Staying in New York City to celebrate the holidays this year? Spend your time relaxing, shopping and site seeing a like a tourist the only way New Yorkers know how – the local way. By Sarah Shaker.
Holidays on Ice at Hotel Chandler
Want to pretend you’re a holiday season tourist for a weekend or impress out-of-town guests? Book the Holidays on Ice package at Hotel Chandler to bring on the cheer. This chic Midtown hotel off of Madison Avenue is offering a 2-night hotel stay special with two VIP admission tickets to the Bryant Park skating rink (including 2 skate rentals, bag check service, two hot chocolates, two additional VIP non-skater tickets) and 10% off your bill at Celsius restaurant to dine post-skate. Even if Hotel Chandler is a few blocks from your apartment, you’ll feel like you’re on a real vacation, as you get cozy by their library fireplace and enjoy this holiday excursion.
Zappy Holidays at Bliss Spa
You may be bundled up during the cold months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reveal smooth, hairless skin when the city heats up this spring. Visit bliss soho, bliss49 or bliss 57 to take advantage of $150 off a laser hair removal package during their Zappy Holidays event. It’s never too soon to start daydreaming about summer 2013 in the Hamptons.
Brooklyn Craft Central Annual Holiday Market
Shop locally at the Brooklyn Holiday Craft Fair during your staycation this season. Find unique gifts for loved ones back home, while snacking on treats from local food vendors. The fair runs on two weekend;December 15/16 and 22/23, so you have a few dates to enjoy this Brooklyn shopping excursion, while supporting local businesses.
Christmas Holiday Walking Tour
As locals, we tend to scoff at the idea of attending a tour, but with the delicious tours for NYC foodies we recommended recently, this 75-minute Christmas walking tour is also a great way to get to know the city you love a little bit better, with a knowledgeable tour guide. We’re too busy with our day-to-day NYC lives to notice all of the holiday splendor that tourists fall in love with, so this $20 tour gives you the time to see the sights, like the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, holiday markets and much more.
Le Parker Meridien Annual Holiday Display
Give back while enjoying your holiday staycation, by visiting Le Parker Meridien’s annual gingerbread display. Bakeries and restaurants around NYC will create fantastic, over-the-top Gingerbread Masterpieces all in the theme “Landmarks Around the World” for display in the atrium of Le Parker Meridien from December 1st through January 3rd. Viewing the display is free, but $1 buys you a vote (or $5 for 8 votes) for your favorite gingerbread creation and a chance to win a hotel stay, while helping City Harvest feed hungry New Yorkers this holiday season. And stop by Knave, the lobby espresso bar, to sip on White Hot Chocolate with Gingerbread Spice, with proceeds also going to City Harvest.
Circle Line's Santa Concert Cruise
Bring along the whole family onboard Circle Line’s Santa Concert Cruise. Sail around the city landmarks, while your little ones meet Santa himself and snack on complimentary milk and cookies, listen to live Holiday entertainment and enter the raffle to win prizes and giveaways. Children will get their picture snapped with Santa, and take home a free wallet sized photo as a keepsake to remind them of their holiday staycation.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.