Things to Do in New York City in December

I’ve been to NYC many times…spring, fall, summer, winter.  But despite the sometimes cold temperatures, I love New York City in December.  I prefer going toward the beginning of December as it is after the Thanksgiving rush and before Christmas vacation for many. Consequently, I can enjoy the shows, dinner, and Christmas decorations among slightly lighter holiday crowds.

This December of 2021, my friend Tina and I were quite lucky.  We spent three full days in New York and completely missed the Omicron spike and resulting shutdowns.  Aside from enjoying savory dinners and seeing plenty of musicals, below are some things we did while visiting New York City in December.

EXPLORE!
tina turner musical on broadway

On Broadway: NYC

Boy, do I feel so lucky to have visited New York City the second week of December.  With COVID, Nor’easters and winter storms in Denver, my recent attempts to visit NYC over the past few years were thwarted.  Fortunately, we timed this visit, with an intent to see several Broadway shows, perfectly. 

We got to see five shows with their full cast before the Omicron version of COVID arrived in the city which has caused many cancellations through Christmas and some shows to close permanently.

While we visited, we saw Jagged Little Pill, Come From Away, To Kill A Mockingbird, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, and Hamilton.  Of course, we enjoyed some excellent pre-theatre dining and also walked miles while taking in the holiday spirit, but this post is about the Broadway shows.

SING ALONG!

Hell’s Kitchen: NYC Pre Theatre Dining

While NYC has much to offer, one of my favorite things to do while visiting the city is to go out to eat for dinner and to see the broadway shows.  In order to both in the same night, it is easiest to make a dinner reservation in the Theatre District or Hell’s Kitchen prior to the musical. 

Both the Theatre District and Hell’s Kitchen may be found on NYC’s Midtown West Side which ranges from 34th to 59th Streets and between 5th and 12th Avenues. The Theatre District covers 41st to 54th Streets between 6th and 8th Avenues, and Hell’s Kitchen can be found to the West of 8th.

Until a few weeks ago, my visits to NYC were recently limited due COVID and two trips being planned when storms cancelled my flights.  Fortunately, I finally made it to the vibrant city for a food and theatre get away with my friend Tina.

Below is a list of restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen we visited, plus a few worthy selection I ate at in the past that remain open despite current COVID challenges.

EAT OUT!

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway is one of eighty parks in the State of Texas and is operated by the Texas Parks & Wildlife.  It is located just 45 minutes west of Fort Worth, approximately 1.5 hours west of Dallas, and within five minutes of Mineral Wells, a town known for its healing waters in the 1900’s. 

The park includes a lake, twelve miles of trails, several campgrounds including 20 sites for equestrians, a rock-climbing area, and boat rentals from flat-bottom boats with trolling motors to paddle boards.  There is also a 20-mile trailway which connects the park to Mineral Wells and the City of Weatherford.

Annie and I visited the park for hiking and hiked most of the twelve miles of trails over two days and followed the trailway toward Mineral Wells until we ran into a current trail closure.

HAPPY HIKING!
me and annie in chaco culture national historical park

Two Weeks in New Mexico

State Sign Challenge: New Mexico

I already posted a pic of me and Annie in front of the New Mexico State Sign as that was my first border crossing in VANgo six months ago.  My excitement got the best of me since I wasn’t even spending any length of time in New Mexico on my way to Arizona.  Regardless, here it is again now that I’m writing my summary of my time spent here.  In case you didn’t know, the roadrunner is New Mexico’s state bird. If you have a fun state sign photo (taken responsibly), I’d love to see it!

Before I start talking about New Mexico, for the holidays this year GPSMyCity, the company who uses my posts for walks around cities, is letting me give away 10 free “memberships.” If you are interested, comment below, and you can use the app for free (a $19.99) for a year. I have found their maps very useful for my travels, and despite being approached by many companies to promote, this is one of the few that I do. Check them out. There’s no catch, and I don’t get anything in return. I will tell them you are one of my ten that want it.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE
quarai of the salinas pueblos missions

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is a complex of three Spanish missions located near Mountainair, New Mexico.  The area was originally inhabited by the Tiwa and Tompiro language-speaking pueblo people who operated a thriving trade community.

In the 1620’s, however, the Spanish missionaries and government came to the area.  The Franciscan friars tried teaching and enforcing their faith on the Indians.  At first the Indians were cooperative as the Spanish brought useful tools and other materials.  For over 15 years, they helped the missionairies build big churches and learned their ways. 

EXPLORE!

Cerillos Hills State Park

During my three-week jaunt around New Mexico, I tended to circle back toward Sandia Park one day of the weekend to visit my friend Tina.  Of course, this visit also included using the washer and dryer and taking a long shower.  I must have driven through Madrid, a cute town between Sandia Park (Albuquerque) and Santa Fe, three times and never stopped.  As a result, I insisted we do hike nearby and go for lunch.  In so doing, we visited Cerillos Hills State Park.

EXPLORE!

Three Fall Hikes Near Taos

Taos is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in north-central New Mexico.  The artsy town is home to a world-class ski resort and features many outdoor activity options.  As a hiking enthusiast, I checked out three trails while visiting this fall. 

HAPPY HIKING!

Things To Do in Alamogordo

Alamogordo, the county seat of Otero, is located in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico. 

Alamogordo was founded in 1898 when the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad came to the area.  It was designed as a company town to persist after construction of the railway, for which Alamogordo supplied timber for the railroad ties.

With the establishment of the White Sands National Monument in 1934, Alamogordo’s economy became more reliant on tourism until the Alamogordo Army Air Field (present-day Holloman Air Force Base) was constructed in 1942.

While the White Sands National Monument is still one of the largest attraction in the Alamogordo, the Air Force Base on the city’s western flank also has a significant presence. 

When visiting the area, you will see how space oriented the area is.  Some things to do in Alamogordo including the following:

EXPLORE!