New York at Christmas

We had such a good time visiting New York City during Christmas! The lights and decorations in the city were beautiful, and you have to check out all the fun things we did!New York City at Christmas 2011

New York at Christmas

We had such a wonderful time in New York this weekend. Kevin took me to spend a few days in the city for my birthday, and it was absolutely gorgeous all decked out for Christmas.

New York City at Christmas 2011

Kev’s never been to New York, and we both have always wanted to go at Christmas.  I had so much fun showing him around one of my favorite cities!

New York City at Christmas 2011

I absolutely love the smell of all the food trucks and cart vendors on the city streets! I think I stayed hungry the entire time we were there.

New York City at Christmas 2011

My birthday’s right after Thanksgiving, and I was absolutely thrilled that there was still a little color left on the trees.

New York City at Christmas 2011

I can only imagine the park in its full fall splendor!

New York City at Christmas 2011

Macy’s looked just magical on 34th street.

New York City at Christmas 2011

Oh my gosh, this is one gigantic store! Eight massive floors of shopping.

New York City at Christmas 2011

How sweet are their Christmas lights?

New York City at Christmas 2011

Shopping in NYC

You know we had to go shop! Look how crazy-packed this place was! I loved it. So fun for Christmas. And the clerks were so helpful and attentive, there were actually several times I felt like the only one there. We only made it to the third floor, but we definitely bought a few Christmas gifts here. :) Kind of wishing we’d made it up to the 8th floor to see Santa now! :)

New York City at Christmas 2011

Seeing the giant tree at Rockefeller Center was at the top of our list of things to do in NYC. We walked all over here our first night, watching the skaters on the ice below.

New York City at Christmas 2011

Colorful Times Square.

New York City at Christmas 2011

Times Square was so crazy packed at Christmas, I cannot imagine it on New Years Eve!

New York City at Christmas 2011

Seeing a Broadway Play

Kevin surprised me and wanted to see a show on Broadway. He read about all the shows and picked out Wicked. I had no idea what it was about until he told me, and it sounded so cute. It’s a prequel to the Wizard of Oz — the story of how Glinda the Good Witch and Elpheba the Wicked Witch of the West were friends in school, how Elpheba was born with green skin, and how Glinda the beautiful blonde tries to help Elpheba become popular. It was the cutest show ever, and I’m so, so glad we went. I would’ve never known what an amazing time I was missing — the show was just visually stunning. Every scene was so gorgeous, I was constantly snapping pictures in my head. And their voices. Wow. Yeah. I would go see it again right now if I had the chance.

New York City at Christmas 2011

There were so many fun Christmas decorations in New York that I totally wasn’t expecting!

New York City at Christmas 2011

We walked down 5th Avenue on our way to Serendipity for dinner on the night before my birthday. All the buildings were so fun. Here’s Cartier.

New York City at Christmas 2011

I loved the Fendi building!

I just had to get a video of the twinkling, falling lights at Fendi! Check out how fun they are.

New York City at Christmas 2011


New York City at Christmas 2011

Ahh, we finally made it to Serendipity! Kevin had to make reservations here a month in advance, but it was totally worth it! Serendipity’s a great place for a special meal — it’s so cute, nice and quiet, has a huge menu, and some pretty awesome desserts.

New York City at Christmas 2011

And it was totally decked out for Christmas.

New York City at Christmas 2011

My favorite part of the meal! Even though the desserts here are giant enough to split between 6 people, I made Kevin order his own so we could try two. :) I got the frozen hot chocolate again, and it was still as fabulous as the first time I had it.

New York City at Christmas 2011

And Kevin got the “Can’t Say No” Sundae with peanut butter pie, ice cream, banana and hot fudge with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Oh my gosh what a fabulously indulgent dessert!

Thanks so much for a complete dream come true weekend, babe. It was the best birthday yet.

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97 Responses
  1. Ken Marinello

    NewYork is one of the cities I’d like to visit and especially the NewYork in Christmas. I can imagine the snowy midnight when we hold our lovers tightly and say Merry Christmas to each other. How wonderful!

  2. Nancy Munroe

    Loved your pictures of NYC. NYC is such a magical place this time of year. My son lives in the Chelsea area in Manhattan. Took him home after Christmas last year and had a blast looking at all the sites in Time Square and Rockefeller Plaza. Next visit is to see Wicked. Cant wait! Thanks for sharing your trip.

