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New York for Christmas

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

For Kevin’s mom’s 60th birthday, we surprised her with a trip to New York at Christmas. She’d never been to New York before, and it has always been her dream to go at Christmas! For her birthday, Kevin gave her one of his famous travel brochures. :)

Since she had never been before, we had to fit in all the highlights of NYC and NYC at Christmas in just one short weekend. Fortunately, we came prepared. Here’s what we did, and our checklist of the must-sees and dos for the ultimate NYC weekend! :)


Hotel

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

A huge advantage is a good hotel in a central location (so you can quickly and easily get everywhere) and on a quiet street so you can get your much-needed sleep after a busy day! :) I always love staying at the Omni Berkshire Place in NYC because it meets these criteria. The Omni was all decked out for Christmas. The decorations were so gorgeous!!


Getting Around

We took the subway or called a private car with the Uber app. Have you heard of Uber?? It’s your own personal, private driver for the same price of a taxi. When you open the Uber app, it will show you where drivers are near you, and tell you how long it will take for a car to get to you. Just click Set Pick Up Location and your private car is on it’s way. You can even watch it on the map as it gets closer to your location. It will send you an alert when your car gets close so you know when to go outside. No more waiting outside in the freezing cold or rain for a taxi! You add a credit card or Paypal account to your Uber account, and you never to worry about paying the driver. It’s all done through the app. You get in the car,  the driver takes you to your location, and you get out. No fumbling with paying, you can just get out and leave! You don’t even have to tip — it’s built into the price of the service (which is still competitive with a taxi!).   It’s seriously the fastest and best way to get where ever you need to go!

Use this link to sign up with Uber to get your first ride free!

 


Pizza

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Our first order of business was an authentic slice of NYC pizza. We were starving after being on a plane all morning! :) Now one of my favorite places for truly authentic NYC pizza is Bleecker Street Pizza. However, Bleecker Street is not really your typical restaurant. It’s more of a walk-up, grab a slice, and eat it on the go place. They do have 3 or 4 small tables where you can sit if you want though (first come, first serve). But it’s not a “sit down and order and have a waiter wait on you” type place.

For our first meal off the plane, we wanted some place we could sit down and relax — and somewhere that takes reservations so we would be sure to get a table and not have to wait. I knew we’d be hungry! :) For this, we chose Luzzo’s Pizzeria.  It’s authentic Italian (Naples) style pizza. It was delicious and exactly what we were looking for! I’d definitely go back.


Radio City Music Hall

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

After dinner we bundled up and took a stroll around Radio City Music Hall to look at all the Christmas lights and decorations. The big Christmas lights statue and pyramid of red Christmas balls are caddy-cornered from Radio City Music Hall (and across the street from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon!)


Rockefeller Center

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Just down the street is Rockefeller Center, the skating rink, and The Big Tree. This is such a fun area at Christmas! Around here there’s the big Lego store, the NBC store, a Nintendo store, and the big Anthropologie.

Also be sure to walk down 5th Avenue to see all the Christmas lights and window displays, especially at Saks and Tiffanys.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Right across from the rink is Bouchon Bakery. No trip to NYC is complete without a big vanilla macaron from Bouchon Bakery! By this time we were ready to warm up with a tall cup of hot chocolate and a sweet macaron from Bouchon. We got a vanilla and this seasonal gingerbread macaron. Phenomenal! Loved the hot chocolate from Bouchon! It was so thick and rich!


Central Park

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The next morning we walked to Central Park, stopping by The Today Show (at Rockefeller Center right across from the rink and Bouchon) and Good Morning America (on the corner of West 44th Street and Broadway in Times Square). We saw Matt Lauer interviewing Ben Stiller in the studio as we walked by The Today Show!

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

As we were walking by The Today Show, we stopped by the skating rink / tree get a picture in the morning before it got crowded. :) There was no one there!

In the southeast corner of Central Park is Gapstow Bridge, featured in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The Plaza Hotel  is in the background. We also walked by the Central Park skating rink.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The is Gapstow Bridge. So pretty!


