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Advice needed White Christmas in New York or Whistler.... ?

Discussion in 'Passport' started by Spyder_Man, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Hi All
    After some advice for our honeymoon in 12 months time, was thinking to incorporate a bit of skiing along the way with my other half too.
    Now the dilemma i have is, she would love to have a white Christmas and have a ice skate on the frozen lakes in New York etc etc like in the movies.... From a planning point of view, do we fly into new york for Christmas and stay till new years or do we do the white Christmas thing and then kick onto whistler and have new years there ??? Or 3rd option, has anybody been to Quebec and spent Christmas or new years there, looks pretty awesome and romantic from the pictures i have seen....
    Any tips or advice will be much appreciated!
     
  2. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Getting in some early planning hey @Spyder_Man

    Thing is with the weather you just cant tell - and especially so with a White Christmas. Take last Xmas - New York was zero snow and in the 70's so if you had locked in for a White Christmas you would have been pretty disappointed. Year before however you would have been laughing so maybe keep that in mind in terms of expectations (going from memory - my memory is pretty bad but there was a dry and very warm holiday period for the East Coast in the last couple of years).

    I just jumped in to comment on Quebec. I'm not a city man (so you can keep your Toronto and Montreal - Haven't been NYC as an adult either but guessing I wouldn't rate it :p) but I really liked Quebec city - especially the old town - reckon it would be a great romantic place to visit and I would say you have better odds of snow on the ground than NYC. https://www.tremblant.ca/ is close if you wanted to get in some East Coast skiing and as for the skating check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rideau_Canal (in Ottawa) which weather permitting I reckon would be pretty cool.

    Could also consider Banff area (LL etc.) for the outdoor skating with majestic views etc.

    Edit - OK - memory not so bad - see links below:-

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/christmas-eve-record-warmth-ny/54313801
    http://abc7ny.com/weather/surfers-hit-beach-in-queens-as-nyc-has-warmest-christmas-ever/1134498/.

    2nd Edit - I was just reading some of the dates in that Wiki for the Rideau canal - noticed lots of lateish Jan start dates - sourcing the full list would paint a better picture but you can see a fair bit of variability
     
    #2 Scooter, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  3. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks like you will have a reasonable chance of snow in Quebec for Christmas day.

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/n...chances-of-a-white-christmas-in-quebec-/41741
     
  4. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    New Years Eve in Times Square would be pretty amazing I think! Not exactly that romantic (you'll be married already anyway:p) but definitely a bucket list kind of thing. I'd look to prioritise that if it were me.
     
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  5. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Packed like sardines for hours. Not allowed out for a pee. It may be your idea of romantic - iyt ain't mine.

    Cities in the snow are a pain in the arse. The snow is dirty. There are banks of snow along the roads, meaning that you have to clamber over them to cross the road. The drains block, so there a freezing puddles of water everywhere. Footpaths are slick. It's pretty until about an hour after the snow stops falling. If you are after romantic I would be looking for a small hamlet upstate.

    This is the East Village of NYC, but it was like this everywhere

    [​IMG]E 7th St

    [​IMG]E 7th St
     
  6. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've never been, but I'd say the overall christmassy atmosphere would be great in New York with the lights and shops, but as others have said, no guarantee of snow

    I fully suuport your idea of a white christmas in a ski resort, however, We've done Sun Peaks over christmas, and to be honest, it wasnt quie as christmassy as I'd hoped for, even if boarding/skiing on christmas day was a huge novelty. Make sure you suss out the actual resort you choose - I'd suggest there would be huge atmosphere in Whistler though.

    Another thing to consider i that at Ski resorts, christmas accommodation would be the most expensive period of the year and you may be required to book for a minimum of 5 or even 7 nights.
     
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  7. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Well yeah that's why I qualified it as possibly not that romantic :p Totally each to their own.

    Certain things that you might only experience once in your life are sometimes fraught with that kind of thing though. Being in Vancouver when the winter games and Stanley Cup were on, for example, made getting around and doing anything quite difficult. Particularly when people decided the city should burn a bit. But I wouldn't trade memories of the Olympics (or even the riot) for anything. The Athens Acropolis was a trial with summer crowds in 35c heat, but well worth it. Apparently the Eiffel tower is a complete pain in the ass to visit? So much for it being romantic right, or is it still?

