6 MISTAKES TOURISTS MAKE IN NYC AT CHRISTMAS TIME
6 MISTAKES TOURISTS MAKE IN NYC AT CHRISTMAS TIME
The holiday season is one of the most magical times to visit NYC. From meeting Santa Claus at Macy’s, to marveling at the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, to ice skating in Rockefeller Center, Christmas time in NYC will create lasting memories. To fully enjoy it, you will want to avoid these 6 mistakes tourists make in NYC at Christmas time.
Tour guests are often shocked at how expensive NYC is during the holidays. The holidays are possibly the busiest time in New York City. Everyone wants to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and live their favorite Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Elf dreams. As such, almost everything costs more than usual at Christmas, and you will want to budget accordingly. Experiencing Christmas in New York City is worth every penny, but you’ll definitely want to save up for it. That being said, there are fun FREE things to do. Ice Skating at Bryant Park is free if you bring your own skates, seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Saks Fifth Avenue Light show are both free, as is staring at the absolutely gorgeous holiday window displays throughout the city. Just don’t expect 2-for-1 admission to the Empire State Building, cheap hotel finds, or discounted meals.
Crowds in New York City during the holidays are no joke. In every type of weather, and at almost any time of day or night, you have a good chance of encountering giant crowds. These are crowds that make Disney World feel like a deserted island. Especially in the areas around Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue between 49th and 51st Street, you need to be prepared for shoulder to shoulder crowds walking around, and street vendors taking up part of the sidewalk. If you want to avoid crowds at the top locations, try visiting the Rockefeller Tree and Fifth Avenue Lights closer to 11 pm, when the crowds have mostly thinned out.
OVERPACKING YOUR ITINERARY
A huge mistake tourists make in NYC during the holidays is overpacking their schedules. Holiday crowds mean you are bound to have to wait in lines, sometimes long, slow-moving lines. There are lines to visit observation decks, lines to buy hot chocolate, lines to check out at department stores, lines to meet Santa Claus, and even a line to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This means your timing is most likely going to get thrown off. Additionally, the sidewalks can be full, which means slower walking speeds, and if you plan on traveling via car service, you might have trouble hailing a cab or getting an Uber. Once you’re in a car, the traffic will most likely be backed up as well. It’s not all bad — the crowds are all part of the magic. Everyone is so excited to take in the holiday spirit, and it creates a whimsical and electric energy. To fully enjoy it, give yourself extra time and lots of wiggle room to enjoy the sites.
NOT BOOKING AHEAD OF TIME
The holidays are the one time of year when booking ahead in NYC is imperative. While of course you might get lucky and score awesome discounted show tickets at the TKTS Booth or get a ticket to The Empire State Building the day of, the big crowds typically mean the hottest attractions, shows, restaurants, and experiences book up early. Holiday-themed restaurants such as Rolf’s German Restaurant or Oscar Wilde usually have their reservations fill up months ahead of time! The hottest Broadway shows sell out. Ice-skating slots at Rockefeller Center can sell out. Even tours sell out. If you have any must-sees on your holiday list, we strongly suggest booking at least a week, if not a month, in advance.
PACKING THE WRONG CLOTHES
One of the biggest mistakes tourists make visiting NYC at Christmas is not packing appropriately! Instagram makes it seem like New Yorkers are all walking around in gorgeous sparkly gowns and heels, but that’s literally just Instagram. The average temperatures in NYC in December are between 31 and 44 degrees fahrenheit. A lot of our Christmas activities and sights are outdoors, and you’ll want to be comfortable to enjoy them. Bring your COMFY shoes. Make sure they are comfortable for lots of walking and standing, warm for the chilly air, and waterproof, since you can expect rain or snow about ¼ of the days in December. Remember, flippy floppies mean slippy sloppies.
NEVER LEAVING MIDTOWN MANHATTAN
Never leaving Midtown Manhattan for your entire NYC Christmas trip would be a major mistake! All five boroughs offer amazing Christmas experiences. Brooklyn is famous for its Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, which are possibly more impressive than Rockefeller Center! DUMBO Brooklyn also has its own tree and holiday celebrations. The Queens County Farm in Queens always has magical Christmas experiences. The Bronx is home to the New York Botanical Garden which features an annual train show that draws in visitors from far and wide. The Staten Island Lantern Festival adds magic and whimsy to anyone’s trip. In Manhattan, a trip to the Union Square holiday markets is an absolute must, the South Street Seaport always goes all out with holiday festivities, and some argue that the New York Stock Exchange Christmas tree is even more impressive than the Rockefeller Center Tree.
NOT BOOKING A SLOT ON THE WELCOME TO TIMES SQUARE BILLBOARD
For our bonus tip, a major mistake tourists make in NYC at Christmas time is not booking a slot on the Welcome To Times Square billboard. For just $150 your photo will appear at least 22 times on a giant Times Square billboard. Imagine visiting NYC, taking your photo with the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and then walking a few blocks to Times Square and seeing that photo illuminated on a billboard at the center of the crossroads of the world. Visit www.timessquarebillboard.com to learn more!
We have the unbeatable price of $500 per day for your Billboard:
Option 1: Your 60 second video/photo will be shown, 60 seconds per hour 22 times a day.
Option 2: Your 30 second video/photo will be shown, twice an hour, 44 times a day.
Option 3: Your 15 second video/photo will be shown 4 times per hour 88 times per day.
Please let us know which option you would like to choose. Remember that we have a response time of 72 hours.