed together that sells numerous things from crepes, to jewelry, puppets, handmade scarves and ornaments. These stores bring out the best things New York City has to offer because local artisans sell their products in these markets. If you are stuck finding a gift for your loved one, friend, neighbor, whoever the person may be stop by one of these holiday markets. The things you will find are completely unique, original, and well-made which makes the perfect gift for anyone or even yourself.