Without a doubt, New York City is the most magical place to visit during the holiday season. The brightest lights adorn Fifth Avenue, fake snow fills every store front, and Christmas music can be heard throughout the streets, shopping fronts, and hotel lobbies. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced the magic of the city for four years and while I am extremely happy to be back in sunny California, a piece of my heart will definitely always be in NYC.

If you’re visiting this season, I’ve gathered some of my favorite MUST-SEES for you! Pack your cutest and warmest winter weather gear and get ready for the most magical season in the most magical city.

P.S. I did my best to find some photos from the vault, but apparently I didn’t do a great job taking pictures of all these things! I guess you’ll just have to experience it in person!

1. Macy’s Herald Square Storefront

With shopping and access to delicious Korean food nearby, be sure to check out Macy’s Herald Square store front! It’s always magical to see the displays they create and makes me feel like a kid watching everything light up and come to life! It’s also fun to wander around the Macy’s and check out the enormous store for a little shopping! This Macy’s is giant and is fun to get lost in!

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I could watch these all day! Too cute!

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2. Shopping down Fifth Avenue + Christmas windows

Walk down Fifth Avenue and you will KNOW EXACTLY why this is on the list.  All of the major department stores create beautifully ornate shopping windows decked out with music and moving displays. It’s such a treat to see what the stores come up with each year–seriously magical.  Also, Lord & Taylor, is sadly closing after this year so you’ll definitely want to go check their store front this year if you can! It will be the last one for them!

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3. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

If you think you’ve seen a Christmas tree before, you haven’t until you’ve seen the Rockefeller Center one.  It’s ginormous, gorgeous and such a beautiful sight to take in!

4. Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes Show

While you’re in the area, you might as well go and see the famous Christmas Spectacular show featuring the Rockettes! I saw this show and was amazed by the whole production, but especially by THE LEGS. Those ladies #werkit and it definitely something you’ve got to see at least once in your life!

5. Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

And whiiiiiile you’re in the area still, go and ice skate at Rockefeller Center! Or if you’re like me, go and watch people ice skate! It can get super busy and as someone who isn’t the biggest fan of crowds, I never skated here but definitely people-watched!

6. Bryant Park Winter Village + ice skating

For more shopping and ice skating, check out the Bryant Park Winter Village! It’s charming and wonderfully spirited with cute little gift shops to snag a few souvenirs for your friends and family!

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7. Union Square Holiday Market

This place was one of my personal favorites! You’ll find the trendiest and coolest gifts for friends and family here. There’s this puzzle store that sells Harry Potter puzzles that I used to love! I love that so many of the vendors are local artists; if you’re looking for unique gifts you can’t find anywhere else, this market is the place for you!

8. Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Similar to the Union Square Holiday Market, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market features local artists, businesses, and creatives.  From candles to jewelry, to puppets and trinkets, you’ll find a little bit of everything here. Grab a hot cider and take a stroll through–it won’t disappoint!

9. Enjoy a treat at Le District 

This was an amazing French market that I randomly strolled into last year! You’ll feel transported to France and here you can enjoy a nice hot cocoa and pastry after a long day on your feet. I got a nutella latte here (this was pre-vegan days) and it definitely warmed me up after spending the day out in the cold!

The joy was real! Is there anything better than a sweet treat and a nutella latte after taking a stroll in NYC?!

10. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

This is one sight I never saw and still need to check off my bucket list! But apparently, this neighborhood in Brooklyn has the most incredible Christmas lights! Watch the video I linked above and you’ll see why.  If you love lights and love seeing people obsessed with the holiday season, this is a must!

If you’re traveling to the Big Apple this holiday season, I hope this post helps you and that you get a chance to check a few (or all!) of these off your list! It’s truly a magical city, but especially during the holiday season. Wishing you safe travels, a warm holiday season, and many amazing memories, sweet friends!

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What I’m Wearing:

  • Striped blazer from Forever 21; only $13 right now for cyber Monday!!
  • White t-shirt from Target; $8 and Target is having a buy one, get one 60% off deal!
  • Belt buckle hat from Amazon; only $16.45!! (I have the brown and black one and LOVE IT!)
  • High waist mom jeans from Boohoo; EDIT: These are the distressed version of the ones I’m wearing. I can’t seem to find the exact pair I’m wearing but these are similar with the exception of the distressed detail. I also did cut mine because they were a little long. Put them in the wash and they frayed perfectly! only $20!!! Currently 60% off for Cyber Monday–GET THEM. I have been wearing these non-stop!
  • Combat boots from Target (mine are old but here is a similar one!) Buy one, get one 60% off deal!