Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Less crowded & less stressful holiday events in NYC

The holiday season in New York City is packed with tourists from all over the world. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, New York City is expected to welcome about 5 million tourists. During the holiday season (typically between Thanksgiving and Christmas), New York City transforms into a Christmas wonderland. From the Rockefeller Annual Tree Lighting to the various Holiday Markets and Ice Skating Rinks throughout the city, there is plenty to do.

The holiday season in NYC also means dealing with huge crowds, and if you are like me and dislike being around hundreds of people at festive events, I have come up with a list of things to do during the holidays that are less crowded and relatively less stressful.

Christmas Tree lighting

The lighting ceremony will include Christmas carols and a visit from Santa Claus.
Washington Square Park has its Annual Tree Lighting days after the one at Rockefeller Center. Their event is held on December 9th.  The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will play holiday songs, while everyone joins in to sing. It will be a beautiful experience and will be much less crowded. Washington Square Park is near New York University, and the area has a wide variety of bars and restaurants to enjoy after the tree-lighting.


Ice Skating

121713 LeFrak Center opening ceremonyPMIce skating at Rockefeller Center can be very expensive and overly crowded during the holidays. Instead, take this opportunity to head over to Brooklyn and enjoy scenic ice skating. Ice skate with a lakeside view at Prospect Park's Lakeside Lefrak Ice Skating rink. There are two ice skating rinks, one in the open air and the other one indoors.  Admission is $9 and the skate rental is $6. Located in Brooklyn, this ice skating experience will be less crowded than Rockefeller Center and Central Park.

Christmas Lights Walking Tour

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, is a neighborhood that can seem straight out of the North Pole, with several blocks of beautifully decorated houses. If you are looking for a magical Christmas town do not look any further; it is the perfect reason to get out of Manhattan and explore Brooklyn!                                                                                                                                                                     


Holiday Markets

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Outside Markets seem like a crazy idea during the winter, but not in NYC! New York City has many Christmas markets where you can shop locally for your friends and family back home. Enjoy some organic hot chocolate, handmade jewelry and some beautiful views, such as the ones at the Union Square Holiday market. 


New Year's Eve Fireworks

Watching the Ball Drop at Times Square can be hectic, so instead head down to Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza for their New Year's Fireworks. Enjoy this free annual event that promises to be a lot less crowded and easier to navigate through than the one in Times Square.                                                               


New York City has millions of visitors a year. During the holiday season, we have one of the largest tourist populations in the world. So, to experience a quieter, less stressful time during your holidays in New York City, try my suggestions above and let us know how it goes!

For more information on what to do while in NYC for the holidays visit:

Time Out
NYC Events

written by Dafny Guzman