Upper West Side

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The Upper West Side is one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York. It’s quiet, you’ll see lots of families, and there is a ton of fun stuff to do. A warm cookie from Levain Bakery is a must!! My favorite is the Chocolate Peanut Butter cookie. Be sure to ask for a warm one! :)

Also in that area is Sugar and Plumm, a super cute restaurant, bakery, and candy shop. Definitely fun to pop in and grab a cookie, macaron, or just look around! I’ve eaten here for brunch and they have such a fun menu. They also have some seriously amazing-sounding gourmet milkshakes on the menu that I have yet to try, but are next on my bucket-list!! :)

Another fun stop in that area is The Treat House. They’re a fun bakery specializing in mini gourmet Rice Krispy Treats. (See my full review of them here! :)) They had some super fun Christmas flavors like Gingerbread, Eggnog, Peppermint, and Red & Green M&M. :)

Right across the street from The Treat House is Cafe Lalo, which was featured in the movie You’ve Got Mail. It’s the scene where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are finally going to meet up, and she’s waiting for him inside the cafe with a book and a rose, and he’s outside saying “She’s got to be! She’s got. to. be!” It’s always fun to see the real-life sets of your favorite movies. They’ve even got pictures from that scene hanging in the window.

And finally, we made our way to our final destination on the Upper West Side, Jacob’s Pickles. This is a new brunch spot that I’ve been wanting to try. They’re famous for their biscuits!

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

They serve brunch every day and have a Biscuit French Toast on the menu that I’d been dying to try. Delicious!


The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

That afternoon we went to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. This was such a fun show! I’d never seen the Rockettes before, but it was way better than I was expecting it to be. It’s more than just kicking and dancing. :) It’s a huge production! It’s up there with Wicked. :) I would highly recommend adding this to your Christmas weekend itinerary!


Chelsea Market

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

After the show we made our way to Chelsea Market, another fun area in New York. Chelsea Market is full of fun stores and food shops. The perfect place to pick up a souvenir. And it’s always so gorgeously decorated for Christmas.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Nearby Chelsea Market, in Greenwich Village, is this familiar building. This was where the Friends’ lived! :) It’s at the corner of Bedford St. and Grove St.


Max Brenner

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Max Brenner is one of my favorite places to eat in NYC! It’s always at the top of my list. Their Mac & Cheese and waffle fries are to die for! And check out my fun Rosemary Waffle Club Sandwich! Reservations here are a must, especially at Christmas, and I recommend getting there at least 30 minutes early. We had to wait in line 20 minutes just to *check in* for our reservation!! Craziness!! Fortunately the line was inside and they were bringing around chocolate for us to sample. :)

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

But the best thing about Max Brenner is the CHOCOLATE. Max Brenner is chocolate heaven!! I love coming to Max Brenner when it’s cold because they have the BEST hot chocolate in the world. Get the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate in milk, dark, or white chocolate. We got it in Milk and it was insanely out of this world good!! Plus the mug is perfectly shaped for wrapping your hands around it to keep your hands warm. It’s 8 degrees here right now, and I would love to have a cup of this hot chocolate to warm me up right now!! :)

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

I’m also in love with their chocolate pizza!! It’s soft, sweet dough, topped with chopped milk and white chocolate, covered in melty, toasty marshmallows, and drizzled with warm peanut butter. Crazy good. You guys. I can’t even. It’s so good.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Okay, now I know we are crazy, but you absolutely cannot go to Max Brenner without getting the 80’s milkshake. It’s the best chocolate milkshake in the world. And I don’t even like chocolate milkshakes. I am a vanilla girl all the way, but I would take this chocolate milkshake any day of the week. Plus it’s topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream covered in a thick layer of chocolate magic shell. The three different textures combined together are phenomenal!! :)

Another great thing about Max Brenner is that it’s in Union Square, and at Christmas, the Christmas Shops at Union Square are set up. They are super fun to walk around and you’ll for sure find a fun souvenir. If you see the “No Chewing Allowed” chocolate truffles be sure to take some home with you!!

