Where to stay:
Four Seasons New York Downtown: Where you stay in NYC is important, especially if you're travelling with your family and children. Our recent stay at the brand-new Four Seasons New York Downtown was simply spectacular. Near the 9/11 memorial and One World Trade, and only a few blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, the Four Seasons New York Downtown offers excellent in-room dining options created by chef Shaun Acosta, which we loved, because we could dine in our spacious suite, without having to worry about where to eat in NYC, allowing us more time to take in the sights and sounds of the city. I loved the indoor swimming pool, too; the kids got to swim, and I got to indulge in a massage at the spa, which was the perfect way to unwind after hours of walking around the city.
What to see:
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: Located in Rockefeller Centre, the famous Christmas Tree is a must-see in NYC during the holiday season. the 78-foot, 10-ton Norway Spruce tree has 4500 LED lights and will be lit up until January 7th. Once the tree comes down, it gets donated to Habitat for Humanity and gets turned into lumber for home building. Of course, being in Rock Center, you're right by all the shops (my boys loved the Nintendo store) and across the street, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Window Displays on Fifth Avenue: Walking down Fifth Avenue during the holidays is magical, with all the different and very elaborate holiday store window displays. My favourite is Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, Barneys New York, and Macy's, in Herald Square. The window displays are stunning, and it's enough to window shop without even stepping foot into any stores.
The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular: The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall show is a must-see in NYC. The show started in 1933, and over 75 million people have watched so far—my entire family loved the show, and you'll definitely get into the festive mood. The dance numbers, the costumes, the music—you'll be blown away. Make sure to head down the street after to get a cupcake or two from Magnolia Bakery—the best cupcakes in the world, in my opinion.
School of Rock: No matter how many times you've been to NYC, Times Square is still incredible to see. While you're there, catch a show on Broadway—tickets to Hamilton are still hard to find, but you can School of Rock instead. The show is amazing, and my boys especially loved it. The children in School of Rock are not only incredible actors, singers, and dancers, they also all play their own instruments, too.
Bryant Park Winter Village: A few blocks from Rock Center, head to Bryant Park for free ice skating and shop at over 125 holiday shops and eateries.
Central Park: A visit to Central Park is a great idea, no matter the season. Bring your skates and skate around the rink in Central Park. Later, go to Serendipity 3 for their famous frozen hot chocolate.
There is so much to do in NYC during the holiday season, and no matter what you do or what you see, you'll love it. It's become an annual tradition for my family, and we can't wait to be back next year.