Bryant Park Christmas TreeThe Insider Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center isn’t the only game in town, when it comes to ice skating, hot chocolate, holiday shopping and a giant Norway spruce Christmas tree. While over a million visitors and New Yorkers will peak at Rockefeller Center’s tree and maybe a take whirl around its rink, there’s an insider’s alternative for a family holiday excursion. .
Our Secret Santa tip? Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Hidden behind NYC’s iconic midtown library, stretching from 5th avenue to 6th avenue and from 40th street to 42nd street, welcome to 8 acres of a green and sometimes snow white Winter Village wonderland. At the center of the village, the Norway spruce Christmas tree stands 50 feet tall, decorated with 30,000 red, white and blue lights along with an impressive 3,500 icicles, snowflakes and starburst ornaments. How do you like them apples?
· The Rink. In the center of the park is the ice skating rink. Skip the lines and purchase online an individual or Family 4 Pack “Fast Pass”. The $100 Family 4 Pack includes: admission, skate rental, bag check and Hot chocolate; surely a holiday deal. If Mom and Dad don’t skate they can watch 20 feet away from under the heat lamps of the Celsius outdoor bar while sipping a Hot Toddy or Mulled Wine.
· Holiday Shopping. The walkways of the park are lined with 125 specialty boutique-like shops with hundreds of gift ideas; jewelry, clothing, hand made goods and holiday decorations. Perfect for last minute or special gift.
· Food. After an hour of skating, brisk winter temperatures, a couple of slips and help me up shouts from the kids – everyone’s hungry. Less then 20 steps from the rink is the Bryant Park Grill. Make a reservation while the kids are skating. This casual restaurant serves up a menu for every family member to dig into a delicious salad, burger or grill fish dish.
Save room for dessert. Across the park in the middle of 40th street is Galavante’s top dessert choice – Lady M. For a special treat, indulge in the Apple Galette, Raspberry Chocolate cake or Mille Crepes, and of course include hot chocolate for the kids.