3. Lights for Life

In Staten Island, Joe DiMartino and his family cover every square inch of their Rossville property during the holidays. The “Lights for Life” display, however, is not just decorative: in memory of his late wife, who was killed during the tragic September 11th attacks, Joe (also known as Staten Island’s Santa Claus”) has raised over $200,000 in donations, which he has given to the children’s cancer center at the Staten Island University Hospital.

The display utilizes 9,000 lights, music and various animatronics, which are used to create scenes ranging from the birth of Jesus to Santa’s workshop. In the past, this has included Christmas Carolers, a Ferris Wheel and Mrs. Claus baking ginger bread, among other things.

2. Baita on Eataly’s Rooftop + Haven Ski Chalet

Photo courtesy Eataly

It may still be unseasonably warm for fall, but Baita, the ski chalet on Eataly Flatiron’s rooftop has officially opened for the winter season, bringing the Italian Alps to New York City. ‘Baita’ is the Piemontese word for a small ski lodge in the Italian Alps. Eataly has taken the exact translation and brought the cozy experience to its 14th floor with a wooden walled cabin and a stone-slab roof. Heaters around the floor will bring all the comforts of a warm fire without the flame, complete with stews and mulled wine.

In addition, there are Adirondack chairs, string lights, faux fur throws, and festive wintery decorations. This rooftop transports you to Northern Italy, serving up cuisine from the region including charcuterie options, traditional polenta bowls, raclette (melted swiss cheese shaved off a wheel), a massive beef shank (to share), and of course, pasta like pumpkin gnocchi with butter, sage and Parmigiana Reggiano. Baita, located at Eataly Flatiron location at 200 Fifth Avenue, will be open through April from 11:30 am to 11 pm with kitchen service ending at 10 pm.

Another ski chalet, Haven Rooftop (132 West 47th Street), can be found sitting atop the Sanctuary Hotel in Times Square. The cozy, tented space is decorated with antler chandeliers, twinkling lights, and best yet — scheduled snow shows. As a refuge from the cold, guests can head to Haven for fondue, S’mores and a menu of hot cocktails, including the Toasted Almond (Kahlua, Vanilla Vodka, Amaretto and Milk), the Ginger Toddy (Torres, Bullet Bourbon, Cinnamon liquor, Fresh Ginger and Honey Syrup) and the Peppermint Cream (Baileys, Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe and Chocolate Liquor).

1. The Lodge at the McKittrick Hotel


The McKittrick Hotel is welcoming back The Lodge, a wintertime conversion of rooftop bar Gallow Green into a veritable cabin in the woods. Since this is the McKittrick Hotel of Sleep No More fame we’re talking about, expect nothing less than an all-out theatrical experience. This is a cabin that will take you, mind and body, out of New York City and straight to the wintry, Scottish woodlands.

The last time we paid a visit, we encountered an upwards of 50 Christmas trees surrounding the wooden cabin, with forest paths to explore. The main room, whose doors are weighed down by tin cans, had two bunk beds (replete with hot water bottle and Scottish blankets galore), a fireplace, two sitting areas, a long wooden communal kitchen table, a small kitchen and the bar. There was also a small bedroom with the bed surrounded to the ceiling on three sides by old books.

There was a desk in the foyer covered with books on plants and collected specimens. Letters and sheet music were tacked onto the wall. An outdoor patio area had a real fire burning, which doubled as a smoking area. Then through the wooded paths, we found a tent filled (and we mean filled) with sheepskins — but that’s just touching the surface. See over previous coverage of The Lodge.

Next, check out 10 Quirky Houses On Top of Apartment Buildings in NYC, featuring a ski chalet and lighthouse. 

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