One of the most popular holiday destinations in the US around Christmas time is New York City. For some the attraction is the superior shopping and glamorous nightlife, and for others it is simply the magic of all the wonderful street and shop decorations. Whatever your reasons for going, this is one of the busiest times for the city and so it is vital to book everything well in advance before you go.
Accommodation can range from cheap to chic, but it all gets booked up for Christmas well before autumn each year. If you are not familiar with the city then look on some of independent New York community websites such as www.wirednewyork.com or www.askanewyorker.com, to get some insider knowledge on the best places to stay and dine out. Prices in a good, standard hotel start at around $80 a night for a double room, but you will need to spend at least $120 to get something really nice.
There are hundreds of nightclubs and bars in the city, but to find out what is really hip you can look on New York Magazines nightlife pick on their website, which lists of the top nights out for the current year, and includes some cool celebrity hang outs. For dining out you should check out the local pizza joints as New York is famous for its high quality pizza and Italian food, and you can also get a list of restaurant reviews at on the New York magazine website or at www.zagat.com, and again it will be worth booking in advance as the best places get very busy.
Shopping is a must when you are in New York, especially at Christmas time when the shops go mad with decorations and all things festive. Top shopping hotspots include the world famous Bloomindales, as well as Barneys (home of edgy fashion), Macys (big brand names), and Tiffany & Co for all things jewellery related. If you are after bargains then there are also several large H&M stores full of discount clothes and for kids a trip to the huge toyshop FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue is an absolute must do.
If you are after a bit of culture during your New York Christmas break, then look no further than the impressive range of New York museums, most of which are free entry, and also New York is the home of Broadway, where you can catch a huge range of shows from the famous and fabulous, to the arty and quirky. If you do want to see a show you will have to book early, so go online to www.broadwaybox.com, and you may also grab a bargain or two for making reservations in advance.
Getting around New York can be exhausting at the best of times, but over the Christmas period it is completely crazy, so book your transport from the airport to your hotel in advance. You will have very little chance of waving down a cab, so make yourself familiar with the subway, which is cheap and reasonably easy to use, or get a good street map and be prepared to do some walking.
You can also take a Disney vacation, since Christmas is all about family vacations, and children will really appreciate it. If the very-crowded airport from Orlando might put you off, here’s a map of the airport which helped me a lot.
You might think that the high temperature and lack of snow, makes Florida a big no-no for a Christmas vacation, but let me tell you that I’ve never had a more blessed Christmas than the one I spent at Disney in Florida.
I recommend staying at the West Gate resort. You will be only 15 minutes far from Disney World.
Don’t miss the Christmas Parade that features the immortal characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donal etc. And definitely don’t miss the late night firework display.
I guarantee that you and your family will have a great time. However, expect to spend some bucks if you’re going to Disney and if you are not a Florida resident (they give a discount if you are). Accommodation, theme park fees, meals and transportation would cost you about $400-500/day (for a family of four).
Austin, the capital of Texas, is an amazing city, a perfect choice for your Christmas vacation. There is a bustling arts and music scene and also great food.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is ideal for a Christmas vacation with your family. The Grand Canyon and the landscapes around it have a very educational value, and your kids will learn about geography and Earth’s history.
These are only a few of the many beautiful places where you can go during the Christmas season, but it’s a good start for your research. We are updating our posts quite often, so bookmark this page or subscribe to our feed.
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