Eight Ways To De-Stress From Finals During Holiday Season In New York
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Eight Ways To De-Stress From Finals During Holiday Season In New York

Besides Netflix? Here's your list of stress busters.

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Eight Ways To De-Stress From Finals During Holiday Season In New York
Rolf's Restaurant

1. Volunteer for a family during the holidays.

City Harvest: This nonprofit organization feeds the hungry has volunteer opportunities throughout the year for those interested. Families can organize a food drive at their office, school, place of worship, or home with tools provided by City Harvest.

Macy's Believe Campaign for Make-A-Wish Foundation: Macy’s has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help make the dreams of critically ill children come true. You can support its work by writing a letter to Santa and delivering it to the mailbox in Santaland, on the eighth floor (across Au Bon Pain) of Macy’s Herald Square store on 34th street between Broadway and 7th avenue. For every letter Macy's receives through December 24, the company will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. If you can’t make it to Macy’s you can also write and send your letter online.

2. Attend an offbeat holiday event.

“Tuba Christmas" on Sunday, December 14 (Midtown East, FREE): This kooky concert featuring 500 tuba players tooting holiday songs on the iconic ice-skating rink is a sight to behold and hear. While this official performance is always crowded, if you show up at 12:30 p.m. you can catch their rehearsal and avoid the hordes.

"Unsilent Night" on Saturday, December 13 (West Village, FREE): A musical group meets at the Arch in Washington Square Park and parades to Tompkins Square Park carrying boomboxes to create a "sound sculpture." This cool alternative to Christmas carols brings in holiday cheer in a fun and interesting way.

“Three Kings Day Parade" on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 (East Harlem, FREE): This parade with giant puppets and camels, sponsored by El Museo del Barrio, hosts a lively procession of music, colorful dancing, and floats that fills the streets of East Harlem in honor of Epiphany. It's a jubilant community celebration and a fitting close to the holiday season.

3. Go dessert hopping.

Serendipity 3: This old-school desert destination is best known for its Frozen Hot Chocolate and will satisfy your stomach to the point where you’ll dream of chocolate and desserts in your winter slumber. Location: 225 E. 60th St.

Dominique Ansel Bakery: This cute and unique bakery, located in Soho, hosts a variety of intrinsic and fun dessert and snack options that can be enjoyed in a private outdoor garden or inside in the warmth. Known for its madeleines and the frozen s’mores, the Dominique Ansel Bakery will leave your sweet tooth fully pleased. Location: 189 Spring St.

Max Brenner’s Chocolate Factory: This chocolate heaven encourages you to experience chocolate with all your senses. The decadent pastries, creamy fondue, heart-warming hot chocolate, and delightful chocolate pizzas will fully surround you and carry you away to a world of chocolate. Location: 841 Broadway.

4.Go holiday market shopping.


Union Square: The holiday market in Union Square is the destination for an intimate and enjoyable experience of unique food, crafts, and toys. The market hosts a variety of local artisans well as restaurant owners who share their stories and sell unique handmade gifts for everyone on your shopping list. The market is open in Union Square Park from Nov. 19th - Dec. 24th, 2015. Weekday hours are 11 a.m.- 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Chelsea Market: This 6,000 square foot indoor market has something for everyone. From a delightful array of food options to a variety of stores, the Chelsea Market will leave you with the Sugar Plum Fairy dancing in your head – and maybe a nutcracker Christmas tree ornament from the gift shop. The market is located on 10 Lincoln Center Plaza in Chelsea.

5.Check out the Fifth Avenue store window displays for creative inspiration.

Although shopping in New York during the holiday season can be a nightmare (especially during and after Black Friday) between tourists and expensive prices, window shopping can do no harm to your body or your wallet. The biggest department stores in New York create holiday displays that express and spread nothing less than holiday cheer and joy.

6. See the Dyker Heights holiday lights.

If you need a break from the Manhattan buzz and energy, take a trip to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to see their beautiful annual holiday decorations that will light up your mind and heart. This Italian-American neighborhood hosts some of the best light displays in New York.

7. Visit Bryant Park’s Winter Village.

For a less crowded version of the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas energy, visit Bryant Park for free admission ice skating and more than one hundred holiday shops. Location: Between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues

8.Unleash your inner child at FAO Schwartz.


What’s Christmas without toys, anyway? At FAO Schwartz, you can de-stress and release your inner child with life-sized stuffed animals, dolls, and luxury toys. The wall-to-wall candy store’s extensive display of candy is also a fun plus. Location: Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.


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