Ditch the cliché Gotham seasonal staples and explore new (and classic) gems this magical season.

By Jack Rico

Every year, the allure of New York City during the holidays is nothing short of sublime. It’s a picture-perfect fairy tale you never want to end. The towering tree at Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Rockettes, the Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows on Fifth Avenue—but beyond these nostalgic destinations lie some unique and off-the-beaten-path holiday experiences waiting to be experienced. From an ice rink tucked below the Brooklyn Bridge to a German Christmas haven, each spot is a holiday story awaiting your discovery.

Activity: Glide Ice Skating Rink

This holiday season, swap the expected New York City winter ice rinks for a new ice-skating experience underneath the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Open daily from November 15 to March 1, 2024, skate against a wintry urban backdrop that feels plucked from a movie montage—it’s a postcard moment you won’t soon forget.

Restaurant: Rolf’s German Restaurant

Spruce up for a magical holiday date night at Gramercy’s Rolf’s German Restaurant, where the North Pole meets Oktoberfest. It calls itself “The Most Christmasy Place in NYC,” and this photographic winter wonderland doesn’t disappoint—and it’s the perfect setting for a German Jäeger Schnitzel and a holiday martini accompanied by yuletide charm. Clink your glasses and lose yourself in a holiday fantasy.

Art: Luminaries At Brookfield Place

Meet Battery Park City’s best-kept holiday secret: Luminaries at Brookfield Place. Picture hundreds of colorful lanterns that you can interact with to create your own glowing light show set to holiday classics like Michael Bublé and Pentatonix. Open from November 24 to January 6, 2024, inside the Winter Garden.

Spot: Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Escape the cold and snuggle up with steaming hot cocoa or a coffee-infused cocktail inside Chelsea’s luxurious Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Spanning 23,000 square feet, this architectural marvel embodies java amusement park vibes. From coffee beans zipping through glass tubes overhead to roasters working in full view, this industrial-style venue is a must-visit holiday destination.

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