By Beryl Rosenberg
1. Bryant Park Shops
Beginning around Halloween and lasting until March 7, 2021, the Bryant Park Holiday Shops are perfect for finding unique holiday gifts from NYC. From ornaments, to jewelry, to edible treats, it’s easy to spend the day exploring the shops (and food!) at Bryant Park. Visitors will be able to explore the shops safely, too, as COVID-19 safety precautions are in full effect. According to the park’s website, “The Holiday Shops have a reconfigured layout with fewer shops to allow for more spacious walkways.”
2. Winter Village
Also at Bryant Park, the Winter Village is home to different Winter activities for all ages. Ice skating is the most popular in Bryant Park, where New Yorkers and tourists alike can enjoy the 17,000 square foot rink in the center of the shops. This year, fewer people will be allowed to skate at once, and all visitors must wear a mask for the duration of their time on the rink.
3. Rockefeller Center
Arguably the best New York attraction for the holidays, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a must on any NYC list. The 2020 tree lighting was held on December 2nd. All can visit the festive tree, which is lit from 6:00 am to 12:00 am daily, for free throughout the holiday season. On Christmas, however, the tree shines bright for a full 24 hours. This year, many safety protocols have been put in place, such as special tree viewing entrances and traffic patterns, tree viewing time limits, and, of course, masks and social distancing. You can find more information at rockefellercenter.com.
4. World’s Largest Menorah
Throughout the eight nights of Chaunkah, which began on December 10th, the 36-foot tall golden Menorah will light up on 59th Street and 5th avenue. This year, “the bright LED lights running the length of the menorah will represent the victims of the pandemic and bring light into the world as they did with their lives,” according to ABC 7 News.
5. Empire State Building Light Show
The Empire State Building is celebrating the season with technicolor lights and holiday music. Every night from Saturday, December 19, to Friday, December 25, “New Yorkers can tune in for a special song and light display to get into the festive spirit,” according to Timeout. If you can’t be in the city to see the show, the holiday songs will be broadcasted on iHeartRadio’s Z100 and LiteFM at 8:00 pm. In addition, you can watch the lights by going to the Empire State Building’s website where they will be streamed live via EarthCam.
Here you'll find lengthier pieces that cover more in-depth stories.