nyc christmas tree

The City That Never Sleeps

For my 21st birthday I was lucky enough to visit the Big Apple and because I’m a winter baby, all the Christmas decorations were up on display which made my time here even more magical. We flew the day before my birthday and landed around lunchtime where we got a transfer coach to our hotel. When we had checked into the hotel (and after putting on some extra layers) we were ready to do some exploring. As it was right on our doorstep, our first stop was central park. Walking around, all I could think of was Home Alone and it was so exciting knowing that I was there. Time passed so quickly so we decided to grab something to eat and after this we went ice skating at central park which was so much fun… until mum slipped over and hurt her arm, bless her :(

The next morning was my birthday (21 wooo!) We decided to do the tour bus to see more of the city and then make our way to Liberty Island to see the great Statue of Liberty. It was so exciting to see it up close and it really is bigger than you expect it to be! When we got off at one of the stops we decided to visit the 9/11 memorial, which was so surreal – even though it was in the middle of the city, it was completely silent. We went all around New York and even got lost at one point (shocker) but eventually made our way back to the hotel. We decided to go for a lovely birthday meal that evening and decided to go for a steak. The place was very fancy so we expected it to be expensive but not that expensive… We ended up having to share a steak lol. After our steak we decided to check out Times Square briefly before going back to the hotel room.

I woke up the next day and looked out the window on the off chance that it might have snowed and to my surprise, it was snowing at that moment. We were so excited that we just chucked on some warm clothes and headed out to central park. It was magical – one of my best memories! Shortly after we had returned to the hotel, it started spitting with rain so the snow quickly became slush :( but I am so lucky to be able to say I’ve seen it snow in New York. After we had changed clothes and wrapped up warmer we decided to go look for a diner that served pancakes. A lot of walking later and we finally came across a diner on Broadway that offered pancakes. I decided to go for chocolate chip pancakes with bacon and maple syrup – it was delicious, worth all that walking. After having breakfast, we walked to Times Square where we checked out all the shops before heading over to Grand Central followed by the Bryant Winter Village. Honestly I think the Winter Village was my favourite part just because there was so many different stalls for souvenirs, Christmas decorations and food. The food was so good but there was sooo much choice, it took like 5 walks round the whole park to decide what to have. We decided to have some warm cider, this interesting hot dog thing and a smores churro for dessert (best thing ever btw).

The forth day was very chilled for us, we went to a famous bagel shop that I had found on Trip Advisor and when we arrived the queue was up to the door!! However it didn’t take us long to get to the front and order our bagel. I went for a BLT kind of one and it was so good!! Following lunch, we walked along 5th avenue to see all the rich shops and then onto Times Square. Once again, all the shops had Christmas decorations, which made it that little bit more exciting to walk around – especially the Disney Store which was everything I hoped it would be!! We then walked over to the Minskoff Theatre where we went to see The Lion King on Broadway and oh my god it was AMAZING. I loved every minute of it!!

On our final full day in the beautiful city, we did even more shopping and browsing the shops. We went to Grand Central and the Winter Village again, this time to buy little souvenirs for friends and family. And lastly, once it got dark, we went up the Empire State Building. It was absolutely freezing up the top and so windy (obviously) but the view was incredible. The photos honestly don’t do it justice. On the walk back we went to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and decorations and as we went past there was pretty lights being projected onto the walls of a building, everyone stopped to watch.

Our flight wasn’t until later on in the afternoon but we had to check out at a stupid early time. Fortunately we were able to leave our bags at the hotel whilst we ventured out into the city one last time before catching the coach transfer to the airport. I had THE best time in New York and if I could have gone for longer, I most definitely would have! The only issue was that it was very expensive (which doesn’t surprise me) and as a student at the time, I didn’t have much spending money so some nights we just had a hot dog for dinner. However this didn’t bother me – I was mostly interested in seeing the must see things! I’d love to earn enough money in the future to be able to take my mum there again.


Left New York but had to swing by that 90ft Christmas tree . Grinning like a tourist …