Some events take you straight back to childhood. Christmas in New York is one of them: an enchanted winter break where you rediscover your sense of wonderment.
In the city that never sleeps, end-of-year celebrations are an institution, made up of traditional rituals and special activities. At the Rockefeller Center, right in the beating heart of Manhattan, a huge Christmas tree towers above you, decorated with some eight kilometres of fairy lights. Excitement gets the better of you, so you go and give it your best shot on the ice rink at the foot of this formidable conifer.
An even bigger icy surface awaits in Central Park. The Big Apple's iconic green space is staggeringly beautiful in cold weather. With its blanket of snow, the contrast with the surrounding skyscrapers is even more remarkable.
After an invigorating walk, you really deserve a bit of comfort. The Christmas market in Bryant Park is stacked with locally made delights for you to discover, depending on what you fancy at the time. If you crave something sweet, then head to the Doughnuttery stall and try its delicious doughnuts. If savoury treats are more your thing, you will find Mr Pete's pickles simply irresistible.
Radio City Hall is at the heart of New York traditions with its ‘Christmas Spectacular': this festive extravaganza which reinvents itself every year features the likes of Santa Claus as well as The Nutcracker.
Then, leave Manhattan and head to Brooklyn and the neighbourhood of Dyker Heights. You feel like you are wandering in a Christmas tale, surrounded by houses and small gardens decorated with fairy lights and festive figures. A friendly competition has evolved between the neighbours to create the best decorated house, and you are happy to cast a vote. The trouble is, you are at a loss to decide between them. New York is always a party town… and even more so at Christmas.