Holiday Season in New York City starts earlier and earlier, fun for visitors from afar and pleasurable for the locals. Even before Thanksgiving, it’s everywhere: glamorous, funny, spiritual–all our senses are struck. So how do visitors plan to take it all in? Are there any places that are perhaps not known? Fun to experience even if in a crowd? Worth spending time with to bring home lasting memories? Of course! We don’t have to write about Rockefeller Center or Fifth Avenue windows or Macy’s. They are so spectacular, visitors will find and love them easily. Allow us to suggest to our guests at Park 79 Hotel some Holiday Treasures of New York that will stay in your hearts.
Origami Tree at the American Museum of Natural History Each year a new theme inspires the talented volunteers as they start the project in July. For more than 30 years, families bring children for the experience, since it’s a game to find and name the hundreds of beautifully constructed scientific or natural decorations.
The Annual Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden A must-see New York tradition. Enchanting model trains zip past NYC’s landmarks in a magnificent model city. The setting under the glass dome of the Haupt Conservatory adds to this dream world. More than 150 iconic buildings, all re-created with bark, leaves, twigs, acrorns–all natural materials by a dedicated volunteer group in Kentucky led by Paul Busse. Weather permitting–and we do get mild early winter evenings–strolling the paths, twinkling outdoor decorations, the gorgeous gift shop– wow! AND MetroNorth takes you right to the garden’s gate, then wisks you back to Midtown Manhattan.
Madison Ave windows above 60th Street are not as well known as the fantasies of the major stores along Fifth Avenue. But the street is calm, the elegance displayed in the boutique windows is well worth slipping away for during a couple of hours. Barney’s is all fantasy–sometimes a bit crazy, this year by Baz Luhrmann. The American and International fashion houses don’t stint on decoration. There are luxury coffee and pastry shops along the way to lure you in from the winter.
Dycker Heights in Brooklyn (See our calendar section for details) On your own or with one of the several guided tours.
Columbia University’s campus becomes a lovely city forest, its trees illuminated right through the winter’s darkness, and just across from the east gate is Cathedral Church of St. John Divine. Annual decoration is the imposing Peace Tree, all white, origami doves totally covering the branches. The silence of the vast space humbles the visitor and service is for everyone. Christmas Eve service welcomes all.
67th Street east of Columbus Avenue is always beautiful, and you are right near Tavern on the Green and Lincoln Center with their glorious lights.
Far Downtown, at the World Finanacial Center, now Brookfield Place, be sure to spend time in the Winter Garden
Time Warner Center’s lights and music have become world famous, well worth a visit even in daylight. The stores are all decorated in their finest, warm walk-around away from winter chill.
From All the Staff at Park 79 Hotel, Best Wishes for all the Holidays at this Time and in the New Year