Also nearby:

  • Eataly — a fun gourmet Italian market. It’s like a super fancy food hall with a coffee shop, gelato shop, panini place, gourmet grocery store, pizza place, and more. Definitely fun to pop into and take a peek around.
  • Flat Iron Building — Right by Eataly. Neat to see!
  • Fishes Eddy — Near Union Square. A super cute kitchen store. A must see if you are into kitcheny things.

 


Breakfast

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The next morning we had breakfast at Norma’s inside the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. This is a super fun and delicious breakfast, and while it’s slightly on the expensive side, you definitely won’t leave hungry. They serve breakfast every day and are open until 3pm. Reservations recommended. Kevin got this insanely fabulous chocolate peanut butter waffle sandwich. The waffle is split in half and stuffed with peanut butter! I had so much chocolate at Max Brenner the night before, I decided to go with a savory breakfast. I got this Breakfast Quesadilla with scrambled eggs, bacon, monterey jack cheese, and guacamole. Hands down the BEST breakfast quesadilla I’ve ever had. Definitely would order this again. I would have a hard time choosing between this breakfast quesadilla and some of there other fun sweet breakfast menu items! It was that good!

Also try to find the hidden burger joint in the Le Parker Meridien lobby! ;)

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Oh, forgot to mention this! On our way to breakfast, we walked past the LOVE sign! So fun. It’s located at 1359 Ave of the Americas (on the SE corner of 6th Ave and W 55th Street).


Top of the Rock

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Another must-see in New York is the observation deck at Rockefeller Center. I much prefer Top of the Rock to the Empire State building, because there are no crowds! Plus you can see the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock. You don’t need a fast pass or anything. You can buy your ticket online ahead of time if you know about what time you want to go. They give you a 30 minute window to show up, you don’t have to be there at an EXACT time. Then you can spend as long as you want up top. When we went to the Empire State Building, the top was so crowded that there was a wall three-people deep just to get to the edge to see anything. The top of Top of the Rock is not crowded at all. You can easily walk up to any edge to look out. Plus you can take the stairs all the way up to the very top where there is no glass for better pictures.

Photo tip: If you want better pictures of the Empire State Building, go in the morning. If you want better pictures of Central Park, go in the afternoon.


Times Square

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to Times Square! I love going into the M&M store and the Hershey’s store. There’s also the big Toys R Us! And if you go at Christmas, you can get a peek at the ball that will drop on New Years Eve. :)

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

That afternoon we made a quick stop by the hotel and who did we find??! Santa was at the Omni Hotel! On Saturdays during Christmas Santa makes a stop by the Omni for visiting and pictures. So nice for Omni guests! There was no line, so of course we had to go see him! How cute are his boots?? :)


FAO Schwarz

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The iconic three-story toy store in New York! On the top floor is the Big Piano from the movie Big. On the ground floor is the Zoltar machine. Inside all the employees are playing with and showing off the toys. It’s like an amusement park / toy store! Definitely a fun stop. When we went this year there was a line wrapped around the building just to get inside!! But it moved fast, and it wasn’t too crazy crowded inside. We’ve been during other times of the year (even the first weekend of December) and it was not that crowded. This time we were there the weekend before Christmas. If you can go first thing in the morning it would probably be less crowded! :)

UPDATE: FAO Schwarz is permanently closed.


Serendipity III

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

This is one of my all time favorite places to go in New York!! I always try to go here whenever I’m in the city. They have the BEST Frozen Hot Chocolate in the world!! I’ll be honest — I’ve never really liked any of the real food I’ve ordered here, but that’s not what they’re about. The Frozen Hot Chocolate is where it’s at!! Reservations are highly recommended — and make them as early in advance as you can. There was a 3 hour wait when we got there for the people without reservations, and you have to wait outside! There’s also a minimum order, so you can’t just go in and split a Frozen Hot Chocolate. But that’s okay, because even though they’re ginormous, you’ll want one all to yourself!! They also have a Peanut Butter Frozen Hot Chocolate (tastes like Reese’s Cups!) and a Mint Frozen Hot Chocolate that tastes like Thin Mints!! They are both SO good. Go with a group and order all three. You won’t be sorry!! :) We had to get one even though it was 30 degrees outside, lol!! That’s how good they are. :)

We also always like to stop by Dylan’s Candy Bar on our way to Serendipity. It’s a massive three-story candy shop! So fun. We like to plan at least 30 minutes before getting to Serendipity to look around here. Right across the street is also Bloomingdales, which was fun to look around at Christmas.


