New York Paris London Palm Beach Hudson Valley

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

'Second Act' film premiere at Regal Union Square - Red Carpet Arrivals

Featuring: Jennifer Lopez
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 12 Dec 2018
Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Emme, one of the singer’s 10-year-old twins, plays a younger version of Jennifer, in the singer/ actress’s directorial debut for the clip, which is the soundtrack to her new movie Second Act.

The mother-daughter duo can be seen climbing a mountain against the elements in matching red suits before being thrown up into the air by a bevy of backing dancers.

Jennifer’s daughter also takes centre stage in a number of shots, and even breaks into some of her mum’s signature dance moves.

Proud mum Jennifer was full of praise for Emme when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week ahead of the clip’s release.

“When I tell you, she was so amazing and I was so proud. I forgot that I was directing my first video, it was all about her. It was all about her,” the 49-year-old gushed to the late night host. “And when you see the video, it’s so empowering for, just to see her doing this but, like, for women. It talks about being limitless, it talks about having second act and it’s a beautiful message as well, and great to share with her, doing that. We really bonded.”

The movie also stars her best pal Leah Remini and This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia.

 

Written by People Magazine

Winter 2018
Don't miss the fabulous Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science. Photo courtesy of NYSCI

Don’t miss the fabulous Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science. Photo courtesy of NYSCI

There may be a week of Kwanzaa, eight nights of Hanukkah, and 12 days of Christmas, but as the festive displays popping up all over town attest, the holiday season really lasts from early November through New Year’s Eve. That’s almost two months jam-packed with a certain Thanksgiving parade, tree and menorah lightings, train shows, department store windows, and Nutcrackers.

Of course, not all holiday activities are created equal. That’s why we’ve rounded up the absolute best ways to get into the spirit of the season, regardless of what you celebrate. From splurge-worthy, once-in-a-lifetime experiences to annual favorites worth revisiting to a few fabulous FREE options, here are 15 super-outstanding events where you can give your kid the best gift of all: happy family memories.

If an event piques your interest, be sure to click through to our listing for all the details, including address, time, and pricing. And keep in mind: In NYC, really cool seasonal happenings often get booked up quickly. So buy your tickets ASAP, or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to try to beat the crowds.


After seeing Gingerbread Lane create your own masterpiece at a gingerbread workshop at the New York Hall of Science. Photo courtesy of NYSCI

1. Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science — Corona Park, Queens
Saturday, November 10, 2018–Monday, January 21, 2019
The annual gingerbread extravaganza at the New York Hall of Science is a Guinness Book of World Records holder, and they’re going for the title again this year. Stop by to ooh and aah at Chef John Lovitch’s detailed, lovingly executed empire, and maybe jot down some design ideas to try to replicate at home.


The new FAO Schwarz in Rockefeller Center will leave kids in awe! 

2. FAO Schwarz at Rockefeller Plaza — Midtown East
Opens Friday, November 16, 2018
It’s ba-ack… and just in time for the holidays, too. The new store covers 20,000 square feet with a treasure trove of toys, stuffed animals, and the iconic dance-on piano. Brace yourself, and your wallet! Go to window shop, make wish lists, and dream. And be sure to get a photo with the life-sized toy soldiers guarding the doors.

RELATED: 9 Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in NYC


More than 25 model trains chug through an NYC landscape at the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. Photo courtesy of NYBG.

3. New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show— Bronx Park, the Bronx
Saturday, November 17, 2018–Monday, January 21, 2019
While there are other holiday train displays in and near NYC, none compare to the NYBG’s annual show, which celebrates its 27th anniversary this year. More than 25 model trains (yes, including Thomas the Tank Engine) go whizzing by approximately 150 NYC landmarks meticulously made out of acorns, twigs, bark, berries, and leaves. This year’s edition showcases lower Manhattan, shining a spotlight on Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and celebrating the birthplace of the city of New York. Afterward, kids can hit the Evergreen Express in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden to make train puppets, sing along to train songs, and march in musical parades. Beginning December 29, tots can see one of their favorite TV characters up close and personal in the All Aboard with Thomas & Friends stage show. Be sure to check the calendar before you go as there are special events throughout the season, including holiday movie screenings. Warning: Even though timed advance tickets are required, it gets super crowded. If at all possible, go early or late in the season on a weekday.

