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so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december

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so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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The subject says it all : how busy is it really during the first two weeks of december?

I`m plannig to go to nyc for two weeks in december ( ALONE!!! :O ) , december 1st till 15th. But is it really THAT crowded 24/07 in all places , so not only the rocker center and time square? For example : how crowded is chelsea market on a week-day ? is this elbow 2 elbow busy and unbearable? How is a simple store, like Sephora on a week-day? Or the Public Libary , the Highline the MET , Greenwich Village ? My assumption is that all these places will be VERY crowded in weekends, but im not only going in the weekn , i`ll be there for two weeks.

I know this is a very hard question to answer, because its a personal issue ''crowded''. Here`s a list of things I want to see/visit.

- Wall street

- Museum of History

- MET

- Brooklyn Bridge / Brooklyn / Soho

- Battery Park

- Central Park

- 9/11 Memorial

- Time Square (ugh I know, but you HAVE to see it youknow)

- Public Libary

- St Patrick Cathedral

- China Town

- Greenwich Village

- Bryan Park

- Dyker Heights

- Highline

- Occulus

- Tarrytown (propably)

- Broadway show ( im thinking of the Cursed Child or Wicked)

- Top of the Rock / Rocker center

And how are the bars and restaurants. Is it really that you have to que outside on a weekday like Tuesday night to get a simple drink/cocktail in a bar? Or things like Butchers Daughter, Five Leafs etc. Same question really.

You might ask yourself : why december? Because I am mad for christmas decorations, however, I do have the first two weeks of october as a back-up instead of december.

I hope I made my question clear, since english is not my first language. I just want to know , how busy is it really on monday till friday ?? Ques? Unbearable? Elbow to Elbow?

Hope to hear from you !

19 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
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1. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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I’m going to give you an answer based on my pre-pandemic experiences, so the caveat is that things may be different again this year.

The first two weeks of December, museums and attractions are fine during the week. On weekdays in early December I’ve taken guests on “Christmas in NYC” walks to see Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and other Christmas decorations in Midtown and it’s lovely and uncrowded. I also gave tours at the natural history museum (AMNH) pre-pandemic, and early December was still calm.

There aren’t a huge number of true tourists in NYC in early December — the mass of them arrives once schools get out. (That’ll be roughly December 18th through January 2nd this year). But the weekends still get very crowded, because that’s when locals and people living in nearby suburbs have time off to come in and see the Christmas attractions.

You should have a great time being able to go and see the sights on weekends, Covid allowing! 😊🤞

New York City
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2. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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The answer is THIS YEAR, We dont know and thats because international travel is largely forbidden. As long as international travel is not happening NYC wont be that bad.

Also domestic travellers at this time are somewhat trying to avoid cities and crowded places meaning NY is getting less domestic tourists than normal as well

This could all change if the corona situation changes, however I dont see that happening for this christmas time

Any particular reason you want to go to Tarrytown? Do you mean Sleepy Hollow? While Sleepy Hollow might be cool for Halloween or maybe a day trip for a local, Im not sure someone with a limited amount of time should go there

For someone with 2 weeks, Id go to more plaes in Queens Brooklyn and some secondary parks like Ft Tryon Park/Cloisters , The High Bridge (Not the High Line) Flushing Meadow Park and Flushing . Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza (Prospect Park/Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Libary) and Id consider The Bronx Zoo / Arthur Ave in the Bronx

Traverse City...
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3. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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We visited during that timeframe in 2019 specifically to see the decorations and shop at the Christmas markets. Things were crazy busy even on weekdays especially near the Rockefeller tree, the Saks light display and any skating rink.

We liked the Bryant Park market best, the subway notalogia trains and all the lights. There are several threads you can search in here that highlight suggested attractions and walking routes.

If you go, I would book a hotel ASAP because most places fill fast May be lighter this year if international travel doesn't open. We stayed in Long Island City (suggestion from this forum) and it worked out great. Only one or two subway stops from Midtown, cheaper and closer to LGA.

New York City
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4. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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I was in times square and Rockefeller center last year (2020) and it was dead

Here is the tree

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIw2URHr9ea/

Times Square

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIwvUGALWKG/

The problem is we do not know what travel will be allowed, Also we dont know what domestic travels will come and we dont know what extended Locals (People from NYC suburbs who come to the City to see the tree and the lights) , these peple take the train in and go around the city. Just too many unknown variable.

If I had to make a guess, It wont be that crowded as even locals try to avoid larger crowds

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5. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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That is what I expected :( But was it dooable? Did you still enjoy your visit or did the crowd ruin it? And how was commuting ? I have probaly already have a B&B in Brooklyn , to avoid the high cost :)

Boston...
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6. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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Be careful that that Airbnb is legal! Most are not!

San Francisco...
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7. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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Following.

New York City
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8. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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Even if OP doesnt care about legality of AirBNB, many are in bad neighborhoods, Some of the worst neighborhoods of NYC are in Brooklyn (Most tourists wont accidently wind up there so its not an issue for normal tourists as these areas are not tourist neighborhoods

Astoria, New York
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9. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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In their other thread the OP said they are in Holland so it is unclear if they will be permitted to travel to the U.S. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html

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10. Re: so how busy is NYC during the first two weeks of december
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I do live in holland yes , and if I will be permitted , I dont know yet. Its a guess I am taking now. Thankfully many hotels + B&Bs offer full refuns not long before arrival. So I do to that in account.

fun thing is , the b&b`s that I did see, are in fact in Brooklyn , so I guess I`d better stay clear of that one then

Edited: 16 September 2021, 19:45
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