• Merry & Bright: Every Holiday Event Happening in NYC This Season

    Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at some of our favorite local holiday attractions.

    By Chloe Beck

    The Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree


    Special Spotlight: The Plaza Holiday Tree

    The classic holiday hot spot right off 5th Avenue offers visitors an elegant holiday experience with extravagant lights, décor, and their annual Christmas tree. This year, the hotel is hosting an event in honor of the 25th anniversary of “Home Alone 2,” where fans of the movie are able to “live like Kevin.” Guests will journey through moments of the movie including dining in the Food Hall with upscale 90s foods, having an interactive photo session, and get a 3-scoop ice cream sundae delivered right to their room, all while enjoying taking in their iconic holiday tree! theplazany.com

    Cathedral of St. John The Divine Peace Tree, throughout December, stjohndivine.org
    Christmas Tree at the Met, 11/21-1/7, metmuseum.org
    Holiday Tree in Bryant Park, “Tree Lighting Skate-tacular,” 12/2 at 6pm, bryantpark.org
    Lincoln Square Christmas Tree, Tree Lighting Concert, 11/27 at 5:30pm, winterseve.nyc
    New York Botanical Garden Trees, Tree Lighting, 12/3 at 4pm, nybg.org
    New York Public Library Christmas Tree, TBD, nypl.org
    NYSE Christmas Tree, Tree Lighting, 11/30 from 2:30-6pm, nyse.com
    Origami Holiday Tree at AMNH, 11/20-1/7, amnh.org
    Park Avenue Christmas Tree, 12/3 at 6:30pm, brickchurch.org
    Rockefeller Christmas Trees, Tree Lighting 11/29 from 7-9pm, will remain through 1/7, rockefellercenter.com
    Washington Square Park Tree, TBD, washingtonsquarenyc.org

    Holiday Under the Stars at Time Warner Center. Photo by Lauren Elle


    Special Spotlight: Holiday Under the Stars at Time Warner Center

    Every year the high ceilings of Time Warner Center dazzle as the hanging stars light up the room. This year, they are hosting a “Broadway Under the Stars” event, where every Monday at 5pm, Broadway stars will be performing songs from some of your favorite musicals under the holiday lights. The shows run from November 11-December 11, and TWC will have an arrangement of shows and events throughout the holiday season with something everyone can enjoy. theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com

    Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, Thanksgiving through Christmas
    New York Botanical Garden Train Show, 11/22-1/15, nybg.org
    Radio City Music Hall, Thanksgiving through Christmas, radiocity.com
    Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show, 12/4-1/10, saksfifthavenue.com
    Winter Village at Bryant Park, 10/28-3/4, bryantpark.org

    Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. Photo by Colin Miller

    Holiday Markets

    Special Spotlight: Astoria Holiday Markets

    Held on the three Sundays before Christmas, the Queens Bohemian Beer Gardens turns into the Astoria Holiday Market, showcasing merchandise from a variety of vendors. The seasonal market offers jewelry, clothing, and all things holiday, plus baked goods and treats are also available for purchase. Grab a cup of eggnog or hot cider to sip on while your browse through the market. astoriamarket.com

    Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market, open year round, artistsandfleas.com
    Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, 10/28-3/4, wintervillage.nyc
    Bulletin Holiday Market, 12/3-4 & 12/10-11, thewilliamvale.com
    Columbus Circle Holiday Market, 11/28-12/24, urbanspacenyc.com
    Etsy Handmade Cavalcade, 11/27-12/3 & 12/8-10, handmadecavalcade.com
    Grand Central Holiday Fair, 11/13-12/24, gctholiday.com
    Renegade Craft Fair, 11/18-19, 12/2-3, 12/9-10 & 12/16-17, renegadecraft.com
    Union Square Holiday Market, 11/16-12/24, urbanspacenyc.com

    “Christmas Spectacular Starring Radio City Rockettes” at Radio City Music Hall. Photo courtesy of MSG

    Holiday Shows

    Special Spotlight: A Christmas Carol at The Players Theatre

    The Players Theatre is performing the classic story of Old Man Scrooge fighting off the holiday spirit while being visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future for the ninth year in a row. A familiar show both kids and parents can enjoy, children are invited to join the actors on stage for a pre-show workshop an hour before the 11am Sunday shows, where they will learn how the theatre brings the show to life! theplayerstheatre.com

    “Christmas Spectacular Starring Radio City Rockettes” at Radio City Music Hall, 11/10-1/1, rockettes.com
    “ELF” at Madison Square Garden, 12/13-29, theateratmsg.com
    “A Garfield Christmas” at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 12/27, 12pm & 4pm, newyorkcitytheatre.com
    “The Nutcracker” by New York City Ballet, 11/24-12/31, nycballet.com
    “The Nutcracker” by New York Theatre Ballet, 12/15-17, nytb.org
    “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” at Count Basie Theatre, 11/24 at 4pm & 7:30pm, countbasietheatre.org
    Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Prudential Center, 12/21 at 3pm & 8pm, prucenter.com

    Henri Bendel. Photo courtesy of Henri Bendel

    Window Displays

    Special Spotlight: 5th Avenue between Herald Square & 56th Street

    A Holiday “must-do” event for every New Yorker, or visitor, is to stroll along 5th Avenue (with a hot chocolate in hand) and gaze at the incredible holiday window displays the timeless department stores put up. The masterpieces, featuring holiday themes including winter, Christmas, and Hanukkah, are works of art the whole family can enjoy. We recommend seeing the windows at night when the lights are their brightest.

