Festively Asked Questions
A guide to the holiday season in New York
- How do I get around?
- What’s closed on Christmas Day?
- Warm up with some of the best hot chocolates in New York City
- Eat out (and enjoy the decorations) at one of these restaurants
- See the city’s best Christmas trees
- Get your skates on – head over to an ice rink
- Shop local at these fabulous holiday markets
- Watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square
- See a different kind of New Year’s Eve show
- How can I contact onefinestay?
What can I do during my stay?
Getting in touch
Buses and subways will be running throughout the holiday period, but do expect a slower service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If you prefer taxis, it’s easy to hail a yellow cab on the street, especially in Manhattan. Alternatively, Uber is one of the most popular and reliable car services in the city. For your stay, we provide an iPhone with the Uber and Embark apps pre-installed, to make getting around town a little easier.
There are many full or early closures on Christmas Day, so it’s good to plan ahead before heading out the door. The Statue of Liberty, for instance, is closed all day, along with many museums, including the Guggenheim, the MoMA, the Whitney, the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center are open 365 days a year.
Jacques Torres. 350 Hudson Street
Flavoured with ground ancho and chipotle chilli peppers, Jacques Torres’ Wicked Spicy Hot Chocolate provides a unique twist on the winter classic. It’s a near-and-dear favourite of the onefinestay team – our office is located just across the street.
City Bakery. 3 West 18th Street
City Bakery’s hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows has a place on almost every guide’s "must-try" list. Each February, they hold a festival to celebrate the drink, so you can trust that they know what they’re doing.
Caffe Lavazza at Eataly. 200 5th Avenue
Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world (with the exception of Italy itself) and is well worth a visit – not least because of the cioccolata con panna at the Caffe Lavazza, which tastes as good as it sounds.
Serendipity 3. 225 East 60th Street
Serendipity 3 is known for a very different type of hot chocolate – it’s frozen. The drink has become a staple in the neighbourhood and was a favourite of (former First Lady) Jackie O.
Rosemary’s Enoteca & Trattoria.18 Greenwich Avenue
Rosemary’s puts up two trees each year – one inside for diners to admire and one on the roof, which can be seen by anyone in a three-block radius.
Gotham Bar & Grill. 12 East 12th Street
After a day of shopping at the Union Square Holiday Market, wander down the block to Gotham Bar & Grill for some delicious fare and an assortment of wreaths and trees.
The NoMad Hotel. 1170 Broadway
This famous hotel’s many restaurants serve high-end American cuisine – and its tree is just as sophisticated.
Rolf’s German Restaurant. 281 3rd Avenue
For the most outlandish Christmas decorations and all the schnitzel you can eat, make sure to visit Rolf’s.
There are few more beautiful holiday sights than a fully lit and decorated Christmas tree. The biggest and most famous in the city lives above the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. Listed from south to north, there are Christmas trees worth seeing in the following places: the New York Stock Exchange, South Street Seaport, Washington Square Park, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cathedral of St John the Divine.
From Rockefeller Center to Central Park, ice-skating is a classic winter pastime in New York City. This comprehensive list by NYC Go outlines the best rinks in the five boroughs and provides information on pricing and opening times.
New Yorkers love to support their local artisans. As a result, you’ll see holiday markets popping up just about everywhere. Below are a few of our favourites.
The Union Square Holiday Market.
14th Nov - 24th Dec, weekday hours are 11am - 8pm, Saturdays are 10am - 8pm, and Sundays are 11am - 7pm
Winter Village at Bryant Park.
30th Oct - 3rd Jan, Monday - Friday 11am - 8pm, Saturday 10am - 9pm, and Sunday 10am - 8pm
Jingle Holiday Pop Up Market at Chelsea Market.
8th Dec - 20th Dec, Monday - Saturday 7am - 9pm, Sunday 8am - 8pm
Grand Central Holiday Fair.
14th Nov - 24th Dec, Monday - Saturday 10am - 8pm, Sunday 11am - 7pm, closes at 6pm Christmas Eve
Columbus Circle Holiday Market.
1st Dec - 24th Dec, Monday - Saturday 10am - 8pm, Sunday 10am - 7pm Sunday, closes at 4pm on Christmas Eve
The ball drop in Times Square is one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations. Approximately one million people fill the streets of Times Square to see the event in person and the televised production commands an audience of over a billion viewers worldwide. If you’re in New York on 31st December and would like to go, this official guide from the Times Square Alliance lays out the Dos and Don’ts of this special night to help you enjoy the occasion – and the 2,000lb of confetti (that’s over 900kg, and no exaggeration).
While the ball drop is the most popular event on New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of other celebrations happening around the city. The following are just a few ways to ring in 2016 in New York City.
The Prospect Park Alliance treats Brooklyn residents and visitors to a New Year’s Eve celebration, with fireworks, live music and hot chocolate.
Big Apple Circus’ The Grand Tour at Damrosch Park is a performance of oddities and wonders, ideal for adults and children alike. The night ends with a champagne (or sparkling apple juice) toast.
If you have any other questions email us, or call us on +1 212-906-9130.