Search This Blog

Follow Us on Twitter

Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York: 
A magical time for an IVHE vacation
Photo source: flickr, Michael Ostendorp
From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, through Hannuka, Christmas, and the the New Year’s Eve ball drop, holiday excitement is nonstop in the City That Never Sleeps. This year, breakaway from home for one or more of these holidays and do a merry IVHE home exchange vacation in New York City. Eat, drink and be merry in restaurants from African to Vietnamese; shop in stores transformed into fairylands with out-of-this-world decorations; see spectacles and shows that will live in your heart forever.

Christmas merchandise and decorations will have been up in the stores weeks before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is held on the fourth Thursday in November, setting the stage for the unofficial start of the holiday season. This year’s extravaganza will be the 87th.

Photo source: flickr, Caltee Smith
When it comes to a holiday event for the kids, Macy’s Parade is one of the best. Cartoon character balloons, some as high as five stories, float down skyscraper-lined streets and avenues with the guidance of handlers numbering up to 90 for each balloon. There’s Spider Man, Hello Kitty, Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and many others sure to keep a child jumping with excitement. And there’s marching bands from around the country, lavish floats decorated in holiday themes, and performers on the street or or floats, many from the casts of current Broadway Musicals. The final float in the parade features Santa Clause himself. And so it begins

The day after thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. In New York and in cities around the country, stores and shops cut their prices drastically to give Christmas gift-buying a hefty start. Throngs of people line up early in the morning to take advantage of this retail bonanza. If you would like to join them, be ready for an exhilirating stampede when the doors open. And prepare yourself for some excellent buys.

The city’s biggest department stores try to outdo each other with holiday window displays. It’s fun to stroll around the city to see the colorful, clever creations of each. You can take a self guided tour lasting about an hour and a half by starting on the northeast end with Bloomingdales, over to Barney’s on Madison Avenue and down Fifth Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Lord & Taylor and finally over to Macy’s on east 34th street at Herald Square. Wear warm clothes and sensible shoes. And enjoy.

On the evening of December 3, thousands of people will crowd the sidewalks around Rockefeller Center (between West 48th and West 51st. Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues) for the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in the country. Thousands of lights come to life on this stupendous tree and dazzle onlookers as Christmas music and carols fill the plaza and ice-skating rink. The tree will remain lit every night until January 7th, so if you miss the lighting ceremony you can still see this festive tree at a not-so-hectic time.

Photo source: flickr, Ralph Dally
A visit to New York would not be complete without taking in a show or two. There are more musicals, plays, holiday shows, and off Broadway productions than ever before. The Book of Mormon, Alladin, Jersey Boys, Wicked – the list goes on. But there is one show that only runs during the holiday season and is not to be missed – The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the precision dancing and kicklines of the famous Radio City Rockettes.  From their “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” to their unique interpretation of “The Nutcracker,” performances by the Rockettes are a joy to watch for young and old. The show runs from November 7 thru December 31. Tickets to this and other theatre shows can be ordered at

On December 16, the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights begins in the city with the lighting of the first candle on the world’s largest menorah (at Grand Army Plaza, 5th Ave. and 59th St.). On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, a candle will be lit and the holiday celebrated with live music, hot latkes, and gifts for the children.

Photo source: gigi_nyc
Wrap up your New York holiday with a party like no other. It takes place in Times Square where an estimated one million people gather on New Year’s Eve to count down to midnight in unison as the famous New Year’s Eve Crystal Ball slowly descends “… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … HAPPY NEW YEAR! … and the crowd goes wild, noisemakers rattle and hoot, a blizzard of confetti fills the air , and fireworks explode overhead. Celebrating the beginning of a new year continues into the night with star-studded musical performances.

The International Vacation Home Exchange offers four properties in Manhattan, from the Upper West Side to Greenwich Village. Each property is as unique as its neighborhood.

Property #0133: Greenwich Village --
4-bedroom, 3-floor, 2400 sq. ft. townhouse. Greenwich Village is mostly an upper middle class
residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan. New York
University (NYU) is located here. This IVHE townhouse is on Washington Mews, a one-block long cobbled street closed off to traffic. The neighborhood has hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops. Washington Square Park, marked by a large arch, has a fountain, playgrounds, gardens, bocce court and chess tables. Subwaylines are close by. The townhouse is nicely furnished and kitchen is fully-equipped. Appliances include a dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer.

Property #0638: West 57th Street -- 1-bedroom apartment in an amazing Victorian building. This midtown apartment is housed in an 1885 landmark building on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the height of luxury back in its day and remains so today. This majestic apartment has a ceiling height of over 14 ft, hand-carved woodwork, shuttered bay windows, parquet floors and stained glass windows marked Tiffany & Co. Carnegie Hall is across the street. Lincoln Center and the Theater District are short strolls away, as are the 57th Street art galleries, The Museum of Art & Design, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park.

Property #0908: Upper West Side -- 2-bedroom apartment near Columbia University.  The Upper West Side is a distinguished cultural epicenter, home to the American Museum of Natural History, the New-York Historical Society, the historic Beacon Theatre and Lincoln Center where audiences can enjoy live opera, jazz, ballet and theater performances.
The apartment features exposed brick in the living room and master bedroom, skylights, and high ceilings. You can go out on the roof and watch barges and ships navigate the Hudson River; or step outside, turn right, and in a minute you’re on Broadway with its neighborhood markets, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Property #0969: Chelsea -- 2 bedroom exclusive apartment for direct swap
Hard drivin’ rockers from the 60’s and 70’s used to hang out here in droves; not so much today, but partiers and clubgoers can still find some of New York’s most rocking spots in Chelsea. Since the mid-90s, there’s been a boom in art, culture, architecture and celebrity and a complement of homegrown shops, cozy restaurants, and warm cafes. Your IVHE apartment is in the heart of Chelsea; an easy walk to the Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, Times Square and Penn Station. The building has a doorman and valet service.

In addition you can choose from three fabulous properties in Brooklyn (above) only 8 minutes on the subway from Manhattan!  These stunning listing are: 1022, 1023 and 1024.

For more information on each of these Manhattan exchange homes, click the property # by each one. If you are not familiar with the International Vacation Home Exchange and would like to find out more about its unique exchange program, visit and click how it works.


Post a Comment

We would welcome your comments and ideas


FREE quick and essential guide to Home Exchange

All entries * are required

Read about our privacy policy.


Copyright @ 2014 Vacation Home Exchange .