It’s the most wonderful time of the year…  So the song goes – and if we are talking American cities, there is only one place to be at this festive time.  New York City is where it’s at.  Whether you are looking for a romantic sojourn, a Christmas shopping trip or a gourmet getaway, Manhattan has something for everyone. We’ve put together a list of our top picks, below.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza

This has been an iconic part of New York Christmas for over seven decades. Traditionally over 70ft tall, the ‘tree lighting up ceremony’ regularly attracts tens of thousands onto the surrounding sidewalks.  The ceremony is free and it’s first come, first served – so get your spot early!

Christmas Markets

If arts and crafts are on your wish list, the Big Apple won’t disappoint. Check out some of these hot spots:

Grand Central Holiday Fair, Grand Central Station: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/event/grand-central-holiday-fair/2145443490/

Union Square: http://urbanspacenyc.com/union-square-holiday-market/

Columbus Circle, Central Park: http://urbanspacenyc.com/columbus-circle-holiday-market/

Window Shopping

The world famous department store window displays are eagerly anticipated with many making special trips to view. Mostly unveiled towards the last weekend of November/ beginning of December, they have been known to feature light displays, snow flurries and even Yetis!  Macys, Lord & Taylor, Barney’s, Bloomingdales and Cartierare definitely the one’s to shortlist.

Arts, Culture & Cuisine

After a hard days’ shopping perhaps a cocktail is in order? SixtyFive Bar towers sixty five stories above Manhattan, with amazing views across the city.  http://www.rainbowroom.com/#/sixtyfive/

If it’s art and culture you’re after, then perhaps the New York City Ballet can delight your senses with one of their magical and awe-inspiring performances?  http://www.nycballet.com/

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also hosts it’s longstanding traditional Christmas Tree and Neopolitan Baroque Crèche display – known to be a favourite amongst New Yorkers and visitors alike.  http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/christmas-tree/

The Holiday Train Show transforms the New York Botanical Gardens into a winter wonderland.  Humming along between familiar sites such as the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center, large-scale model trains bring life to this traditional holiday landscape.  http://www.nybg.org

There are also a wealth of eateries in the ‘City that never sleeps’ – here’s a selection of our favourites:

The Tavern on the Green – the art deco style, splendid atmosphere and history in an admired location makes it a must for us.  www.tavernonthegreen.com

Le Bernadin – this acclaimed French Seafood restaurant retained its Michelin Three-Star status for 2015, and has received the Zagat ‘Best Food in NYC’  twelve times.   http://le-bernardin.com/

The Three Tarts – boasting an array of beautifully presented, to die for marshmallow treats and gifts. We like the toasted coconut turkey shaped beauties!  http://www.3tarts.com/products/sweet-treats

It really is the most wonderful time of the year!