    And yes a little bit of snow can turn a normal city into a complete basket case.

    If crowds are something the OP wants to avoid though, then I really wouldn't suggest hitting up any of the big resorts over Christmas. I think my only Christmas on the snow was at Apex in British Columbia, lovely and quiet at Apex, we arrived at Big White on the 27th and the serenity of the Apex Xmas was quickly smashed to bits by the crowds.

    Might be an idea to have a hectic part of the trip, and a not so hectic part of the trip?
     
  8. Randy

    Randy Early Days

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    It's like that in all ski resorts. Other than the decorations, and perhaps some sort of event for the children, resorts don't really do much as Xmas Day is just another working day for those that live and work in a ski resort. The locals usually celebrate with a low-key dinner with family or close friends after they finish work on Xmas Eve.
     
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  9. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    The holiday in the middle of the holiday - an idea I wholeheartedly endorse.
     
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  10. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    another option to consider.

    Sun Peaks (yeah yaeh, naysayers will deride).

    there is usually a pretty decent bunch of ski.commers there over christmas, and a big gathering occurs at one of the local restaurants for a christmas dinner.

    You can even hire the horse drawn cart to get you there
     
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  11. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    My thoughts also.
    And skating in Central Park.
    It's bucket list stuff.

    I've only had a few Christmases away from home - family is pretty important to us.

    The one in Tokyo was lovely, but lacked the sparkle and excitement I usually associate with Christmas.
    Niseko was great. Had my own tree up, gifts under the tree, all my kids, and spent it with some good friends as well. It was awesome - and we went out skiing on top of that.

    NYE in London was exceptional!
    Had an unreal time, along with a gazillion other people (and yes not too many loos).

    I expect it'd be similar in NY on NYE but x1000.

    If your 'must have' is snow. Do it at a ski resort. If it's the NY bucket list thing - I'd risk it. Take the punt. Enjoy whatever you get.
     
  12. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skating on the Wollman Rink (I flat out refuse to call it the Trump Rink is v. cool. My knee was stuffed, so only the glamorous child did it. The lines can be long.

    [​IMG]Central Park Skating

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Wollmann Rink
     
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  13. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    We did a group of 12 including a 2 year old for Xmas to NY in Whistler nearly 2 years ago now. It was pretty awesome being there and riding on all of those days. We organised a semi-prepared xmas dinner which we just finished off in the oven and served and did christmassy things. There were also carols in one of the hotels on xmas eve. NYE was not particularly special but that's generally how I like it. We all really enjoyed it. We were in Vancouver for a few days before Xmas and the vibe was lovely, including some pretty botanic gardens covered in xmas lights.

    A couple of weeks later I spend a week in New York. There were remnants of snow but nothing fresh while I was there. It was so cold it was a little difficult to wander around all day as I like to, but I'd been to NYC in summer before so I just adjusted.

    I'm not sure exactly how NYC is over Xmas/NY but if I was going to have a cold xmas, I'd rather be at the snow, on a mountain, than in a really big city. I wouldn't mind something like Vancouver, but that's probably because it's a very cute and pretty city, where places like NYC are more dense harsh in the cold.
    Just my experience...
     
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  14. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

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    Whistler for sure over New York and Quebec
    SKIING
     
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  15. skidiva

    skidiva Addicted

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    In 02/03 my then teenage children and I did Xmas in whistler (10 days there) and then flew to New York for New Years.We had never had a white Christmas before and loved the experience. This was also my first time skiing and I fell in love with the crazy sport so much that I now spend the whole of the NH ski season at ski resorts. New York was incredibly busy in the 10 days we were there. So be prepared for long queues at the normal sightseeing places and to see the ball drop. But we loved it and still happily talk about the queues and crowds as an adventure and something that we had never experienced before. So you could combine the two. We are happy that we did it, despite crowds - that is part of the experience.
     
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  16. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Its looking that way....
    Do christmas somewhere.... go skiing somewhere else and then go NYC... lol
     
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  17. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    What date was this for the skate rink to be so frozen over.... ???
     
  18. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Its definitely a bucket list thing.... but as the lovely ski family members have mentioned.... what i kind envisage for Christmas in NYC is not quite how it works in reality...
     
