Operation Vacation-Top 10 Attractions in New York City

Holiday in the City

By Courtney Daly-Pavone December 4, 2018

New York! New York! Christmas time in the city never looked so good! My family vacation to the Big Apple this year included visiting some famous attractions.

One World Observatory | At World Trade Center‎


Nothing made me prouder as an American than seeing One World, the new World Trade Center. The tour begins on the fastest elevators in the Western Hemisphere they soar 102 stories in 47 seconds. This astonishing ride reveals the transformation of New York City from farmland to today’s skyscrapers. Once we arrived at the top, a breathtaking 360 degree view of Manhattan awaited. 

Now until January 7th, One World Observatory transforms into a Winter Wonderland! Visitors can see a Giant Snow Globe showcasing New York City’s famous skyline, and take selfies on Santa’s Sleigh – Parents can reserve a time for kids to visit with Santa and ride with him in his sleigh over New York’s roof tops.  Professional photographers will capture this once in a lifetime moment! For more information visit:

Central Park 


A trip to New York City would be incomplete without taking in the natural year-round splendor of Central Park.  It's 843 acres! Central Park is bigger than some cities including Monaco, and Vatican City.  What I love most about it, is that it's smack in the middle of Manhattan, a break from the hustle and bustle of New York.  Whether you decide to walk through the park, or hop a ride on  Central Park pedicab tours, don't miss the 29 amazing and unique sculptures in the park. The most popular statues are Alice and Wonderland, sled dog, and Duke Ellington. While a lot of famous authors and poets have sculptures located in the Literary Walk. 

We had to meet the parks newest star, a Mandarin Duck that mysteriously popped up in the pond one day. Planning to stroll through Central Park? Take a celebrity guided tour visit:

FAO Schwarz 


FAO Schwarz is a New York City landmark and treasure.  This larger than life toy store is known for having high-end toys, and has been featured in several films including Big with Tom Hanks. Shoppers can play the ginormous piano, and see tons of live toy demos.  It's  fun for all ages! For more information visit:

American Museum of Natural History 


A Night at The Museum fueled my youngsters desire to explore Natural History, and no trip to NYC would be complete without exploring the museums Hall of Biodiversity, or the Butterfly Conservatory with 500 free flying butterflies.  Anthropods land on your hands! Also meet Titanosaur, a 122 foot cast of the biggest dinosaur ever found! For more information visit:

Rose Center for Earth and Space


The Rose Center for Earth and Space is a part of the American Museum of Natural History.  It's great to visit this state of the art planetarium.  It's building is an 87-foot illuminated Sphere, which appears to float, and is described as a "cosmic cathedral". The top half of the Hayden Sphere houses the Star Theater, which shows “space shows.” The Star Theater is one of the world's most famous planetariums.  We saw the film Dark Universe, which explores new frontiers of the cosmos.  Fun fact,  the director of the planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson is known for downgrading Pluto to dwarf planet status. For more information visit:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a mega museum with 5,000 years of art! It's two million square feet, and it would take months just to see everything in the collection, but we tried our best to see it all in an afternoon.  The Egyptian Wing is my personal favorite.  It's incredible to explore 26000 objects of artistic, historical, and cultural importance.  Walk through tombs, and find fascinating facts about some of Ancient Egypt's Pharaohs.  Did you know that there were several female pharaohs in Ancient Egypt? To find out more information visit:

The Museum of Modern Art | MoMA


The Museum of Modern Art/MOMA houses some of the greatest works of art from artists that changed the world through their unique perspective.  Where else can you get up close to art created by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and Matisse and living artist like Bruce Nauman? It was also a real treat to see the work of Charles White, an African-American artists known for his chronicling of African American related subjects in paintings and murals. For more information visit:

The Rink - Bryant Park

Stop 8

The Rink at Winter Village is New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.  Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $20 bucks.  More information on skate rentals, all rink pricing, FAQs, and more can be found here.

Grand Central Terminal 

Stop 9

More than a train station, this historic world-famous landmark in Midtown Manhattan has 60 shops, 35 places to eat, and a full calendar of events all under one roof! For more information visit:

Rockefeller Center

Stop 10

Rockefeller Center is the crown jewel of New York City.  It is one of New York City's most iconic attractions—it's where that famous Christmas tree is illuminated, Saturday Night Live and the Today show are taped at Rock Center and home to the famous ice rink captured in so many films and photographs.  Kids will love the shops especially the new Lego store! For more information visit:

Stay Informed  subscribe to Central San Diego Macaroni Kid It's Free!