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Fun Things to Do in New York City in December

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During the last month of the year, the City that Never Sleeps transforms into a whole different world. Wherever you go, you will be greeted with Christmas lights, Jingle Bells playing and displays of Santa Claus in the windows. There is so much to do during the holiday season in New York City that it might be hard to choose. Here’s a list of places and activities you definitely need to check out before the new year begins.

Rockefeller Tree Lighting

The gigantic Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Center is a worldwide symbol of Christmas in New York City. This year, the traditional lighting ceremony takes place on November 28th. And the best part is that the tradition is completely free for anyone! Make sure to get there on time though, because thousands of people gather to attend the ceremony every year.

Enjoy the Miniature NY landmarks

The New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx become even more magical during the holiday seasons, when the Holiday Train Show takes place. This year, the exhibition focuses on Lower Manhattan. You can watch enchanting model trains make their way through a display of over 175 New York landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the One World Trade Center. Tip: if you plan your visit on a weekday instead of during a weekend or holiday, you can save some money on your ticket.

Take a Ride on the Vintage Subway

Your daily Subway ride suddenly is a lot more fun when you take the F train on the weekends. Instead of regular trains, on certain days you can travel back in time by hopping on one of the Holiday Nostalgia Rides. The trains are decorated with Christmas wreaths and look just like they did 100 years ago, with yellow seats, advertisements straight out of the 1940s. Even some of the passengers on the train are dressed up traditionally for this special ride.

Quick Extra Cash to make the most of Holiday Season

December is the favorite month of many New Yorkers, but also the most expensive one. Luckily, Provident Loan Society is there to help you enjoy this wonderful season to the fullest. Provident Loan Society is a not-for-profit lending organization that provides instant cash in exchange for collateral. When you’re in need of some quick extra cash, all you have to do is bring your collateral to one of their five offices throughout the city. Within twenty minutes, you walk out with as many cash as you want to spend this month. Have fun!

 

About the Author
Daphne Striekwold is studying International Business & Languages in the Netherlands.

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The Best Christmas Markets to Visit this December

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December in New York City is defined by festive outdoor markets, bright Christmas lights and fun winter activities. So while it can be a cold and snowy month, there’s no excuse to not go outside and explore the wonderful season.

This month, throw on some warm and comfortable clothes, and get ready to explore the Big Apple with your friends. Best of all? You won’t have to break the bank to have a fun time.

Here, a to-go-to list of places that are (almost) free to visit:    (more…)

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How to Save Money on Gifts This Christmas

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From purchasing the perfect tree to travel expenses for visiting family, New Yorkers everywhere are struggling with money this December. This time of year can especially be stressful if you’re running low on cash for gifts for your loved ones.

Does this sound like you? Good news: you don’t need to stress anymore. 

Here, we’ve compiled a list on how to save money on Christmas gifts this year. (more…)

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Christmas Tree Shopping in the Bronx

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Christmas might still be a few weeks away, but in New York it’s never too early to start decorating your house for the biggest holiday of the year. One thing that can’t be missing when it comes to contributing to the Christmas spirit, is, of course, the Christmas tree. Will you go for a real tree or an artificial one this year? One big enough to reach the ceiling, or a cute small tree to fit on the kitchen table? And most importantly: Where are you going to get one?

Where to Get Your Tree

Most people start their search for the perfect Christmas tree in Manhattan and end up spending about three times the necessary amount. The average price of a Christmas tree in SoHo is $135. Greenwich Village holds the record this year, charging up to $1,000 for a tree (including delivery, stand and tip).

Instead, you should check out The Bronx for tree shopping. If you like to go for a real tree, Uptown Christmas Trees offers beautiful trees for prices varying from $40 till $80, depending on the height. Another option is The Home Depot, which has establishments in multiple parts of The Bronx. They offer a great selection of different types of Christmas trees. You can check out their information on the website, so that you can choose your favorite tree in advance of visiting the shop and take the new addition to your household home with you. If you want to surprise your family with an artificial, but realistic looking tree instead, The Home Depot also has what you’re looking for.