  19. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Im liking Vancouver as a option, driven through there on 3 occasions and never stopped to check it out.... and i reckon it would have that festive feel about it too over Christmas
     
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  20. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    Vancouver, I forget the name of the place right now but everyone will tell you to go there

    [​IMG]

    Van again
    [​IMG]

    Whistler gets decorative as well
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    NYC gets a little cold (That's the Hudson River)
     
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  21. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Top one was New Years Eve. Bottom 2 were 22 February.
     
  22. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also there is skating at Bryant Park in NY as well.
    Have had 2 white Xmas's at Big White. Loved all of the atmosphere and the snow and the lunch and champagne in the hot tub etc.
     
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  23. David Andrews

    David Andrews Hard Yards

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    avoid NYE in NYC like the plague. Incredibly expensive & crowded. The ball drop was biggest anti climax of my life & feral like Byron Bay.

    Have been in Whistler for NYE. They used to have a big problem with underage drinkers(drinking age in BC is 19) roaming the streets. Apparently this has been fixed to some degree with baracades put up. Prices will be high for any accommodation in any ski resort in USA or Canada from around 20 December to around 2 January.

    If it were me & the only choices for NYE, where NYC or Whistler, I'd definitely do Whistler, but try not to check in before about 30 December (might be tricky, as accommodation providers demand & get minimum number of nights over crazy period).

    Expect lift queues to be long before about 2 January.

    What about thinking about a smaller, more intimate resort ? There are plenty to choose from.
     
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  24. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Had a few xmas in NH - but none white. However, 2006 xmas at Lake Mountain - had a foot of snow which had fallen overnight. What a killing the resort could have made with xmas dinner if they'd had a crystal ball. Instead, everything was closed.
     
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  25. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can book Pullman Rink on xmas day if you don't want the crowds:
    "EARLY MORNING DECEMBER 25 / DECEMBER 26 RESERVATIONS
    Our newest skating package is for anyone who's ever wondered what it would be like to skate at Wollman Rink with no crowds during the magical holiday season!
    We have added two morning sessions from 8:00am - 9:30am, by reservation only, for an extremely limited number of guests."
    http://www.wollmanskatingrink.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&PageId=294078&ssid=175264&vnf=1

    100 people only @$46 including breakfast (coffee & pastry) and skate hire
    It opens to the general public after that.
     
    #25 teckel, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  26. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I love the small town festive feel - and whilst I am not sure about Canada (I did a winter in Fernie years ago - not sure it was overly "festive") there would certainly be plenty of US locations that deliver - White Christmas and festive charm etc. Could be worth considering?

    I reckon my "ideal" has been established by watching Christmas Vacation (try to get a viewing in every XmasLOL) and Ground Hog Day.

    Having done the last 5 Christmases in Steamboat they do it pretty good. There are lit trees everywhere as well as decorations etc. and when it snows Christmas day or Christmas Eve - Magic :thumbs:

    Personally I love big cities with snow (have great memories of Edmonton with lots of fresh) but do prefer the small town mountain charm. One of these days I am sure I will get to NYC and I will be hoping it has snow on the ground or actually snows.

    You could separating skiing from what ever else you want to experience or try to wrap them up (Banff or LL for the honeymoon - majestic mountains, skiing, things like outdoor ice skating etc.). Sure you will have fun whatever you decide :D
     
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  27. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Van Dusen Garden
     
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  28. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Scooter, thank you for the tips....
    What small towns in the US do you know of that put on good festive vibes, LL and banff look awesome too, is brek any good, ive heard they have a nice village to stroll through etc
     
  29. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  30. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hi @Spyder_Man - I remember a discussion on here ages (could have been years or weeks) ago where we were talking about Christmas town/ambience. There was a US small town that was all done up EU style and apparently it is booked out years in advance for the holiday period - anyone remember where that was?

    Anyway - citing the usual weather caveat first "blah, blah, no guarantees blah, blah" Yeah I reckon Breck would be a great choice for mountain town charm with skiing attached. Not in @gareth_oau link above but a google shows it appearing in plenty of "best xmas town" type lists. As I said from first hand experience Steamboat is Magic over the Xmas/New year period (but I will preface that with busy and expensive - as Breck will be) but in terms of real towns with skiing attached I don't reckon you would go wrong with plenty of places in the US with places like Telluride and Jackson (in the list above) etc. figuring pretty high I would have thought. I do think the US does the festive thing pretty good generally so add in small mountain town with skiing attached and I reckon that's a winner.

