A Guide to the Perfect NYC Holiday Weekend - United Hub
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A guide to the perfect NYC holiday weekend

By Matt Chernov, November 22, 2017

As anyone who's seen the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street" knows, no city in the world captures the spirit of the winter holidays quite like New York City. From late November until mid-January, the five boroughs of NYC transform themselves from an exciting and sophisticated urban mecca to a magical and wondrous destination unlike any other. To help make your holiday in New York City extra festive, here are some spectacular sights and attractions that you won't want to miss.

The tree is seen during the 80th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in New York

The Rockefeller Christmas tree

A merry tradition that dates back more than eight decades, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is an iconic symbol of the holidays that draws upwards of 125 million visitors each season. This year's tree is a towering Norway spruce grown in Pennsylvania. Standing 75 feet tall and weighing almost 13 tons, the beautiful behemoth is decorated with five miles worth of energy efficient LED lights, and topped with a crystal-covered star priced at $35,000. The tree remains lit from November 29 until January 7, and is the perfect place to begin an unforgettable weekend trip in NYC.

Bryant Park Winter Village

This open-air market in Midtown Manhattan is often referred to as NYC's official winter wonderland, and for very good reason. Featuring delicious snacks from more than three dozen food vendors, as well as luxury shopping and family-friendly seasonal events, it's a one-stop destination for holiday fun. But it's the 17,000-square-foot outdoor skating rink that's the main attraction. From 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily, visitors can take to the ice for free under the crisp New York sky. If you forgot your skates at home, don't worry — you can rent a pair for only $20.

Pedestrians stop to look at holiday window displays at Macy's flagship store in New York,

Holiday window displays

New York City and shopping are virtually synonymous, which is why the city's biggest and brightest department stores pull out all the stops each year when it comes to their holiday window displays. If you're looking for stunning artistry, make your way to the windows at Bergdorf Goodman. They've partnered with seven humanitarian charities to design their windows this year, and the results are truly incredible. For classic charm, try the colorful windows at Lord & Taylor. This season, visitors can marvel at animated displays with themes like Arctic Adventures, Holiday Circus and Winter Woodlands.

Dinner at Rolf's restaurant

While most restaurants throughout the city add a bit of holiday décor each year, none go as far as Rolf's, a beloved German eatery in Gramercy Park. More than 15,000 Christmas ornaments and 100,000 twinkling lights cover every available inch inside this 50-year-old restaurant, making it a popular attraction that's well worth visiting. As if that wasn't jolly enough, thousands of icicle decorations and hundreds of vintage toy dolls hang from the ceiling, giving the restaurant a surreal quality you'll never forget. The delicious handmade pork sausages and chicken schnitzel are an added bonus!

Central Park with the Plaza Hotel in the background

Tea at the Plaza Hotel

Beautifully decorated with lights and wreaths each year to celebrate the holidays, this landmark destination in the heart of the city personifies the style and elegance of NYC, and is an ideal spot to visit after a walking tour of nearby Central Park. To warm up after a stroll, reserve a table at The Plaza's historic Palm Court, a lovely dining venue with special holiday tea offerings throughout the season. For visitors with children, The Santa Experience at The Plaza is open in the hotel's main concourse from November 24 until December 24.

Dyker Heights Christmas lights

When it comes to dazzling lights and outrageous decorations, this walking tour through the residential Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights has been drawing huge crowds since the 1980s. Each night in December (excluding Christmas Eve and Day), visitors can enjoy an astonishing guided tour, either on foot or by bus, that will leave them utterly breathless. Though many of the elaborate displays are designed and built by professional staging companies, the majority are crafted by individual homeowners competing with each other to see who can attract the most attention.

Union Square Holiday Market

No matter who is on your gift list this year, you'll have no trouble finding just what you're looking for at this popular outdoor holiday market located in Union Square Park. Open from November 16 until December 24, this European-style shopping destination includes more than 150 vendors selling intricately handcrafted merchandise and artwork in a beautiful outdoor setting. An impressive assortment of local food vendors helps add to the festive ambiance, making the Union Square Holiday Market one of NYC's must-visit winter attractions.

If you go

Get in the holiday spirit with a weekend trip to New York City. Book your holiday travel tickets at united.com, or by using the United app.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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