Can you believe it was 25 years ago that Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin McCallister got left on his own (again!) in New York City? A lot has changed since then, but exploring the wonders of a Big Apple Christmas will still delight even the most jaded, iPhone-obsessed, 21st-century children. Here’s an itinerary sure to please the entire family, ending with a special nod to Kevin and his iconic NYC adventure.
Stop 1: Window Gawk and Shop
You can’t do Christmas in New York without seeing the world-famous holiday windows, so make your first stop Bergdorf Goodman’s glorious Fifth Avenue display: The department store’s “To New York With Love” exhibit features whimsical tributes to the city’s great cultural institutions, including the New York Philharmonic, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the New-York Historical Society. There are no pandering elves or red-hatted teddy bears here, just eye-popping, thoroughly sophisticated works of window art (your precocious little one would expect no less.) While you’re there, pop inside and visit the FAO Schwarz Toys pop-up shop on the seventh floor.
Stop 2: Get All Dolled Up
Opened just last month, the brand-new American Girl flagship for the dolls that have cost parents gobs of money—but made their children pricelessly happy—is a must-see in Rockefeller Center. Not only can your child find every possible outfit and accessory she could possibly want for her little look-alike (tennis racquet? glasses? doctor’s bag?), but the 40,000-square-foot store also includes a salon where your kiddo can get a haircut and manicure alongside her doll, a studio where she can design her new friend’s one-of-a-kind look, and a media center where she can chill out while watching some of the brand’s award-winning movies.
Stop 3: Throw It Back to the ’90s
Finish the day by paying tribute to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in Todd English’s popular food hall underneath the Plaza Hotel, where Kevin stayed during his second solo adventure. A special retro ’90s menu offers all the foods kids loved back in the good old days when Donald Trump was just a local businessman making a brief cameo in a kiddie flick. Try the gourmet reinventions of SpaghettiOs (upgraded with sweet tomato fondue), Lunchables (made with burrata and prosciutto and called Luxe-ables), and pepperoni-pomodoro Hot Pockets (now called, wait for it, Todd Pockets). There’s even an alcohol-spiked spin on Capri Sun juice pouches for parents to enjoy. Sure, the prices match the sophisticated location and ingredients, but on Sundays at 6 p.m., you get to dine while watching a free screening of Home Alone 2, making it all worth it. (Just be sure not to miss the pop-up’s photo experience for your chance to reenact Kevin’s famous Uh-oh! face alongside the Wet Bandits!)