Rockefeller Center, New York City
OH mY goodness.. okay, maybe this isn't such a tourist trap as a tourist attraction... At christmas time it is MOBBED! The christmas tree and the 5th ave windows. You can go ice skating at the rink at roch center but i suggest goign to central park instead. the pond is prettier and less packed. You can at at the rink bar... but that is extremely overpriced. I suggest you grab somethign at one of the smaller stores under roch center or go up to 48th street. there you can hit one of many deli type places (which have EVERYTHING) or chinese, or cosi, or sushi... and it's all relatively affordable.
Unique Suggestions: uhm... sit and people watch. i like to do that when it's nice out. I'll bring my lunch (i work around the block) or get lunch at one of the cheap places, and grab a table or chair and sit and people watch for hours. The upside is that it's free to go there and hang out and look around. Sometimes they have instillation art to check out which is always interesting adn free. so that's a good thing.
Fun Alternatives: I think this is jsut one of those places you've got to see if you're in NYC. St. Patrick's Cathedral is right around the corner and the fancy 5th ave stores are right there too. But you wouldn't need more then a day to see all there is to see right there.
I went to Macys in the hopes of seeing the "real" Santa. I fully expected to encounter a breathtaking winter wonderland. Instead I waited in line for a half hour or more only to be hearded into one of many cubicles... each containing their very own Santa. The sting of the commercialism of Christmas hit me hard that day when I sat upon the lap of a boy of 20 who didn't even attempt the Santa voice.
Fun Alternatives: I had a much more interesting time watching the Santas who hang out at Rockefeller Center and will take their pics with you. At least they are up front about the multitude of Santas and the fact that Christmas is not about anything but the dollar.
I can't figure out (get it?) why this place gets into movies etc. It's only a skating rink. And it's pretty small too. Way more people are watching rather than skating. I never go and watch skaters hangin' out on a winters day on my town pond, why would I do it here?
Unique Suggestions: Eat at one of the many restaurants rink side.
Stop by the NBC Studios in Rockefeller Center and "Drive the Desk" with Conan OBrien!
It's great fun!