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Radio City Rockette Heather Langham’s Guide to New York City

A real-life Rockette on where she spends her time when she isn’t dancing at Radio City, and her favorite New York holiday experiences.

A Radio City Rockette's Guide to New York City
Hi, I'm Michele!

Michele Laufik is a writer and editor, covering topics such as travel, beauty and wellness, and the events industry for various print and digital outlets. She recently moved from New York City and now calls Lexington her new Kentucky home. Michele has written for Glamour, NBCUniversal, Martha Stewart Living, PureWow, BizBash, among others.

Growing up in Arizona, some 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) away from New York City, Heather Langham only knew of the Rockettes from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast—and she was hooked. She had started dancing at a young age, thanks to her mom who owned a dance studio, and by the time high school was over, Langham was off to the Big Apple.

Over the span of 10 years, she would audition six times, finally landing the gig in 2009. “It’s been a crazy 20-year process,” says Langham, as she geared up for her latest season delighting guests at the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular. On her journey to the stage, Langham got to know New York City along the way.

Who better to serve as a local NYC guide than a real-life Rockette? Here, Heather lets us in on her favorite local spots around the city.

A rockette outside the Radio City Music Hall stage door
Rockette Heather Langham is seen at Radio City Music Hall.Foto: Ben Sklar / Viator

The best New York City neighborhoods

Some of the best places to stay and explore in New York City.

Hudson Yards

“We moved [to Hudson Yards] ... when it was still being built, and it was a ghost town then before it opened as a full neighborhood. Over [that] summer, it was a little quiet because I think tourists weren’t aware of it yet. But now for the holidays, I’m looking out my window and it’s pretty crowded!"

"It’s really cool. You have a little bit of the High Line, you’ve got a mall, there’s the Vessel where you can climb up a bunch of stairs. There’s Little Spain, which is right across the street. You can get churros, you can get Spanish pastries—they have everything down there.”

TriBeCa

“I love TriBeCa because it’s got its own quiet personality. You’re close to SoHo, you’re close to all the shopping there. But you’re also close to the Financial District and the One World Observatory and you’re even close to the water, the Hudson River. As someone who lives here, I feel that TriBeCa offers a quieter feel to New York City, which is nice when you go from the crazy hustle and bustle of Midtown.”

Skaters on the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City
The lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree signals the beginning of the holidays in New York.Foto: Amanda Voisard / Viator

Can’t-miss holiday experiences in New York City

Festive favorites for the holiday season in the Big Apple.

“Ice skating at Rockefeller Center is a must. And if you can’t get into the Rockefeller ice skating rink, there’s also an ice skating rink in Central Park, which is really, really cool. Central Park is beautiful—that would be the No. 1 thing on my list to do."

"But also, you have to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and, obviously, you must come see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes!”

The best things to do in New York City

Top activities and attractions for visitors to New York City over the holidays.

“What I try to do—especially when my mom comes to town because she comes to see the show every single year—is take her to restaurants my husband and I like to frequent so she can get a feel for how we live our lives as New Yorkers. There’s a restaurant down in Chelsea called Foragers Table that I just love. They have fresh organic food and it’s farm to table, so I like to take her there."

"I’m also a fan of the Bryant Park holiday market and the High Line. It’s getting a bit busier and a lot of people know that it’s there now, but I still feel like it’s a hidden treasure for the West Side.”

Visitors pass through the Bryant Park Holiday Market.
Bryant Park Holiday Market.Foto: Amanda Voisard / Tripadvisor

Pre- and post-show eats near Radio City

Where to grab a bite in New York City, after admiring the Rockettes.

“We usually head to Del Frisco’s Grille, which is right next to Radio City, where we perform. And there’s also an Italian place a few blocks away, Pazza Notte, which has great pizzas. But Del Frisco’s Grille is our go-to at the end of the night. We know what time their kitchen closes.”

Related: Don't-Miss Dishes in New York City

More ways to explore New York during the holidays

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