December 29, 2023

Say ‘fir-well’ to your Christmas tree: Mulchfest is back

Sick of your Christmas tree taking up space in your living room? There is an easy (and sustainable) way to ditch it. Starting December 26 and running through January 7, the city's annual Mulchfest offers New Yorkers 72 sites across the five boroughs to drop off Christmas trees to be composted. Those who bring their trees to one of 32 chipping sites on the weekend of January 6 will even get to take a bag of mulch home.
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December 21, 2023

2023 holiday gift guide: 50 best gifts for him

'Tis the season to show the special guy in your life how much he means to you. Whether it’s your husband or boyfriend, dad or granddad, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, best friend, or some other special relationship, we’ve got you covered. While men are notorious for saying, “No, don’t get me anything,” we think they’ll say “yes” to any of the items on this list. The list is a mixture of practical gifts, and also fun and unusual selections sure to pique their interest.
our picks here
December 18, 2023

The best NYC hotels for a luxury holiday experience

In New York City, you can get it all in one place — one minute you can indulge in a $1 slice of pizza on the sidewalk and the next you can be in one of the finest hotels in the country (or even the world). For those looking to get into option two, what better time than the holidays to get a little fancy? We rounded up four ultra-luxury hotels in the city that go all out with holiday decor and experiences that guests and non-guests alike can enjoy.
get the details
December 8, 2023

In the 1800s, a group of NYC artists and writers created the modern-day Santa Claus

Saint Nicholas arrived in New York with the Dutch and became the Patron Saint of New York City in the early 19th century, but Santa, as we know him, is a hometown boy. New York’s writers and artists were the first to depict the modern Santa Claus, transforming the figure of Dutch lore into a cheerful holiday hero. The illustrious Claus gained his sleigh in Chelsea and his red suit on Franklin Square. With a little help from the likes of Washington Irving, Clement Clarke Moore, and Thomas Nast, jolly old St. Nick became the merriest man in Manhattan.
More about Santa's New York Roots!
December 5, 2023

15 quintessential NYC gifts for the New Yorker in your life

New Yorkers are full of pride for their city. So when it comes to buying gifts for the special New Yorker in your life, why not lean into that? We’ve rounded up 15 quintessential NYC gifts that either help your loved ones show off that pride, support the city’s institutions, or both! These are also great options for ex-New Yorkers who might be feeling nostalgic for the city around the holidays.
November 30, 2023

10 best under-the-radar holiday events in New York City

Holiday magic permeates New York City each year as locals and tourists alike flock to the Fifth Avenue window displays, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and the many holiday markets. And while tradition is good, it’s also fun to step out of the box and celebrate the holidays with some off-the-beaten-path events (and maybe even start some new traditions). Here are 10 holiday events in NYC that go beyond Manhattan’s classics.
November 28, 2023

Where to see holiday lights in NYC this year

One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season in New York City is to bear witness to the extravagant twinkling light installations and displays that illuminate the five boroughs. Ahead, discover the city's most iconic holiday light displays, from more than two million twinkling lights scattered throughout Hudson Yards to festively illuminated trails at the New York Botanical Garden.
November 27, 2023

All of New York City’s holiday tree lightings

From the very first public tree lighting ceremony in the country at Madison Square Park to the world's most famous holiday tree at Rockefeller Center, New York City has a strong connection to the sparkling Christmas tradition. Holiday trees can be found across the city, all with their own unique style and festive flair. Ahead, see the spirit of the holidays come to life at tree lighting ceremonies happening at iconic NYC spots, from Bryant Park and Central Park to the New York Stock Exchange and the Bronx's Little Italy.
tree lightings this way
November 22, 2023

New York City’s best holiday markets of 2023

The holiday season has hit New York City in full force, and despite the convenience of online buying, the city's streets are bustling with shoppers scurrying to find unique gifts and goodies. Popping up to meet the winter frenzy is a triumphant trove of festive markets offering one-of-a-kind creations–and a chance to mingle, jingle, nibble, and nosh. Read on for our picks of the best holiday markets and pop-up shops, from the familiar holiday hubs at Union Square and Bryant Park to an upstate farm and flea affair in Hudson.
Shop local, this way
November 9, 2023