Broadway Musical

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

For a first trip to New York, a Broadway show is always a good idea. And Wicked is an absolute must.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

This is a life-changing show, and if you ever have the opportunity to see it in New York or on tour, go see it for sure!! It is a treasure.


Brooklyn Bridge

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

On our last day in New York, we made the most of our short morning in the city before catching a plane back home. We took the subway to High Street station in Brooklyn, and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The views were gorgeous.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

The bridge was stunning! It takes about 30 minutes to walk across the bridge. We stopped a few times for pictures, but we didn’t dawdle because it was cold! :)

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

In all my trips to New York, I had never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge before but it is definitely something I’ll be doing again. This was one of Kevin’s mom’s favorite things we did all weekend.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

Right at the end of the bridge on the Manhattan side is a Waffles & Dinges cart! They have the BEST waffles ever. If you ever see one in New York (they’re all over! The SW corner of Central Park near Columbus Circle, The Christmas Shops at Union Square, and more) definitely get one. We warmed up after our walk with hot chocolate and waffles for breakfast. The perfect last day in NYC breakfast. :)


World Trade Center Memorial

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

From the bridge it’s a short walk to the World Trade Center memorial pools. These are FREE to go to and see. Just walk to the corner of Liberty St. and Greenwich St. and you’ll see them.


Wall Street

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

And from The World Trade Center Memorial it’s another short walk to the Charging Bull of Wall Street! He was all dressed up for Christmas! :)


Statue of Liberty

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

We were working our way down to the Staten Island Ferry. It’s free to ride and you get a great view of the Statue of Liberty from a distance. This is a great alternative if you just want a good view of the Statue and you don’t actually want to go up in it or anything. The ferry is about 20 minutes one way, and you have to get off when you get to Staten Island, but you can get right back on. Round trip is about 45 minutes.

This whole little excursion took about 3.5 hours from the time we left our hotel. The perfect last morning in NYC!

If you want to actually go to the Statue of LibertyStatue Cruises is the only authorized provider of ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Statue Cruises ticket office inside Castle Clinton at Battery Park and each ticket includes access to both islands. If you purchase an e-Ticket, you can bypass the lines at the ticket booth. Skip the crowds! Departures before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 pm are typically less crowded.

Plan the Ultimate Weekend in NYC at Christmas. A checklist to help you see and do everything in NYC in one weekend for the perfect NYC Christmas experience.

View of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.


The Map

Here’s a map of everything we did in NYC in one weekend if you want to plan your own special trip to New York at Christmas. :)

Click here to see the map in a new window, and see a list of everything on the map.

For more of our favorite things to see and do in New York, check out these posts.

P.S. I used my  Sony DSC RX100M III for all these pictures in this post. LOVE IT for traveling!! It’s so tiny and light!! It fit right in my small crossbody purse. (You can see how small my purse is in the LOVE sign picture.) Plus it connects automatically to my phone so I could instantly share photos on Facebook or Instagram right as I was taking them.

Thanks so much for looking! Let me know if you have any questions about New York. :)

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55 Responses
  1. Mikala

    Hi Amanda! I just wanted to say thank you for your awesome travel blogs. I was in NYC last weekend and did a ton of your Christmas in NYC suggestions and they were all fabulous! I often found myself saying “Amanda said we should do this” … LOL, so you were unofficially part of the group too! I always love your photography and sweet spirit. Thanks again!

  2. Melody

    What a wonderfully helpful and exciting blog! My husband is taking me to New York for Christmas this year. It’s my first time to go, and it’s been on my wish list for so long. I’m so excited.  I’ve read countless posts and blogs…hands down this has been the most helpful. Love the tips, and pics…so helpful!  I was writing things down and finally just decided to print it all out. Lol!! 

