Everything you need to know about spending the holidays in New York City

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With rows of Christmas trees lending the sidewalks their piney scent and glittering lights everywhere you look, New York City is a magical place around the winter holidays

It’s also massively crowded and often cold, with the propensity to be very expensive (all that holiday cheer can really add up). Since you’ll want to be prepared, so here are some important things to consider before you go to New York for the holidays. 

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What New York City neighborhoods are best during the holidays? 

Midtown Manhattan is the epicenter of New York’s holiday season, packed with people eager to see the massive Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and the sparkling window displays along Fifth Ave. Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and the Tiffany & Co flagship are all reliable standouts; get an early start if you want time to linger before the sidewalks start filling up. 

Skip the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center, which is small, expensive and prone to long queues. Instead, head to Bryant Park, where there’s skating (reservations required) and a holiday market. Further up, you can take to the ice at Central Park’s Wollman Rink (book in advance), then pick up gifts at the Columbus Circle holiday market. 

Many New Yorkers find the Midtown bottleneck unenjoyable, to be avoided entirely between Thanksgiving and New Years. Visitors can head pretty much anywhere else for a lower-key,

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