New York Rockefeller Center Christmas tree


Classic New York Christmas movie moments to recreate

Published December 22nd, 2014

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Dashing through the snow. Deck the halls with boughs of holly. May all your Christmases be white. Yep, the inescapable carols and classic holiday movies paint a picture of a Northern Hemisphere yuletide with festive eats, sweet treats and wintry weather creating an atmosphere of cosiness that’s a world away from the Christmas heat we know in Australia. If egg nog, real snow-laden fir trees and #uglyholidaysweaters are calling you this festive season, relive your fave movie moments IRL with these iconic Christmas movie locations in New York.


A horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park is a classic Christmas movie moment.


What? Horse-drawn carriage ride in Central Park

Horse-drawn carriages have been offering rides through Central Park since 1858, and are a staple of holiday movies like Home Alone as well as an episode of Sex and the City. However a recent bill introduced to ban the carriage horses (dubbed Carriagegate) by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio may mean an end to this iconic ride with rallies happening outside City Hall all this month. With licences up in 2016, now’s the time to saddle up.

Where? Central Park South, 59th Street between 5th and 8th Avenues.

When? All year round, except in temps under -7 degrees Celsius or above 30 degrees.

How much? $50 for 20 minutes, $20 for extra 10 minutes, or pre-book a 45-minute ride from $165.


The Wollman (Trump) Rink makes for an iconic meet-cute date.


What? Ice skating at the Wollman Rink

As seen in Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 2, Serendipity and countless other Christmassy scenes, ice skating in Central Park is synonymous with the wintry NYC experience. Officially now known as Trump Rink, go for the $68pp VIP ticket for priority admission, skate rental, reserved seating and snacks and hot bevvies like apple cider, hot chocolate and cookies.

Where? Central Park South, 59th Street and 6th Avenue.

When? October to April annually.

How much? $11.25 on Monday to Thursday, $18 on Friday to Sunday. Skate rental is $8.


What? Christmas shopping at Bloomingdale’s

In the 2001 rom-com Serendipity, the star-crossed main characters shop for gloves for their respective partners in the flagship Bloomingdale’s department store on 59th Street. This year’s Christmas window display features the famous Bloomies brown bags in different shopping scenes around the world.

Where? 1000 3rd Avenue at 59th Street

When? December 4 to December 31, 2014.

How much? Free to look at the window displays, up to you what you buy inside!


Lots of Christmas action goes down in Central Park.



What? Bethesda Fountain

Buddy’s defacto dad Santa and his sleigh crash into the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park in the movie, Elf. With the famous bronze Angel of the Waters statue atop the fountain, it’s one of the largest fountains in New York.

Where? Bethesda Terrace, Central Park at 72nd Street.

When? All year round.

How much? Free.



What? The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

There’s no shortage of Christmas trees decorating the streets and neighbourhoods of NYC, but the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is the shiz.  Featured in festive flicks like Home Alone 2, Noel and Elf, the classic Norway spruce is visited by around half a million people every day during the holiday season. Measuring approximately 23 metres high and with a diameter of 14 metres, the tree looks over The Rink at Rockefeller Center, which has room for just 150 skaters.

Where? 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 47th to 51st Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues.

When? December 3, 2014  to January 7, 2015.

How much? Free.


What? The Christmas window displays at Macy’s

Kris Kringle may have got the big guy’s job at the flagship Macy’s in the Chrissy classic Miracle on 34th Street, but the festive window displays have been a New York holiday must-do since the department store initiated the Christmas tradition back in the early 1870s. This year’s animated theme is the interactive ‘Santa’s Journey to the Stars’ with the sleigh travelling through the solar system.

Where? 151 West 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

When? November 20 to December 26, 2014.

How much? Free for the window display.


Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.