NEW YORK CITY | Weekend Getaway For Two At Christmastime
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Make my surprise Christmas gift take you and your loved one on a weekend getaway to the big apple. Here is a list of everything you can do in two short days as a couple!
The backstory is that in early December, my husband gave me an early Christmas gift. He surprised me with a weekend getaway for just the two of us (no children) to New York City. He even arranged it with my boss to get permission for me to arrive later on Monday to work. We left the next morning very early which was a Saturday. He had planned everything and I wanted to share with everyone what one couple can do in a weekend in New York City if you plan ahead.
This is very simple. There is absolutely no need to rent a car. Period. Save your money for other fun things to do. You can easily get around New York City using the subway system or a taxi. We used the subway system most of the time.
Times Square & its surroundings
Aside from using the subway & taxi, be prepared to walk around a lot! However, it is well worth it. You see so much by just exploring New York City by foot. In fact, it’s a must. Times Square is amazingly beautiful especially at night. Normally, from what I hear, Times Square is a busy place, but at Christmastime it was crowded. It was crowded, but not to the point where you can’t move. Nevertheless, around Rockefeller Plaza it was like that at night.
Macy’s department store window displays.
The Plaza Hotel is featured in famous movies including the latest in 1992 in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”
My husband purchased tickets near the stage for us to see “The Phantom of the Opera.” The show was spectacular! The theatre was beautiful. Photos were not allowed inside the theatre once the show started, so I took a photo of what I could. If you’ve never seen this Broadway show, you have to at least once. It is a love story so it is a great show to watch with your loved one!
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American Museum of Natural History
With so many things to see at the American Museum of Natural History, you won’t know what to do first! You will definitely want to grab a map first, then plan out what you really want to see. Now in all honesty, because you only have two days in New York City, you won’t have a chance to see everything here. That is why you want to plan out what you don’t want to miss. An interesting fact is that some scenes from the movie “Night at the Museum” were filmed here.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle
If you have a moment and you’re in the Brooklyn area, take a sneak peek at a service at The Brooklyn Tabernacle. Our faith is important to us so we decided to make a special visit to hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Unfortunately for us, the entire choir wasn’t singing that Sunday morning, but we did hear a portion of the choir. We decided not to take photos so we could be fully in the moment. It was an amazing & spiritually filled day!
Situated between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side in NYC, Central Park is a lovely place to spend a relaxing lunch or stroll. We decided to spend some time here eating lunch nearby and walking through this beautiful park. If you want a romantic experience, make sure to take a horse drawn carriage ride throughout the park. This was something we decided to do while we were there so it was not planned. However, you can reserve ahead of time here. I would not recommend taking any pedicabs. They are outrageously overpriced and one was very rude to us while we were trying to decide about a carriage ride. That made our decision even easier to NOT take a pedicab anywhere! Our driver for our carriage ride, on the other hand, was very nice.
As I stated earlier, our driver was very nice. He was informative and had a great attitude. He informed us of a few things I was unaware of. First, Lady Gaga has an apartment at a building he pointed out to us that oversees Central park. Second, the building used to film the original “Ghostbusters” movie was noted to us that it was just on the other side of the park. Three, there is another ice rink nestled quietly in Central Park. I would have never known this if we didn’t walk through or taken a carriage ride! It is not as big as Rockefeller Plaza, but it is a cute place for any family or couple to go for an afternoon activity. You learn a lot from taking a tour instead of on your own.
Empire State Building
The Highest Open-Air Observatory in New York
Find yourself in the center of it all, above it all, when you visit the Empire State Building’s open-air 86th Floor Observation Deck. As the most famous observatory in the world, the 86th Floor has been the setting of dozens of movie and television scenes, as well as tens of millions of unforgettable personal moments.
There are two decks you can choose from. There is the above mentioned 86th main floor, which we went up to, or the 102nd top floor. I don’t know if I could have handled the top floor as I am
scared a bit ground leveled challenged, to say it kindly. If you want the BEST views of Manhattan, THIS is the place to be! It truly is.
Statue of Liberty
One thing is to see the Statue of Liberty on TV, but it’s another to see it in person. You get the true beauty of NYC by taking a ferry ride out to see it.
You feel so patriotic and such a respect for our country and it doesn’t matter what political party, if any, that you belong to. All of that doesn’t compare to seeing historical sites in person and remember why we have the freedom we have. It was cold the day we went out, so the ferry ride was brisk to say the least. However, weather couldn’t keep us from enjoying this experience. This is something you definitely want to reserve tickets as the ferry’s fill up fast.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Seeing the 9/11 memorial & museum was surreal. I remember I was taking our oldest child (now) when he was 1 year old to our local library’s story-time session. I overheard some ladies saying something about a tragedy, but I didn’t get the full story until we got home and I turned on the TV. It was about 9:45am when I got home and heard everything that was happening. I was just in pure shock. It was a sad day.
Going to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum was a time when we could experience first and second hand all the events that happened on that very day. Security is very high and there is a room in the museum that taking photos is strictly prohibited because pictures of loved ones that passed away are all over the room. It was so sad for me to go through this memorial & museum that I couldn’t resist holding back the tears. You should purchase tickets in advance to make life easier on yourself.
The photos below show where the foundation used to be.
Rockefeller Center/Today Show
Christmas in New York City is stunning! It definitely has left me wanting to go back during this season. Once you’re here during this season, you don’t care about the crowds. This post alone shows you that you CAN do a lot in two days during this time. The sights, sounds, and people make the atmosphere what it is and that is festive!!!
We were able to attend a taping of The Today Show and THAT was awesome! To get tickets go here. You may be able to see it without prior plans. You also want to get in line VERY early. I’m talking about 4-5am early because you will have better chances of meeting the hosts and being on TV yourself as the audience outside. We were! There is also a store that you can sit in a mock Today Show table and a mock seat from The Voice TV show.
And that’s a wrap!
Here is an eye-spy game for you!
We recorded the show we knew we were there for. Can you spot us in these still photos?