New York City is unforgettable during the holidays. Starting in late November after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the season is in full swing, attracting visitors from around the world to see how New York City does Christmas.
If you've never been during December, consider taking a short trip to the Big Apple to ramp up your holiday season. To get you started, here are a few tips for enjoying the city that never sleeps.
Tips for enjoying the holidays in New York City
1. Make finances easy while traveling with a US dollar prepaid card.
First and foremost, your dollar prepaid card is the key to making everything go smoothly. By taking care of finances before you travel, you'll have more time to focus on the holiday glitz and celebration you'll experience once you land in New York. Trust us, worrying about currency conversion and stashed cash is the last thing you'll want to be doing once you're there.
A dollar currency prepaid card covers expenses wherever you see the MasterCard logo, and it can be used at most cash machines. If it's lost or stolen, it can be canceled right away so you don't lose all your money. If you need more money, you can load it on the fly.
2. Be prepared for lots of walking.
Prepare for lots of walking and wear good shoes. New York City is a walking city if there ever was one. Indeed, there are studies showing that in general, New Yorkers are slimmer than the rest of their fellow countrymen because of all the walking they do! Walking is a great way to soak up all there is to see...window shopping, fellow visitors, the occasional Santa Claus, and all the excited little kids in the big city for the holidays, celebrating just like you.
3. Plan your hit list.
Classic scenes in NYC abound. There's Central Park at Christmas, the window displays at Macy's, the spectacular Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (plus the skating!), the lit-up Radio City Music Hall, and just the glittery, festive lights everywhere you go.
Do yourself (and your feet) a favor and plan your days. Choose what hot spots you want to hit but leave time to explore the unexpected as well.
4. Make sure Rockefeller Center is on that list.
You could spend the entire day at Rockefeller Center, where your US dollar prepaid card will see you through most purchases with ease. Don't forget: when you need cash just pop into an ATM and withdraw: it's only $1.50 per withdrawal!
The classic holiday location of Rockefeller Center is considered "Christmas Central". Under the great Christmas tree, you'll find what's possibly the world's most famous ice rink. From 8:30am to midnight, the rink is open for general admission to anyone of any level. Skating here is on everyone's Christmas Bucket List, so there will be lines...but it's totally worth it!
To avoid the longest lines, you could plan to skate a off-peak times. There's the new Starlight Skate, new for 2015, starting at 10:30pm, or if you're an early bird opt for the special 7am skate package with breakfast.
5. For kids, visit Santa.
There's no shortage of ways to see Santa while in the Big Apple. Top of the list is the Santa at Macy's SantaLand, although if you're not up for the crowds consider other options. Here are some other Santas to try out:
6. Try a holiday pop-up bar.
- Santa at Bloomingdales on 59th Street
- Santa at Stella 34 inside Macy's
- Santa at ABC Carpet & Home near Union Square on Broadway
- Take a Santa harbor cruise at Pier 16
- Santa at The Plaza Food Hall
- Santa at the Omni Berkshire Place (Saturdays only)
For something new, check out the latest holiday trend in NYC: pop-up bars. Bars and restaurants get into the spirit of things by doing mini makeovers that fit the seasonal theme. You'll see Christmas trees, "snow"-laden pathways, red & green linens, and garlands everywhere. Of course this is your chance to order a holiday-inspired cocktail. Some even have Hanukkah themes and Hanukkah cocktails. Of course your dollar currency prepaid card will work at any of them, where MasterCard is accepted. Sip away, take in the scene, and don't worry about currency conversion, losing your cash, or high transaction fees.
7. NYC Holiday Light Tours.
There are bus tours, walking tours, dining cruises and more all season long. Some of the cruises specialize in offering tours on Christmas eve and even Christmas day.
Of course, these are only some highlights of doing New York City during the holidays. We haven't even mentioned the classics like seeing the Rockettes or the Nutcracker at Radio City Music Hall or attending the one-time event of the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. But rest assured no matter what you put on your to-do list, your US dollar prepaid card will get you there with the ultimate in convenience and security.