RELATED: Thanksgiving in NYC Guide: Parade, Restaurants, Volunteering


Catch the Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade for an extra special holiday treat. Photo by Matthew Nighswander

4. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & Balloon Inflation— Upper West Side to Midtown West
Balloon Inflation: Wednesday, November 21; Parade: Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving Day)
We definitely don’t need to sell you on this world-famous NYC tradition, which turns 92 this year! The only thing that isn’t family-friendly about this procession of pop-culture inspired floats and giant balloons is the fact that you need to arrive around 6am to stake out your spot. Unfortunately, there is no secret to snagging a good viewing location unless you’re willing to splurge on a hotel room overlooking the route. There is, however, a great trick for beating the lines at the annual balloon inflation the night before: spend the day at the American Museum of Natural History! As for the parade itself, arrive early or watch from way in the back. You’ll still see something. Or find a friend (or a friend of a friend) who lives on the route. Wherever you watch from, expect a thrilling lineup of celebrities, marching bands, colorful floats, kooky clowns, and massive balloons, from old favorites such as Hello Kitty and the Pillsbury Doughboy to new additions for 2018. FREE

5. Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum — Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Friday, November 23–Monday, December 31 (closed December 7, 14 and 21)
Want to walk through a giant snowglobe? Commune with the world’s largest snowman? Slide down a giant inflatable slide dubbed “Snowzilla”? The Brooklyn Museum’s new Winterfest promises all that and more, including a winter market, daily live performances, an enchanted tree maze, facetime with Mr. and Mrs. Santa, and a giant menorah. This is the first year for this holiday treat, but it sounds like a tradition in the making.

RELATED: Macy’s Unveils Santaland Details for 2018 Holiday Season


Macy’s Santaland is a holiday tradition for tourists and natives alike. Photos by Mike Coppola

6. Santaland at Macy’s Herald Square— Midtown West
Friday, November 23–Monday, December 24
Yes, there are lots of places to hang with Kris Kringle in the Big Apple. But for an immersive seasonal spectacle, you can’t beat Macy’s Santaland. The famed store mounts a 13,000-square-foot North Pole Christmas village complete with live elves, an enchanted forest featuring animatronic toys, and a train display, and at the end, you get to visit with the one true Santa. Visits with the big red guy are by reservation only, so be sure to go online to choose a time slot between 30 minutes and five days in advance of your visit. FREE unless you buy a photo package

7. Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square— Upper West Side
Monday, November 26
Skip the crazy and cramped Rockefeller Center tree lighting (which you can watch much more comfortably on TV) in favor of this illumination in Dante Park, which kicks off one of the best seasonal celebrations in Manhattan. From the Time Warner Center to 68th Street, enjoy tons of free entertainment and reasonably priced ($1-$4) food tastings from the area’s many restaurants. This year, kid-centric attractions include live music from kindie rocker Mr. G; a Columbia University Lion Dance; seasonal craft stations; strolling circus performers; Big Apple Circus clown Joel Jeske in his solo show Jack Frost: The Original Freezemeister; and cool (literally!) ice sculptures by the Okamoto Studio. Visit the website for a complete schedule of events. Plan your night out in advance, as it’s always mobbed. FREE


This holiday season, the first ever NYC Winter Lantern Festival is coming to Staten Island. Photo courtesy of the NYC Winter Lantern Festival

8. NYC Winter Lantern Festival —Snug Harbor, Staten Island
Wednesday, November 28, 2018–Sunday, January 6, 2019
Seven acres of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden are lit up by 40 LED installations that stretch up to 30 feet tall. The lanterns are accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dances and art, and a variety of holiday vendors, to create a magical and unique holiday season experience.