  3. Cary

    Your NYC pictures are stunning!

    I went to NYC in March for my birthday, and it was so much fun – I saw Wicked too, and I want to see it again so badly. I actually got a picture with one of the actors afterward. He signed my playbill and wished me a happy birthday since the show was on the same day. :)

  4. Joanne Leighty

    Loved all of your NYC pictures!!! One of these days i hope i am blessed with a trip there!!! I live in the middle of corn fields in Illinois…lol

  5. shirley

    Gosh your pics made me so tempting to buy a flight ticket to NY from Malaysia. lol. This brings back lots of memories while studying in London….

  6. Marina {}

    I have always wanted to visit NYC at Christmastime. Thanks for taking me vicariously through your beautiful photos. Happy Holidays Kevin and Amanda !

  7. Lynn

    What a fun trip! I’ve never been to Manhattan at Christmas….someday.
    All those decorations are amazing, I love the giant “believe sign”.

  8. Deneen Cook

    Amanda I saw Wicked when it was in San Francisco and I loved, loved. loved it and couldn’t agree more about going again right now if I had the chance! My husband and I also enjoy the movie Serendipity and I didn’t even realize that the restraunt really existed so now I am wanting to take a trip to New York :) Thanks for sharing all your wonderful pictures with all of out here in blogland!

  9. Elizabeth

    Glad you had a great time! I love everything about the city during the holidays–except the crowds! I love it down in the village, though.

  10. Denise

    There’s nothing quite like NYC at Christmas time! Happy belated Birthday! Your pictures are awesome! What kind of camera did you use? I’m looking for a new one to add to my Christmas list….

  11. heather in mississippi

    I’m leaving for NYC in the morning and you have me even more excited! I’ve never been at Christmas, so I loved the preview of the decorations. Love your blog! :)

  12. jules p

    I think I have said this before..but I will say it again…I am so jealous of you! All the neat place you get to go, and all the neat things you get to do!

    But I do appreciate you sharing them with us! It is fun to “dream live” through you!!! :)

  13. Darnell Burrows

    Amanda? You are so blessed!!! How awesome it is to travel so many places and take “us” on a visual tour with you! Your photos are beautiful! They tell a story on their own! Your my favorite blogger! Since I can’t travel, your photos and blogs take me there right where I am! And yes Kevin, your are one blessed guy too!
    Thank you BOTH for taking me to New York at Christmas!!! Aw….did you bring me back at gift??? LOL!

  14. Caitlin @ Hardly Housewives

    I just moved from NYC 6 months ago and these pictures almost made me tear up. There’s NOTHING like New York at Christmas…I was just discussing this with my grandma (who is still in the city) a few minutes ago. The lights, the mood, the shop windows…you captured it perfectly.

    …and especially SERENDIPITY at Christmas! I love it any time of year (though I haven’t been in ages), but especially at Christmas. So gorgeous!

  15. Carol in Florida

    My daughter and I went to New York for her birthday a couple of years ago – we also went to Serendenpity and to Wicked (the first Broadway show for both of us!). We went to Rockefeller Center and Central Park too. Of course, we went in March and the wind chill on the first day we were there was 19 degrees BELOW zero and it snowed the next day! While we were only there for three days and two nights and the weather was not exactly the best, we had a fabulous time – and yes, we WALKED everywhere – even in all that bad weather! Glad you had a fabulous time!

  16. Christine

    That is so funny you where in NYC this weekend. I took my daughter this weekend to celebrate her Sweet 16 birthday and agree 100% NYC at Christmas time is such a beautiful experience! We tried the Serndipity cafe and didn’t get in. Funny you wondered what could only image TIme Square at New Years, because I told my husband it felt like New Years eve in the crowd by Radio City Music Hall. We went to see the Rockettes and it was an amazing show!

  17. Ana

    We LoVe Wicked! My hubby and I won the “lottery” tickets on our honeymoon. Great Broadway choice. :) Now I’m hoping Newsies extends the run so we can see it.

  18. becky mercado

    Oh my….I think NYC is an adult Disneyland. I love it. I’ve been there only once…a gift from my sons…went to the US Open. The subway, Central Park, Times Square, Roc. Ctr. (smaller than i thought) It was amazing being at these places I’d only seen in movies. I even made my son ride the horse and cab at the Park…he said it was just for couples…I told him…Love the One your with…your mom…lets go. Canal Street…So much to see. I so, so, so want to go back and I’ve always wanted to see it in the winter….and i went to my one and only show…Beauty and the Beast. Didn’t think I’d like a play…but bananas. The one I want to see should i ever get a chance…Wicked. We couldn’t get tickets at the time. Man…such awesome pictures….really breathtaking. You’re so lucky to have someone who cares like that. Did he like NY?

