Everyone knows that finals are (debatably) the least wonderful time of the year. Everyone is stuck inside the library while New York is lit up with holiday cheer and festivities. It is difficult to find time for fun when Contracts and Civil Procedure are looming over your head, but below are some holiday-themed activities all around New York that won’t take up too much time from finals season, ordered from least to most time-consuming.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree
I’m not sure that I could mention Christmas in New York without mentioning this iconic tree. The plus side is that it’s one short train ride away, and you can fill yourself with Christmas cheer for free. You don’t have to attend the lighting ceremony or have fun on the ice rink if that isn’t your style, but taking a break to see one of the most popular tourist sites in New York is worth your while.
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
This is a bit more of a train ride away, but if you’ve been stuck inside all day it might be best to get a bit of cheer before the next round of studying starts. Dyker Heights has a tradition of brilliantly decorated suburban homes. It may not sound like much, but from 83rd to 85th, the neighborhood is lit up with Santas, reindeer, and more!
The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes/New York City Ballet: The Nutcracker
These performances are definitely something you attend to treat yourself when finals are all over, but if you’re into Christmas-themed dancing, then these are for you! Everyone knows about the Rockettes and The Nutcracker, but if you don’t, why not see for yourself? It’s amazing to see in action arguably some of the best dancers in the world.
For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, there are plenty of other holiday-themed activities!
Union Square Holiday Market
If you’re having difficulty finding a gift for someone or just need a nice hot chocolate and holiday decorations, going to the holiday market can kill two birds with one stone. Given that it’s one train ride (or a reasonable walk) away, you can get there in no time. You can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours walking around, but whatever you decide, you’re bound to get some much-needed holiday cheer.
New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show
This one will definitely take more time, but if you get out of your Torts final and you need something happy to prepare you for the next one, this is something that you can spend either an hour or multiple hours on. Every year the New York Botanical Gardens hosts a holiday-themed train show. They design replicas of landmarks from all around New York, like One World Trade and the Statue of Liberty, and have toy trains flowing through and around the landmarks in a lovely plant-based display.