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Christmas Shopping in New York

Updated on October 26, 2011

New York Christmas Shopping

Nothing beats Christmas shopping in New York. It's an experience you'll remember for life. You cannot not get the variety of Christmas shopping options that New York City provides elsewhere across the globe. It is not just about buying at the internationally renowned retail stores or even the bargains outside of Fifth Avenue though. It comes down to the entire holiday spirit in the air.

Best Time for Christmas Shopping in New York

Based on the aim of your New York Christmas shopping, you may go as early as September or as late as the last two weeks before Christmas.

Late September to early October is a wonderful period to grab bargains on fashion products. Clearance sales abound to make way for the newest fall and winter clothing being released. This usually happens on the second weekend of October around Columbus Day. Some department stores and retailers also take the chance to offer general store discounts to capture their first round of Christmas sales.

Having said that, the ideal time for New York Christmas shopping is the previous few weeks leading to Christmas Day. This is when you are able to actually enjoy the festive atmosphere of the holiday season in NY.

Lots of outlets in Big Apple only commence their Christmas sales after Thanksgiving holiday on the 4th Thursday in November. The Thanksgiving weekend sales starting on Friday is the non-official opening of the Christmas season. Walking along Fifth Avenue and outskirt malls, it's easy to pick up Christmas gifts on your list at unbelievable prices.

Visitors from other cities and abroad flock in during this period. Braving the crowd adds to the excitement of Thanksgiving shopping in New York. Keep in mind though that while it's a thrilling time to save money on the shopping, you have to spend more and more on the travel arrangements and hotel lodging as it gets closer and closer to Christmas.

Xmas Gift Ideas

Where to Shop for Christmas Gifts in New York

Trendy Fashion

There are a few distinctive zones in NYC catering towards the diverse desires of customers. For anyone into jewelry design, the Diamond District ought to be your first stop. Check out Macy's at Herald Square for the hottest fashion from around the globe. At Fifth Avenue, you will discover numerous well-known stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Versace.

Kids and Young at Heart

Do you have little ones in your life? FAO Schwarz in Manhattan is literally a playing field of toys with a humongous selection to please everybody from present favorites to retro classics. No kids to buy for? It's still worthy of a visit as long as you're young at heart. The Warner Brothers Studio Store and the Disney Store are two more stores to find a variety of gifts for children and grownups alike.

Bargain Hunting

There are incredible deals available when you are down New York Christmas shopping. The B&H Photo Video Superstore is known for its electric and digital goods. It's probably the best place to get cool electronic gadgets for men as Christmas gifts. You might like to pick up some cosmetics at Kiehl's or CB I Hate Perfume as well. Children and adult clothing at American Apparel and Old Navy aren't too shabby either.

Travel an hour north to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets for amazing bargains from America's finest retail brand names. Surely you can uncover some suitable Christmas presents from the 220 discount outlets?

Unique Gifts

For the people searching for a truly unique gift to take home for someone special, the SoHo area is the place to be. It is packed with niche apparel shops, contemporary, unique plus vintage stuff for the house as well as outlets focused on various interests and hobbies. Honestly, there's something for just anyone. East Village is yet another region to get cool accessories and find unusal gifts for your family and friends.

If special food suits your taste of Christmas gifts better, then you must drop by Union Square Greenmarket. It offers an array of local produce including organic and natural fruit and vegetables, jams and honeys you won’t see any place else.

When it is the newest and coolest gadgets you want, you cannot skip Sony Style's New York flagship. It's a popular tourist spot and a technophile’s fantasy comes true. From home video and audio systems, TV's, camcorders, home entertainment gizmos, computers and cell phones, right down to every conceivable add-ons, it provides everything Sony offers in consumer and personal technology.

Speaking about gadgets, you can't miss the Apple Store in Soho or Fifth Avenue either to try out the latest collection of Apple products from Macs to iPad. Even better, you can schedule an appointment with a shop assistant to show you the ins and outs of the gadgets. Best of all, the Fifth Avenue Apple Store is open 24 hours 365 days.

NYC Christmas Window Display
NYC Christmas Window Display

Walking Tours of Christmas Decorations in New York

No Christmas shopping trip to New York is complete without a walking tour of its fantastic holiday display. The gorgeous mall windows have grown to be a prolific New York City holiday tradition. The flagship stores practically splash money going all out to compete amongst themselves for the most stunning window displays in winter. Creative designers transform these showplaces into minuscule holiday worlds every year bringing in tourists and residents to gaze in amazement.

It doesn't matter whether you're shopping at the flagship stores. You should stop by for the spectacular window displays and lighting. Window shopping at these stores can sometimes be better than the real thing:

  • Barneys New York
  • Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bloomingdales
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s Herald Square
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Tiffany & Co

Christmas Shopping Tips in New York

First, plan your Christmas shopping trip to New York way ahead of time. Book the flights and hotel rooms early to assure of seats. Doing so help prevent you from having to pay exorbitant prices at last minute too.

Since you're on a shipping trip, pack the minimum and leave the suitcases almost empty to travel. Learn how many pieces of luggage and the loads the airline allows free. Watch out how much you can purchase before hitting the duty free limit of your home country, unless of course you're prepared to pay the tax.

Next, make sure you bring sufficient warm clothes. Winter season in NYC can be quite cold at times.

Lastly, even though your main purpose is Christmas shopping, a trip to New York during the festive period should never just be about the shopping solely. Go visit Times Square, ice skate at Central Park, take a lift up Empire State Building, or ride a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. You're on vacation after all. So make some time to do the other usual stuff tourists do too.

New York Christmas Shopping

New York City is a marvelous destination to visit over the winter holiday for shoppers. It suits all budgets from the lavish Fifth Avenue to downtown designer bargains with terrific Christmas sales. The hustle and bustle of the crowded pavements also adds to the excitement of Christmas shopping in New York. Immersed in holiday spirit, it's absolutely the experience of a lifetime.

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