    Thanks again!

  3. Morgan

    I’m going to New York right after Christmas so I was Googling for ideas and tips. Your post is great and so helpful, and what made it even better for me was when I scrolled to the end and saw a big AU on your hat! War Eagle from a fellow Auburn alum!

  4. Kelsey

    Amanda,

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I am heading to Chicago, DC and NYC in the next few months and it has been very helpful! Question for you: do you have any restaurants (nothing too fancy or expensive) that you would recommend for my husband and I that will be close to battery park for when we head to the ferry cruise? Maybe a yummy NY style pizza place some good comfort food?

    Thank you :)

  5. Roxanne Lucero

    We went to NYC last summer, it was very hot and humid but we still enjoyed our trip. We’ll definitely consider going to NYC at Christmas. We saved a lot on accommodation since we stayed in a hostel. We also had city pass so we were able to see a lot of attractions. New York City may be known as the most expensive city in USA, but there’s also no shortage of free things to do. I already visited some museums, Time Square and Statue of Liberty. We also went to a lot of diners and clubs and I watched free concerts at Central Park after checking out the NYC Parks website.

  6. Rian Wilcox

    Hi Kevin & Amanda,

    We just got back from our family Christmas in NYC and I am so glad I found your website on Pinterest. We went to Max Brenner for Christmas Eve dinner and had the best meal and time spent there. Your blog was our guide on this trip and no disappointments. Thank you for the recommendations and help :). I will be sure to follow you for our next trips.

  7. Lisa

    I haven’t been to NYC in quite a few years and have been dying to go back again for Christmas. Your list of things to do and see is PERFECT!! :-) I will keep this as a good reference for our next trip there. You really got a lot done in a weekend!

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Julie

    SO, I’m only a YEAR LATE on your blog post but I must say: you two are after my families own heart! My husband and I visited NYC last Christmas for the first time – then took our children back in the Spring. We decided to head there once again this Christmas as a family. I found your blog on Pinterest while trying to make sure I didn’t “miss anything” this go round and thought “this couple loves everything WE love!” and got so excited reading!! So many of your activities are what we are planning / doing again and then the icing on the cake was seeing we are s saying at the same hotel as well! Too funny!! Thank you for all your info – it is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

  9. Susan

    Thanks for sharing. Our daughter was married on Gapstow Bridge on December 18th 2010. It was fantastic. Your pictures brought back so many wonderful memories and gave me some new ideas for when we get to go back to celebrate their anniversary in a few years with our grandson and hopefully one more soon. These are fantastic photos.

  10. Anna

    You are so right about the Empire State Building! I went to the top on my first trip to NYC, but they weren’t letting people outside because there was lightning. It was claustrophobia city and you couldn’t see anything! Sounds like it wouldn’t have been too much better outside, anyway. I will try Top of the Rock on my next trip.

  11. Susan G

    I have lived in NYC most of my life, so glad you had a great visit. Christmas and springtime (May-June) are wonderful times to visit the Big Apple. My favorite tourist tip-Take the Roosevelt Island Tram at night (59th and Second Ave.) over and back for an incredible photo op of the skyline and bridges. There is nothing to see on Roosevelt Island itself-but the 4 minute tram ride and the views are completely worth it-just go over and back. Probably also amazing at sunrise and sunset, but I’ve only done it at night to play tennis. Also, Bryant Park at 40th and 5th has lovely Christmas shops and wonderful cafe tables and free outside movies in the summer-make sure you visit Patience and Prudence who guard the NY Public Library there, and walk inside to see the incredible ceilings and architecture. Worth 10 minutes of your time!!!

  12. Linda

    Amanda – I love reading all of your post but especially your trips. I’ve been to NY a few times and it’s not my favorite big city but this post makes me want to return. Your photos are beautiful. What kind of setting do you use? I noticed with the NY trip and the European River Cruise that the color in your photos is very different than what I get, beautiful colors! Maybe you edit them once you’re home and change up color?

