New York City has its fair share of holiday pilgrimage sites. While it’s definitely worth checking out the tree at Rockefeller Center and the holiday markets of Manhattan, there are many other ways to get into the holiday spirit that don’t involve weaving through throngs of people. Pick up a unique ornament from a charming vintage shop, enjoy a leisurely skate in Prospect Park, or cozy up at a candle-lit bar with your friends. Here’s what we’ve got in mind:   


Authentiques , Chelsea

Situated on an unassuming street in Chelsea, Authentiques is chock-full of dazzling glass blown Christmas ornaments, vintage holiday decorations, and old school charm. It’s the kind of store that will bring a smile to even the most disenchanted New Yorker. Little has changed since the store first opened in 1976 and why mess with perfection!







Ice Skating at LeFrak Center, Prospect Park

I once tried to spin on ice skates and ended up with an acorn shaped scar on the back of my head. That still hasn’t stopped me from hitting the ice every winter. While most people flock to Central Park and Rockefeller Center, the LeFrak center at Prospect Park is generally less crowded and equally as scenic. If you go just before sunset, you can catch the shimmering tangerine reflection of the light off the icy lake just beyond the rink.






Take a Stroll Down Atlantic Avenue

If it’s not cold enough to make a snowman, you can do the second best thing and eat the head off a tiny marzipan version of one. With several frosted treats available, a trip to Betty Bakery is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

In need of some last minute gifts? Make sure to pop in  Sterling Place just across the street on  Atlantic Ave. There’s a bit of everything and you’re sure to find something unique for even the hardest person on your list. Just next door you’ll find Collier West, another eclectic and charming shop full of treasures.



Hartley’s , Clinton Hill

If there were a pub in the frozen lands of Narnia, it would probably look something like Harley’s. Wood furnished, candle lit, and tucked away on an off-the-beaten-path street. After a bowl of Irish beef stew and a couple of frothy Guinnesses, you’ll begin to see why so many locals consider this bar a cozy extension of their apartments.






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By Cory Keny