Looking for a thrilling way to visit the big guy in the red suit this holiday season? Want to do something uniquely New York and fun with the kids while they are home from winter break?
Our family recently visited One World Observatory for its second annual Winter ONEderland holiday installation and it was an unforgettable experience we highly recommend.
One of Santa’s elves greeted us with tasty cookies as we entered the Glacier Caves. Next, we’re surrounded by digital snowflakes in a sleek Skypod elevator and rocketed up to the 102nd floor in under one minute. The One World Trade Observatory is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the views don’t disappoint.
When you arrive at the observation deck, wonder awaits. You start by watching a brief film about New York City. Then the curtains lift to provide a jaw dropping, skyline view that includes the Empire State Building, Hudson River, and every other iconic NYC landmark that you could imagine.
One World Observatory’s Winter ONEderland offers the perfect blend of holiday season glee and mesmerizing sights. As we navigated around the observation deck, our children were drooling on the massive glass windows. Why? The view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and nearby helicopters cruising by blew them away! It was a surreal feeling for both tourists and native New Yorkers like us.
Next, we hopped aboard Santa’s Sleigh and spent quality time chatting about our holiday wish lists. My daughter was jabbering on to Santa about her Trolls Movie figures and doll requests while my son was making sure I was listening intently to his laundry list of Amazon smart plugs and other tech gadgetry as we marveled at the stunning views from over 1,300 feet in the air. Be prepared: there is an additional $22 fee for a professional photograph and a digital copy to capture the moment. Our family have experienced several NYC Santa visits / photo opportunities at other well-known places in previous years so this was a unique and magical way to do it this year.
Our kids are still reminiscing about the views and immersive holiday experience at Winter ONEderland atop One World Observatory. We look forward to going back again, but want to try it during the evening hours so we can see forever across the sparkling lights of the city skyline.
Winter ONEderland tips, schedule
Make sure to visit One World Observatory’s Winter ONEderland soon. It runs continuously through the holiday season, ending on January 7.
Final thought for parents: Admission tickets are timed. Admission and security lines could be long. They move quickly, but expect a 20 to 30 minute wait during the busy holiday season. We strongly suggest you buy in advance online.
Disclosure: Our family received a free family pass to visit the One World Observatory. The thoughts and opinions in this article are honest and 100 percent our own.