  19. Amanda Bumgarner

    Good grief a month in advance! That’s commitment :) It looks soooo good. I hope I get the chance to eat there some day!

  20. Jessica

    Amazing photos! The colors! The lights! The decorations! The stores! OMG! I’ve never been to New York. (someday…) Your pictures are so vibrant, I almost feel like I was there with you. Thank you for sharing. :-)

  21. Lisa

    Amazing photos. But I gotta ask…you handheld all of them? I am in awe. My hands are so shaky.

    Your photos make me really really want the 7D.

    Happy belated birthday.

  22. Mary Anne Tomlinson

    Hi Amanda,

    Happy Belated Birthday! I so enjoyed seeing your pictures of the City wearing its Christmas finest on your birthday trip. So glad that you and Kevin were able to go at this time of year. My daughter & son-in-law went last January and she was so delighted to get to ice skate at Rockefeller Center by the Tree. The Big Apple is such a great city and it is always interesting to me to see what others photograph. Glad you got to see Wicked! I enjoy your blog. Merry Christmas, Mary Anne

  23. Kathleen

    Wow, wonderful post. Your photos just made me drool, I’d love to go to New York at any time of the year but Christmas has got to be extra special!

  24. Jill

    First of all–HappyBirthday!!!
    We can always depend on you for wonderful photos. You outdid yourself on these. I felt I had a mini trip to NYC. So beautiful!
    Hope you and Kevin and the pups have a wonderful Christmas.

  25. amanda jones

    I love your pictures! I have been to NYC twice, both times in July and my dream is to go to Central Park in the Fall and see the whole city at Christmas time.
    Where did y’all stay? I love the Cartier and Fendi store pictures too. I’m glad you had a great birthday!!

  26. Laura

    This is not good, you are making me want to go to NYC during Christmas now!!! I know what I want to do for my 25th wedding anniversary…even though it’s 23 years away :P

  27. Amanda Brandeburg

    Happy Birthday Amanda! What a great treat for your special day! Wicked is AMAZING! The original cast was beyond stellar when I got to see them, makes me want to listen to the soundtrack that I have over and over again!

  28. ChrissyD

    Awesome pictures of beautiful NYC!!

    I’m going into the city this Friday to see the tree and window peep, can’t wait!!!

    Glad you had a great time, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!

    Chrissy D

  29. Anne

    WOW! Fabulous, awesome photographs, Amanda. You captured everything perfectly showcasing the Christmas spirit of NYC! Seriously breathtakingly beautiful pics. This has to go in your memory book as one of THE BEST birthdays evah!…. not matter what else comes down the pike.

    Merry Christmas to you and Kev!

  30. Kami

    Loved it! It’s everything I’d imagine a Christmas trip to NYC to be! How in the world do you get such great night time pictures without hauling a tripod around with you?

  31. Amanda Keener

    I love that you post your trips….but now I have an even bigger desire to go to NYC!! Glad you had a wonderful trip/birthday!

  32. Michelle

    What an exciting trip you guys had! I loved looking at your pictures. I am leaving on the 19th of this month to spend 2 weeks in New York for Christmas!! I have never been at Christmas and was excited, but after seeing your trip I am about to jump out of my skin!! Happy belated birthday!

  33. Laura

    Wow! Your photos are beautiful! I have forever dreamed of seeing NYC at Christmas time, and I am leaving on Friday to make those dreams come true :) I love your photos SO much! Do you have any tips on capturing those beautiful pics of the lights at night?

  34. kristin t

    Wicked is WICKED AWESOME! :-) I’m going to see it for the 3rd time in the Spring! :-D
    Just a warning, though…do NOT read the book now, thinking you will somehow enhance your experience. :-| Trust me. There are a lot of different and not horribly appealing things in the book that the musical (thankfully) leaves out. Keep your happy memories! :-)

  35. Kat

    What an amazing trip, and the photos (as always) are drool-worthy. I hope someday I can get there to see NY in person at Christmas. :)

  36. Lori Allberry

    Oh gosh Amanda, there is nothing more magical than NYC at Christmas time! We went five years ago and still talk about it! It was definitely one of the best vacations we have ever taken!

