I love the holiday season. I love everything about it – the sights, sounds, music, spending time with family and friends and watching holiday programming on television.
It’s great to watch holiday movies and holiday specials on television, however it’s even better to watch holiday entertainment in person.
My family and I have been talking about going into New York City to see the Christmas Tree this year. A childhood friend of mine was talking about bringing her kids to see the tree. They have never seen the tree before. We were hoping to maybe meet up with them, or just go down on our own.
Last weekend my family and I were blessed with an incredible opportunity – tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!
It’s interesting that this opportunity came up. We don’t have much this Christmas (compliments of our cars constantly needing repairs – ugh!), and our kids are getting older. Our daughter will be off to college this time next year. For these reasons I wanted to do something as a family that was holiday related. Going to see the Christmas Spectacular was my number one idea. I thought maybe we could go see the show, have dinner at a nearby restaurant go and see the tree in Rockefeller Center, walk up and down 5th Avenue to see the holiday displays, zip down to Macy’s and swing over to Times Square before heading home. I figured this would give our family plenty of wonderful memories. Sadly, as I mentioned before, multiple trips to the mechanic and a few other things pretty much squashed that idea.
Then a Christmas “miracle” happened. I was given the opportunity to see the Christmas Spectacular with my family and have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement.
We happily headed down to New York City. Thankfully the weather was nice that day.
Prior to the show we were escorted upstairs to party room up on the 5th floor at Radio City. Who knew there was a 5th floor.
The man behind Radio City, Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel wanted his own apartment at Radio City for him and his family. A exclusive suit was built on the 5th floor just for him. The Roxy Suite is outfitted with 20 foot high domed ceilings covered in REAL gold, walls made out of cherrywood, art deco elements and an intimate round dining area.
Mr. Rothafel never moved into the suite. These days Roxy suite is used to host Radio City performers and VIP people like Sir Elton John and Paul McCartney.
I tried to get some photos but my camera was being very “moody” that day. The flash decided to work when it wanted to.
Our hosts had plenty of fresh fruits, pastries, bagels and beverages available for us. They also decorated the room with adorable holiday decorations.
The families invited to this special event were also fortunate to have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes as well as hear from a tour guide who gave us some background information about the Roxy Suite.
The dining area is round, as is the table. Even the furniture is round including the side boards along the wall. I’m assuming they were custom made that way.
The reason why the dining area is round is that is provides good sound and that everyone can see everyone else in the room. I think that is an ingenious idea.
There is also a book (under glass) in the room with signatures of people who have stopped by the Roxy Suite including Mariah Carey, Bono and many others. I tried to get a photo but it didn’t come out good enough.
My family and I also had a chance to have our pictures taken with some of the Rockettes. Too bad our son didn’t smile and both of my kids were still cold (it was cold outside) and didn’t take off their jackets. I wish they did. The picture would have turned out better.
It’s wonderful to have these special memories.
Five years ago we went on a behind the scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall (there are tours available to the public). We went during the summer (August 2009). It’s fun to see how much my kids have grown over the years since then.
Soon it was time to leave the beautiful Roxy Suite and head downstairs to see the show.
There is a lot to see in the theaters’s lobby. If you go I hope you’ll take some time to check out the beautiful architecture and the jaw dropping chandelier that hangs high in the center of the lobby.
There are plenty of souvenirs and snacks available both on the main lobby and downstairs.
It was almost show time so the lobby was packed. We quickly found our seats and prepared to be amazed and entertained.
The theater was packed. There were people of all ages seated around us.
What I love about the Christmas Spectacular is that young and old will find something about the show that resonates with them. Little ones go crazy when Santa appears on stage (not not-so-little kids too). Others might find the Nativity scene especially moving and powerful. I know I do.
As soon as the orchestra started to play holiday music the crowd cheered. The show was about to begin.
Our “host” for the evening was Santa. He was around for most of the vignettes and introduced some of the scenes we were about to enjoy.
If you have never seen the Rockettes perform you are in for a treat. They are so in tune with each other and their precision is spot on. It blows my mind how they can do that. Not one of them is ever out of step.
I tried to think of which was my favorite scene from the show. It’s next to impossible to narrow it down to just one. I loved the entire show, but several of the scenes stood out a lot to me.
There was one part where giant snowflakes zoomed through the air. I think they must have been remote controlled (like drones) because they returned to their starting spots when the scene was over. It was pretty cool!
The Nativity is breathtaking with the angel flying in the sky the parade of travelers heading off to Jerusalem to see the newborn king. There are even REAL camels and sheep on stage.
Another scene I truly love is when the Rockettes travel around popular spots in New York City on a bus, even stopping by Central Park where the audience gets to watch a couple skate on real ice right there on the stage.
One of my favorite holiday related story is the Nutcracker. I loved it when the performers danced to a few songs from Tchaikovsky’s music.
One of the audience favorite scenes was when the Rockettes performed as the wooden soldiers. There were a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience.
There is also a 3D element to the show. In the very beginning Santa takes the audience on a sleigh ride with him into New York City. Each person is given 3D glasses to enjoy this segment. It’s fun to see things coming at you like presents and geese.
I cannot rave about the Christmas Spectacular enough. Young and old alike can delight in this experience. And it’s truly that – an experience. You just don’t sit there and watch performers. You are immersed into the entire show. You feel like you are a part of it. I loved it. My family loved it too. My teenage daughter even said she got a little teary when Santa first appeared on stage. Awww… that was sweet.
After the show we headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. Sadly we couldn’t see it because it was surrounded by scaffolding. I guess we’ll just have to go back to the city a few weeks from now to see it again.
My husband was able to get a piece of the tree for me (from the trimmings – he was given a piece from a man who was working at the site).
Fancy dinners are fun. Jewelry is beautiful. Flowers are pretty. For me a true romantic gesture is asking the worker at Rockefeller Center for a piece of the Christmas tree. Awww… I love my husband. He’s the best. He knows what makes my heart smile. I don’t need things to make me happy – just happy memories. And seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular today and spending time with my family is truly a very happy memory, one that I will never, ever forget.
If you live in the New York City area, or are planning a trip there, there are still tickets available for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.RadioCityChristmas.com. You can also check out the Christmas Spectacular on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Have you seen the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City?
What is your favorite thing to see and do in New York City – or a city near you?
*I received free tickets to the show. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.