Often broken down into many micro-neighborhoods, Midtown Manhattan from its widest boundaries comprises the area between the Hudson and East Rivers, and from Central Park South down to 14th Street. Though constantly buzzing, this area is never more alive than it is during the holiday season. Below, we’ve mapped out just how you can maximize this neighborhood’s many offerings over the course of the next few exciting weeks.
1. Indulge in tradition
There’s a reason Midtown is so heavily populated by tourists; it’s the place to be! While you won’t be able to avoid crowds at some of these seasonal standouts, they’re definitely worth the trip. Ice skate at Rockefeller Center beside the spectacular 75-foot Christmas Tree, witness the historic ball drop on New Year’s Eve at Times Square; and satisfy your showtime fix by seeing a show or two on Broadway!
2. Take a break from holiday baking
Ice skating, listening to show tunes and carrying shopping bags can certainly work up the appetite. Your time in Midtown need not go without a good meal! Some neighborhood favorites include Sushi Ginza Onodera where two Michelin stars meet upscale Japanese cuisine, Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waitstaff doubles as Broadway stars, Marea where high-end seafood meets housemade pastas, Benares where vegetarian dishes and Indian favorites abound and La Grenouille where French delicacies are presented as art.
3. Send the bill to Santa
Just one stroll up or down Fifth Avenue can take care of just about everyone on your holiday gift list. The strip has been known far and wide as one of the most luxurious stretches of retail in the nation for over 100 years, and continues to welcome fashionistas day in and day out. Pop into high-end household names like Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana; splurge on jewels at Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Cartier; find the perfect toys at the LEGO Store and the American Girl Place; or stop in the main branch of the New York Public Library to give the gift of reading. Even if you’re not shopping, Fifth Avenue’s elaborate holiday window displays can make for a very entertaining afternoon.