9. 21st Annual Central Park Tree Lighting — Harlem
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Sure, that midtown tree by skating rink is big…but it doesn’t float! Central Park ups the ante with a flotilla of lit trees drifting gloriously across the Harlem Meer, at an evening celebration of the season that includes the inevitable meet-and-greet with Santa, ice carving, caroling, and hot chocolate cheer. FREE

10. Chanukah on Ice — Central Park
Monday, December 3, 2018
Live music, kosher food, and a giant, hand-carved ice menorah. What’s not to love? This annual celebration on Wollman Rink is a prime example of a holiday season event you need to sign up for ASAP, as it always sells out.

11. Winter Family Fair— Murray Hill
Sunday, December 9
Enjoy an old-fashioned celebration at the Morgan’s Victorian era-style holiday fete for families in conjunction with its annual display of Charles Dickens’ original A Christmas Carol manuscript. Meet Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, the famous ghosts, and the author himself as portrayed by members of the Grand Falloons troupe. The afternoon closes with a festive concert of Christmas carols. Free with museum admission.

12. Make Music New York: Winter Solstice Procession — Citywide
Friday, December 21
Celebrate the winter solstice and the first day of winter at one of many free, outdoor music-making celebrations. For the eighth consecutive season, Make Music Winter welcomes New Yorkers to sing, play, dance and march their way across the streets, plazas and parks in twelve participatory parades across all five boroughs of the city. Gather family and friends and head out to Columbus CircleAstor Place, Prospect Heights, and more. There’s even a mobile Hallelujah Chorus traveling around town! FREE


The Hip Hop Nutcracker comes to Brooklyn for one night only.  Photo courtesy of the production

13. The Hip Hop Nutcracker — Flatbush, Brooklyn
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Want to introduce the brood to The Nutcracker but worried they won’t stay awake for the big one at Lincoln Center? Well, start dancing like a Sugar Plum Fairy because we’ve got a great alternative for you. Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet is given a modern urban makeover in this high-energy show at the beautiful Kings Theater. Set on New Year’s Eve in Washington Heights, this Nutcracker features a dozen hip-hop dancers, digital scenery, a deejay, and the legendary Kurtis Blow as special MC doing an opening set of old-school classics. What Hamilton did for musicals, this Nutcracker is doing for ballet. (Brooklyn peeps also love BAM’s annual performances of the modern Nutcracker The Hard Nut, which runs December 14-23.)

14. December 25 at Eldridge Street— Lower East Side
Monday, December 25
Growing up Jewish in NYC, December 25 always meant Chinese food and a movie for my family. But these days there are other options if you don’t celebrate Christmas. While many Jewish cultural institutions are hosting family activities on the holiday, the bash at the Museum at Eldridge Street is the most jam-packed. Enjoy self-guided scavenger hunts, seasonal crafts, a menorah lighting, and a concert of Yiddish music. Afterward, be sure to hit the nearby Katz’s Delicatessen to cap off your festivities with pastrami on rye.


Celebrate Kwanzaa at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by R. Mickens for AMNH

15. Kwanzaa 2018— Upper West Side
Saturday, December 29
Celebrate the seven guiding principles of Kwanzaa at this vibrant annual festival at the American Museum of Natural History. Family-friendly activities and live music abound, and an international marketplace is stocked with traditional gifts and holiday treats. Free with suggested museum admission.

 

Written by Raven Snook

A version of this article was first published in November 2015, but it has since been updated. Drew Kristofik contributed additional reporting.

NYC Bars
From chic ski lodges and rooftop igloos to light-strung lounges and booze-filled snow globes, click through for the most festive bars of the season.

 

Miracle

The OG holiday pop-up bar launched in 2014 has expanded across the world, and New York City. Besides the fan-favorite Miracle on 9th Street at Mace, the festivities can also be found at 12th Street, and in Brooklyn on the corner of Bedford and Grand.

Miracle, Multiple Locations

[Photo via @miraclepopup]

 

Sippin’ Santa at Boilermaker

For a tropical take on the season, don’t miss Sippin’ Santa at Boilermaker, a tiki-inspired pop-up now featuring a curated cocktail menu by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and award-winning bartender Brad Smith. Surf’s up!