    1. Amanda

      Hi Linda! You can click on any photo to see the camera, lens, and settings I used. Here are some tutorials on how I edit my photos: Click Here. Hope this helps! :)

  13. Michele

    Great photos Amanda!! Thank you so much for sharing. I do have a couple of questions so if it’s already been mentioned I apologize in advance.

    1) where could I get the map info to display my vacation spots that I’ll be going to in a couple of months?

    2) how do you add the camera, speed, apeture, iso etc onto each photo? I’ve searched the internet but I’m not quite sure what I should be looking for.

    Thanks! Have a great weekend :)

    1. Michele

      Awesome, thank you so much Amanda! I download the plugin and activated it but it’s not showing up. I think it could be missing something but I can’t tell. Do you have any suggestions? Many thanks, again. :)

    2. Amanda

      Hi Michele,

      The photo you upload to the internet has to have the EXIF data still attached to it. Some photo editing softwares will strip this information from the photo in order to make the file smaller.

      Here’s how you can tell if the image still has the EXIF data attached:

      http://regex.info/exif.cgi

      Hope this helps!

    3. Michele

      Wow I had no idea!! I noticed that some of them are showing a “window” when I roll my mouse over the image and it displays the Exif. Thank you!

  14. kristin stratos

    Awesome pics as usual, great food shots! Don’tknow how you got it all done, but it looked fabulous!! Thanks for sharing.

  15. April Southers

    This trip looks like so much fun!! Planning to take Reagan in a few years before she graduates… will definitely have to make some notes from your many trips!!
    I have been trying to email you directly, but not having any luck. The link at the top of your contact page is not working!! Email me at the address used here… Thanks!

  16. Angie B

    You have the best posts! I have just started following your blog, and boy have I been doing major catch-up. I think this is the coolest blog in the blogosphere. You do such a great job explaining details and providing beautiful pictures. My dream vacation is to New York City. I will definately be saving these tips for when we go. Thanks again, and keep up the great work on this blog! You are amazing :)

  17. Susan Jordan

    Wow, just going to let you know that you guys take some of the best photos I have ever seen, anywhere!!! If you don’t already — you should try to sell some to magazines! They are Really Great! Love Kevin’s hat at the end! WAR EAGLE!!! We live in central Alabama — Go Auburn!!! Great Post and Info too!!! Thanks!

  18. Ema

    Thanks for taking us with you! I love all of the places, food, decor, shopping, great descriptions & helpful hints. Gorgeous pics!

  19. Jersey Girl Cooks

    NYC is so fun especially at Christmas time! We were there the week of Christmas and ate plenty of yummy things too. We have yet to walk across the Brooklyn bridge but I think we will do that when the weather is warm in the spring or summer.

  20. Lucy Lam

    Amanda, I love the pictures you took on your trip to NYC. It brought back wonderful memories for me.
    Kevin … not only are you a “perfect husband/friend, you’re also a “perfect son”! (it goes without saying how “perfect Amanda is”! What a thoughtful and generous gift you and Amanda gave to your mother. I can only imagine how much she enjoyed it, because I got goosebumps just viewing it on your blog;-) I’d never been to, or across the Brooklyn Bridge, so it was quite a treat to see it through your eyes. Thanks again for sharing.
    Happy New Year to you and the little ones (Miley and Howie)

  21. Kelly

    Thank you!! What great information! I’ve been to NYC several times but want to take my 16 yr. old daughter, who has never been, SO badly! I will be saving this information for that day we finally make it. THANK YOU!!!

  22. Erin P

    Thank you for this post! I am going to NYC this weekend with my girlfriends for our annual girl’s weekend! When you make reservations at Serendipity, do you have to order dinner? Or can you order desserts and drinks only?

    1. Amanda

      Hi Erin! I think as long as you meet the minimum order (it’s like $8.50 per person) they don’t care what you order. :) Have fun this weekend!! :)

  23. Mikala

    I LOVED this post! I really wanted to take my kids to NYC this Christmas season but we couldn’t make it happen. Your tour was so fantastic that next year, it’s ON!! :) I love your blog and photography and perspective, thanks so much for sharing!

