The second day of our trip to NYC began bright and early in the morning. We woke up and headed to the city first thing, as we had tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at 11:00 in the morning. The doors to the event opened at 10:30, and by the time we got into the city it was around 9:30 in the morning, so we had some time to walk around before it was our call time.
We first went into the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a stop we always make when we go to the city, to light a candle and say a prayer. After that, we went to check out the storefront of Saks on 5th Avenue. This storefront was pretty popular on social media for the extravagant display with lights and decorations set to music, so I was pretty excited to see it in person. The windows were styled as an ode to Snow White, as the movie is celebrating its’ 80th anniversary. They had some iconic scenes from the movie along the front of the store, and on either side, the windows were filled with designer pieces, some custom and others available in store, that had the Snow White vibe. It was absolutely breathtaking! We then stopped back to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.
By the time we walked around, it was time for us to enter Radio City Music Hall for our call time. I had seen the Rockettes many years ago when they came to Buffalo, but I was very young and didn’t remember much of it, so I was super excited to see this show again. We sat atop the second mezzanine, which I totally prefer to sitting on the first level, because you can see everything so much better! The show, in total, lasted about an hour and a half. It included some iconic numbers and was a perfect mix of old and new. My dad and my brother even loved it! This is something I would recommend to anyone visiting New York during Christmastime [or a little after, for that matter]. And with multiple shows a day, there is no excuse not to go!
After the show, we headed over to Times Square to check out the New Years Eve preparations. This was my first time being in the city for New Years Eve, so I had never seen the major production in person. Knowing that we wouldn’t be in Times Square the following day [aka New Years Eve], we decided that this was the perfect day to head over, grab a slice at Ray’s and do some shopping before total madness ensued. It was incredible to see the process that goes into setting up for New Years Eve – the multiple stage sets, the barricades, the sectioned off areas – all of this being done in the midst of tourists, like myself, walking around and trying to catch a glimpse. It was quite impressive.
We then headed over to Bryant Park, another first for my family. My dad had read something online about Bryant Park so we decided to give it a try and, I must say, it was a highlight of the trip! Bryant Park is a privately managed public park located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan – so, essentially, smack dab in the city! For the Christmas holiday, there was a beautiful Christmas tree located next to an ice skating rink that was filled with skaters. When we were there, the fountain at Bryant Park was frozen [after the fact, this ended up being all over the news – who knew!]. The park was filled with little “huts,” these containing locally owned crafters, food stands, and more! They even have an outdoor patio/bar that had fire pits, perfect for the cold weather. This was a place that I never knew I needed in my life, but is now a staple that I will visit every time I go to the city going forward.
After Bryant Park came a trip to the iconic Macy’s, something that we always do every time we visit the city. We ventured the store top to bottom then headed to Niketown inside Trump Tower, followed by a trip inside Saks, which we didn’t get to do earlier due to going to the Rockettes. Our second trip to Saks for the day is when we were able to see the aforementioned light show in person. They had the street in front of the store blocked off due to the insane crowds of people stopping to watch the show – it was madness! I had never been in Saks before this trip and, after going through, I might have to go as far as say that I like it better than Macy’s!
Because we were parked close to Saks [hence, backtracking our steps from the morning], we headed back to Long Island to grab a bite to eat for dinner and head back to the hotel for the remainder of the night. After 9+ hours in the city, everyone was starving and we landed on Shake Shack for dinner, a restaurant that we don’t have at home. Again, a first for all of us, and a unanimous winner.
Stay tuned for day three. xoxo.