The first thing that comes to mind for many people around the holidays is chaos and money. Instead, I like to place those things on the back burner and really focus on quality family time and affordable fun. Of course in New York, people tend to think that nothing is free. Yet, this can be an expensive city, there are many enjoyable, low-cost and even free activities out there for your family to try.
One popular holiday activity that was free….and one that I unfortunately missed this year, was the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It can be one of those noisy and jostling events – with many people clamoring for a good position to see the lighting of the magnificent tree over the Rockefeller Center skating rink – but it’s often a memorable way to spend an early evening and to welcome the start of the holiday season. A bit more peaceful would be a stroll to one of the other, less-crowded, skating rinks around New York. One sits in Central Park, with a beautiful view of the skyscrapers that ring the meadows, and another is in Bryan Park, smack-dab in the center of midtown, right behind the magnificent New York Public Library at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue (known to the tourists and to city officials as Avenue of the Americas). And, of course, you could stroll with your family and friends and take in the wonderful storefront windows of Lord & Taylor, Saks fifth Avenue and other retailers, whose imaginations – and budgets – help make New York City so festive at this time of year.
So is your mind focused on holiday amusement or on chaos, crowds and money? You might be surprised at how much you’ll have with your friends and family by trying out new things instead, things that cost nothing but a bit of valuable time with your loved ones.