Sippin’ Santa at Boilermaker, 13 1st Avenue

[Photo via @igotfoodsinthecity]

 

Donner & Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge at The Springs

Greenpoint’s retro, Palm Springs-inspired getaway has gotten a warm and cozy upgrade for the colder months. Sip a Frozen Peppermint Bark Latte while you cuddle up near the faux fireplace or strike a pose along the candy cane wall.

Donner & Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge at The Springs224 Franklin St, Brooklyn

[Photo courtesy The Springs]

 

Haven Ski Chalet at The Sanctuary Hotel

Indulge in some après-ski festivities without having to hit the slopes. The Sanctuary Hotel’s heated, all-season rooftop lounge has been transformed into a chic ski chalet, complete with snow machines. Dive into some chocolate fondue and a shot ski (or two).

Haven Ski Chalet at The Sanctuary Hotel, 132 W 47th St.

[Photo courtesy Haven Rooftop]

 

FREEHOLD Winter Lodge

Williamsburg hot spot Freehold has turned its expansive outdoor space into festive winter lodge, complete with heat lamps, blankets, and colorful lights. Planning a holiday party? The two-floor courtyard can hold up to 200 people!

FREEHOLD Winter Lodge, 45 S 3rd St, Brooklyn

[Photo courtesy Freehold]

 

Arlo Arctica at Arlo Hotels

A swanky take on the famed 1907 Shackleton Antarctica Expedition, Arlo Arctica is a collab between Shackleton Whisky and Arlo Hotels. Warm up with specialty whisky cocktails inside heated igloos at both Arlo Soho and Arlo NoMad.

Arlo Arctica at Arlo Sohoand Arlo NoMad

[Photo courtesy Arlo Hotels]

 

Snow Globe in the Sky at Ophelia

Enter the magical world of a real-life snow globe 26 stories above NYC. Chic cocktail lounge Ophelia is dripping with crystals and sparkling snowflakes, giving revelers a glamorous holiday sipping experience.

Snow Globe in the Sky at Ophelia, 3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor

[Photo courtesy Ophelia]

 

Clicquot Chalet at Mr. Purple

Who can say no to some bubbly-fueled fun? Lower East Side hot spot Mr. Purple has been transformed into a rustic log cabin for the season, but the real magic is going down at the Clicquot Chalet, a dreamy snow globe on the rooftop terrace. Warm up under cozy blankets and twinkling lights while sipping on some Veuve.

Clicquot Chalet at Mr. Purple, 180 Orchard St.

[Photo courtesy Mr. Purple]

 

The Late Late’s Tacky Winter Takeover

Miss your grandmother’s piled-on Christmas decor? The Late Late’s delightfully tacky take on the season is the perfect spot to relive those childhood memories – with cocktails. Don’t skip the Oh, F…udge! with Hennessy VSOP, Green Chartreuse, hot chocolate, marshmallow meringue and peppermint candy.

The Late Late’s Tacky Winter Takeover, 159 E Houston St.

 

Winter Garden At The Standard East Village

Gather your crew and prepare for a fondue feast and endless stream of hot cocktails inside your own private yurt at the Standard East Village’s cult-favorite Winter Garden. It doesn’t get cozier than this.

Winter Garden At The Standard East Village, 25 Cooper Sq

[Photo via The Standard]

 

Igloo Bar at 230 Fifth

The iconic rooftop bar’s colorful igloo village is back, offering spectacular views of the Empire State Building. Instagram-chasers, this spot’s for you.

Igloo Bar at 230 Fifth, 230 Fifth Avenue

[Photo via @bygracelee]

 

SERRA ALPINA by Birreria

Can’t afford to jet off to the Italian Alps? Eataly’s winter greenhouse, SERRA ALPINA by Birreria, is the next best thing. The stunning seasonal pop-up is serving up glacier wines, craft cocktails infused with mountain herbs, and housemade Vin Brulè, the Italian version of mulled wine steeped with orange peel and spices.

