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christmas Lifestyle The Metropolitan Museum of Art Travel

Must See’s and Things to Do During Christmas in NYC

Must See's During Christmas in NYC

Lets not kid ourselves NYC will always be a Christmas/December destination. There are already so many tourists that visit NYC during the rest of the year, and not surprisingly that number jumps during the holidays. Although it is worth it to see the beautifully decorated stores, attractions and experience a New York City Christmas. Here’s a list of things to do and places to see this holiday season in NYC. (Locals pack your patience, visit early or at the end of the season, or avoid midtown like the plague!)

 

Uptown

  • Central Park Ice Skating at Wollman Rink– I haven’t done this yet but it is said to be less crowded than Rockefeller Center with a gorgeous view of the surrounding park. It’s on my to-do list.

 

 

 

  • The Nutcrakcer Ballet at Lincoln Center- This is also on my to-do list! If you’re into ballet, why not see a top ballet company preform a Christmas classic.

 

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art : Medieval Hall- I love visiting this part of the museum especially during Christmas. A tree is put up surrounded by a manger, angels and medieval decorations. On display until January.

 

Midtown

  • Rockefeller Center-This is a must for tourists! It is really a sight to see that gigantic tree lit up. Ice skating here will be crowded if you go mid December and the more people on the ice the more choppy it is.  I did this once with family members from out-of-town at the end of the season and it was not crowded but the ice was extremely rough. Its beautiful, but the rough ice and crowds should be something to consider.

 

  • The Christmas Spectacular and The Rockettes– I also suggest seeing the Rockettes perform, it is a great show and a classic. The last time I saw it I enjoyed the new segments added, particularly the homage to the city of New York.

 

  • The Winter Village at Bryant Park/ New York Public Library on 5th- These should be seen together, I suggest visiting the shops at Bryant Park and entering the library after. The front entrance is decorated and has a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree.

 

  • Store Windows on 5th Ave -After you’ve seen Bryant Park and the library walk out onto Fifth  Ave and walk north towards all the holiday windows. Don’t miss Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany & Co. Not on 5th but must see’s are Macy’s windows on 34th which has Santa Land inside. Bloomingdale’s also has gorgeous holiday windows on 1000 third ave and 59th st.

 

  • Grand Central Holiday Fair Market – Stay warm in this indoor holiday market located in Grand Central Station. I like to grab something to eat from the adjacent food vendors.

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Downtown

  • Wall Street Christmas Tree- Visit the Christmas tree on Wall Street. The surrounding buildings are decorated and are lit up at night. Don’t forget to pass Trinity Church which is also decorated and Zuccotti Park which has small Christmas trees that are lit in the evening.

 

  • Flat Iron District-Visit the tree at Madison Square Park. A tree lighting ceremony will take place Dec 6th from 3:30-5:30pm.

 

  • Ice Skate at the Standard The hotel in the Meatpacking district opens its skating rink to guests and the general public from December 20th to the end of March.

 

  • Union Square Holiday Market-Visit the market which runs until December 24th. Buy from local vendors and eateries, visit the kids art studio and heat up in the warming station and lounge.

 

Other Boroughs

  • Holiday Train Show– The New York Botanical Garden host the Holiday Train Show. It showcases miniature New York City landmarks all made of natural materials.

 

  • Vintage Subway Museum– Open year round, explore what subway cars used to look like in the main branch of the museum in downtown Brooklyn. If you plan to stay in Manhattan, visit the smaller museum at the Grand Central Gallery Annex and Store.

 

  • Astoria Holiday Market– A Holiday market in Astoria Queens that sells vintage goods and food. Open December 9th and 16th at the Bohemian Hall.

 

  • Winter Fest at the Brooklyn Museum– The Brooklyn Botanical Garden teams up with the Brooklyn Museum to create an indoor winter wonderland. Activities include live performances, food, a tree maze, Santaland and an array of activates for the whole family.

 

  • Dyker Heights Lights- Houses in Brooklyn are decorated with spectacular light shows. Great Christmas Light Fight anyone? Located on Dyker Heights Blvd from 83rd st-86th.

 

There are so many more things to do! Did I miss a must for you? Are you planning to visit NYC this Christmas season? Let me know in the comments an on social media!-T.S.

 

Travel

My Stay at Club Quarters Midtown

CQ Hotel

Two weekends ago I stayed at a Club Quarters Hotel in midtown due to consecutive events, the Jeval Beauty Event and the Puerto Rican Day Parade. One that my mom wanted to attend and the other she ended up attending anyway. Due to these events she thought it would be a good idea to stay close to at least one of these locations instead of paying for transportation twice. And being that I left the Jeval event around almost 10 pm and had to be at my meeting point for the parade at 8 am, I was glad she suggested it. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have still found a way to make both work but this option was less exhausting, for the both of us. She found a great priced room at Club Quarters Hotel located on the same block as Radio City Music Hall via Priceline. Learn about this cute hotel below! Locals let me know if you’ve stayed in this hotel and what other hotels you’ve stayed in to make an event or your workload easier. This is not a sponsored post I just happen to really like this hotel!

