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Find Holiday Spirit in the City

Photo by Cecilie Nag

Cecilie Nag
Features Editor

It’s early December and the city is already sparkling. Fifth avenue is filled with contrasts: Families in matching outfits, couples holding hands, men in suits, fashionable women, and tourists with cameras and running-shoes, all encountering the christmas traditions of the big apple.

Ice rinks, lights, spectacular window displays, and holiday shopping attracts millions of visitors, both from far and near, to experience the timeless and beautiful streets of Manhattan. Here’s four ways to find holiday spirit in the city:

Watch the sparkling lights – Good feelings don’t have to be expensive. During the holiday season, the city is embellished with beautiful lights and decorations to bring out your festive mood. Walking down Fifthth avenue, with the impressive and costly window displays often accompanied by holiday tunes or passing by the famous Rockefeller center Christmas tree, is a great way to welcome the holiday feeling. Located between Fifth and Sixth avenue in the middle of 49th and 50th street, the tree is lit daily from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m until early January. The top holiday window displays are at Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale’s.

Ice skate in the city – If you’re a restless soul looking for activities, visit one of Manhattan’s most popular ice skating rinks. The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating rink is located in the heart of Rockefeller Center. Enjoy skating with friends and family against the backdrop of New York city with the Rockefeller Christmas tree close by. If you want to move away from the busy city avenues, the Wollman Rink in Central Park is another option. Put on your skates and enjoy the site of the Midtown Manhattan skyline, as well as the beautiful park environment. For urban hearts there’s “the Pond” in Bryant Park, an ice skating rink located among sky scrapers in Bryant Park, close to several huge city attractions on 42nd street between Fifth and Sixth avenue.

Shop presents and decorations – It’s no secret that the Big Apple offers some of the world’s greatest shopping opportunities. Whether you’re seeking exclusive gifts, or shopping on a student budget, there’s something to be found. Macy’s is filled with gift-ideas for everyone, in all price classes, and there’s often a discount to apply. Visit the in-store Santaland on the 8th floor for a trip back to childhood, and see snow-capped mountains, twinkling lights, candy canes, and of course, Santa Clause himself. If you want to stay outdoors, visit the holiday shops at Bryant park with special boutiques selling clothes and accessories. Drop by for a snack at one of the food kiosks, and sit by the fountain located next to “the Pond”, only a short walk from the Rockefeller Center.

Be entertained – There’s numbers of musicals, and theaters that celebrate the holiday with traditional shows. The annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular performs through December 30th for prices starting at $39. With high kicks and holiday themes, accompanied by christmas music, the Rockettes are sure to amaze. At the Lincoln Center you can watch “The Nutcracker”, performed by the New York City Ballet. Tickets starts at $29 dollars and go up, and runs until New Years Eve. On the Broadway scene, you can watch “Elf: The Musical”, up until January 6th, and “A Christmas Story: The Musical”, ending at December 30th. Prices vary, and tickets can be found with a quick search on

So whether you’re budget is limited, or you have some money to spend, the Christmas spirit is available in the streets of Manhattan, any day of the week.

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