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5 Non-Touristy Things to Do in New York During the Holidays

Style blogger Sai De Silva shares her favorite winter hangouts.

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From frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 and comfort food in Little Italy to the iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree and ice skating rink, New York is a magical place to spend the holidays. Here, NYC-based blogger Sai De Silva shares her top tips to navigating New York City like a local during the holidays.

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You probably know Sai De Silva from her style blog Scout The City, but you also probably know De Silva because her daughter, London Scout, is a child social media superstar—the mother-daughter duo together have more than 135,000 followers on Instagram, @scoutfashion, where they chronicle their favorite outfits, daily outings, and cute accessories. We asked De Silva to let us in on her favorite spots in her hometown, The Big Apple. Here's where she's getting inspired this holiday season.

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Fave Neighborhood: The West Village

One of the best ways to get to know New York City is by taking long walks through some of its most picturesque neighborhoods—especially during the festive season, when local shops and restaurants are delightfully decorated. "One of my favorite areas is the West Village because of its spectacular brownstones and great restaurants," De Silva says. "The neighborhood is always buzzing with energy, and I always find something that inspires me creatively. I like to go there alone—it's time I like to take for myself, to get inspired and appreciate the city I live in." We love Margaux, left, in the Marlton Hotel.

Comfort Food: Little Italy

Nobody does Christmas like Italians, so it's no surprise that Little Italy is one of De Silva's favorite destinations during the winter months. She likes to take a stroll through the neighborhood in the early evenings—especially with foodie friends who are fans of Italian cuisine. "They have a variety of comforting Italian foods—and lots of good vibes!—to get you in the holiday spirit," she says."For a cocktail I love stopping in at Mulberry Project, and Capri Ristorante is a new restaurant that has great traditional Italian dishes. For dessert, stop by Ferrara Bakery and Cafe. They have great espresso and amazing gelato."

Iconic Ice Cream: Serendipity 3

A veritable New York City dessert institution (especially for kids and kids-at-heart), Serendipity 3 has played a starring role in countless holiday movies—all because of the restaurant's iconic "Frrrozen Hot Chocolate" and sweet concoctions. "The white hot chocolate melts in your mouth, and some of their desserts are irresistible," De Silva says. "This is definitely one of my daughter's favorite places—and a must-visit if you're in the area."

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Old School Luxury: Tavern on the Green

There's nothing like a fancy meal at Tavern on the Green to bring back memories of old-school New York. "I've been visiting Tavern on the Green since I was a little girl," De Silva says. "I remember my mom taking me to eat lunch there, and I always felt so fancy when I went." After your meal, take a stroll through (hopefully snowy) Central Park, she adds: "The holidays are a great time to experience winter in the park."

Sweet Treats: Ladurée

The macarons at Parisian transplant Ladurée's tea salon are legendary—far pre-dating the macaron mania that has taken over the US—and the Soho bakery and café are a festive destination year-round. "It's an amazing place to visit during the holidays," De Silva sys. "I take my daughter and my friends' daughters for afternoon tea, and I always make sure to order as many macarons as my heart desires."

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