    I reckon big city - if you wanted big city - I would have gone for an EU destination over somewhere like NYC or Vancouver as you get more of that old world charm but that's just me and probably another discussion.

    I was throwing out the Banff and LL areas as an option because if its your honeymoon you could stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs (Banff area is magic in Winter) and whilst I personally don't rate the Chateau LL (the actual lake and surrounds etc. is beautiful however I just think the Banff Springs is way better in terms of hotel) plenty of people do rate it and the wider area is just magic with the Rockies and you have a lot of options like skiing and outdoor ice skating etc.
     
  31. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was it Leavenworth as per you above @gareth_oau ? Was just in that link they talk about the Bavarian influence - could be but it wast ringing a bell (sure the place I was think off dint have skiing close). Leavenworth has Skiing on hand at a couple of smaller resorts - go to Baker to check that out (what's that like? Have seen pics showing epic terrain - pretyy sure one of my old screensavers is a Mt Baker pic of a few folks hiking a ridge), visit Seattle, drive up to Van and even get in Whistler if you wanted. There you go @Spyder_Man - all sorted :D
     
  32. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep, I recall Leavenworth being discussed in that earlier thread, hence I posted it.

    Its around 2.5 hours from Seattle airport, so a great location, and then you could drive up to Vancouver/Whistler, or any of the BC resorts after NY
     
  33. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are a few here
    http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/top-10-us-towns-with-christmas-celebrations#!1-intro
     
  34. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahhhhhh - got it. Went had a quick look at the thread (search for Leavenworth) - couple of nice photos included. Wasn't that long ago either (July) but there was no way I would have ever pegged in what thread/context it was discussed.
     
  35. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Apex did (still does?) a really nice Xmas event, plus there were just about zero lift lines on xmas day and boxing day. Paging @sly_karma.

    [​IMG]
     
  36. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sun Peaks does a good NYE event.

    A big jump demo, misic/DJ, and then fireworks

    unfortunately lst time we stood around and watched it was about -22 degrees and was a bit of a struggle to stand around for 3 hours

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Baker is awesome, heaps of fun inbounds terrain, plenty of snow, plenty of backcountry of various levels, that small mountain vibe, and amazing scenery on a nice day (the below is a bit of the backcountry - Mt Shuksan). Glacier is the closest town you can stay at, but it's more of a collection of holiday rentals and a convenience store than much else. Also, you probably wouldn't be going there from Leavenworth, it's about 300km away by road. Stevens Pass is only about an hour from Leavenworth though.

    [​IMG]
     
    #37 blowfin, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  38. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hey @blowfin - I meant you could stop in on a road trip up to Van/Whistler from Seattle etc. I went looking for that pic that I had as a SS years ago. Buggered if I could find it using my memory and Google search but found a copy on my PC. Went looking for the source so I could link to it but buggered if I could find it (they guy that I assume took it has some great pics at his website http://www.rudgr.com/ assuming it used to be rud-gr) so I just upped the low res version I had to imgur:-

    [​IMG]

    Personally I reckon if it has snow and skiing/riding then :thumbs:
     
  39. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Great shot. The boot pack looks waist deep :thumbs: Given any opportunity, I will say good things about Baker.

    Ah right I gotcha, not a bad plan of attack though ... Leavenworth, Stevens, Seattle, Baker, Vancouver, etc.
     
  40. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Wow guys, thank you for all your responses, i have over 12 months to research and digest this information and make a plan.... but from what all of you have told me, new york is going to be on our trip, but we wont worry about trying to do christmas or nye there, we will pop in after the crowds have gone...
    Im liking whistler for christmas or brek and stay there up till new yrs....
    Or the LL/banff area for Christmas and then kick on from there....
    Interested in Quebec for no other reason than it looks nice wintery/romantic.... is it worth going too and checking it out, or is the french thing gonna do my head in.... lol
    But keep all your comments coming, they are all good in there own right....
    I gravitate to the whistler thing, purely because ive been there twice, but always in feb, never during Christmas or new yrs, so i kind of know the one stop shop that it is...
     
