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Just as a forest looks different in summer than it looks in autumn or winter, cities change depending on the time of the year that you choose to visit them on, and sometimes that change feels almost as visiting a whole different city! This is especially true in New York during Christmas season. The city that never sleeps looks like a different world when the holiday season comes in USA after Thanksgiving.

Have you thought about how our choice of destination is influenced by the film world? A popular movie related to a city or town can increase tourism tremendously. Millennium films are examples of it or the popular Disney film Frozen estimated to have increased tourism to Norway by 37%. Today we pay tribute to some of the film world Christmas cities and let them inspire you for your next trip.

The favorites London and New York, with its atmospheric streets, has been the backdrop for iconic scenes from including Christmas movies Love Actually and Elf, while sunny Orlando allows you to experience the magic of Harry Potter Christmas favorite closely. Ready for movie magic? Have you seen this Holiday Classic "Miracle in Manhattan"?

New York is really a beautiful winter city. Go skating in Central Park, shop in Brooklyn's winter flea market, visit Hot Chocolate Festival at the City Bakery in Chelsea and experience the Chinese New Year on 9 February.

Before we start, I'd like to give you a little advice regarding transportation, moving in NYC can at times be problematic, especially if you're not familiarized with the public transport options, plus, nothing kills the joy of the season quite as having to take a crowded subway or bus.

A good option for sorting through this issue is to rent a car in NYC, as this option gives you much more control over your transportation and time. Sites such as Miles Car Rental can give you the edge when it comes to renting a car, as they provide an ample and varied catalog of cars at the lowest prices.

things to do in new york city christmas

Interesting Reads: New York City Packing List

Here snow is coupled with the bright lights and shiny ornaments, and so, in this post, we'll explore a few of the most traditional and picturesque Christmas activities in New York.

1. Go Skating on the Rink at Rockefeller Center


Few things scream Christmas in New York! as loud as the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. It's pretty much a city icon during the holiday season so it must be our first stop when coming to New York during the Christmas season. The ice rink opens at Columbus Day weekend, but when the season comes, the Christmas decorations, which feature a ginormous Christmas tree, become the central focus of the experience.

Just imagine skating with friends and family surrounded by the charming lights right at the heart of Manhattan, you don’t get more New York or Christmas than that!

The rink opens for 90-minute skating sessions, every two hours from 8:30 AM until midnight. If you´d like to you can also enjoy a Dinner + Skating plan experience.

things to do in new york city christmas

2. Shop for curiosities in traditional Flea market in Brooklyn


This one is less grandiose than Rockefeller Center, but it's very traditional in New York on Christmas season, so you can’t miss it if you love the local traditions. Now, in the Christmas season and more generally during winter, many flea markets are traditionally held in the Brooklyn area.

And yeah, I know that flea markets may not be as glamorous as other shopping venues, but who knows, you might find that particular object that will finally complete your collection… or you know… a cool unique pin.

At the start, this seasonal tradition mainly took place in One Hanson former bank converted into a cool mega flea market, however, this tradition has expanded throughout Brooklyn and now you can find up to 9 different flea market locations. So if you're a fan of flea markets and want to visit them all, do consider renting a car, and again, you can find good prices in Miles Car Rental.

There are even some food flea markets such as Smorgasbord Winter Market at 625 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn which features many little restaurants that offer unique and delicious artisanal foods.

things to do in new york city christmas

3. Drink a traditional and delicious cup of hot chocolate


There are few things as nice as having a cup of hot chocolate during the colder months, and New York knows it as they have plenty of cafes that know how to make a pretty damn good hot chocolate so now we'll see a couple of cafes that you should go to during your Christmas visit to the big apple if you want to taste the sweet, Christmassy flavors of winter.

4. Dominique Ansel Bakery's blossoming hot chocolate


How do you feel about marshmallows on your hot chocolate? If you like them then you´ll love this bakery as they have a fun little twist on your average marshmallow-topped hot chocolate. In this bakery, instead of your average squares, you'll find a little marshmallow flower that will blossom right in front of you, revealing a little white chocolate truffle at the center of the flower.

It's a quite charming touch and the bakery also has some unique pastries such as the Cronut, a tasty and puzzling fusion between a croissant and doughnut.

things to do in new york city christmas

5. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain


If you really want to indulge yourself in the great sugary pleasures of life, you should go to Brooklyn Pharmacy & Soda Fountain. This is an old-time-style soda fountain that celebrates the extremely unhealthy relationship with sugary drinks that our ancestors had back when the soda fountain was the coolest place to be.

The Farmacy's hot chocolate is a messy hot cocoa with salted caramel with additions of whipped cream or toasted marshmallow fluff, and believe me, asking for the goopiest, most sugary hot chocolate in the menu, is being conservative in comparison with the other items in the menu. Sure, it's not going to do any good to your diet, but hey, one tends to gain a few pounds on Christmas season so why not.

And there you have it. If you're going to travel this Christmas season do consider making a little trip to New York. But believe me, this little list is only an appetizer compared to all the other wonderful things to do and see in New York, so go out there and explore!

things to do in new york city christmas

Interesting Reads: Festivals in New York City
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