There are a lot of tips to give about what to do in New York at Christmas.
I think about the magic of the Bryant Park skate ring and that one of the Rockefeller Center with its giant tree, about the lights and sounds effect of the Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. About the theme windows on the 5th Ave, the Christmas Market in Union Square, the incredible and “odd” Christmas decorations of the Dyker Heights district. Or even about the show of the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall, and even much more.
I think about a very particular experience – according to me even more special than the already quoted ones – to do in the city during the Advent time.
Have a ride on the Nostalgia Trains.
I mean the old trains of the New York subway that right in this particular period of the year magically take life again giving New Yorkers and tourists a downright fascinating journey back in time.
What to do in New York at Christmas: the Nostalgia Trains, history, cues and curious issues
The New York subway is in all respects one of the greatest New Yorker attractions.
It’s among the oldest ones in the world – it was opened on October 27th 1904 – and it was unwitting protagonist of historical and political events, mentioned in successful books and novels, natural set of memorable movies and unaware appearance of an imprecise number of successful TV series and music videos.
Try to imagine the first stations – the emailed and wrought iron decorations and the Tiffany windows of the historic City Hall stop cross my mind – and the cars of the early 1900s, the furniture, the wicker seats, the warm colors of the insides, the old ads bills.
Only few people know that visiting the New York Transit Museum – the museum telling the story of the New York subway, located in an abandoned station in Brooklyn, Court Street – it’s possible to see and even enter these ancient cars and in those ones that have replaced them over time – from the early 1900s until 2001 (included those ones passing along the line C of the World Trade Center as far as the Twin Towers),all authentic and perfectly working.
But even less people know that at turnm every year in the Advent time – more or less from late November until all December and only on some Sundays, a selection of these old cars is made working on some lines of the subways, giving joy – and often surprise – to locals and visitors.
A special Christmas gift that New York gives to whom enjoys and loves it.
An exciting journey in time where the charm is fed by the fact that often in these old cars an important number of locals and several bands in costumes meet improvising ‘30s and ‘40s jazz and swing sessions.
Without mention the theme parties and the private parties organized right along the routes covered by the convoys.
What to do in New York at Christmas: practical info and useful tips to have a run on the Nostalgia Trains
Every year in the first days of November the official New York Transit Museum website indicates dates, schedules and the also line where the Nostalgia Trains will pass.
Find down here the November and December 2018 program.
The trains will leave from 2nd Avenue on Line F and will ride along the 6th Avenue in Manhattan as far as the 47th and 50th St. in Rockefeller Center before going towards the Central Park West line, where the train will stop at 59th St.–Columbus Circle before getting on the 125th Street in Harlem.
Sundays selected to have a ride on the Nostalgia Trains are November 25th, December 2nd, December 9th, December 16th, December 23rd and December 30th.
Find down here the stops where you can get on board:
- 2nd Avenue
- Broadway-Lafayette Street/Bleecker Street
- West 4th Street-Washington Square
- 34th Street-Herald Square
- 42nd Street-Bryant Park
- 47th-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center
- 7th Avenue
- 59th Street-Columbus Circle
- 125th Street
The single departures from the 2nd Avenue on line F will be at 10am, Midday, 2pm and 4pm.
Those ones from the 125th Avenue on line A/C/D at 11am, 3pm and 5pm.
The amount to have a run on a Nostalgia Train is that one of a single ticket of the New York subway.
What to do in New York at Christmas: the Nostalgia Bus
Always at Christmastime, besides the Nostalgia Train it will be possible to have also a run on the Vintage Nostalgia Buses, the old city buses perfectly preserved and working.
Find down here the December 2018 program.
Four Nostalgia Buses dating back to the 1950s and 1960s will work Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, from December 3rd until December 21st.
They will be active on bus line M42 travelling both East Bound and West Bound along the 42nd Street in Manhattan. Further vintage buses will be available in Union Square and Herald Square.