Holiday season in NYC

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By Nikki Ng, Staff Writer

With winter approaching, the merriest time of the year is finally here. New York City boasts many classic attractions from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, to the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, the Nutcracker, and skating in Central Park.

But some of these can come with a hefty burden for students on a budget. “I want to go out with my friends and get in the holiday spirit. But I’m really broke,” said sophomore Rachel Lin. “[I’m] too broke to spend $50 on a show.”

That said, here are some free activities and places to visit during the holiday season when you finally get a break from tests and collaterals.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights are back with its exuberant display of decorations. In a traditional unspoken competition, the houses of Dyker Heights go all out with inflatable Santas, giant snowmen, rooftop Rudolphs, spinning carousels, and of course, spectacular lights. The best houses to visit are from 83rd to 86th Street between 11th and 13th Avenue, with the most popular street being 84th St. between 11th and 12th avenue. Most lights are up mid-December through New Years from 5pm after dusk to 9pm.

A Winter Wonderland has appeared at the outside entrance of the Standard High Line Hotel (848 Washington Street). There’s everything from neon fluorescent trees and gingerbread people to candy cane and gumdrop ornaments. At the end of a candy colored rainbow pathway, you’ll find a gingerbread hut paired with a Hot Cocoa bar serving Naughty and Nice beverages for all ages alike. Feel free to visit this holiday decor anytime between 11am and 11pm until December 31.

Bergdorf presents its 2018 Holiday Windows with its “sweet” theme of Bergdorf Goodies. Throughout the entire store, an array of windows display holiday treats including candy canes stilt walkers, an ice cream factory, towers of sweets, gingerbread inventions, cotton candy statues, and other sugary confections. Take a peek at these iconic windows now until January 3 at Bergdorf 754 5 Avenue.

Saks Fifth Avenue has revealed its light show on the facade of its ten-story tall building alongside its “Theater of Dreams” themed holiday windows honoring the Broadway stage. Located across the street from Rockefeller Center on 611 5th Ave, this theatrical light show is a spectacular sight that you simply can’t miss. The display stays lit through January 2 from 5pm to 11pm every 10 minutes after dark.

The city also features various locations and pop ups that serve as great photo opportunities while capturing the essence of the holidays. For one, Bloomingdale’s has installed a mini ice skating rink in men’s Ralph Lauren section in the lower level, as part of their Ralph Lauren Winter Wonderland. In addition, employees offer free cups of hot cocoa at Ralph’s coffee bar just next to the rink. Around the corner, you can experience a virtual-reality ride of Santa’s sleigh while sitting in an egg shaped snow pod. There is also a life-sized gingerbread house on the eighth floor decorated with real candy and interactive inflatable snow globes throughout the department store where you can around the cotton snow. Enjoy this winter scene through the holidays from 12 to 6pm Sunday through Wednesday and 12 to 8pm Thursday through Saturday at the Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street.

For those of you into mirror selfies, there’s something for you too. Kiehl’s Gifting Workshop at 513 Broadway in Soho has a Merry & Bright mirror reflecting an ornament wall. You can stop by here to personalize gifts for your family and friends, or simply take advantage of the Instagramable backdrops and sit on a stationary motorcycle display. This holiday pop-up is open daily through the holidays from 10am to 9pm.

Last but not least, Brookfield Place immerses visitors in Luminaries — a suspended canopy of 650 glowing LED lanterns that change color created by the LAB at Rockwell Group. This mesmerizing holiday light installation is up daily from 8am to 10pm until January 4 at 230 Vesey Street. This lower Manhattan waterfront also celebrates the holidays with an outdoor installation of fairy lights strung onto trees that create magical bokeh in photos.

These immersive festivities will definitely get you into the holiday spirit. But they will all disappear by January, so go soon or else you will have to wait until next year.