There is nothing as festive as NYC in the Christmas time! I feel like it is on everyone’s bucket list at some point to go see all the holiday decor and shops! My birthday fell on a Tuesday this year and since my husband works weekend’s he took off my actual bday to train into the city as we have always wanted to do since moving out here! We took Amtrak which was super easy and nice! I was actually impressed how nice the trains were. If you ever get the chance to travel by train, try it! We actually took our Christmas cards with us and addressed them on the trian. Ok, maybe it was harder than we though and I apologize to all those who received horrible handwriting addressing but we tried!
We had gone to NYC a few years ago and stayed in the upper west side, which was AMAZING! We did the whole touristy things like times square and central park and a Broadway show! So this time we made NO big plans! We just wanted to do NYC a different way. After we trained into Madison Square Garden, we grabbed a quick bite at a restaurant nearby then headed to a holiday market! For those that have not been in the holiday season, NYC has a ton of pop up markets in the parks! They are super fun and so cool to see all the vendors and artists. We decided to do the Union Square Holiday Market.
If you want festive, Rolf’s is a MUST! From head to toe this place is decked out in Holiday decor. They have the most festive holiday drinks like egg nog milk shake and mulled wine! Does this place get crowded? DUH. Find a random time of day to visit and don’t bother trying to eat here. Sneak in the side for a quick drink and some pics!
As I said earlier, we decided to stay in Brooklyn. If you are going to NYC and are worried of the STEEP hotel prices, get an AirBNB. They are so cool because you feel more like a local and don’t have to deal with all the lobby and elevator fuss. We stayed in an old mansion and it was beautiful!!!!! We had the top floor room with a cool view of Brooklyn. I must add, it was cool to see that area… however it was not our favorite. We found it extremely hard to get around as things are more spread out. We took a few Uber’s to eat as the subways were not any shorter and they were each like 15 min.
After checking into our AirBNB, we headed to a new high rise hotel just by Williamsburg, The William Vale. We wanted a fancy drink with a view before heading to dinner and my my did it not disappoint! It was so nice to relax and take in the view of NYC. Since it was super cold and windy outside, it was nice that the restaurant is a panoramic window view!
Ok this was weird. On my birthday we found a funeral home named after my maiden name. What are the odds? And what are my parents not telling me? We snuck into a local sushi restaurant around the hotel!
Just about the ONLY thing we had planned going into this two day trip was going to Dyker Heights. All you have to do is google it to get some an idea of what exactly it is. To be simple it is a beautiful neighborhood that goes ALL OUT on Christmas decor. We had so much fun walking the streets with our spiked hot chocolate. One of the reasons we had stayed in Brooklyn was so that we could easily go back to our place after this. It ended up being about a 40 min ride but still worked out fine.
Day 2: We walked over to a local coffee shop, Sisters, to enjoy some morning jo and plan the day. This day was EXTRA cold. We had originally planned to go to the Brooklyn Bridge but the wind and 20 degree weather kind of put a hault to those plans! So we roamed around grabbed breakfast at the CUTEST diner, Clarks, then caught a subway back to Manhattan just in time to hop on the train back to Baltimore.
We had SO much fun on this adventure. Truly was one of the best birthdays I have ever had just getting to spend time with my husband doing our favorite thing, adventuring! If you have any questions about NYC, I am by no means an expert but here are a few of our other favorites places that we visited on our last trip!
The Plaza Food Hall – This place is SO awesome. Hidden under the Plaza Hotel, it has a ton of little bakeries and restaurants. We enjoyed a desert and coffee here after riding around central park. This is a great way to be able to go INTO the Plaza Hotel as it is closed off to residents only.
The Blue Box Cafe (Breakfast at Tiffanys) – I have not have the privileged of going here but it is on my bucket list! I didn’t exactly think it was courteous to make my husband wait an hour to go into such a boutique place. SOO who wants to plan a girls trip?
The Smith – This place has a few locations. The ambiance, food and service is just so NYC! Love loved our experience here.
Wollman Rink Skating– Ice skating in Central Park. Enough said. We had walked by Rockafeller Center and saw that rink and it was very closed off. Although under a beautiful tree, for the most part you are staring at blank walls since it is sunk down into the ground. I would highly recommend choosing Central Park!
Merchants River House – A cute little restaurant with a view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and of course the Hudson. We ate here after visiting the 9/11 Memorial. It was a quick walk just around the corner.
What are some of your favorites? We are planning on going in the Spring next time!
Sending love, Stacy