Going into the city, aka Manhattan, during the Christmas season is a top-of-the-list experience. Check out the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, ooh and ahh at the shop windows decorated for Christmas, and make your annual visit to Santa Claus. You can get your picture taken or even have breakfast with Santa at these stores, restaurants, and events in New York City in 2017.
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Santa at Macy's in Herald Square
Visiting Santa in Santaland at Macy's in Herald Square is a tradition. Starting in 2017, you can only see him by making a reservation, which should cut down wait times significantly. Time slots will be available starting Nov. 20 at this website. You'll be able to reserve 30 minutes to five days in advance, depending on availability. Santa will be accepting visitors (and lap-sitters) from Nov. 24 through Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) at Macy's Herald Square on the 8th floor.
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Breakfast With Santa at Macy's
Head to Stella 34 inside of Macy's for a breakfast experience with Santa. Breakfast starts at $50 for adults, $35 for children and includes an Italian breakfast feast, table visits from Santa and his elves, treats to bring home, a keepsake “on Santa’s knee” photograph with a digital download ($39.95 value at Macy’s Santaland), and a complimentary prosecco bellini (for adults), all in a festive atmosphere complete with music and a gingerbread and confections display. Reservations are required, and you can book online. For the 2017 season, there are two seatings at 8:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 24, 25, and 26 and Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24. Breakfast with Santa is at Macy's Herald Square on the 6th Floor.
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Breakfast at the Rock Center Cafe or Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center includes a toy and visit with Santa and his elves, followed by an ice skating session at the Rink at Rock Center. Reservations are essential. Tickets begin at $75 for adults and $55 for children at the Rock Center Cafe, which offers three seatings (7:15, 8:45, and 9:15 a.m.) and $110 for adults and $75 for children at Sea Grill, which offers a more extensive breakfast at 8:15 a.m. Choose from select dates from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24.
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Sail around Manhattan with views of Midtown and downtown and cruise under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges on the Circle Line with Santa while feasting on croissants, brownies, and muffins and drinking coffee and hot chocolate. Photo ops with Santa are included. Tickets are $49 for adults and $39 for children ages 3-12. Circle Line Cruises leave from Pier 83 (West 42nd Street) on Dec. 2, 9, and 16 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Children and adults can have a festive lunch cruise with Santa aboard the Spirit of New York. The two-hour cruise on Dec. 9 lasts from noon until 2 p.m, with boarding at 11:30 a.m., and departs from Chelsea Piers. Tickets are $59.90 for adults and $35.95 for children and include a buffet lunch with kid-friendly options as well as the cruise and a visit with Santa.