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10 things to do in Manhattan for the holidays

Ice Skating in Central Park. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Ice Skating in Central Park. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Manhattan in New York City is a magical place, especially during the holidays. Visiting New York City during the holidays or a new resident? These ten ideas will keep you entertained in Manhattan for the holidays.

1.       The Color Purple on Broadway. The Color Purple just may be the best Broadway show I have ever watched. Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe winner Jennifer Hudson gets a lot of well-deserved attention, but Cynthia Erivo, who plays Celie, will leave you in awe with her performance, most notably with a voice that is on par with Hudson herself and superb acting skills. I anticipate Tony Awards for this show in the spring! A must see!

2.       The Gin Game on Broadway. The word legend is highly overused, but when a two-person play features the 91-year old Cicely Tyson, and soon-to-be 85-year old James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader from Star Wars celebrates his birthday January 17) it becomes a must-see. The talent of these two legends is evident as they become the characters in this play that centers on two seniors playing a friendly card game.

3.       Madison Square Garden. The Garden isn’t nicknamed “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for nothing. Name a performer, legendary to contemporary, and there is a 99% chance he or she has graced its stage. So catch Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks, the Harlem Globetrotters, the WWE Live Holiday Tour, college basketball or more at the Garden!

4.       Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is such a huge event that NBC airs a live television special for its lighting. My alter ego Rel Romance says whether you are ballin’ or on a budget, taking your significant other to see the 78-foot tall wonder will enhance the romance for your evening.

5.       Negril Village. For a combination of great Caribbean food and a vibrant atmosphere, there is none better than Negril Village. Not hungry? The Rhum Lounge on the lower level offers a laid-back setting to enjoy a cocktail and the music of special guest DJs booked for the holidays.

6.       Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral or The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. It is the holiday season and for Christians, it is about the meaning of Christmas. There are thousands of churches in New York City, but two of the most famous in Manhattan are St. Patrick’s Cathedral and The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

7.       Time Square on New Year’s Eve. Why watch the ball drop on television if you can watch it in person? Times Square in New York City on New Year’s Eve may just be the biggest party in the world! If you have a weak bladder or do not like crowds, this is most certainly not the place for you. But if you want a one-of-a-kind experience that you will treasure forever, this is one to get off your bucket list!

8.       Ice Skating. Though the temperatures have regularly hit 60 degrees during the month of December in New York City, an oddity, colder weather is on the way, and with that comes ice skating. There are three great options within a mile of each in Rockefeller Center, Wollman Rink and Bryant Park, the latter of which doesn’t charge an admission fee but a little extra for skates, which means you skate free if you own a pair. Bryant Park also offers pop-up shops around the rink and also offers Celsius at Bryant Park, where you can grab a bite to eat or a hot or cold adult or child beverage.

9.       The 40/40 Club. This sports bar/nightclub/restaurant owned by Jay Z is regularly frequented by Hov himself and his many celebrity friends. The 40/40 Club is a great place to have a holiday cocktail, grab a bite to eat, go dancing, people watch, or even bring in 2016.

10.   Jazz at Lincoln Center. The top stars in the world of jazz consistently perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center, located in Columbus Circle. With events almost every day, Jazz at Lincoln Center also houses Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, a smaller, more intimate club named after the great jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

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