If you’ve experienced the hustle and bustle of Rockefeller Plaza and 5th Avenue or stood ten deep to see the Macy’s windows, then you know that some areas of the city attract massive crowds. How about checking out some spots that are not quite as busy but still have festive surroundings and opportunities for picture taking. We have six ideas and all of them are free.
Central Park – There’s nothing more beautiful than the park in winter. Check out the many pines that dot the landscape and make for a green palate in the park. There’s a four-acre arboretum northwest of the Great Lawn called the Arthur Ross Pinetum. It was established in the 1970s and features 17 different species of pine trees.
New York Public Library
New York Public Library at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue – The beautiful library has stunning architecture and a lovely tree at the entrance. There are even tours Monday to Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Don’t miss seeing the Rose Main Reading Room with its towering ceilings and impressive murals.
Penn Station and Grand Central Station – Both of the stations are decked out for the holidays and there are certainly some good photo ops.
The Rink at Bank of America Bryant Park – The skating is free but there is a rental for skates. If you own a pair of your own, it’s a great destination and you can even get some food and do shopping at their holiday market.
Window Décor – While many people flock to the city’s major department stores to see elaborate windows, consider a stroll in the shopping district of Madison Avenue where stores have designed some gorgeous holiday displays to entice customers.
Local Churches – There’s a good chance that a church in your neighborhood has added some Christmas decorations to their interior. Take a few minutes to enjoy the peaceful surroundings of a local church when it is open.
Top: Skating at Bryant Park