The Big Apple is a magical place every day of the year — which is why a record 54 million tourists visited us in 2013 — but there’s no place like home for the holidays. From the giant Rockefeller Center Tree to the shops of 5th Avenue to the epic Ball Drop in Times Square, the city simply sizzles with energy, in spite of the often bitter cold.
So whether you’re lucky enough to live here or are simply visiting for the holidays, we thought we’d offer some helpful tips and information for navigating this winter wonderland between now and Jan. 1:
- Broadway Babies: The Great White Way is experiencing one of its busiest and most successful seasons in years, and it would be a crime if you don’t see at least one play or musical over the holidays. Tickets aren’t cheap, but you can save a fortune (up to 50 percent!) by standing in line at the TKTS booths in Times Square, South Street Seaport or Downtown Brooklyn — which can be a fun adventure in and of itself. And before you head over there, check out which discounted tickets are being offered right now by clicking here. Forbes has also given you its Ticket Tips for Five Top Broadway Shows to Consider During Christmas in New York.
- Shop ’til You Drop: Black Friday’s come and gone, and we’ve logged out of Cyber Monday. Now it’s time to enjoy New York’s beautiful holiday window displays — especially the ones at Tiffany & Co., Barneys, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue — as well as the deep discounts available on just about every block. Make sure you also check out five special holiday-themed marketplaces, as listed by CBS-New York: 1) The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, 2) Union Square Holiday Market 3) Columbus Circle Holiday Market 4) Brooklyn Winter Flea Market and 5) Grand Central Holiday Fair.
- Season of Giving: There are so many worthy causes and charities in the city — including Toys for Tots, Housing Works and New York Cares — to which you can give your time and money to help those in need this holiday season. Our parent company, Edison Properties, has teamed up with The Partnership for the Homeless and FeedingNYC this season to help provide toys, funds and food for needy families, and we encourage you to give whatever you can as well. It really will make your season brighter and more joyous.
- Drop it Like It’s Hot: Oh yeah, and then there are the million or so people who are going to gather in Times Square to watch the Ball Drop and ring in 2014. Though not for the faint of heart — or bladder — attending this annual ritual, which is watched by more than a billion around the world, is compulsory at least once in a lifetime. The Times Square NYC website has a terrific FAQ section, answering such questions as which streets will be closed off and when should one arrive. Read it before you venture out to Times Square on Dec. 31; you’ll be glad you did.
We wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, a joyous Kwanzaa and the best new year of your life!