rockafeller center - christmas - tree - 2013

On December 23rd my husband came home with a card and surprised me — we were going to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas in New York City! He knows I’ve always wanted to be in NYC for the holidays to see all the lights, trees, decorations, etc. He’s never been (and he’s not a fan of the crowds) so it was like two gifts in one getting him up there. Plus it took my mind off of the fact I wasn’t getting to watch my niece and nephew open the giant box I sent them (full of tinsel, confetti, and of course gifts). So I had one day to figure out what the heck would be open Christmas Eve and Day for us to do — and more importantly where we would eat!

the smith - nyc - restaurant

Thanks to Open Table, figuring out what was open and what time they had reservations wasn’t that hard, but making sure they were good places (not tourist magnets) is where the work came in. I’ve been to one of The Smith restaurants in NYC before, so I knew my meat-and-potatoes-loving husband would love it. Luckily we nabbed a late reservation for Christmas Eve and had a lovely dinner. I’m pretty sure we were sitting next to Matthew Morrison from Glee. But I don’t watch Glee, so I wasn’t positive. I love that most celebs can actually go out to eat pretty normally in New York, I mean besides Alec Baldwin.

radio city music hall - new york city - nyc - christmas - 2013

After dinner we went to check out all of the touristy lights at Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center.

rockefeller center - christmas - tree - 2013

For a freezing cold Christmas Eve, there were tons of people out even late. Cheesy or not, I didn’t care, I loved seeing it all lit up and decorated. I love people, buildings, brands, with holiday spirit! Loved how Saks Fifth Avenue had this giant projection on their building.

ornaments - christmas 2013 - nyc

Giant ornaments, yes! After about 30 minutes of freezing our buns off taking photos, we walked back to our hotel and passed out for the night. A sweet romantic Christmas Eve.

brooklyn nets - new york - 2013 - christmas

Christmas Day was a bit more of a challenge figuring out what to do since almost nothing besides the movies is open. We down to Freedom Tower (the new One World Trade Center building) but the entire area seemed blocked off for construction and we couldn’t figure out how to get to the memorials. It was soooooo cold so I was ok with coming back another time, so we headed out to Brooklyn to watch Nets vs. Bulls game.

grand central station - nyc - christmas 2013

After the game we went and ate at Cafe Gigante and then went to see Grand Central Station. Of all the times I’ve been in New York, I’ve never been there. For Christmas Day the place was hoppin’.

grand central station - nyc - christmas 2013

Then it was time for a few drinks at our hotel before we left to head back to DC.

I would have loved some time to walk around the West Village and see all the decorated brownstones, but it was way too cold for that, none of the restaurants over there were open, and I’m pretty sure my Mr. would have been bored!

Have you even been to NYC for the holidays? What was/is your favorite part?


Photos by Meg Biram