The Holidays in New York City

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Images courtesy of Macys.com

Images courtesy of Macys.com

by The Mari Twins

New York City, weather gets colder, days get shorter, clocks are turned back, letting us know that the holiday season is upon us. For many of us the holiday season is our favorite time of the year filled with happiness, family, and love.  Every year New York City stages the most amazing winter wonderland from thrilling holiday parades, remarkable Christmas Trees, captivating holiday window displays, extravagant Christmas lights, and an array of activities for the family to enjoy. This year consider spending the holiday season in New York City, La Gran Manzana! Here are some of the more popular holiday events and activities that you will not want to miss.

▪ Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade - What better way to start the holidays than attending the annual vibrant Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The parade is well known for its oversized balloons that include iconic cartoon characters, giant floats with some of today’s most popular musicians, marching bands, Radio City Rockettes, and also includes musical performances from Broadway shows. This year Bachata Super Star Romeo Santos will be part of the anticipated guest list.  As tradition holds, Santa Claus is the last float bringing with him holiday cheer! The parade takes place in Manhattan starting on Central Park West, continues towards Time Warner Center, alongside 6th avenue and ending at Herald Square. On Thanksgiving Day, people from all over begin to set up their spots to view the parade as early as 6am! For added fun, you can go watch as the balloon inflation and preparation the night before Thanksgiving and take part of such a monumental parade.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center with skaters under the iconic Christmas Tree. (PRNewsFoto/The Rink at Rockefeller Center)

The Rink at Rockefeller Center with skaters under the iconic Christmas Tree. (PRNewsFoto/The Rink at Rockefeller Center)

▪ Rockefeller Christmas Tree - The Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony is always a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is located in the Center of Midtown Manhattan, at 50th Street and 5th Avenue. The tree can be visited around the clock but can be better appreciated at night when it is lit. You can also skate The Rink at Rockefeller Center and admire the world famous Christmas tree.  This year the tree comes from Danville, Pennsylvania and stands at 85 feet tall. The 82nd Annual Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony is taking place on December 3, 2014 from 7pm – 9pm.

▪ Radio City Music Hall - Begin your holidays by attending the Radio City Music Spectacular starting the Rockettes! Every year the Rockettes put on a captivating show filled with delightful surprises that certainly create unforgettable memories. They have been captivating audiences for decades with their dazzling performances. New York is not having all the fun, you can also catch the Rockettes on their National Tour. The Touring Production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular will be at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, NE, November 13th – 30th, Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN, November 21st – December 24th, and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, Tx, December 5th – 28th.

▪ Holiday Window Displays - If you are on a budget this tradition is a great way to enjoy a full New York Holiday experience without spending any money. The New York City’s Holiday Window Displays are nothing less than amazing! Some of the most iconic and popular department stores unveil their holiday window displays starting in mid-November.  Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., and many other storefronts create elaborate window displays with Holiday themes and are a must see! The window displays attract large crowds, make sure to dress warm and wear comfortable shoes.

▪ Bryant Park Ice Rink - Located in Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues, enjoy skating at one of the most affordable rinks in New york City. Skates are available for rent starting at $15 and you can skate for free, if you bring your own skates.  The season started November 1st and will remain open until March 2015. Bryant Park Ice Rink opens daily for skating at 8 a.m., and closing at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Private, semi-private and group lessons are available for you to have a wonderful experience. You can also enjoy the Holiday Market and the food vendors. This can make for a perfect evening with your family in New York City!

▪ New Year’s Eve in New York City - The Times Square ball drop is one of the best-known New Year’s celebrations all around the world. This iconic tradition signals the start of a New Year and is attended by a countless number of people and many more watching the celebration on TV.  The New Year’s Eve event at Times Square includes musical performances, themed handouts, balloons, confetti and much more. The enthusiasm of the people is beyond extraordinary as the clock strikes twelve. Watching the famous ball drop in Times Square will probably be the most memorable event while staying in New York City for the Holidays.

New York City is always magical but the holidays make it come alive! New York City undoubtedly does an amazing job spreading the Holiday cheer.  This holiday season stop by New York City and create your own magical memories. There are so many exciting things to do in New York City during the Holidays from traditional parades, festive attractions, performances, and ending with one of the best New Year’s events. ¡Está Navidad, La Gran Manzana te espera con los brazos abiertos!

Maribel and Marisol Joven, better known as the Mari Twins were born in New York City from Ecuadorian and Spaniard Parents and they serve as positive role models in their community. They are passionate about their culture, health and wellness, education, and fashion. Currently residing in New Jersey, Maribel and Marisol have successful careers in the Education and Healthcare fields. Maribel and Marisol’s efforts to better the well-being of others or create awareness can be found in their volunteer work. The Mari Twins are proud to represent the Icla DaSilva Foundation, Literacy Volunteers of America, Handfuls of Hope, and are Sunday School Teachers at their local church. Maribel is the current Ms. Latina Galaxy and former Ms. Belleza Latina International 2013. Marisol is the current Ms. New Jersey Belleza Latina.