My husband’s work-related travel often takes him far and wide, but lately he has been in Queens, NY, a bit closer to home. I had one day off that would expire at the end of the year, so I decided to use it to extend a cold December weekend and make a little mini-break out of it. We stayed in Queens just a short walk away from a subway stop, which made it easy to explore all the Christmastime magic of Manhattan.
We were lucky to be able to score reasonably priced tickets to a Broadway musical, one neither of us had seen before. Aladdin had been on my radar for a while, since I’m a huge Disney fan and it earned five Tony nods. We enjoyed the show from the very first row of the mezzanine at the New Amsterdam Theater. In my opinion, the front row of a balcony is the best place to see a show! And this show was a sight to be seen. It was simply magical, from the costumes and sets to the dancing and singing. The genie absolutely steals the show- he had a few kids behind us in stitches on more than one occasion. While he was certainly hilarious, the highlight for me was seeing Jonathan Freeman play Jafar. Freeman was the original voice of Jafar in both the Disney animated movie Aladdin and its sequel, The Return of Jafar. He has a truly epic voice and a truly evil laugh and it was a privilege to experience! The show on a whole was just enchanting, with all the favorite songs from the movie and a few great new ones too. I highly recommend the show!
The evening was very, very cold and a light flurry of snow was falling, which gave all the Christmas décor even more charm. We shuffled with the crowds around Rockefeller Center to get a look at the huge and ever beautiful Christmas tree, and then we stayed put to watch the Saks 5th Avenue light show. This year’s rendition featured a beautiful winter palace and an epic soundtrack. We stopped for a photo op in snowy Times Square before picking up some desserts.
I first enjoyed Baked by Melissa’s bite-sized delights quite a few years ago, when my mom, sisters, and I were in the city picking up my sister’s wedding gown. This time around they were just as tasty as I remembered! We paid $25 for 25 mini cupcakes, which is a bit expensive, but the flavor variety is second to none and the desserts themselves are delicious. You can chose a “bundle” that is already set with a certain number of certain flavors, but we decided to mix and match and create our own bundle. My favorites were the cookie dough, cookies and cream, tie-dye, and cinnamon bun flavors. It was a sweet ending to our very cold, very magical, very Christmasy NYC day.