Viewing the Christmas Lights on Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Square, New York, USA

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A visit to New York during the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the shopping district of Fifth Avenue and seeing the skating rink and tree at Rockefeller Square. New York is so full of sights and sounds with something new around every corner.


This post is one chapter on our trip to New York City, New York, United States of America. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and credited to Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Viewing the Christmas Lights of Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Square, New York USA


We set out from The W Union Square, and headed up town via the MTA Subway. We headed uptown to the Plaza hotel via the subway with intentions to walk back down 5th avenue southward towards Rockefeller Square.

We arrived at the south border of Central Park and The Plaza hotel. We walked down 5th avenue, which is famous worldwide as one of the shopping districts of the world.

The Fairmont Plaza Hotel

We entered into the frenzy of Christmas shopping mayhem, we passed by the window Christmas displays at Berdgorf Goodman.

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Passing by Trump Tower:

We passed by Trump Tower which now has a press gallery set up across the street and a protest zone with full security cordon in front of the building. Trump was identified as the president elect 5 days before our trip to New York. The NYPD were conducting full bag searches of all persons that wanted to get to the front of Trump Tower. I can’t imagine how much this might cost over a 4 year presidential term. Thankfully as a visitor to the USA, I will only have to pay when the president destroys NAFTA (laughing).

Christmas Lights on New York’s Fifth Avenue:

As darkness fell, fifth avenue was a fully decorated Christmas light show. We wandered down 5th avenue while we took in several shops: Uniqlo, back to Berdgorf Goodman among others.

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Skating and Holiday Tree:

We wandered over to the Rockerfeller Center Christmas tree. It was absolutely packed but it had a terrific holiday look as snow started to fall in the city. There were a few people there but who’s counting?

We walked over on 50th street past Radio City over to Times Square. The Christmas theme was all around.

Visiting New Yorks’ Times Square:

We wandered over to Times Square which was getting ready for New Year’s celebrations. The ball was set up already to drop to mark the end 2016. This was prior to Ms Mariah Carrey’s New Year’s Eve performance where the lyrics were marked as “missing”.

A Unique Post It Note Protest at MTA Times Square Station:

After Times Square, we headed back home to The W Union Square for a recharge. At the Times Square MTA Subway station, there was a Post It Note protest. The walls were covered with thoughts, expressions and ideas. At the time of our visit, with Mr Donald Trump just being identified as a President Elect, most of the notes were signs against his leadership. It was a pretty interesting time reading the public disclaim against this guy and a great country overall for allowing the freedom of expression versus some countries that would dissent and suppress this kind of public expression at all costs.

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Eataly Grocery and Pizza Pasta Resto at Flatiron Building:

Since we hadn’t made any booking reservations for dinner, we went over to nearby Eataly for dinner. Its situated just cross the from the iconic Flatiron building just 6 blocks from Union Square up Broadway. It is a large Italian grocery superstore featuring imported olive oils and fancy pastas. I was drooling at all the fresh food supplies available.

It also offers restaurants within the area so after wandering through the varieties, we went with MrsWT73’s favorite of pizza and pasta. It was prompt service consistent with its mid grade price point.

The menu at the pizza and pasta resto inside was absolutely massive.


MrsWT73 had a capricosso pizza, which received high marks.

I went for the house made Agnolotti pasta with rib sauce, chopped parsley and Parmesan Regianno paired with Fontafredda Barbera by the glass. Wow- it was near perfect, tasty and robust for a quick meal.

It certainly fit the bill and seemed to be mostly free from tourists on our visit, with most customers being families with kids, younger couples grabbing a bite or moms’ and daughters. A short walk and we were back to the W Union Square, with night time views of the Empire State building.

How I felt about the visit to Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller:

Visiting New York during the holiday season is a pretty special and magical experience. The sights of New York’s famous Fifth Avenue lit up with Christmas lights is a uniquely special experience. Taking in the Rockefeller Square and Christmas Tree was also a pretty neat visit as it’s a part of Americana that is missing from the perspective of a visitor from my home country of Canada.


If you visited New York over the Holiday Season, did you go skating in Rockefeller Square ?

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