“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you’ll hear” ~ Silver Bells
There is no place that the Scrooge and Grinch would hate more then the Concrete Jungle at Christmas Time. New Yorkers all but coined the term “Christmas in the City.” It truly is the most magical time of the year not just for living here, but also visiting. Even Tourist Shy New Yorkers embrace all things touristy at Christmas. From going to Rockefeller, seeing the gingerbread buildings in Madison Square Park, and looking at all the window displays, it is pure magic. But the most magical place has got to be Bryant Park.
I have written about my love affair with Bryant Park so much you are probably rolling your eyes right now. It is literally my favorite place in the city. It becomes even more so in the Winter when the Winter Village is built.
The Ice Rink
The focal point of the Winter Village is the ice rink. As a former skater girl, it is my absolute favorite place to skate. Nothing beats skating with skyscrapers in the background. While Rock Center might be iconic, (and I admit to skating there a time or four) Bryant Park’s Rink is the hidden gem.
Much larger then Rock Cener, it is also the only rink in the city that has free admission. When you are a starving artist AND a skater girl….score!
One of my favorite places to get an adult bevvy is at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park. Located close to the fountain, it is the perfect place to sip a hot cocktail AND people watch. It literally is liquid gold. They have tables as well as chairs that are actually pretty comfy. They also have bar seating as well as the kicker…Heaters!
It literally take me back to my France days, where I would sip coffee outside in the Fall and be all warm and toasty.
They have an assortment of boozy hot chocolates (including non-alcoholic) that are three quarters booze and a quarter hot chocolate served with whipped cream and ridiculously large (but yummy!) marshmallows. It is absolute heaven or perhaps devilish. And the perfect way to spend an afternoon!
From November to January 1 the park is filled with green huts that line the rink. Filled with christmasy goods, as well as handcrafted products, many of which are made locally, it is the perfect place to do some holiday shopping.
There are also many places filled wth food so you want to come hungry!
After January, many close, but you will find some tucked away still open until the rink closes.
Last but certainly the best part, is the tree. While just ten blocks from Rock Center, in my opinion the tree at Bryant Park is much better. The tree-lighting is not nearly as crowded and filled mostly with locals. (wait can New Yorkers BE locals?) They put on a huge ice show, many of which star their ice ambassador Johnny Weir (does it get better then him?!) as well as other world renown olympian figure skaters.
It is a much more intimate, yet festive feel.
While Rockefeller’s tree is untouchable with barriers placed around it, so you can’t get up close and personal, the tree at Bryant Park you can. I was literally sniffing that piney goodness right off those branches.
Bryant Park is literally a Whoville Village of Christmas delight. Anyone looking to get into the festive spirit needs to go here!
Have you been to Bryant Park? What is a place you love that screams Christmas to you?