  24. Rachel J

    Wow wow WOW Amanda! What an amazing and special visit to NYC! I went to college at Columbia and it took me all 4 years to do what you did during your weekend visit. Ultimate weekend indeed! Gosh I would love to travel and eat with you. I wish I lived in bama to plan such fun delicious adventures with you! Thanks for sharing your fun trip!

  25. Christen

    Wow, you hit all the great spots! The only other place I could suggest would be Buddakhan in Chelsea Market or Rosa Mexicano outside Lincoln Center for some fun dinner options.

  26. Tammy

    Hi Amanda,
    I just read your post on your trip to Seaside, FL and was going to ask you what camera you used for the great pictures. I then read the post on your NYC trip and saw at the bottom that you used the Sony camera for those great pics. Did you use the Sony one as well in Seaside? I was amazed at the Seaside pics because we had been there this summer and your pics brought everything back to life! Thank you! Now I’d like to return as we didn’t make it to Pickles nor did we try the Hawaiian shaved ice:-) You have me also wanting to take a trip to NYC!

  27. Susan J. Smith

    Great post. You covered many of the major tourist destinations in NYC. Great photos. I am a retired newspaper writer who does a blog “for fun” and typically go to NYC once or twice a year. I try to find places not always in the travel guide books just because I enjoy them. You might like to take a look the next time you go to NYC. For example, have you heard of the Campbell Apartment? It’s a treasure. And if you are in NYC in good weather, be sure to take the architectural boat tour that goes all around Manhattan island. It is much bigger than I ever dreamed. And the Highline, of course. I also loved the Irish Hunger Memorial. If you’ve ever been to Ireland,it will take you right there. It’s near Ground Zero. I absolutely love sharing my ” travel discoveries” on my blog and with friends. And I really love blogs like this one. Keep it up. I love traveling along with you. Susan at DesignDestinations.org
    PS: If you want a true Art Deco experience meander into the Chatwal on 44th street. It’s a jewel. Great little cozy dining room for a pre-theater dinner.

  28. Nicole

    It’s my absolute dream to travel to NYC, especially at Christmas time! Now, after reading your post, I feel like I’ve been there! You have such gorgeous pictures and I really enjoyed them!! And, thanks for the picture of the “FRIENDS” apartment! It’s beautiful!! Happy New Year!!

  29. Leanne

    What a wonderful birthday gift! She is one lucky lady to have a son and daughter-in-law like you! She certainly does 60 well, as evident in the picture of her with you. New York city is a world all its own, fabulous and fun place to visit! thank you for sharing your experiences!

  30. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    You had a perfect NYC trip! I lived there for 6 years and moved to Ohio about 6 months ago but I was visiting at the same time as you. I think we were at Max Brenner’s around the same time but it was so crowded I didn’t see you guys (plus how weird would I have been to come up and be like “Hey! I’m the fellow blogger who recommended the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate! I’m a big fan” lol

    Anyway-awesome guide, its perfect!

  31. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

    What an awesome trip for you guys and your mother-in-law!
    You did a fantastic job of telling about the highlights of a great trip to New York – it’s a cool place to visit!

  32. Chrissy

    This is GREAT! I am totally stealing it as a guide for the ultimate NY vacation at Christmas time! Approx how much did your trip cost? Thanks Amanda!

  33. Regina

    Good morning!

    I’ve been to NYC a few times as I live nearby it, but I love to get new hints about this beautiful city. I’ll save this post in my NYC folder.

    Thank you very much.

  34. Mirlandra @ Mirlandra's Kitchen

    Wow! Sounds like an amazing weekend! I was in NYC 10+ years ago and while it was nice I have never been excited to go back. Now I would love another trip. Thank you for sharing. That Macaroon sounds extra amazing.

  35. Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

    Oh my goodness, all the food you’ve posted looks absolutely incredible! It’s a couple of hours before dinner and I’m dying over here now!

  36. Nika@Vintage-Papers

    Thank you very much for such detailed list.
    I am preparing to go to NYC soon and this would safe me lots of time wondering what to do and where to go next.

    Happy New Year!
    Nika

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

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. Meet our Boston Terriers. Take a tour of our house. 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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