Holiday season in New York

I’ve seen enough Hollywood movies to know that with the approach of Christmas the city of New York turns on some very special events and entertainment. I’m used to the Southern Hemisphere Christmas which is hot and where the foods often consists of cold meats and salads, but if I ever decided to go to a place where the temperature plummets for a Christmas, then New York would be it, simple for the spectacle of it all.

The holiday season in New York City is getting into full swing right now. Being a truly cosmopolitan city, New Yorkers don’t just confine themselves to celebrating Christmas, as they embrace a number of festivals.

“Magical” is the only way to describe the ambience as eager kids and grown-ups celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, New Year’s Eve and more in NYC, transforming the City into a veritable wonderland of stunning window displays, enchanting train shows, mesmerizing tree lightings and heart warming concerts.

Then, of course, there’s the shopping. From holiday markets to luxurious Fifth Avenue department stores to downtown boutiques for the fashion savvy, there is truly no other place in the world that answers to all of your gift-buying needs.

New York is highly regarded for its culture and arts and what better way to get into the festive mood than by attending the ballet for a very Christmassy version of The Nutcracker Suite. It’s very likely that you already know the story, and are familiar with the music. This latest production is the heart of New York City’s year-end holiday season. This glittering classic, performed annually by the New York City Ballet since 1954, has become one of the City’s signature family-friendly traditions. Expect to warm your spirit with visions of the Sugarplum Fairy, the Snow Queen and, naturally, the Nutcracker.

Want to buy something special? Then get down to Union Square in Manhattan. More than 100 red-and-white booths fill Union Square Park each year for this annual holiday market. You’ll find plenty of affordable quality items, as well as coupons for local businesses at the information booth.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, or you want to shop somewhere a little warmer that’s indoors, head to Grand Central Terminal for the best of both worlds. The Grand Central Holiday Gift Fair offers a diverse mix of products in an elegantly decorated environment, which all takes place in the magnificent Vanderbilt Hall.

New Year’s Eve in New York, and there really is only one place to go, yes join the one million others who like to squash into Times Square to watch the ball drop. It’s an illuminated Waterford Crystal ball which can display more than 16 million colours and billions of patterns and it drops from a flagpole atop 1 Times Square at precisely midnight.

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