Whether you are a tourist or a local, everyone wants an amazing photo for holiday cards or even just to show off during family dinners.
New York City offers countless opportunities for pictures any time of year but is particularly magical over the holidays! Many stores throughout the city have decorated storefronts and you can find an abundance of Christmas trees throughout the parks. If you are passing through on a short trip, you may also want to consider getting a nice family photo while visiting one of the sights on your list! Perhaps consider packing a few Santa hats or reindeer antlers, you never know when you will stumble upon the perfect location for your holiday card! Here are a few places to consider.
Let’s start with a classic! Central Park is always a must see in any season. Although it is extremely popular (it sees an average of 40 million visitors per year!) the park is so large and has so many twists and turns you can find a private corner to yourself and have a photo shoot. You could get a photo with the charming turtle pond or the impressive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Or maybe the kids would enjoy climbing one of the many large boulders scattered throughout the park for a more adventurous picture. There is even a castle in the park! You may need a little patience if you want a private photo with the Bethesda Fountain or walking down the long promenade known as “The Mall” since these are some of the more popular areas of the park but they are definitely worth it. The options really are endless!
South Street Seaport
Another destination that offers something for everyone is the South Street Seaport district in Lower Manhattan. It is a historical shipping port, very essential to NYC commerce, dating back to the 17th century and still is a shopping destination in its own right. Today you will still find delightful brick paved streets lined with designer stores, boutiques, and unique eateries. They also offer a holiday market during the season, perfect for gift shopping. But what really sets this neighborhood apart from the rest is its grand vista of New York Harbor. You could grab a breathtaking family photo with the Brooklyn Bridge. Perhaps you would prefer a photo of you and your bestie in front of the pretty Christmas tree, standing on a charming, historical street. You cannot beat the Seaport district for a classy holiday photo, sure to blow all your relatives away!
One of the best holiday markets in the city can be found in Bryant Park every year. There is an ice skating rink for you athletic families. There are dozens of vendors serving up delicious treats and handmade gifts. Anywhere you go in the Winter Village you are sure to find a wonderful backdrop for your family photo. Here’s a handy tip: one of the best Christmas trees can be found east of the skating rink and makes for an impressive photo. It is also much less crowded than its more famous counterpart in Rockefeller Center.
Speaking of Rockefeller Center, the number one destination every holiday season also has some incredible options for holiday photos. The legendary Rockefeller Christmas Tree is always worth getting a look at. If you come very early in the morning or late at night, you have a better shot at getting a more private photo. But there are some other cool holiday photo ops you may want to consider. How about the LEGO store? In the store windows and throughout the store you can find many gigantic lego models, some of which are holiday themed! There is also the most popular ice skating rink in the city, featuring the Prometheus statue. You are also very close to St. Patrick’s cathedral, a beautiful building both inside and out which offers countless opportunities for pictures. The fifth avenue store fronts are also a great place to window shop and may offer the perfect backdrop for the holiday card! Explore Rockefeller Center and the surrounding areas can fill even the most grumpiest person with the holiday spirit!
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is the top tourist attraction in NYC. Your ticket includes three short ferry rides of New York Harbor which offer incredible views and the perfect opportunity to snag a holiday photo with Lady Liberty. Consider getting some funny hats or maybe some matching sweaters and you can kill two birds with one stone: getting a great photo and visiting an incredible monument. There are many places to wander on the island, and you can get some amazing pictures with the skyline. The Statue of Liberty is sure to make an impressive addition to your family holiday card!
BONUS: Ellis Island
If you take my last bit of advice and visit the Statue of Liberty, you are also able to visit Ellis Island which is truly one of the most valuable experiences available in the city, especially for American citizens. It also happens to boast some beautiful architecture which make a fantastic backdrop for a family photo. You can also search for your own relatives that came through the island during its time as an immigration center. It is a building with a fascinating history that may very well connect with your own family’s story. It is an excellent location for a truly meaningful holiday card, because at the end of the day, the holidays are about family.