Empire State Building receives ‘Elf’ takeover for movie’s 20th anniversary

The Empire State Building is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the holiday classic "Elf" with new festive decorations and screenings of the movie in the skyscraper's 80th-floor observatory. Visitors will be able to snap photos with a life-sized cutout of Buddy the Elf, view ground-floor window displays featuring Elf-themed merchandise for purchase, and more.
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January 3, 2023

Mulchfest is back: Here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree in NYC

With the holidays behind us, there's no better way to officially wrap up the season than sustainably disposing of your Christmas tree. The Parks Department's annual Mulchfest started on December 26 and will run through January 8, with 73 drop-off sites across the five boroughs for New Yorkers to bid "fir-well" to the holidays. On January 7 and 8 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., residents can bring their trees to one of the city's 35 chipping sites, watch them be chipped, and take a bag of mulch home.
Find out more
December 21, 2022

On this day in 1912, the nation’s first public Christmas tree went up in Madison Square Park

On December 21, 1912, a 60-foot-tall tree arrived by horse-drawn truck from the Adirondacks to provide Manhattan's Madison Square Park with the glow of 2,300 colored electric bulbs. The twinklers were donated by the Edison Company, and the tree was the first of its kind: Having a Christmas tree in one's living room was a familiar custom, but a tree outside in a public park was something new.
Get the whole history right this way
December 21, 2022

Will New York City see a White Christmas this year?

New Yorkers who fantasize about opening their blinds on Christmas morning to a sprawling landscape of snow will likely be disappointed this year. According to the "White Christmas Calculator," a tool created by the Omni Calculator Project that gives the likelihood of snowfall in major cities, the probability that New York City sees at least one inch of snow on December 25 is approximately 13.2 percent. However, there are a few other cities located nearby with a near or over 50 percent chance of seeing flurries.
Dreaming of a White Christmas?
December 20, 2022

How to decorate your small NYC apartment for the holidays

Decorating your home is one of the joys of the holidays. But in New York City, most people don’t have room for a 10-foot Christmas tree or an elaborate display of lights. But that shouldn’t stop even studio dwellers from getting into the spirit! We spoke to interior designers to get some expert tips on how to decorate small spaces for the holidays.
Tips this way
December 1, 2022

Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, and more: The history of New York City’s holiday windows

Santa rode in on his sleigh at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas Tree is now lit at Rockefeller Center, so you know what that means: It’s officially the holiday season in New York. It’s fitting that Macy’s heralds the beginning of our collective good cheer since R. H. Macy himself revolutionized the holiday season when he debuted the nation’s very first Christmas Windows at his store on 14th Street in 1874. Since then, all of New York’s major department stores have been turning merchandise into magic with show-stopping holiday window displays. Historically, New York’s holiday windows have deployed a combination of spectacle, science, and art, with cutting-edge technology and the talents of such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Robert Rauschenberg. From hydraulic lifts to steam-powered windows, take a look back at the history of New York’s holiday windows, the last word in high-tech, high-design holiday cheer.
Look at more holiday history here
November 29, 2022

Macy’s Santaland: A 161-year-old tradition that brings holiday magic to NYC’s Herald Square

"He’s so kind and nice and jolly. He’s not like anyone else. He must be Santa." That’s what little Natalie Wood says about the Herald Square Macy’s Santa Claus in the 1947 classic "Miracle on 34th Street." And to this day, the jolly man in red remains at the helm of the iconic department store’s annual Santaland. Since 1861, Macy’s has been inviting children and adults to experience the wonder of Santa Claus (though the Herald Square building was not erected until 1901), but what people may not know is that, much like the spirit of Christmas, Santaland exists all year long behind locked doors. On the day after Thanksgiving, the doors are opened, letting holiday magic spill out once again.
Get the Santaland low-down
November 28, 2022

10 things you didn’t know about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

New York City's annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been a favorite holiday tradition for New Yorkers and visitors alike since its inception in the early 1930s. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the festive tradition that draws hundreds of thousands of people daily to the area around Fifth Avenue. From the tree's humble beginnings as a place to gather during the Great Depression to its 50,000 sparkling lights and 900-pound Swarovski crystal-covered star topper, here are 10 things you might not know about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Get the fun facts here
December 9, 2021

