New Ideas for Your Traditional Holiday Photo in NYC

Family Photos for the Holidays in New York City

It’s holiday picture time. You’re bundling up the crew and heading out to take the annual shot to be sent ‘round the world (or at least to your cousin Courtney in San Antonio). Sure, you could trek to Rockefeller Center and pose in front of the most famous Christmas tree in the world, or line the kids up in front of Macy's gorgeous windows. But why not do something a little different this year? We rounded up a few places you may not have thought of (yet), as well as some off-the-beaten-path locales where you can say, “Fruitcake!”

Spread the LOVE For the perfect sentiment no matter what you celebrate, head over to Sixth Avenue and 55th Street and pose in front of the red LOVE sculpture. Created by Richard Indiana as a Christmas card design for MoMA, the statue has been replicated around the world. After a few pictures, walk over to Fifth Avenue to check out some of the fantastic holiday displays or make a beeline to Serendipity 3 for some yummy festive fun.

Take it on the road No taxis. No planes, trains or automobiles. Hail a pedicab, climb in and ask a friendly tourist (or the driver) to capture all of you snuggled in the back. Take a tour through Central Park and view our city in a way you probably haven’t before. Pass the camera around and snap some candid shots of each other as you go. The result? A montage of holiday smiles, which is perfect for those cards with three to five photos.

Not your bubbe’s menorah Across the street from the Plaza Hotel you'll find the world's largest menorah (talk about bragging rights)! Starting the evening of Tuesday, December 16 and continuing for eight nights, when 5:30pm rolls around, the 4,000-pound menorah is lit in honor of Hanukkah. Take a shot or two in front of the gold structure and then head over to the cafe at Dylan’s Candy Bar for some happy Hanukkah hot cocoa.

Not your meemaw’s Christmas tree Want a picture in front of a tree? We love the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History. Make a day out of it: Take a few up-close shots of the kids next to some amazing ornaments, learn about the art of origami, and grab some stocking stuffers at the museum gift shop. Finish the day by getting your burger fix at Shake Shack.

File under kitschy but yummy So it’s getting down to the wire and you need to get a pic for those darn cards. It’s a Thursday, you’ve finished soccer practice, there’s a spelling test to study for and a book report to finish. And everyone is hungry. Stop at an unofficial NYC landmark: Gray’s Papaya at 72nd Street and Broadway. Order hot dogs for everyone, snap your picture and then write “Hope you're havin’ a doggone good holiday!” on the cards. A tad nontraditional, yes, but it will surely bring some holiday joy to the person who receives it...and isn’t that the point?

When you don't want to leave the apartment Everyone have the sniffles? On the third time-out of the day and it's only noon? It’s raining? Chuck all of the plans and take your holiday picture indoors, and feel good about it. Avoid the usual posed portrait in front of the stockings or on the couch. Get everyone into their favorite PJs, pile onto the largest bed in the abode, and take a fun, cozy photo. Of course this means you have to know how to use the timer on the camera, but we have confidence that you (or your seven-year-old) can figure it out. Afterward, order in sushi or pizza, make some popcorn and enjoy a family movie night. Can you remember the last time that happened?

Find more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide and find great gift ideas in our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide.

This post originally published in December 2011.

Area/Neighborhood: