By Sinead Hunt
Whether you’re the type of person who starts celebrating Christmas at midnight on November 1st, or if you prefer to abstain from celebration until Thanksgiving has passed, we can all agree that there’s nothing better than Christmas in New York City.
However, the stress of school and finals, compounded by long winter nights and sub-zero wind chill can make it difficult to truly embrace the season. That is why we here at The Barnard Voice have put together a list of the top things to do in the city this holiday season!
- Visit the Bryant Park Winter Village
Between its iconic ice skating rink (30 Rock anyone?) and its over 125 kiosks and food vendors, the Bryant Park Winter Village is an absolute must-see for anyone looking to get into the Christmas spirit. The rink is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm and admission is FREE and open to the public. Skate rentals, however, will run you about $20 per person. Be sure to check out some of their upcoming events, including their Tree Lighting Skate-tacular and College Skate Nights (buy one get one free skate rentals for college students with valid ID!).
2. Watch Charles Dickens Perform A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House Museum
In December of 1867, Charles Dickens arrived in New York City where he performed his universally beloved classic, A Christmas Carol, for thousands of spectators. Today, the good folks at the Merchant’s House Museum keep the tradition alive by hosting performances of Dickens’ celebrated Christmas staple from November 30th to December 27th. Although the tickets are a tad pricey (they run from $45 to $75), it’s totally worth it to be surrounded by beautiful, 19th-century Christmas decorations, listening to the most popular Christmas tale of all time.
3. Visit the Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show
Ever since 1992, artist Paul Busse has recreated NYC’s most iconic landmarks out of bark, leaves and other organic materials. This year watch model trains traverse a nearly half-mile of track, zipping in between NYC’s most iconic skyscrapers. In addition, on December 17th former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins will be visiting the NYC Botanical Gardens to share a series of poems inspired by locomotives. Overall, it is well worth a visit!
4. Crafts at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
From November 30th to December 2nd, Barnard’s Amsterdam neighbor, St. John’s Cathedral, will be hosting “Crafts at the Cathedral.” This year’s event will host a wide variety of artists, artisans and craftspeople from the tri-state area. Tickets are only $5, so be sure to check it out!
5. Ride the Nostalgia Train courtesy of the NYC Transit Museum
Ever wondered what New York subway cars looked like back in the day? If so, then don’t miss this opportunity to travel back in time by hopping aboard a vintage R-1 subway train from the 1930s. This year, the New York Transit Museum will be hosting Nostalgia Train rides on November 26th, December 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, departing from 96th street subway station on the Q line, or alternatively from 2nd Av subway station on the F line. Don’t hold out, because this opportunity only comes around once a year!