How to Select and Care for the Perfect Tree

Even when you have decided on the best place to get your new addition to the family, there’s still so many options. There’s a few things you need to take into account when it comes to choosing your tree for this year. For example, look out for dull needles, withered bark on the outer twigs and the presence of insects on the trees. You might also want to lightly shake the tree to see how many needles it sheds. In addition, make sure that your new tree fits into the stand you’ve selected for it.

Even after you’ve brought your beautiful tree home, taking proper care of it is important if you want to make sure you and your family can enjoy it as long as possible. New York can get pretty cold in the winter, so in order for the tree to acclimate to the warmth of your living room, it might be a good idea to first put it in the garage for a while.

Extra Cash for the Perfect Christmas Tree

So you found your perfect Christmas tree for a reasonable price, but it’s just outside of your budget. With Provident Loan Society, you’ll still be able to get the tree of your dreams! Provident Loan is a lending organization that offers instant cash in exchange for collateral. The organization has five offices all around New York City, so if you decided on Christmas shopping in the Bronx, you can quickly stop by the office in the neighborhood.

The process is fast and simple. All you have to do is bring your collateral and within 20 minutes, you’ll walk out of the door with just that extra cash you need to buy that one tree you want. Merry Christmas!

About the author

Daphne Striekwold is studying International Business & Languages in the Netherlands.

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Best Spots to Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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It’s time for New Yorkers to attend the event of the year:  the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, taking place on November 22nd.

As the world’s largest parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a 2.5-mile long celebration that garners over 3.5 million people from around the world every year. So if you want to attend, you better get there early, because it’ll be crowded with people competing over the good spots.

Beyond all the millions of New Yorkers and tourists attending the parade, this year’s event will also feature celebrities like Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jack Angel, Frank Welker (the voice of Fred Jones in Scooby-Doo) and Jaleel White.

The best part? You don’t need a ticket to attend – it’s entirely free!

Here’s a list of the best spots in NYC to beat the crowds and check out the parade: 

Be There or Be Square

Macy’s parade route will start off at West 77th Street & Central Park at 9am. If you want to have a great view of the parade, a good spot is at Central Park West from 75th to West 59 Street. 

In keeping with tradition, this year’s parade will feature giant balloons imagining different cartoon characters. Think: Pikachu, SpongeBob Squarepants and Charlie Brown. There’ll also be different types of entertainment, including clowns, marching bands and dance performances.

After West 77th, the parade will head to Columbus Circle and turn onto Central Park South before it walk towards Central Park 6th Avenue. You’ll find the best views on West 59th Street to West 38th Streets.

NBC will broadcast the parade in the US and attract over 50 million viewers across the country. You should avoid watching the parade on 6th Avenue between West 34th Street and West 38th Streets and on West 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues because the national TV broadcast will limit the viewing there.

At noon, the parade will make its final right, outside Macy’s Herald Square.

Need an Outfit for the Evening?

If you’re looking for a last minute outfit to wear on Thanksgiving evening, Macy’s Herald Square will open at 5pm after the parade to start its Black Friday sale.  The store will remain open until 2am.

During the Black Friday sale, you’ll have the opportunity to make huge savings on clothing, shoes and accessories, and collect your favorite products from your favorite brands.

Running Low on Cash?

If you haven’t received your paycheck before the parade and are running low on cash, you can use the nonprofit Provident Loan Society.

They provide you with short-term loans in exchange for collateral such as gold and fine jewelry. Provident Loan Society has five New York City locations where you can bring your collateral.

First step is to tell them how much money you need, they offer loans up to $100,000. A pawnbroker will have a look at your collateral and give you a monetary estimate and then you will have the cash on-the-spot. The whole process takes 20 minutes to complete. Click here if you want to read more. 

Author
Diana Andersson is a Swedish student studying sociology and rhetoric in Stockholm.

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