SERRA ALPINA by Birreria, 200 Fifth Avenue

[Photo via Eataly]

 

Midwinter Night’s Dream at PHD Terrace

Inspired by the whimsical Shakespearean play, albeit with a wintertime twist, the massive PHD Terrace at the Dream Midtown is now sparkling with golden lights, rich greenery, and even features a fairy-worthy swing under a canopy of roses. Don’t forget to pucker up at the two mistletoe bars!

PHD Terrace at the Dream Midtown, 210 W 55th St.

[Photo by Keri Tan Photography]

 

Helliday Inn at The Skinny

Calling all Grinches and Scrooges – there’s even an anti-holiday bar for you! The Skinny’s Bah Humbug-worthy pop-up, Helliday Inn, is strewn with garish lights, disfigured Barbie dolls, reindeer heads, and Christmas trees decorated with empty beer cans. Stop in to get turnt and sit on a Bad Santa’s lap.

Helliday Inn at The Skinny, 174 Orchard St.

[Photo courtesy The Skinny]

 

SNOWday In Brooklyn

Cocktail connoisseurs are in for a treat at SNOWday In Brooklyn, the wintertime takeover of cozy Williamsburg favorite Sunday In Brooklyn. Renowned head bartender Brian Evans has created an extensive menu to the complement the bar room’s festive decor, with whimsical sips for the Naughty, the Nice, and even those dreaming of a Christmas in July.

SNOWday In Brooklyn, 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn

[Photo via Sunday In Brooklyn]

 

Written by Stephanie Maida

Christmas Pop-Up Shops

Spent Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping for yourself? While the biggest sale days of the year have come and gone, there’s still time to snag some goodies worth giving in time for Christmas – no shipping required. Here’s your guide to some of the coolest pop-up shops and markets New York has to offer.

[Photo via @lyss]

 

Le Rouge Chanel

Inspired by the festive favorite color of Gabrielle Chanel herself, Le Rouge Chanel is a three-floor beauty wonderland dressed in red, featuring interactive (and Instagrammable) moments for gift-givers looking to add an extra dose of glamour to their holiday shopping experience. The chic space at No. 5, East 57th Street, open through December 23rd, is a must-stop for fashionable fans of the house. Browse limited edition goodies, including collector’s edition makeup cases, and the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume presented in a red Baccarat crystal bottle (the latter of which will only run you about $30,000).

5 East 57th Street

 

Grand Bazaar NYC

Grand Bazaar NYC, also known as “the city’s largest curated indoor and outdoor holiday market” will be open every Sunday in December from 10am to 5:30pm. You’ll have no problem finding vintage fashion, jewelry, accessories and handmade holiday knickknacks for every person in your life. Plus, there’s going to be tons of yummy treats to buy (and eat!) while you shop.

100 W. 77th Street

[Photo via @grandbazaarnyc]

 

Best Made Co.

Believe it or not, there are some New Yorkers who like to get out of the city once in a while and get rugged. Thankfully, Best Made Co.has crafted a cute little pop-up shop in Williamsburg for the outdoorsy ones whose idea of a perfect gift can take them on an adventure.

111 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn

[Photo via @bestmadeco]

 

Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick Pop Up

Iconic French cosmetics house Guerlain has found the perfect holiday home at the always-glamorous Plaza Hotel this season. Shoppers can create a completely customized Rouge G lipstick, choosing from over 450 permutations, 30 shades, and 15 glittering cases. While you’re there, digitally try on different shades for yourself and snap a pic at the selfie station!

768 5th Avenue

 

Maisonette’s Holiday Market

Finding gifts for the nieces, nephews, and kiddies can be tough but the chicest children’s brand ever, Maisonette, has recently debuted their “out of this world” themed holiday pop-up. Shop stylish clothes and accessories and leave time for some fun activities the entire family can enjoy, including pictures with Santa!

83 Mercer Street

[Photo via @maisonetteworld]

 

Bank Of America Winter Village

Bank of America’s Winter Village in Bryant Park is not only known for its ice skating rink (the only free admission skating rink in New York City) and Lodge provided by Urbanspace, but its Holiday Shops are full of small businesses like Ambica New York and Andrew Clark Creations for the jewelry lovers, or Artisans of New York and Alex-Star and Kanami for art buffs. Both the rink and The Lodge are open until March 3rd of 2019, and the Holiday Shops stay open until the beginning of January.find the perfect gifts.

