We're a few days into the New Year now, and our first Christmas in New York is in the books. We never imagined that BOTH of us would be living in New York City come Christmastime, but life has a funny way of working out. 2018 taught us that a lot can happen in a year, and ever since we found ourselves in the same city, we feel like we've been playing catch-up. Catching up on things we missed out on by living so far apart for so long as well as incorporating "New York" things on our to-do lists.
So, when the holiday season arrived, we knew we had to get an early start to fit everything in. This definitely isn't the way we normally do things. We're the family who are finally getting their tree up on Dec. 23 — but with all of the things you can do in the city this time of the year, we were motivated to get in the holiday spirit as soon as December rolled around.
We kicked things off by going to see the Rockefeller Center tree before the area got WAY too crowded. It was still very crowded when we went by on Nov. 30, but it was worth it to see the tree in person for the first time.
The first weekend in December, we went around to local plant shops to get garland and everything we'd need to decorate my apartment. The following weekend, we did the same for Darby's place — buying a tree in the snow and everything! It was *magical*
We also managed to get by City Bakery to have a decadent cup full of cocoa with the biggest marshmallow you've ever seen.
Despite not being skaters — we also made it by the ice skating rink at Central Park and at Bryant Park. If you're into that kind of thing — we'd suggest the Central Park location, as the Bryant Park location was much more crowded when we went, but it did have a Christmas market and food available, too. So, if you'd like to skate and shop, it might be the location for you. It all depends on what you're in the mood for!
Perhaps the thing we were most excited for was to go to Serendipity 3 and get a frozen hot chocolate just like they do in the movie "Serendipity." On our way to the restaurant, we walked right by Bloomingdale's, where the couple first meet while trying to purchase a pair of gloves. Then, off we were to put our name on what we thought would be a looong wait list. While we'd definitely recommend getting a reservation, we were surprised to get a table in just a few minutes, despite being told the wait would be 35-40 mins!
We sampled two frozen hot chocolate flavors, S'mores and Salted Caramel. Both were delicious! And the S'mores version came with another giant marshmallow! Sensing a theme here?
One of the final things we did was visit Charles Street on the Lower West Side to see the brownstones all done up for the holidays. It was raining and cold on the night we went, but the lights were beautiful:
Last, but certainly not least — we thoroughly enjoyed Christmas in our tiny apartments. We decorated, watched movies, baked cookies, listened to music and took time to spend with family — which is what the season is all about.
So, even if you do get to visit NY at Christmastime remember that the best part of the season isn't the lights or the music — it's those you hold dear.
Now, we realize you may not get to take the entire month of December to explore the city, but if you're planning a holiday trip, these are our must-do recommendations:
1. Rockefeller Tree This tree is iconic. And well in it in just about every Christmas movie. You really owe it to yourself to see it in person!
2. Serendipity— Channel your inner Kate Beckinsale and pick your favorite frozen hot cocoa here.
3. Hot Cocoa At The City Bakery. You can't really beat the giant marshmallows!
4. Christmas Lights on Charles Street, random streets all over the City!
And of course the ultimate #1 would be spending time together checking off our Christmas to-do list!
We hope this helps if you're planning a 2019 Christmas in NYC trip!
--Labels and Lacquer girls
If you're still in the holiday spirit too, make these cookies for a cookie swap party!