Unwrap the Joy of Manhattan

Holiday cheer to last all year.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means New York City is bubbling over with holiday cheer. From spectacular lighting ceremonies to thrilling New Year’s Eve antics, December is truly outdoing itself this year as it decks our hallowed streets with some of the merriest festivities you’ve ever seen!

No Big Apple Christmas would be complete without attending the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, which will kick off on 12/3. This iconic tradition allows onlookers to be awestruck as thousands of twinkling lights brighten the night sky before your very eyes. Towering high above the city’s beloved Rockefeller ice rink, this stunning Swarovski star-topped tree is guaranteed to fill you with holiday spirit. And if that isn’t enough, surly a few holiday-themed performances from Hollywood’s A-list stars will get you singing a different tune. (rockefellercenter.com).

Those in need of a little holiday shopping should head over to one of the city’s famous holiday markets. Grand Central Terminal is brimming with unique, one-of-a-kind vendors this time of year. Grand Central Terminal plays host to an extensive array of merchants, offering everything from clothing to jewelry to handbags, and much, much more. And for your convenience, it’s all done under one roof! (89 E. 42nd St.) Not to be outdone, Bryant Park will also feature its very own holiday market, which will showcase an impressive display of vendors as well. Locals and tourists alike can partake in the delicious food booths and gorgeous artisan jewelry stands. There’s a little something for everyone’s style. (W. 42nd St.)

You haven’t truly seen Manhattan at Christmas until you’ve taken a ride on Gray Line’s famous Holiday Lights Bus Tour. This double decker bus will provide you with a two-hour magical exploration of the city at night with only the glittery holiday lights as your guide. Central Park, Radio City Musical Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Times Square — you’ll see it all! Your journey will also include a magnificent Laser Light show demonstration at Grand Central as well as a trip to see the aforementioned Rockefeller Christmas tree, all without ever having to leave the comfort of your cozy seats. (newyorksightseeing.com)

2014 was great, but NYC’s New Year’s Eve festivities can help make the start of 2015 even better. Aside from the Time Square’s annual Ball Lowering ceremony (which is something every person should experience at least once), there’s also an endless array of cocktail lounges and after parties you can enjoy while welcoming in the new year. Sip champagne and dance the night away at NYC’s most exclusive nightlife venue, 1 Oak, or cruise down the Hudson River on a gorgeous yacht by signing up for Affairs Afloat. And, of course, there’s always an endless variety of lounges to attend with fully-stocked bars that are just as impressive as the immaculate ambiance. Either way, you’re guaranteed to ring in the New Year with style and flair. (newyearsevecentral.com)

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