15 holiday trees in NYC that are not at Rockefeller Center

The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center may be the most popular conifer in New York City, with 125 million people visiting the tree each year, but it certainly is not the only one. Every holiday season, spruces adorned with colorful lights and ornaments pop up across the five boroughs. The city’s many holiday trees each offer a unique take on the tradition, which began in NYC in 1912 when the first public Christmas tree was erected in Madison Square Park. For those looking to skip the Midtown crowds this year, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best holiday trees, from the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History to the flotilla of trees in Central Park’s Harlem Meer.
Get the full list
December 3, 2021

44 perfect gifts for every New Yorker

As much as we all want the same things sometimes, when it comes to the goodies that peek from stockings and hide in wrapped boxes, it can be a real challenge to find the right match. New Yorkers are finicky, have it all, and want everything and nothing–all at the same time. Our 2021 gift guide is up to that challenge. All of these products have been hand-selected by team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links. All prices reflect those at the time of publishing.
This way for the 2021 gift guide
December 1, 2021

The history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a NYC holiday tradition

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, considered the "worldwide symbol of Christmas," will be lit on Wednesday, marking the 89th tree lighting ceremony. After last year's event was closed to spectators because of the pandemic, the tree lighting will once again welcome the public to kick off the holiday season. Ahead of the event, learn about the history of the iconic spruce, from its start as a modest Depression-era pick-me-up for Rockefeller Center construction workers to World War regulations to its current 900-pound Swarovski star.
More on the history here
November 18, 2021

The 15 best NYC holiday markets of 2021

Even a pandemic can't keep a New York City shopper down. The city's retail landscape may look different now, but that hasn't dimmed the sparkle of beautiful baubles, clever crafts, and the company of fellow shoppers. While most of the city's holiday markets went virtual last year, many of our favorites have returned in their fabulous original form. The big Manhattan markets at Union Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle are still impressive, but smaller, more intimate neighborhood gems shine brightly on their own. They're all great places to find seasonal delights like ice skating, live music, drinks, food, and family fun designed to keep shoppers' spirits bright.
Find out where the goods are
December 8, 2020

Drive-through light shows, outdoor activities, and more: NYC’s best holiday events in 2020

The holidays will undoubtedly look a bit different this year, but just like most special moments during the pandemic, there are still ways to celebrate. From drive-through light shows and massive glowing lantern festivals to curling and ice-skating, there are plenty of fun and safe ways to get in the holiday spirit. Ahead, we've rounded up nearly 20 of the year's best events in and around New York City.
All the events here
December 3, 2020

How NYC brought Christmas tree markets to the U.S.

The convenience of walking to the corner bodega and haggling for a Christmas tree is something most of us take for granted, but this seasonal industry is one that actually predates Christmas’ 1870 establishment as a national holiday and continues to be a one-of-a-kind business model today. In fact, in 1851, a tree stand set up for $1 at the west side's Washington Market became the nation's very first public Christmas tree market, the impetus behind it being a way to save New Yorkers a trip out of town to chop down their own trees. Ahead, find out the full history of this now-national trend and how it's evolved over the years.
The roots of the Christmas tree industry
December 1, 2020

The Salvation Army unveils giant red kettle in NYC as need for support services remains high

With the need for support services at an all-time high coupled with a lack of foot traffic at retail stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Salvation Army has had to think outside the kettle this holiday season. While typically the charity group relies on its bell-ringers stationed outside of stores with red kettles to raise money for those in need, this year the Salvation Army is calling for digital donations. To bring attention to its online fundraising campaign, the group unveiled on Tuesday a giant 32-foot red kettle in Times Square.
Find out more
November 20, 2020

Macy’s 2020 holiday windows honor NYC frontline workers

The first department store in New York City to ever display holiday windows continued its long-standing tradition this week. Macy's on Thursday unveiled its 2020 holiday windows at its flagship Herald Square store with the theme "Give, Love, Believe." According to the store, the windows are a tribute to the city's frontline workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
See them here