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by NYC Editor, 10/14/2008

 
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NEW YORK CITY IS ULTIMATE DESTINATION DURING ANNUAL HOLIDAY SEASON

City Businesses Prepare to Welcome Visitors and Couples with Special Offers and Promotions

New York, NY (October 22, 2007) Each year, New York City becomes a coveted holiday destination as store windows transform into festive panoramas and Christmas trees, menorahs and kinaras light up the five boroughs. Visitors will find the City full of things to see, do and experience during this joyful season.

"The holidays are one of the most exciting times of the year to be in New York City," said George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company, the official marketing and tourism organization for the City. "In addition to all the events that take place, there's also an energy that permeates the five boroughs during this special season. We invite visitors to take advantage of the New York City holiday experience."

The arrival of Santa Claus in Herald Square during the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade November 22 marks the official start of the Christmas holiday season. After this exciting kick off, swarms of shoppers, department store window aficionados and Christmas tree gawkers descend upon the City.

This year, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrates its 75th birthday and invites visitors to see snow fall, experience fireworks, and watch the Rockettes debut new numbers from November 9 to December 30. Tickets range from $40 to $250.

Also celebrating a birthday is the Big Apple Circus which celebrates its 30th Anniversary season this year with Celebrate! an all-new show under its famous Big Top tent at Lincoln Center. Performances take place through January 13, 2008, with two performances on Christmas Day and one on Christmas Eve. Renowned Canadian director Michel Barette returns for his fifth collaboration with the Big Apple Circus. Tickets range from $28 to $66.

Another favorite holiday production is George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. The New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center presents an awe-inspiring show that transports audiences into a magical world featuring adorable children, marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing the City has to offer. Performances run from November 23 to December 30. Tickets range from $30 to $100.

Also coming to the stage this season is a new English-language production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel at The Metropolitan Opera. The Brothers Grimm fairy tale, a timeless children's favorite, features a sophisticated score in this new staging that will appeal to audiences of all ages. The presentation includes four matinee performances and five evening performances: Monday, December 24 matinee; Saturday, December 29 matinee; Tuesday, January 1 matinee; Friday, January 4 matinee; Tuesday, January 8; Friday, January 11; Wednesday, January 23; Saturday, January 26; and Thursday, January 31.

This holiday season, the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden will be the backdrop for the world premiere of Wintuk, a new Cirque du Soleil production that tells the heartwarming winter tale of a boy's quest for snow in a land called Wintuk. The show, which runs November 1 to January 6, includes acrobatics, theatrical effects, and memorable songs. Tickets range from $30 to $110.

Another quintessential New York City experience is skating at the world-renowned Rink at Rockefeller Center. The rink opened for the season October 6 and is a perfect destination for family outings or romantic dates. Adults cost $14, children under 11 are $8.50, and skates are $8.

One of the most magical parts of skating Rockefeller Center is the Christmas tree. And even if visitors don't want to lace up their skates, they can still enjoy the annual Tree Lighting, a star-studded event that has visitors and New Yorkers alike flocking to see the giant tree illuminated. This year's lighting is on November 28, and the tree will stay lit until January 7, 2008.

South Street Seaport will present their 25th Annual Tree Lighting celebration on November 23, which will include the 50-foot Chorus Tree Lighting. The celebration will take place at Fulton Street, Front Street and Pier 17. Caroling from The Big Apple Chorus, performances by American Girl Holiday Singers and a chance to meet Santa and his parade of merry friends will round out the event.

Also illuminating the City are the Lights of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. The exciting spectacle of lights and decorations dazzle visitors as the grand display attracts 100,000 people during the holiday season. Located between 83rd and 86th Streets from 11th to 13th Avenues, adjacent to Bay Ridge, the Lights of Dyker Heights are not to be missed.

In Staten Island, Candelight Tours will take place on the evenings of Saturday, December 8 and Saturday December 15. Over 300 years of holiday traditions come alive with music and more at Historic Richmond Town, which will be aglow with candlelight, oil lamps and the hearth. Tours begin at 4:50 p.m.; $20 per person, $10 for children ages 12 and under; pre-paid reservations required. Call (718) 351-1611, ext. 280 for reservations.

In the Bronx, on Saturday December 8, from 10am to 2pm, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum will put on its Annual Winter Family Day. Decked out in full holiday glory, the Museum will offer a puppet show, craft projects, gift items for purchase, hay rides with songs and professional pictures with Kris Kringle ($20 per photo extra). Cost is $20 per child and adults are free. Seating for the puppet show is limited (718-885-1461).

The City's zoos are also getting in on the festivities. At the year-round family-favorite destination, the Bronx Zoo, holiday lights are strung and decorations hung. And for the animals at the Queens Zoo, the holidays come early with Wild Holiday Party: Presents to the Animals. The program invites visitors to watch the zoo's residents devour holiday treats every weekend in December.

And of course, a favorite pastime for visitors every year is perusing the elaborately decorated storefront windows of major department stores. Bloomingdale's, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Macy's all get spruced up with beautiful themed windows.

For more information on what's happening during the holidays in New York City, go to nycgo.com

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About NYC & Company
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.

Contacts
Kimberly Spell
NYC & Company
tel 212 484 1270
kspell@nycgo.com

Chris Heywood
NYC & Company
tel 212 484 1270
cheywood@nycgo.com