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December 2019

    New York City Travel Guide: 4 Days in the City during Christmas

    Bucket list, check… We just got back from the most incredible girls trip. Visiting NYC during the holidays is a dream trip for me and it lived up to it 1,000%. It’s pure magic this time of year! The lights, atmosphere, hotels, buildings, people… everything and everyone radiates joy! It’s too impossible to put into words.

    The timing of this trip kind of just fell in our laps… I noticed plane tickets were super affordable and I told two of my girlfriends and we booked within a few days (pretty much after we found childcare; thank you, Grammy!). We had a couple of months to plan… WHICH IS MY HAPPY PLACE. I love researching, reading blogs and reviews on recommendations, stalking Instagram and Pinterest for beautiful/unique/iconic spots, and making reservations. Needless to say, I was pumped to make this itinerary.

    So if you’re looking to plan a trip to NYC, let me take some of that work off of you. Below, I’ll list out our 4 days in the city and how to make the most of your trip. It will have the places we made reservations (how and when to make them) and a schedule of what our days looked like.

    Highly recommend writing out a “guideline” of each day. Start with your reservations and fill in the rest with things you want to do/visit. This guideline is what I made/took; we didn’t stick to it 100% BUT it was CLUTCH!
    (Also helps with outfit planning, too!)

    Day 1:

    • 11am: flight arrives and early check-in to hotel. We stayed at Stewart Hotel. It was close to everything and one of the more affordable options. The location was amazing, but the pictures on their website make it appear more modern/updated than it is.
    • Late lunch: Pietro Nolita– the whole restaurant is pink and so cute. It’s a small space so keep that in mind. Their homemade pasta was incredible.
    • Grand Central Station: this is a must-see IMO. It’s so beautiful during the holidays. We walked around, took some photo and grabbed coffee/banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery downstairs. Doughnut Plant also had a spot inside!
    • 8:45pm: Dinner reservations at Beauty & Essex

    Day 2:

    • 8am: We got an early start to take photos at the Cartier building (it has a giant red bow around the building this time of year and it’s stunning!) From there, we went to the New York Public Library and walked around.
    • 11:45am: Lunch reservations at Serra Alpina. It’s an Italian restaurant on the rooftop of the Flatiron building and they decorate it seasonally. Right now, it’s a winter wonderland. Make sure to book ahead of time on Open Table.
    • JIMMY FALLON SHOW: this was another bucket list for me, haha! Such a cool experience!! If you want to go to a show (it’s free), they release tickets one month at a time and they typically open up the ticket waitlist the first week of the prior month. Read more on that here. I had my account set up prior to the ticket release and I signed up for 2 days that I knew we would be able to attend. We were put on the waitlist and found out THE NIGHT BEFORE THE SHOWING that tickets were available for us to confirm. So make sure you check your email religiously. It took around 3 hours start to finish.
    • 7pm: Mean Girls broadway show- we loved it! (Take a pic in front of the burn book door!)
    • 10:15pm: Tavern on the Green dinner reservations. Another must do. Excellent food, drinks, atmosphere.

    Day 3:

    • 8:30am: Walked to Bluestone Lane cafe for coffee (got it to go)
    • 11:30am: Reservations for brunch at Sarabeths Central Park (order the french toast with french fries! YUM!).
    • Walked around Central Park and then shopped around the area
    • 4:15pm: Reservations at Blue Box Cafe aka Breakfast at Tiffany‘s- this was really really cool. You have to book a month in advance through Resy and it’s HARD to get reservations even then. Unfortunately, it looks like they are moving locations and won’t be open again until late 2021.
    • Walked by Saks Fifth Avenue and saw the 10-story tall light show
    • 7pm: Rose Mansion- it’s an interactive wine tasting museum that takes you through tons of Instagram-worthy rooms while also educating you on wine. I thought it was cool, but I probably wouldn’t do it again.
    • 9:45pm: Top of the Rock (we purchase tickets ahead of time). Loved this and the views were insane! After, we walked to Rockefeller Tree and the ice rink (so so so magical at night). It wasn’t super crowded this late, which was nice.
    • The Campbell for a drink: we didn’t get to do this because they were closed for a private party this night.

    Day 4:

    • 8am: Brooklyn Bridge- we took an Uber to the walkway and walked on the bridge. It was really cool.
    • Blank Slate Tea: we grabbed breakfast at the small cafe and they have a really cute tea place next to it (pink and florals)
    • 11:20am: Rolf’s German restaurant (you may recognize their cool and elaborate ornament ceiling). They open at 12pm, but you have to arrive at least 40 minutes before if you want to get in. They do take reservations, but I couldn’t get anyone on the phone prior to our trip. We didn’t love the food, so I’d recommend going for a drink (which is the line you’d be waiting in, anyways). Prepare for it to be PACKED and have your ID ready. One drink is like $25, but the decorations are worth it!
    • Milkbar in SOHO: we took an Uber here to grab a bday truffle (they will change your life!)
    • Stoney Clover Lane pop-up store: the cutest store with personalized bags and a rainbow pastel-lover’s heaven. I grabbed headbands and a backpack for Viv. From there, we shopped around the area.
    • 7pm: flight home

    We had the BEST trip! There are so many places that we wanted to visit that we didn’t have time for… Places like: Color Factory, Manhatta, Shoo Shoo for lunch, Serendipity, Felix Roasting cafe, Beekman martini, RH rooftop, and more. I recommend making a list of all of the places you want to visit, make reservations to the places that are at the top of your list, and then prioritize the time you have left. MAKE SURE TO ACCOUNT FOR TRAVEL TIME. It could very easily take 30+ minutes to make it 1 mile down the road if you get an Uber or taxi. Walk where you can, if you can. Hope this was helpful and gave you some ideas for your trip. I am still on cloud 9!

    I have a full NYC highlight saved in my stories on Instagram. Make sure to check it out, too!