The holiday season is here, which means Christmas decorations, timeless carols and seasonal treats. Every year, cities around the country go the extra mile to make the season as special as possible for their residents, bringing communities together. While New York City is known all over the world for its Christmas traditions, shopping venues and energy, the city of Boston provides a more regional charm, as the season highlights its historic and cultural significance. Both cities offer plenty of holiday magic and are well worth a visit during the month of December.
Travel Between Boston and New York
Fortunately, there’s no need to choose between the two cities this holiday season. There are many options to travel between Boston and New York, with Peter Pan, Greyhound and megabus all offering frequent connections.
A Traditional Holiday in Boston
As one of America’s oldest cities, Boston offers plenty in terms of charm and history year-round, but during the winter months, it’s simply magical. Skate on the frozen Frog Pond, shop in the city’s finest outlets, enjoy a live holiday concert, watch the Nutcracker at Symphony Hall, and just explore the decorated city for a wonderful holiday experience. For children, one of the best attractions is the ZooLights tour, which draws in thousands of visitors each year to see the zoo grounds decked out in glittering lights and for a chance to see a real reindeer. On the first Thursday of December, the Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place, where Boston’s official Christmas tree is lit.
When it comes to shopping, Boston doesn’t disappoint with plenty of impressive displays on Newbury Street and Boylston Street. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the perfect place for some Christmas shopping while enjoying the Blink! Festival, which includes beautiful light displays and festive music. Once you’ve reached your shopping limits, check out the Enchanted Village display at Jordan’s Furniture to stroll through holiday scenes and timeless and animated figures.
Experience the city’s cultural side by checking out the various concerts, exhibitions and museum tours that are centered around the holiday season. While primarily known for its Halloween festivities, the town of Salem is no slouch when it comes to Christmas. Visitors can tour the House of the Seven Gables for a glimpse of the historic building’s holiday decorations and learn about Christmas traditions in colonial Massachusetts. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston offers a free exhibition to celebrate Jewish art and culture, holiday art collections and a candle-lighting ceremony. The world-renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra performs annual concerts in the acoustically designed Boston Symphony Hall for a musical experience to remember.
Winter in New York City
There’s no city on Earth that can mimic the holiday atmosphere of the Big Apple. New York City has been the setting of countless Christmas classics, including Miracle on 34th St, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Eloise at the Plaza, and while millions of people around the world may feel they’ve vicariously spent their winter holidays in the city, there’s nothing like actually being there this time of year. See familiar sights, such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, The Empire State building, lit up in a festive green and red, and giant ornaments scattered around. Once Christmas is over, you can also stick around for the ball-drop in Time Square on New Year’s Eve!
New York City boats some of the most renowned shopping strips in the country, and Fifth Avenue showcases spectacular window displays to celebrate the season. The displays are so whimsical and intricate, that many locals have made it a tradition to stand and wait for their grand opening each year. The Winter Village at Bryant Park provides an amazing outdoor shopping experience with the city’s signature skyscrapers as a backdrop. From designer brands to decorations to one of a kind antiques, just about anything can be found in the cities countless shopping venues, including the perfect gifts for loved ones.
Aside from shopping, the city offers plenty of activities during the winter months, such as ice-skating at the Wollman Rink in Central Park or Rockefeller Center. Get a bird’s eye view of the city by going to the “Top of the Rock” observatory at the top of the Rockefeller Center or visit the Dyker’s Height Neighborhood in Brooklyn to see some of the most intense Christmas decorations around. Once you’ve built up an appetite, enjoy the city’s boundless culinary offerings, such as Rolf’s, a German restaurant that offers plenty of traditional foods, including Wiener Schnitzel, sausage platters, potato pancakes and crepes, while also having some of the city’s most impressive holiday decorations.