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The Ultimate #HolidaySeasonBucketList in NYC!

Dashing Through New York…

With a One- Fare, Scratched Up MetroCard…

Is the way I spent the beginning to the end of this past #nycholidayseason !

So, as you already may know, from reading #pyramidstemplesandvodka #thenovel , here’s a little bit of my backstory for this post.

First off, my mother died. Then my uncle, who usually kept the holiday season alive in my family. And then... my grandmother.

When I was young, on Christmas Eve, we would all gather at my uncle's house and I would be united with most of my cousins as we sat under the Christmas tree and tried to figure out which gifts were ours.

My mother and father would entertain the family, along with my uncle, as we'd watched reruns of award shows and we’d point out some of the celebrities who my parents hadn’t seen in years.

Those were some good times.

But family is what made the holidays matter and now that I will be spending, yet, another holiday season on my own, until I start a family of “my own,” I have turn lemons into lemonade in this big city that I live in! #NYC !

And, now, I’m ready for the holiday season!

I’ve washed away all my tears and have left the memories where they are to go out and create new ones.

And I’m just so thankful to you New York City!

YOU are the reason for the season and YOU were the one with the most creative minds in the entire country to come up with a stream of activities throughout the 5 boroughs!

YOU were the one who became a home to people with so much nostalgia for the traditions of the #holidayseason that once were preserved for children but have can now be enjoyed by people of all ages.

New York City, you are rough around the edges but you do it BIG for a city girl like me who needs a city as vibrant as you this season to lift her out of her “Grinch-like” mood and turn her frown upside down.

So, for those of you who need somewhere exciting to go this #holidayseason or are right here in the big apple just looking for something new and fun to do for the holidays ... well.... here you go!


#1: SANTACON!!!!!!!!

  • There is nothing like #SantaCon in New York! Each year makes me want to get up earlier and earlier that second Saturday morning of December because I always feel like I am going to miss something. I might miss Mariah Carey one day popping out of a sleigh. Who knows! But when it’s finally time to take off, it’s a mad dash to all of the longest lines.

  • But, remember, you have to slay in the #Christmasseason attire! You have one of three choices: a Mr. or Mrs. Santa, a cute elf or a Hot Fun- Loving Reindeer. So get your outfit early and be prepared for all types of weather because the lines to the best spots are long and the weather outside can be either frightful or just unexpectedly pleasant. Nobody knows in this day and age!

  • Also #drinkresponsibly! Because sloppy drunk and vomiting is not in the #Christmasspirit !


  • You have to dig through a or eventbrite site for this one.

  • Not many bars have it but it’s one of the most creative things to do around this time of the year. And it takes you back to a merry time. At home, with the parents, baking and creating things with your hands. So wear a festive sweater and roll up those sleeves! If decorating gingerbread houses isn’t your thing, you could always Google some “gingerbread house making” contests. Because, here’s a motto I like to live by: If you can’t watch, DO! And, if you can’t do, WATCH!


  • Ok, so this bucket list item has taken a few new twists & turns since it originally became a “thing” for this time of the year. Online, I have seen “Ugly Sweater Contests,” “Ugly Sweater Bar Crawls,” “Ugly Sweater Brunches”… even “Ugly Sweater Speed Dating.”

  • Whatever you decide, grab the ugliest sweater online or even the most controversial (because they even have provocative ugly sweaters now; too) and head to the #uglysweater event of your choice!


  • Now this is the ULTIMATE thing to do around this time of the year. Skate in front of a massively large tree with so many lights and decorations!

  • You may not be the greatest at skating. You may spend all of your time holding on to the wall or just be an amazing ice skater like myself but being in the center of all that decadence will make you feel truly “decadent” inside. So put on those rentals and get ready for some photo ops!


  • As a #worldtraveler living your best life during the #Holidayseason, it’s not #holidaytime without trying some holiday drinks! And, since life’s so short, shoot… why not throw a show in the mix!

  • This year, the hottest holiday show in town, other than the Rockettes, is Secret Santa. There’s 5 different holiday cocktails. There’s drag queens singing. Contortionists! If you find another show that's better than this, then grab those tickets and falalala!


  • So I am heading to the #NorthPole by The North Pole Express. It’s one of the double decker buses that they usually give the New York City tours on. I saw them going down 42nd street making a whole bunch of noise as they sang #Christmassongs and drank a whole bunch of hot chocolate.

  • If riding around a traffic- filled city on a bus with Santa Claus is too much, you can always just opt for one of the “Meet Santa” pop up events.


  • Because we need to #buyblack this holiday season!

  • This year, the festivities are in Brooklyn. There’s going to be amazing music. Amazing food! And the best part about the event is that you are supporting black-owned restaurants in #thebigapple .


  • Now, you will have to embrace some of the city madness for this one but, I will tell you, it is a #MUSTSee at least once a year in the big apple.

  • Bryant Park, located in the heart of 42nd street is where the #wintervillage lies! It's a span of an entire block full of shops and #holidaydecadence and they even have a huge skating rink in the middle of the block.

  • I suggest that, if you aren’t going to skate, I’d go grab me a boozy hot chocolate, which is a hot chocolate that can be served with any choice of Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, or Whiskey, BEFORE engaging on the long lines to nowhere as you surf through the crowds to look at little holiday trinkets and gift ideas for fam or friends. Or, even yourself!

  • The food is amazing. They have pickles on sticks! Asian empanadas… you name it over there in that 1 block radius of madness. Go there once, see as much as you can see and then you never have to go back after that!


  • What better way to end an amazing #nycholidayseason than to be on a huge boat headed to nowhere!

  • But there’s more! Not only do you get amazing views of the city on the last night of the year… there’s fireworks!

  • There’s champagne! There’s camaraderie, in which you will never have to feel like you are spending your #NewYearsEve alone, and there’s, most likely (check the description of the package when you book it) food on board!

  • This is, of course, if you have already done the whole #TimesSquareNYECelebration fiasco. I mean, watching that ball drop is something to do once in your life… but JUST ONCE!

  • But, honestly, if you are not into all of the crowds, I prefer a yacht party! Less people, less stress about how to get to a bathroom and less headache making your way back to the train.


I would’ve added more because there are a whole bunch of winter wonderlands and places to travel to around this time of the year. But, let’s be realistic, if you can get through this entire holiday list, then you can party like a #nativenewyorker . Not to mention, there’s gifts that you most likely will have to buy. Rent that has to be paid. Then, to fully engage in this list, you gotta go buy the outfits and the tickets to some of these and have money for drinks and food.

So may the odds be forever in your favor of completing this list!

And, most importantly….

Go have a #hollyjollyholidayseason my fellow traveler!

For more of the travel festivities and fun, check out my instagram page:

IG: nikkitravelcompanion

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