Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tourists (and even the
locals) in New York City for the holidays seem to have one area in mind: Grand
Central Terminal straight to Fifth Avenue.
In that tiny stretch, you've got
the famed tree, festive shop-windows, Bryant Park's Christmas market, and
UNICEF's larger-than-life snowflake, which is more than enough to send any
vacationer reeling.
If you're looking to venture off the traditional path
this year—which we fully support both to avoid crowds and get your
celeb-spotting fix—we've rounded up the best ways to celebrate Christmas
like a true star.
Hot Chocolate at Serendipity III Stop by Serendipity III for a frozen hot
chocolate (and a hot fudge sundae, while you're at it) in true Blake Lively
fashion.
Lively's a known fan of Serendipity III and their decadent
concoctions, and even confessed to Extra TV how she feasted on their
infamously over-the-top desserts after the last year's Met Gala.
"I went
to Serendipity.
Frozen hot chocolate, extra peanut butter sauce on the side.
I
closed that place down!" Lively said.
Pro tip: if you've never been, the
longtime establishment is always immaculately decorated during the holiday
season, and it's just a few blocks from all the other most notable
attractions—which makes it the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Shibui Spa at Greenwich Hotel Visit Shibui Spa at Robert DeNiro's
Greenwich Hotel, which is the ultimate NYC celeb-spotting destination.
The
ultra-relaxing, laidback vibes make this the perfect place to unwind.
Don't
forget to warm up in the spa's bath, which offers seasonal soaks (winter's
scent is a juniper infusion, which claims to release toxins, stress,and body
tension.) If you're in the mood for a rub down, opt for the Drunken Lotus
massage which uses hot towels and essential oils equaling a near out-of-body
experience.
Hotel guests have included Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Kate
Hudson and many (read: MANY) more.
Cookie Baking Class at the International Culinary Center Have a cookie
baking party like Taylor Swift.
Not all of us have Tribeca penthouses with
multiple ovens at our disposal—but for those of you who are out-of-towners
with Airbnb's or friend' s apartments to visit, why not make a night out
of baking Christmas cookies and exchanging presents to get in the holiday
spirit? For those of you staying in kitchen-less hotel rooms, never fear: the
French Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center) is
offering a holiday cookie baking class on December 3rd, where you'll learn
how to bake Christmas favorites like chocolate crinkles and ginger snaps.
Brunch at the Tavern on the Green Chow down at Tavern on the Green like
Jennifer Lawrence (and ex Chris Martin.) Multiple outlets were quick to pick
up the gossipy news that the pair had dined there, with PEOPLE reporting that
Lawrence ate a roast beef sandwich, while Martin opted for Eggs Benedict.
If
you're looking for a classic NYC spot to enjoy a meal, Tavern on the Green
(which reopened in May 2014) is an excellent choice.
Tavern is another NYC
establishment known to go all out with the Christmas decorations, so even if
you're not going to dine, it's an excellent spot to take an
Instagram-worthy shot featuring tons of white lights and (hopefully!) snow.
Brooklyn Nets Game at Barclays Center Take in a Brooklyn Nets Game like
Prince William and Kate Middleton.
While attending a basketball game may not
scream 'Christmas,' it's a fun way to spend a night and get your sports
fix all at once.
Plus, chances of sighting some seriously famous stars are
high—the fact that the Royals made time for a pit stop in Brooklyn during
last year's three-day winter tour of NYC should solidify the Barclays
Center's status as the new "it" destination to see—and be seen.
Dinner in the West Village Skip the crowds in Midtown and venture
downtown to the West Village instead, where ultra-famous residents include
names like Sarah Jessica Parker, Daniel Radcliffe, and Marc Jacobs.
The nearby
Meatpacking District may be trendy, but strolling the quieter streets of New
York's most charming neighborhood during Christmas is nothing short of
magical.
SJP herself has often been spotted putting up her own decorations at
her brownstone, and there are plenty of cozy restaurants and bars to warm up
in—such as the Beatrice Inn (or, if you can get a reservation, opt for the
Waverly Inn which is notoriously known for their celebrity clientele).
Shopping at Barney's New York Shop like a celebrity at New York's
most iconic destinations—such as Barney's New York—where everyone from
Jay-Z to Lucy Hale are fans (note: you can dine there, too, at one of the
Upper East Side's most exclusive restaurants, Freds).
Even if you're just
browsing, it's still an excuse to see some of the best-decorated windows in
the city, and potentially get a glimpse of your favorite celebrities doing a
little last-minute holiday shopping.
Other popular shopping destinations known
for their star-studded clientele include Bergdorf Goodman, Opening Ceremony,
Jeffrey, and What Goes Around Comes Around.
Looking to do NYC like a celebrity this holiday season? We've
got the itinerary for you.
Read more here.

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