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English Language Institute Blog

3 Reasons We Love NYC in December

If you are thinking about studying ESL in New York, any time of year is great, of course. At Pace's ELI, we have lots of great student life options throughout the year. But December in New York is an especially magical time for students taking English classes in New York.

There are many reasons why. Here are three:

#1 The holiday windows

NYC in December Holiday-windows-MacysEvery year after a Thanksgiving the department stores all dress their windows for the holidays.

You can start at Macy’s on 34th Street and walk from one store to another, enjoying the windows and taking lots of photos. Macy's is the classic holiday store. They featured in the famous movie "Miracle on 34th Street" and they are responsible for putting on the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Their windows never disappoint. Every year there is a different theme and each window reflects that theme.

From there, walk past the New York Public Library where the lion statues have huge wreaths around their necks. Take a short side track to Bryant Park, where there is a large tree and free skating (if you have your own skates; you can also rent them there).

NYC in December Rockefeller center Tree Continue onward up 5th Avenue. Here is the famous tree at Rockefeller Center. There are angels blowing trumpets and more ice-skating opportunities. Across the street are the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue. Even more impressive are the light shows on the facade of the store. Every ten minutes there is a spectacular sound and light show. This is best seen form across the street. Continue up 5th Avenue. Stop off at Lindt chocolates - you can often get a free sample.

Then on to Bergdorf Goodmans. The windows here are not themed to Christmas, but are the most spectacular, intricate displays of any store in the city. They will take your breath away. Read here for a full description of the tour of the NYC holiday windows.


#2 The shopping

NYC in December holiday fairsThe shopping in NYC is always incredible. But in December, holiday markets open everywhere.

The Occulus at the World Trade Center, just near Pace, at Union Square, in Grand Central and many more places around the center all host really great markets with lots of interesting arts and crafts that showcase New York.


#3 The snow

NYC in December snowWinter in New York can be cold, but when it snows, it is truly magical. It is quiet, there is little traffic, the city glows.

In White Plains, the old buildings and the trees get covered in snow and it is a winter wonderland. It is like being in a movie. This is when New York is at its most wonderful!


Do you want to spend the holuidays in New York while studying English? You can visit the ELI website, contact the ELI or apply here.


Word List:

  • to dress (store windows) (v): to decorate (something, especially a window) for display
  • facade (n.): the front of a building
  • intricate (adj.): having many parts
  • to glow (v.): to shine with a steady light