Bryant Park 

[Photo via @lyss]

 

Atelier Alchemy

Jewelry designer Dana Bronfman will be partnering with Delphine Leymarie and Goldhenn Jewelry for a pop-up shop that’ll last all December long. Not only will you get some of the most uniquely elegant pieces you could dream of, but you’ll also be helping small businesses as well as up-and-coming designers. Check it out in the mezzanine of the Michele Varian Design boutique.

27 Howard Street

[Photo via @danabronfman]

 

Written by Bree Sparacino

 

 

holiday 3a-square

header
” What do the Holidays mean to you, and what should they mean to the world.”


elementall pics
element

We are thrilled to have Laura Bounin join us this Holiday Season….. Laura grew up in Paris and attended the prestigious boarding School, Le Rosey. She is currently studying at Regents University in London for a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Journalism. She speaks and writes three fluent languages …French, Romanian and English. In the Springtime she will be graduating, year 2016. We here at Old Fashioned Mom Magazine are proud to introduce Laura Bounin!

element

Ah! It is that time of the year, the Christmas bells are ringing, you can smell the flavor of the Christmas Turkey and admire the marvelous presents underneath the Christmas tree, though it is not the time to open them just yet…

christmas tree2
element

As the Christmas Holidays are approaching it is a great time of year to be next to your loved ones and enjoy quality moments, as there is nothing more important than family traditions! It is also a great time for you to invest more in yourself and to start doing all these little things you never made time for throughout the year. Holidays are the chance for you to finally go out of your daily routine. Go ahead and read this book that has been sitting on your shelf for so long, go sign up to this yoga class, learn a new language, call up that old friend of yours you haven’t talked to in so long. Holidays are a good time of the year to reconnect with your inner self.
element
family 15
element

Though, holidays are also about traveling! For my part I think there is no greater time of the year to go out and explore the world! There is a dazzling amount of opportunities on our doorstep; it is time to release the hidden Christopher Columbus hiding inside each of us and to go explore the treasures of the world. There are so many ways in which one can enjoy a holiday, whether you prefer savoring a cocktail on a beautiful beach in Bali while admiring a wonderful sunset, going for a trek on the Himalaya Mountains, visiting an old Maya temple in Mexico, or going skiing to the French Alps. You get my point, holidays are really for everyone, the lazy, the adventurous, the athletes. Holidays don’t put anyone aside. We travel in the purpose of discovering other lives, other souls, other cultures and to find ourselves speechless in front of the beauty of the world!
element
christmas tree-low res
element

There is no such luxury and treasure as the one a holiday can bring, culture, knowledge and memories come together and become one. Sometimes all we need is a beautiful place, with beautiful souls far away from home just to rest and remove all sort of negativity from our lives. We will never truly know all the surprises a holiday can bring, it might be a new lover, a new friend, a new job. We should go places we’ve never seen before, and travel the whole world with people we love. Holidays are a great opportunity to fill your life with experiences and stories to tell. Rich is the man who has the chance to marvel at small thing and fill his heart of the world’s beauty.

So let’s embrace the luck of this wealth, and let’s travel and create our memories for tomorrow with the people closest to your hearts and souls, let’s allow ourselves to feel experiences as they are, only focusing on the present moment, because now is all we have and everything in this life is ephemeral except the memories we make.

St. Augustine said it himself : « The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page » .

We are the sole writers of your book so let’s go explore the unknown and create a story worth reading for this new Holiday season!

By Laura Bounin

best-places-to-spend-christmas-san-miguel

30 of the BEST Places to spend Christmas! From San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to Kaioura, New Zealand.

View the Top 30 Best Places to Spend Christmas at travelandleisure.com

Best-Places-Christmas-2014

Santa-640x364

See the 6 top places to see Santa in NYC.

