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10 Non-Touristy Things To Do In NYC During The Holiday Season With Your #Besties

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10 Non-Touristy Things To Do In NYC During The Holiday Season With Your #Besties

David Ruff

New York City is the sought-after commercialized destination of the holiday season, and I like iceskating under the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center as much as the next person, although constant tourist-pandemonium is inevitable in popular New York City landmarks. And after awhile, the cheesiness is, well... just cheesy.

Whether your BFFs live in New York, or you are all out-of-towners, you want to engage in activities and locations that will provide fond ephemeral memories that will give you all the nostalgic "holiday feels" in chic NYC fashion, without all the tacky commotion that tourist spots tend to emanate. As I impart all the esoteric New Yorker holiday traditions and new hot places to attend; take notes and screenshot away in your #bestie groupchat. 

1. Drunken Dumpling, East Village

What is a bestie-gathering without an Instagrammable brunch spot? Ditch the cold for gargantuan soup dumplings (or regular sized dumplings) in this little-known dumpling shop. This is perfect for getting in your Chinese food fix (and Insta post) without obnoxious lines and stampedes of people in China Town. Be the first people there when it opens at 12pm - it's like it was made for sleeping in! 

2. Yankee Candle Pop-Up, SoHo

Candles make the perfect holiday present, (and the top beauty editors can testify in my one of latest BLOGmas posts, hereand this pop-up let's you take free candles, purchase scents, and so much more! But what really makes this pop-up standout is all of the different fun photo-ops made for memorizing your day on the town. There is a fake forest made out of wood, a mock beach setting, and the coolest of them all... an upside down room! The room is an illusion so you can lay down, make funny faces, and when you rotate your camera it looks like you are falling from the ceiling. Great presents with great pictures make the perfect post-brunch destination.  

3. Facials, Massages, and/or Mani-Pedis at Bliss Spa, SoHo

Bliss Spa is the ideal getaway and relaxation location before resuming your holiday bucket list. I love the Steep-Clean facial, perfect for extracting all skin concerns while feeling luxuriously pampered with a glowing radiant aftermath. Or you and your girl-gang, can get classic mani-pedis and restock on all Bliss skincare essentials. 

4. Gallery Hopping, Chelsea

One of New York's recondite gems are the galleries in Chelsea. While the Whitney and Louis Vuitton exhibit are all the rage, check out some new artist's collections getting on your artistic culture and inspiration, while chomping down on candy canes, of course. 

5. The Shops at Columbus Circle, Upper West Side

With a view of Central Park and all the latest brands, treat yourself or get loved ones the present they always wanted from the popular shoe brand they are obsessed with, or an undiscovered accessories line. Grab a bite at Landmarc for carbs that won't disappoint.

6. Hot Chocolate and Madison Avenue Windows, Upper East Side

As you cross the park to another country (just kidding), step into Sant Ambroeus for the best hot chocolate in New York City. With snow falling from the sky and windows' lights seeming almost iridescent, chatting up a storm with your best friends, while checking out the clothes on Madison Avenue is the ultimate Gossip Girl experience you never knew you could have.

7. iPic Movie Theaters, Fulton Market

As you make your way downtown, end the night with iPic; the ultra-luxe movie experience, with reclining leather chairs and blankets, and you can ORDER your own food to your chairs. Holiday movies, truffle fries, and plush blankets - I think I'm sold... I don't think my friends will need any convincing either.

8. HigherDOSE: 11 Howard, SoHo

The best way to eliminate the sleep coma the following morning, induced by copious amounts of Christmas cookies and carb-loading is to SWEAT! HigherDOSE in 11 Howard hotel is an infrared sauna, which helps promote blood circulation, purify your skin, and lose weight - to name a few. Refreshing your body by eradicating toxins is a great way to start your day.

9. The Mask Bar, Howard Street

After all the detoxifying, hydration is key, and I am not talking about drinking water. Stock up on cheap sheet masks to use later that night while binging on all the Christmas movie classics. Brands like Masque Bar make animal sheet masks, like their reindeer one, or holiday scented (or product based) like their egg nog one!

10. Café Brunching, SoHo

Mini cafés feel the most cozy, so what better way to get your holiday on by feeling right at home? Stumble upon Two Hands for exemplary açai bowls, Bluestone Lane for the best avocado toast in town, or Nickle & Diner for an elevated modern diner experience. Double-check for holiday flavored drinks and snacks!

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!

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