In the evening of Thanksgiving Thursday this year we headed to New York City (from our home in a suburb of Boston) for a 2-day family holiday weekend. Thanksgiving weekend is a traditional museum and theater weekend in our family. It is a great weekend to spend in NYC as there are plenty of museums and theater now that Broadway has reopened in the fall of 2021.
Note that most NYC cultural institutions require proof of vaccination for anyone over 12- be sure to check specific requirements at each venue before making plans.
Here is the link to our youtube channel video and below are some additional Tips and details to help you plan your NYC outing this holiday season.
- MoMA (and most museums still require pre-booked (timed) entry reservations. Try to get an early time slot as it gets crowded later.
- For Broadway and off-Broadway news (and entry rules), check out the Playbill website.
- Discounted theater tickets are sold on a day of the show at the TDF’s Times Square location (they offer “real time listings” to get you familiar with what might be available).
- If outdoor dining is important to your family (it is to us)- you may be pleased to know that many NYC restaurants got creative with outdoor seating during the pandemic (even in the cold months), but you have to plan ahead and reserve. We are showing you two such places in the video (Café Luxembourg on upper West Side and Bryant Park), but frankly, I wish there were even more options. Here is a list of outdoor dining options from NY Eater.
- We like New York City parks. On this trip we visited three- Bryant Park, Little Island Park and the Park of them all- the Central Park. Central Park offers reasonably priced guided tours for all interests and I highly recommend adding them to your itinerary. We did a self-guided tour of Monuments and structures and this is another option if you are willing to spend some time preparing your route and then guiding your family through the stops on the tour.
- If you are visiting NYC in December and are looking for Big holiday Trees- the most famous one is probably at the Rockefeller Center (approach from 5th Ave after admiring nearby window display at the Saks 5th Ave)- it was not yet lit up at the time of our visit during Thanksgiving weekend but it is illuminated since December 1. Other beautifully decorated trees could be found at the New York Public Library, the nearby Bryant Park and at the Madison Square Park midtown, at the Lincoln Center on Upper West Side and at the Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan. The one we have not yet seen is in the Seaport district. I challenge you to create a walking itinerary to see them all in one weekend!
- Other ways to get into the holiday spirit is to check out festive decorations at the Hudson Yards stores, the giant ornaments along 6th Ave midtown, browse the outdoors Winter Village at Bryant Park and admire the skaters at Wollman Rink in Central Park. 90-minutes Christmas Spectacular shows at the Radio City Music Hall run through January 2.
For lodging, we used our Hilton Honors free nights to stay in Hilton Midtown, an excellent location on 6th Ave near MoMa. Both Draper and Fairfield/Marriott Times sq. showed good pricing (these are my Booking.com affiliate links)