NYC LIFE INSIDER’s GUIDE: Holiday Shopping, The Tree, Museums, Live Theater, and More
You know the holidays are near when the tree arrives at Rockefeller Center. The most Christmas-y restaurant in NYC is back. Gabrielle Carlson’s holiday sale is here too. But let’s not forget fall, and there are some great tours at Central Park. Valerie Smaldone reviews Caroline, or Change, now at the Roundabout—let’s just say, it’s not glowing. Heading to the museums? Check out Jennifer Park at the Whitney and diamonds at the Museum of Natural History. The Broadway Babe is back with her online picks this week. Our Roving photographer reports in from Virginia Beach. And check out even more highlights of things to do below.
Meet the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!
For the first time ever, the tree comes from Maryland. The 79-foot Norway Spruce arrives today at Rockefeller. The tree will be lit on December 1 and will be lit daily from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6am to 9pm. Get more details.
The Most Christmas-y Restaurant is Back!
Rolf’s German Restaurant in Gramercy Park, is the iconic spot that will put even the Grinch in a Christmas mood. Last year they were closed during COVID, but they are back and all the amazing decorations are up. Rolf’s Restaurant is located in in Gramercy Park at 22nd Street and 3rd Avenue. 281 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010 . Phone 212-477-4750 and ☏ 212-473-8718. Their Christmas decoration will be on the display all year.
Central Park Tours
Central Park is beautiful anytime of the year, but we especially love it in the fall. The park offers many terrific tours, all modestly priced. There’s the North Woods Tour, the Ramble Tour, and many others that could keep you entertained with nature for months to come. Get the details.
Now – Nov. 15. Canstruction at Brookfield Place
Head downtown to see this very fun exhibition. This annual design competition challenges teams of architects, engineers, and contractors to build sculptures made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The large-scale structures are placed on display and later donated to City Harvest for distribution to those in need. Get the details.
Now – Nov. 17. Gab’s Holiday Sale
Wrap yourself in a hug with a luminous lamé scarf, a sumptuous cashmere stole, and/or a fleece wrap — all to keep you warm and wonderful. Add holiday sparkle by adorning yourself in gorgeous earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that you’ll never take off, artfully worn to complement our holiday tees. They make perfect gifts too! Tell her you’re a Tomato! Visit or in her store at 501 Lexington Avenue, NYC or visit her web site.
Broadway Babe’s Picks: Grease, Astaire, Company and More
Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller, has some terrific finds this week, and insider comments. They include a documentary about the history of the musical “Grease” with insider info from the Broadway producer, Ken Waissman, and a close friend of Randie’s. Other finds are an Evening with Fred Astaire, the original cast of Company in concert, a Celebration of the American Musical performed at Avery Fisher Hall. You’ll feel like you were there. Get the details.
Our Roving Photographer in Virginia Beach
Our roving photographer, Nicole Freezer Rubens, writes this werek: “If I can’t be in my beloved New York, the next best thing is exploring new cities. I recently visited Virginia Beach for the first time and fell in love with this coastal city. A larger than life statue of Neptune presides over the 3 mile boardwalk, above the wide beautiful beach. Going in October, the off-season, allowed me to really see the bones of this old vacation spot, with its quirky hotels, signage and colorful public art. I can only imagine what it looks and sounds like when it’s hopping in August!”