 

Amenities/ Extras

Here are the in-room amenities available to guests. The room comes stocked with an iron, ironing board, extra blankets and pillows. They also offer the option of leaving garments to be left for cleaning or to be put in storage, as well as same day and overnight dry cleaning with a laundry bag already located in your room. Their fitness room is small and doesn’t have any spectacular views but its open 24/7. They supply every room with a yoga mat and the gym is equipped with machines, refillable water bottles, towels, a scale and more yoga mats. The room also came equipped with a desk with a charging station, lamp and comfortable chair. I planned to use this convience but ended up being too exhausted to work at the end of the night.

The next amenity that I thought was very considerate and that I wished I would have asked for was the option to receive a “Sleep Better Kit”. This includes a humidifier, air purifier, and sound therapy machine. I was so exhausted the night before the parade that I didn’t think to ask for any of these, but I wish I would have asked for a sound machine. I sleep with one at home and it really helps me rest. It also would have helped block out the sound of playing kids next to us and the sudden police sirens… because duh NEW YORK CITY. But exhaustion, melatonin and turning on the air for the sound took over shortly.

I didn’t get a chance to take advantage of their dining options which included the following. The Terrace Club on the rooftop which had views of the city or the attached restaurant Johnny Utah’s next to the lobby. Room service and the ability to use the service/ app Seamless and have it delivered to your room was also an option. For convenience they also offer chilled, purified water machines on all floors as well as ice machines and buckets.

The final amenities were that of the business services. The hotel came equipped with free WIFI as well as wireless and Airpinting. They also have meeting facilities and a Club Living Room with work stations complete with universal charging stations and refreshments. These I didn’t get to check out, but I’m sure would be useful for large meetings and extra space for working. They provide four types of rooms as well as corporate apartments which can be booked for a 30 day stay or longer. Gold Rewards are offered to employees and guest of member organizations. Gold Reward perks include free nights, upgrades and gift cards to retailers

 

The App

Club Quarters Hotels has a corresponding app. The CQ Hotels app allows you to check in or out without having to go to the front desk. It also allows you to keep track of your reservations and your rewards points. The app can be used for any hotel under the CQ branch as well a partner hotels. CQ Hotels has hotels in multiple locations of New York Boston, Chicago, London, Philadelphia, San Francisoco and Washington DC. All giving you options to check in, find directions to the hotel and parking as well as order an Uber. The app also informs users about the hotel and what it offers as well as the ability to connect with guest services when you are in the hotel. You can control the tv with a remote via the app and you can also download a mobile key for the room. Finally you can find things  to do with suggestions by the hotel like to where to eat, enjoy night life and shop. There are also recommendations by TripAdvisor within the app.

CQ Hotel

 

The Room

The room itself I absolutely loved because it was tidy, clean, stylish and well stocked. I absolutely hate when I go to a hotel and there are not enough towels or you have to call for something to be brought up, changed, fixed, etc. When you walk into the room, just like when you meet someone you have first impressions and these were great. I loved how much sunlight came into the room and the fact that we could see Rockefeller Center and the NBC Building. I also loved how well light and modern both the room and bathroom were. The bed was well made and positioned well with multiple lighting options in the night stands. The desk was one of my favorite parts because it was functional and inspiring. If you’ve read my office space post I tell you a bit of how I have it set up. And this office space was similar, clean, inspiring and comfortable with a charging station! They also furnished the room with an extra chair and coffee station with a Keurig while the tv recognized you each time you turned it on. I also liked the color scheme which matched that of the office art and was relaxing.

 

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Things to do/ Things Near By/ Transportation

The hotel is perfectly located in midtown near Radio City Music Hall and Rockerfeller Center. Its also walking distance to Fifth Ave and Times Square/Broadway. Not to far from Times Square is Bryant Park and The New York Public Library. Also not far is Macys’, Herald Square and the Flat Iron Building.  All along midtown where the hotel is situated are things tourist aren’t goin to want to miss.  The hotel is also a block away from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) if you care to stop into a museum. While Central Park is only six blocks away if you want to walk to the beginning of the park. The closest subways are the D, F and the E, M which can take you up and down Manhattan. If you have a little girl or daughter with you, you many want to go into American Girl which is on the same block as the hotel! Not far is also the famous Momofuku Milk Bar, Nobu, St.Patricks Cathedral and sooo much more. Another point to make is since this hotel is situated on a street and not an avenue and not right on top on Times Square it was a little less crowded. Two blocks away from the hotel is also a Enterprise Rent-A-Car if you prefer to drive instead of taking public transportation.

 

I hope this helps you if you are looking for hotel options! Have you ever stayed at a Club Quarters Hotel? What was your experience like? If not, I highly recommend it!- T.S.