our top five christmas trees in nyc

The older I get, the more excited I am about weird things like painting crown molding or getting a new electric toothbrush. Recently I have really become really excited about Christmas tree decor. I guess 37 years later and the thrill of Santa coming to town or getting presents has passed. So now home decor has taken its place each December.

So yeah, I really like seeing Christmas trees. And as luck would have it we just got back from a quick weekend trip to New York City where there is definitely no shortage of trees. Manhattan is an adventure all on its own, but during the holidays the magic is elevated to a whole new level. During this trip we stumbled across so many great trees and luckily the entire family was pretty excited and cooperated long enough to stop and take a photo each time.

In no particular order here are the top five trees we found in New York:

1. Rockefeller Center Tree – obviously. this one needs no introduction. It is the most famous tree of all time and rightfully so. It is huge and beautiful. Right in the middle Rockafeller Center, you won’t be alone when you get there.  We went on a Friday night and even in the rain we still had to push past other tourists to get a photo.  Lights are on from 5:30 to 11:30 each night. But while you are here you can do some shopping (FAO Shwartz, Anthropologie were our two stops), or go ice skating. Walk one block over and watch the light show on the side of the Saks Fifth Avenue building. It runs every 15 minutes and this year it was set to Frozen music. Pretty impressive but again it was so crowed on December 13 so I would suggest avoiding the weekend and going on cold Monday or Tuesday evening closer the first week of December. Midtown Manhattan between 5th and 6th Avenues

2. Winterland Tree in the Seaport District – We found this tree near our hotel in downtown Seaport/Finanical District. Will and I both decided we actually liked this tree better than Rockafeller center, but that is because Will hates crowds and I am a sucker for all white lights on a tree. It even has some steps/platforms around it to step up and take a photo. Follow this tree to Pier 17 and you will find the Winterland rooftop ice skating rink which is open only from Dec 16-20th. And although we have met our medical deductible for the year, we decided not to break any bones so we didn’t do any ice skating this trip. But if we had, this would of been a fun spot.  Seaport, at the corner of Fulton St and Pearl St. 

3. Radio City Music Hall– This is not a real live tree but instead thousands of little lights in the shape of a tree. This iconic Radio City Music Hall tree, the home of the Rockettes, has always reminded me the most of Christmas in the city. We were lucky and West 50th Street was closed to car traffic so we got some great unobstructed views approaching Radio City from the middle of the street.  Midtown Manhattan on 6th Avenue. 

4. Bryant Park – This tree is pretty massive and you can find right in the middle of Bryant Park’s holiday village, shopping, and ice skating rink. We did some fun people watching here and grabbed a snack. I love this image of the tree and rink flanked by the massive skyscrapers. For those of you traveling with kids, there is also a really cute outdoor vintage carousel here that is only $3 and opens at 11:00am. 

5. The Origami tree at American Natural History Museum – This tree is located inside the museum itself, on the first floor of the grand gallery. You do have to pay to go into the museum but they have suggested rates as well as “pay whatever you can.” This is one of our favorite museums in the city anytime of the year and is great for kids. The tree is a season display that runs until January 12th and is open from 10-5:45. The theme this year was T-Rex and his friends and the tree was filled with hundreds of paper origami dinosaurs. Upper West Side, 200 Central Park West

I am sure there are tons of other trees in the city, and in fact we stumbled across several in the lobby of hotels and apartments that were pretty impressive all on their own. But I guess when you’re a tree in NYC it’s hard to be a standout. That’s a wrap on my tour of NYC Christmas trees. I hope to share a video of our time in the city in the near future!  Until then.. happy holidays everyone!


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