I've done a couple of New York themed blog posts before but got completely inspired by everyone on Snapchat who have upcoming holidays to the Big Apple! Nothing makes me happier than giving out some tips and information when it comes to my favourite place and I still make notes of places I want to visit, restaurants I want to eat in and sights I want to see. My friend Caroline is there now and has been instructed to send me lots of photos and Aisling from Total Makeup Addict is heading soon and was the one who inspired this here blog post!
To me, New York just has a special feeling. We first brought Mam there for her birthday in 2004 and since then have gone back together so many times and have our own little routine when we're there. It is my favourite place for me, mam and Joanne to go and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. We love the familiarity of staying in the same hotel each time (Hotel Stanford) and we said that if we ever win the lotto, we'd still stay there because the location is perfect and the hotel is small, clean and do good coffee with the free breakfast in the morning!
So in honour of everyone who is going to New York before Christmas, this one's for you. I have the ultimate jealousy that I'm not going but also want to be tagged in all of your photos online so that I can pretend I'm there! Whether you're a newbie to New York or know your way around the streets, I wanted to highlight a few things that we've loved doing over the years!
Do the Brooklyn bridge walk.
This was one of our favourite things to do one trip and we were raging we didn't get around to it the last time we were there. For a bridge, there's a hell of a lot that goes on and as New York is brilliant for people watching, so is this! We're talking boot camp classes, people making their way to and from work with so many forms of transport, photo shoots, proposals. We've seen it all! I really want to do it at sunset some evening and get some gorgeous photos or a timelapse video of the skyline.
Do Top of the Rock.
As much as I enjoy the Empire State Building and have done it a couple of times now, the Top Of The Rock is a must do for us. I'd love to do that at night as well and it's lovely to have the Empire State Building in photos for once!
Do The View NYC revolving restaurant
If memory serves me correct, this opens at 4.30pm and we were so glad we waited for the opening time because over the course of the hour that it took the restaurant to do a full rotation, we watched New York go from day to night and it was magical! We had a couple of drinky poos while we were there, very spendy drinky poos, but we thoroughly enjoyed them and it gave our tootsies a much needed break. We want to go back for food next time. Any excuse eh?
Go see the Rockettes
This is one of our absolute favourite things to do when we're in New York. I'd say we've seen the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall at least 5 or 6 times and can confirm that we'll go back and see them again and again! If you're looking for Christmas family fun that'll make you feel all festive and cosy, then you need to go! There's a bit of 3D magic, some amazing set design and basically we're talking about the precision of Riverdance on stage, but without topless Michael Flatley. The dancers are machines (not actual robots or anything) and you will leave Radio City full of the Christmas spirit and kicking your legs like a Rockette!
Do a bus tour at night
Yes, you will freeze the actual diddies off yourself but the lights make up for it and the nosy bridie in me loved being able to see inside shops and buildings as we were driving by. When the Christmas lights are up and going, this is a really festive (and freezing) way to spend the evening. And you are totally within your rights to warm up with a hot chocolate and watch the ice skaters at Bryant Park snot themselves.
Do the Christmas stalls
We absolutely love wandering up to Bryant Park to look at the ice skaters do their thing and during the festive season, the park is full of stalls with handmade products, food, drink and it gets me right in the cosy feels! And when they start playing Christmas music, I can't cope with life and want to buy all of the things! They also have them down in Union Square and it's all just magical.
Go see the parade
Ah the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the things that will give you the feels. That's if you see it. Due to getting caught up in the shopping, we kind of missed it last year and saw the final balloon, but we've watched parts of it over the years. It finishes up on 34th street and as we stay on 32nd, we know when to leg it outside to have a look! It's great craic and one to tick off the bucket list.
Go look at all of the Christmas lights and decorations everywhere! You can't miss them!
Seeing the displays in Macy's Lord & Taylor, Saks and 5th Avenue just makes me so happy. They remind me of heading into town when we were kids and looking at all the Christmas windows in Switzers (now Brown Thomas) and Clerys. Walking up 5th Avenue bundled up in my hat and scarf and seeing the twinkly lights in the distance is something I'll never get tired of. I've lots of footage of the department store windows in my New York vlogs from last year so have a look at our week in the big apple here.
Be in the news!
In the years we've gone to New York for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we've been in the paper twice and in the associated press once! There are cameras everywhere around this time of year, especially at Thanksgiving and when we were in K-Mart looking at the questionable fashion, we were approached by a photographer and the rest is history! Joanne has been immortalised online holding a Cookie Monster t-shirt!
I've done a blog post on where we had some seriously tasty meals last year, so if you want to give yourself the ultimate hunger, check them out.
We've been to New York a load of times for Black Friday and I think I'll do a post just on that because we've learned lots over the years and have some tips and tricks to make it out alive!
Enjoy your holiday to New York!!