Editor’s Note — if you’re looking for additional New York City recommendations, here are some other posts to check out:
- New York City for New Year’s Eve
- Life Lately December 2022
- Life Lately October 2022
- Life Lately August 2022
- A Girls’ Weekend in New York City
- A Bachelorette Party in New York City
- My President’s Day Weekend in New York City
- New York City Travel Guide
- Champagne at Bergdorf Goodman
- How I Spent a Very Rainy Friday in New York City
New York City is one of my favorite places — I lived there for a summer and have managed to get back once or twice a year every year since. The energy is unbeatable, and there is always something new to explore, do, eat, or enjoy. Despite having gone often over the last half decade, I’d never been to NYC at Christmastime until earlier this month.
My friend Emma and her roommate, Taylor, throw an annual Christmas party I’ve always wanted to go to, so I booked my trip for that and then Emma and I spent the rest of the weekend walking around to look at Christmas decorations on the Upper East Side and down Fifth Avenue. We lucked out with such a mild day to explore all the decorations — and there were many people out and about with the same idea as us!
I wanted to share a few photos I took of New York City at Christmastime, along with the locations I recommend for enjoying some of the city’s best holiday decor. One thing to note before we dive in: if you’re planning a trip to NYC in December, brace yourself for lots of crowds — walking down Fifth Avenue was nearly impossible with the throngs of people and it would be a really stressful situation if you had a large group or little kids to look after.
THE UPPER EAST SIDE —
We first walked around the Upper East Side — I love how everyone decorated their home in their own personal style! It was amazing, too, just how many people had decorations up — even if it was just a single wreath or some simple garland, it really made every block a treat to walk down.
THE WINDOWS AT BERGDORF GOODMAN —
Our next stop was to enjoy the windows down at Bergdorf Goodman. (We did champagne in the BG cafe earlier this year, which I’d also highly recommend!) The windows were so ornate — each one had a different theme, and the gingerbread one shown above was my absolute favorite. In the documentary, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s they discuss at-length the history behind and process for designing the Bergdorf Goodman windows every year — I’d definitely recommend watching it if that’s something you’re interested in!
TIFFANY’S ON FIFTH AVENUE —
After we enjoyed the Bergdorf Goodman windows, we continued down Fifth Avenue. All the stores are decorated, but I loved the Tiffany’s installation so much — it was festive, while on brand. This part of Fifth Avenue, around where it intersects 57th Street, is where the crowds really pick up. Be prepared to dodge a lot of pedestrian traffic! I didn’t take many pictures around this area because I was so worried about my phone being knocked out of my hand.
ROCKEFELLER CENTER —
We walked down Fifth Avenue until we caught an awesome view of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, which is shown in the first photo of this post. I’ve seen the tree so many times in movies and on TV shows, but it was really cool to see it in person. Unsurprisingly, the sidewalks around the tree are a madhouse, so we didn’t get up close in order to save our sanity!
THE ST. REGIS HOTEL —
Our final stop was The St. Regis Hotel! We had wanted to get a glass of champagne, but there was a line for the bar, so we decided to head back to the UES for a more calm environment and wait-free bar. Before we left, though, we explored the hotel — it’s so historic and in the hallway near the lobby bathrooms, the hotel has several display cases with artifacts from its history, like old hotel keys and dining room china, and information about the Astor family, as they opened the hotel.
I had the best day exploring New York City at Christmastime and hope to get back one day during this magical season!