    Thank you for sharing your pictures and helping me to so fondly remember our trip!!!


  37. Katie @decoratemylife

    Oh my goodness gracious!!! Those should be on a POSTCARD- how completely gorgeous! Those pictures make me want to embark on a NYC adventure right. this. second. Glad you had a great time!

  38. Laurie

    Happy belated birthday Amanda! I love, love the pictures! I want to go to New York so bad!! Maybe one of these days! :) Glad you had a great time!

  39. megan @ whatmegansmaking

    I’ve wanted to take a vacation to New York at Christmas for forever now. I will have to show my husband your pictures and get him thinking about next year. :) Your blog is so light and refreshing and happy – I love it :)

  40. Erin @ Brownie Bites

    Oh these photos make me want to go back to NYC… right now! Absolutely beautiful – I bet it was magical at Christmastime!

  41. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    Amanda these pics are BEAUTIFUL! If I wasn’t in the Christmas mood before, I certainly would be now! I can’t wait to visit NYC either next Christmas or the one after. Your blog posts are of course the first thing I check before planning! :-)

    Happy Belated Birthday and I don’t have to say hope it was a good one because that’s pretty evident!

  42. Cerise

    I has been YEARS since I got to see Christmas in NYC. There really is something magical about the city during that time of the year. Thanks so much for sharing your trip.

  43. Southern Gal

    It sounds and looks glorious! Thank you for taking us along with you in pictures.
    My daughter wants to be there for New Year’s Eve one year. Me? I’d love to visit at Christmas. And two of my friends and I are going to see wicked when it comes to our state in April. I can’t Wait!

  44. Janie

    Pictures were terrific!!! Planning a trip for next year. What suggestion do you have for a place to stay?? Did you attend the Macy’s Day Parade?

    Thanks for your help.


  45. beth

    happy birthday! i work in one of the rockefeller center buildings and i see the tree every day. it’s so pretty! the red ball ornaments are my favorite of all the decoratiosn in this area. the lone silver one used to be red like its “friends”. i call it “the runaway” and i love how it’s now silver. isn’t Wicked the best? so glad you had a great trip!!

  46. Heather (Heather's Dish)

    i’ve never been to new york but your photos look exactly like how i would picture it at this time of year! so beautiful!

  47. Debi

    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful trips with us… I just love all the pictures and reading how you describe everything… I also saw Wicked a few years back and it was just incredible. Hope you have a wonderful, happy, exciting, Merry Christmas… I’ll be waiting for more pictures and stories…

  48. Leah

    Christmas in New York is my dream vacation. I *am* going there for my honeymoon though, just not at Christmas. Your pictures bring it to life for me *sigh*

  49. J @ ... semplicemente j ...

    I love New York and your beautiful pictures make me want to go back … the Cartier and Fendi building lights are my favorite …

    I really enjoyed Wicked too!

    Fabulous pics!

  50. Heather G.

    Such wonderful pictures, it made me feel like I was there! I feel in love with NYC this summer when we were there. I want to go back again so bad!!

  51. Alison

    I so loved all of your photos of NYC as we are planning a very similar trip there on the 21st of December!! I can’t wait My daughters first Rockettes show!
    I wanted to mention to you how much I enjoy getting your blog every day, however, I so miss getting recipes from you! I have made several of your recipes already & always hope for more when I click onto your email!
    Thanks Amanda!

  52. Beth

    what a great trip. love all the pics. NYC is a great place to travel to. i’ve been there 3 or 4 times. lovely to go & so wonderful to come home to the quiet. (:

  53. Gina

    I’ve always wanted to do NY at Christmas, now I’ve seen your pictures I want to even more! A girl can dream, right? Isn’t Wicked the best show ever? I saw it in London when it first came out……….fabulous!

  54. Katie

    Beautiful photos! Love the one of central park with the city in the back. Stunning colors! You captured the magic in NYC. Going to the city around Christmas is on my bucket list:)

  55. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Wow, the decorations, the lights, that Sundae!! Looks like a fabulous trip.

    Thanks for sharing your amazing (as usual!) photos. Merry Xmas!

  56. JaCobi

    Sounds like you had a fantastic birthday, you lucky girl!
    I am a huge WICKED fan and am so jealous you got to see it on Broadway! We’re planning on going to NYC sometime next year, and Wicked Tickets are at the top of my list!

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Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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