The holiday season is officially upon us. As soon as Halloween ends, everyone starts to get into the wintery, cozy mood for the upcoming celebrations. There are tons of spirited events and places to go especially in December and January. New York City and Long Island offer great holiday excursions for all ages so don’t waste your time being at home. Explore what these places have to offer instead.
Rockefeller Center Tree
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a holiday staple. It doesn’t matter if you don’t celebrate Christmas, the tree is definitely a sight to see. It gets bigger every year and is always lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Rockefeller Center, the tree is free and open to all, so go grab a hot cider and head over for pictures and some holiday fun. This year, the tree will be lit on Wednesday, Dec. 4 and will stay lit until Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.
The Chocolate Duck
The Chocolate Duck is a mom and pop shop located at 310 Main St. in Farmingdale, which offers a wide range of baking and decorating classes, and is known as one of the best chocolatiers on Long Island. In addition to the regular classes, the Kawaii Holiday Advent Calendar and Gingerbread Cake classes are being offered in December for $195 each. For more information about The Chocolate Duck, visit www.chocolateduck.com.
Charles Dickens Festival
The Village of Port Jefferson has held an annual tribute to the great English writer Charles Dickens for more than 20 years. The Dickens Festival is held in the center of the village with characters in costume including chimney sweeps, Scrooge and the town crier. Weekend-long festivities include ice skating, musical performances, magic shows, a bonfire, Theatre Three’s 36th annual production of A Christmas Carol, and much more. The events are open to the public and most attractions are free of charge. The Charles Dickens Festival is open for the Dec. 7 and 8 weekend only. For more information, visit www.portjeff.com/dickens.
Magic of Lights Show
The drive-through light show spectacular returns to Jones Beach this year with newly themed light displays as well as old favorites. Along with the light show, guests can also explore the Jolly Holiday Festival Village where they can take pictures, enjoy hot cocoa, s’mores, holiday music and more. Tickets are $25 Monday through Thursday and $30 on Fridays, and can be purchased on www.magicoflights.com. The show is open until Jan. 4 2020.
Ice Skating in Bryant Park
The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is the one stop shop for all things winter and holiday. The ice-skating rink is free admission; however, they do charge for skate rentals. The rink offers all kinds of special programming including kids’ day, bumper cars, exerskate, as well as story times, appearances from Santa and overall cheer for the time of year. The Winter Village also has a ton of holiday shops, specialized food and beverages perfect for the winter months.
Fifth Avenue Windows
The stores on Fifth Avenue such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks 5th Avenue, Macy’s and Bloomingdales excel in displaying windows during the holidays. Each holiday window display tells a story and with this many stores, there will be plenty of options to keep you busy. You could always go shopping inside, too.
Union Square Holiday Market
The Union Square Holiday Market is a renowned holiday market that is located in Union Square Park. The famous holiday market is a must-visit destination for unique gifts that are created by local craftsmen and artists. Millions of people, who flock to the village browse the aisles each year while enjoying a unique holiday experience. Newly upgraded, you can see exciting new sections like Little Brooklyn and Urbanspace Provisions, a warming station and lounge that is presented by Citi, live music and more. The market is open Nov. 21 to Dec. 24. For more information, visit www.urbanspacenyc.com/union-square-holiday-market.
—Additional information by Anthony Murray