View Santa Events at newyork.com

I would like to add one more to this list making it 7, and my personal favorite. The Plaza! Yes, home to Eloise and her “rawther” delicious Pink Lemonade. Santa is located on the lower level with all the fabulous shops and after photos stay and have dinner in The Palm Court.

macys-santaland_650

Santa at the Macy’s Herald Square Santa Land (Photo: John Minchillo / AP Images for Macy’s)

Macy’s
Macy’s is the standard bearer for Santa experiences in the city. Visiting the Herald Square flagship’s Santaland can involve a long wait and being herded through a line that snakes through the store’s eighth floor. But the payoff is worth it: The journey to Santa’s workshop takes visitors through a train “ride” (the floor vibrates along with bells clanging) and into the 13,000 square foot Christmas village. Santaland is open daily from Nov. 28 to Dec. 24 until 9pm. Opening times vary between 7am and 9am; go to the Santaland website to see the full schedule.  Should you not want to wait on line for longer than it would take to actually watch Miracle on 34th Street, make an advance reservation via kiosks in the cellar or on the 9th floor (only 20 are allowed per hour). Advance reservations are also available online 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance, beginning Nov. 26. 151 W 34th St., visitmacysnewyork.com
 
Bloomingdale’s
The eighth-floor children’s department at the Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street (at Lexington Ave.) is another popular place to see Santa, Nov. 28–Dec. 23 (11am-6pm weekdays, 10am-6pm weekends). Though the scene at the department store’s flagship location isn’t as elaborate as the one at Macy’s, fewer frills mean shorter lines — which can be the difference between Johnny smiling and crying by the time he poses for a picture with the world’s most popular reindeer driver. 1000 Third Ave., bloomingdales.com
 
Rockefeller Center
If you want something more elaborate than just snapping a picture, two of the restaurants at Rockefeller Center host a Breakfast with Santa during the holiday season: The Sea Grill and Rock Center Café. Both packages include breakfast with Santa and carolers and ice skating on the famed Rockefeller Center ice skating rink, plus keepsakes like an ornament, photo frame and gifts for the kids. In 2014, the breakfasts will be held Nov. 28-30, Dec. 7, 13-14 and daily  Dec. 19-24. Breakfast at the Sea Grill is $110 for adults and $75 for children, while the Rock Center Café packages start at $80 for adults and $50 for children. Be sure to make reservations in advance — the breakfasts do sell out. rockefellercenter.com
ABC Carpet & Home
As has been a holiday tradition for more than 20 years, the Santa at ABC Carpet & Home is available for photo opportunities in the Union Square neighborhood 11am–3pm Nov. 28–30 and Dec. 6, 13 and 20. The scene is apropos of a home-furnishings store, featuring an elaborate Victorian-style sitting area draped in velvet and filled with housewares. The wait here is also shorter than almost any other place you’ll visit in the city. 888 Broadway; abchome.com
 
Brookfield Place
Santa, elves and reindeer are on hand at Santa’s Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. A professional photographer is on hand for photos (packages start at $20), and all proceeds go to Dancing Classrooms. The Battery Park City garden hosts Santa Dec. 5-7 9am-1:30pm and 3-6pm. Lines can be long, and are capped if staff thinks not everyone will be accommodated, so be sure to arrive early. 220 Vesey St.
 
New York City Fire Museum
Visit the New York City Fire Museum on Dec. 7 at 11:30am for an unusual Santa-sighting. The museum’s annual Santa Rescue is more theater than a traditional visit, but it’s worth the watching: Saint Nick gets stuck on the roof and firefighters get out their hook-and-ladder to save him from peril. After families watch the rescue, they can head inside to sip hot cocoa at a holiday party and enjoy music from John Clacher’s Firehouse Band. Buy tickets in advance ($8 adults, $5 kids under 12) to ensure you’ll get in (tickets guarantee you’ll be sitting inside with Santa); as it is, the event is crowded every year, so in any case you’ll need to brace yourself for some jostling. 278 Spring St; nycfiremuseum.org
Click here to read more about great ways to celebrate the holidays in New York City.