As we live very close to New York City there are some things we like to do annually in Manhattan at Christmas. One of our favorites is to go to The Plaza Hotel and see Santa. This seems to be a secret, because both this time and last time we went, we were the only family visiting Santa. I am guessing this is partly because we went at midday on a school wednesday, and so avoided weekend and holiday crowds. I am really grateful for this as my children are not at all the type to bound up to Santa and sit on his knee. We need time and space for something like this. They are shy and reserved and take some warming up. Maya’s interest lay mostly in figuring out if Santa is actually real, and if she was aloud to ask him if he is the real Santa, and how possibly could he be true? Elle on the other hand was caught up in the magic, in her sweet special way. Enjoying a coversation with Santa, she even went back on her own to give Santa a hug! Santa was really nice. When he saw the girls he said “Look how much you have grown!”…Clever Santa. Going to the Plaza Hotel is like stepping into another world. It is like a little holiday, even if only there for an hour. It is old world opulence that feels historical and totally over the top in this day and age. Despite questioning this kind of grandur when there are so many people in poverty in the world, I appreciate that the lobby and food court are free to enter and available for anyone to experience if in New York City. We like to walk around the foyer, look at the chandeliers and the exquisite floral arrangements…and people watch. There is a pianist playing on a grand piano and at Christmas time there are many elaborate holiday decorations. Santa is located on the lower lever food court – which has some great healthy and fresh food options – at reasonable prices. Visiting Santa is free, but if you want to have photos there is a cost. We paid $30 for 10 photos – which we put inside our Christmas cards to family. I actually think there is a cheaper option too with less photos. We also visit the Elosie room, based on the famous Children’s books. The girls like to lounge here and rest while enveloped in a pink sensation. The Elosie room is also free and located in the food court area on the lower concord of the Plaza Hotel. The Plaza Hotel is located on the West side of Grand Army Plaza on Central Park, and so with a stroll through the park and a wander through the hotel, this outing can easily take up a whole day. The Girls both said they really enjoyed the experience…it was a fun to do this week while we still have two little girls.