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Holiday Season Fun in New York

October 15, 2012 By: David Moseder Travel Agent


Rockefeller Center
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

The holiday season kicks in gear next month. As the late Andy Williams crooned, it’s the most wonderful time of the year—particularly in New York City and especially for families with children.

For many families,a visit with Santa is a must, so suggest they start the day at Macy’s, where Santaland is open most days from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from “Black Friday”through Christmas Eve. Clients should arrive early to avoid long lines. However, even at peak times when the wait can sometimes be two hours (or longer as it gets closer to Christmas Day), visitors will be entertained by dozens of jolly elves who may juggle, lead sing-alongs and otherwise work their elfin magic to make the time seem to go by faster. The line also wends its way through a delightful maze of wonderment to further take young (and old) ones’ minds off of the wait.

Their patience will be rewarded when they finally meet Santa himself. Tell clients to bring their cameras. While part of the visit with St. Nick includes the taking of professional photos that visitors can later view and purchase, if they so choose, it is also permitted to take one’s own photos. Everyone wants to be in the picture? No problem—hand the camera to the one of the elves who will take it for you. 

Thanksgiving Day Parade

If your clients are in town on the fourth Thursday of November, they can see Santa, along with an amazing array of floats, giant character balloons and more at Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. It starts at Central Park West and 77th Street, turns along Central Park South, then heads along Sixth Avenue to its final destination, Macy’s. The parade starts at 9 a.m., but again, the earlier your clients get to the parade route, the better view they’ll have.


Next, after a little shopping in the iconic department store, the family should head east to Fifth Avenue and turn left keeping an eye out for the beautiful holiday-themed window displays such as Lord& Taylor (at 39th Street), which has been decorating its windows to the delight of passersby since 1938. The storybook—themed display at Saks (49th Street) are another highlight and one that puts holiday sightseers at Rockefeller Center, where the famous multi-story tree will be lit on November 28 and remains so through January 7, 2013. Visitors can also watch the skaters at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink—or join in the fun. Skate rentals are under $10.


Christmas Tree
The world’s most famous Christmas tree.

Continuing north on Fifth Avenue, past Cartier (52nd Street) where the entire building is wrapped un a giant red ribbon and bow, holiday strollers will arrive at FAO Schwartz(58th Street), arguably the world’s most famous and beautiful toy store. (Note: It’s also one of the priciest. Let your clients know that there’s a Toys R Us on Times Square.) FAO’s “Big Piano” keyboard, danced upon by Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia in the movie Big, is still a popular attraction (and sale item).

Meanwhile over on Sixth Avenue at 50th Street, the annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall runs this year from November 9 through December 30. If your clients haven’t bought their tickets yet, tell them you’ll do it for them ASAP. The show sells out quickly. cross the way from the famous hall the kids will delight in a display of oversized Christmas tree ornaments set in a flowing fountain.


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About the Author

David Moseder
David Moseder is the Managing Editor for Travel Agent Magazine.

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By David Moseder | October 15, 2012
Here are some suggestions to get your clients’ New York holiday visit off on the right foot.