Who can forget that romantic scene in Serendipity when John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale strolled onto the ice at Wollman Rink in Central Park? What about Macaulay Culkin and the pigeon lady in Home Alone 2? Regardless of your movie taste, when you think about movies during the Christmas season, there is really only one location that stands out – New York City! How does taking a tour of all these amazing movie sites sound? Well, thanks to On Location Tours in New York, you can now experience all of your favorite movies and much more on the one and only Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour!
As you prepare for the holiday season, if you are looking for something to get you in the festive mood, visit New York City and be prepared to be whisked away in a sea of Christmas cheer. The Big Apple is the ultimate 24-hour city all year round, and the Christmas season is certainly no different.
Thanks to On Location Tours, we were able to experience an amazing tour of various parts of the city, in particular, those iconic locations and attractions specific to your favorite movies and TV shows.
What You Need to Know
On Location Tours was established in 1999 and offers a wide variety of guided tours around both New York City and Boston.
If you film it, they will come
The Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour is one of On Location Tours seasonal offerings and runs from November 27 to January 1 on a daily basis. Two different times are available at both 3:00PM and 5:30PM so hopefully there will be one that fits your schedule (if not, I strongly encourage you to make time in your itinerary because it is well worth it).
At $36 for adults (plus $2 ticket fee) and $26 for children (plus $2 ticket fee), many may consider this to be an expensive tour but when you realize that this is a 2.5-hour tour of New York City, hopefully, you will be convinced that you get ‘plenty of bang for your buck’.
Tours begin at The Shops at Columbus Circle and before taking the tour you will receive a VIP discount booklet with a number of offers to persuade you to indulge in a little retail therapy before hopping on the bus tour.
Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Highlights
The tour started out by the gates of Central Park and our tour guide highlighted some of those key scenes located inside this park that I am sure we are all familiar with. From Home Alone 2 to Serendipity and Love Story, Central Park has proven to be one of the most stereotypical movie locations not only in New York City but throughout the world.
As the tour continued, we were treated to several impromptu movie clips onboard the bus followed by a number of questions from our awesome guide.
Those that provided the right answer received a special treat (don’t want to give too much away but if you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy it!) and certainly kept everyone entertained while cruising down the streets of downtown Manhattan.
Lincoln Center for Performing Arts
We passed by the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and this was one of our first stops of the evening as we all had the opportunity to capture a few pictures of this stunning building. Movies like Ghostbusters and West Side Story have featured scenes with the Lincoln Center as the main focal point.
The plaza in front of the Center contains a gorgeous fountain that provides a relaxing addition to the architectural masterpiece that is the Lincoln Center.
Upper East Side
After leaving the Lincoln Center and passing back by Central Park, we headed to the Upper East Side to the restaurant which is most famous for the hot chocolate scene in Serendipity (unsurprisingly the restaurant is named Serendipity 3).
A short drive from here saw us park beside Bloomingdales and an opportunity for everyone to capture some memorable shots of the seasonal window displays.
This is one of the real highlights of this tour because when it comes to stereotypical window arrangements, there is no other location quite like New York City!
A short drive over to Barney’s saw another short stop to take in the detailed displays that oozed elaborate design and flair. From the gigantic owl to the psychedelic ‘love mixtape’ boom box, this was a perfect example of New York City creativity at its finest.
The final stops on our Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour saw us venture along Fifth Avenue to view more amazing window displays.
The Lord and Taylor department store was celebrating their 100th anniversary for their iconic location on Fifth Avenue. The window displays depicted a whimsical journey through an enchanted mansion.
Regardless of the theme, you can be sure that Lord and Taylor will be one of the most creative throughout New York City and definitely one of the highlights on this tour.
Saks Fifth Avenue is another store that really promotes the holiday season much like the rest of the city. The art deco culture of the 1920s was stylistically portrayed in a modern setting through the Saks window displays.
Tour Finale at Macy’s
What better way to end the tour than by making a final visit to the infamous Macy’s store. When you think about department stores in New York, there are probably none more famous than Macy’s so this was a perfect place to show our gracious appreciation to our tour guide while at the same time enjoying the amazing displays on offer.
The theme at Macy’s was ‘Santa’s Journey to the Stars’ and depicted an animated story of a young boy with a magic telescope enjoying Christmas on a variety of different planets.
I loved this theme as it portrayed how children can still enjoy the dreams that Christmas brings along with the modern era of technology.
If you love the Big Apple and you love movies, then taking a tour with On Location Tours in New York City is a no-brainer. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and provided a great experience for everyone while touring this beautiful city.
All of the components of the Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour make this a worthwhile experience, and definitely a great way to spend a couple of hours on a cold, Winter’s afternoon in New York.
The epic window displays throughout New York City are a sight to behold, but of course, we will all have our favorite locations on the tour depending on personal taste. Whether it’s an iconic movie scene or perhaps peering at the famous Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, this tour of New York City will provide something for all the family.
Disclaimer – We would like to thank On Location Tours for providing complimentary tickets for the Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour. These are solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post.