  41. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    I wrote s long reply a few days ago which seemed to vanish, so here is a summary.

    We did NYC for Christmas/New Year last year. As far as Christmases go, 10/10. No snow and they reckon only 1/10 are ever white there. Time square for NYC was on our bucket list, and still is. It was crowded, cold and we only managed to get about 10 blocks away. We went skiing after the New Year(sun peaks)

    We did Vegas a few years before that for New Years. Probably better spectacle and much easier access. Also cold. From Vegas we drove to Mammoth and Tahoe for snow. That trip, we had already done a White Christmas at Big White which was 10/10.
     
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  42. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    Thanks for that advice !
    On your New York trip, even though there wasn't no snow, was the city feeling very festive compared to big white ?
     
  43. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    My only experience of Christmas Day in New York was pretty neat. We left our hotel on South Central Park and wandered all the way downtown via the Empire State Building (no queue), Greenwich Village, Little Italy then a late lunch in Window on the World, the restaurant on top of the World Trade Centre, followed by a bus back uptown and a carriage ride in Central Park. A cold, clear day with views to forever.

    The city itself is decorated and lit to within an inch of its life and the big stores go nuts. Generally crowded but people were reasonably chill.
     
  44. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven One of Us

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    Oh man, no-one does Christmas like NYC. Everyone should have Christmas there at least once. I was lucky, it snowed, but even without snow, the atmosphere is soooo festive. You’ll feel like a little kid in Santaland! Massive Christmas trees, lights, sparkle everywhere you look, inside and out. People were so friendly and fun. The shops along Fifth Avenue are spectacular. There’s nothing anywhere that isn’t decorated for Christmas.

    Skate at Wollman Rink – I would so spend that $46 exclusive Christmas morning skate. And be first in line! Bryant Park and Rockefeller centre also have skate rinks. I skated Christmas Eve, then went up to the Empire State Building on Christmas morning with a bunch of friends (it’s also lit in Christmas Colours at night).

    Book well ahead (as in now) for a dinner either at the Mandarin Oriental (35th floor over Central Park and city) for sensational views, or somewhere on the Hudson River for those views, a high tea inside the Palm Court Plaza – do all of them at some point. Amaze.

    I haven’t been in NYC for NYE, I went to Vegas instead for laffs, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’d go somewhere away from NYC for NYE - a ski resort would be fun and chilled for New Year celebrations with the added bonus of skiing.

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    This is Trinity Church, the oldest cemetery/church, very historic and beautiful even if no snow.

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  45. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    we stayed in NYC over Xmas 2006 en route to Montreal and Tremblant
    no snow in New York sadly, though we did have it in Montreal
    we saw the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, otherwise just did the standard tourist stuff
    I also recommend Amateur Night at the Apollo in Harlem
    I don't think there's ever a bad time for New York, though I haven't been there in July-August
     
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  46. Spyder_Man

    Spyder_Man Hard Yards

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    What was Montréal like and mount tremblant like for skiing and city ambience ??? Was the french thing hard to navigate as in language etc ? From what ive seen it looks like a beautiful city ? And did you find it any more expensive than the rest of Canada or was it on par ?
     
  47. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    those fairylights have given Team Bears ideas for the Bogong Cairn this Xmas...
    ...such splender and warmth...maybe they have developed insect repellent fairylights for this very purpose...how about a xmas tree on the cairn ..u.think the plastic chair sends them off ..then what would a decorated summit cairn do???:love:
     
  48. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    Christmas in NYC was amazing.

    Christmas Day in isolation was a little underwhelming.

    Not a lot was open and the yanks don't do the big all-in dinners.

    We did brunch in upper east side, went and saw the new Star Wars movie, then went back to hotel for a rest. Then did top of the rock at sunset. That night we ate at Rock Cafe and were rushed through a $300 pp dinner n 45 minutes seated in an ante-room with no promised view of the ice rink. It appears loud New Yorkers get the best seats.

    After dinner we hung around the rink and lights and was a very festive end to the day.
     
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  49. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I really liked Montreal and Quebec City. And New York City is a great place. Such atmosphere.
     
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  50. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven One of Us

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    You should have gone when I was there. No dirty roads then.

    In fact, no roads at all! LOL

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