    Henri Bendel
    Bergdorf Goodman
    Saks Fifth Avenue

    Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, many stores did not have information on their holiday window displays, but start strolling up and down 5th Avenue during the month of December, and we are sure you and your family will find plenty of windows to enjoy!

    Rink at Bryant Park. Photo by Colin Miller

    Ice Skating

    Special Spotlight: Rink at Bryant Park

    In the heart of Bryant Park during the winter lies their ice skating rink where families can show off their figure 8s, or beginners can use supports to learn how to glide on the ice. Under the lights of the Christmas tree and right next to the market, guests can enjoy the free admission rink and skate all day. The rink offers quality skate rentals, or visitors are welcome to bring their own. Put and your skates and hop on the ice this winter at Bryant Park. bryantpark.org

    Lasker Rink, late October through mid-March, laskerrink.com
    Lefrak Center at Lakeside, 10/29-4/3, lakesidebrooklyn.com
    The Rink at Brookfield Place, late November through mid-March, brookfieldplaceny.com
    The Rink At Bryant Park, 10/28-3/4, bryantpark.org
    The Rink at Rockefeller Center, early October through mid-April, therinkatrockcenter.com
    Sky Rink Chelsea Piers, open year round, chelseapiers.com
    Wollman Rink Central Park, late October through early April, wollmanskatingrink.com

    West Village Unsilent Night. Photo by Taylor Davidson


    Special Spotlight: West Village Unsilent Night

    All is still calm and bright in the West Village, just not so silent. Meet up with fellow lovers of music on Sunday December 17 at 5:45pm under the Arch in Washington Square Park. Featuring the composition “Unsilent Night” by Phil Kline, participants will start at the park and make their way through the East Village with boom-boxes, playing music for all to hear. This joyous winter evening is an event for all to join. newyork.unsilentnight.com

    Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 12/24 from 4-5pm, stjohndivine.org
    St. Bartholomew’s, TBD, stbarts.org
    St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 12/21 from 7-9pm, saintpatrickscathedral.org
    Washington Square Park, 12/24 at 5pm, washingtonsquarenyc.org

    Breakfast with Santa at Rock Center Cafe. Photo by Michael Marquand

    Santa Sightings

    Special Spotlight: Breakfast with Santa at Rock Center Cafe

    Eat your eggs with Jolly Saint Nick himself at the Rock Center Café this winter. Families can enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with incredible views of the infamous Rink at Rockefeller Plaza. Santa will be there to visit the children as they eat their meals. Afterwards, he welcomes everyone to put on their skates and join him on the rink. This breakfast is open to the public from November 24-December 14. therinkatrockcenter.com

    Brookfield Place, 11/24-12/24, brookfieldplaceny.com
    Macy’s Santaland, 11/24-12/24, macys.com
    New York City Fire Museum Santa Rescue, 12/3 at 11am, nycfiremuseum.org
    The Plaza, 11/24-12/24, theplazany.com
    Spirit Cruises, 12/10 from 12-2pm, spiritcruises.com

    Grasshopper Cake and Cake Truffles at Momofuku Milk Bar


    Special Spotlight: Grasshopper Cake and Cake Truffles at Momofuku Milk Bar

    Debuting last holiday season, Momofuku Milk Bar is bringing back their mouthwatering winter treats this winter. Their grasshopper cake and bite-sized cake truffles are a layering mix of chocolate chip cake, chocolate malt cake, and mint cheesecake. Featuring chocolate crumbs and topped with rich cookies and cream frosting. Take a snack break after a day roaming the city streets and visit Milk Bar to try out their delicious holiday goodies! milkbarstore.com

    Buches de noel at Lafayette, lafayetteny.com
    Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies at Billy’s Bakery, billysbakerynyc.com
    Candy Cane Treats at Ample Hills Cremery, amplehills.com
    Cookie Shots at Dominique Ansel’s, dominiqueansel.com
    Holiday Doughnuts at Doughnut Plant, doughnutplant.com

    Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum. Photo by Matthew Carasella

    Hanukkah Happenings

    Special Spotlight: Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum

    The much anticipated annual family event at the Jewish Museum celebrates the festival of lights with a multitude of activities for children to enjoy. The day will include music, building of Hanukkah lamps, drawing sessions, and a Hanukkah Story in a drawn out performance by Jeff Hopkins. Children can learn more about the religious holiday while having a fun-filled day with other kids on December 10 from 12-4pm. thejewishmuseum.org

    9th Annual Latke Festival at Brooklyn Museum, 12/18 from 6-9pm, latkefestival.com
    Chanukah Festival at 92 Street Y, 12/10 at 11am, 92y.org
    Chanukah on Ice at Wollman Rink, 12/12 from 6-9pm, laskerrink.com
    Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting, 12/12-20, largestmenorah.com
    Hanukah Gala at Museum of Jewish Heritage, 12/14 from 8pm-12am, mjhnyc.org
    World’s Largest Menorah Lighting at Central Park, 12/12-20, nycgovparks.org

    Kwanzaa Spectacular at American Museum of Natural History. Photo by AMNH/R. Mickens

    Even More Seasonal Fun

    Special Spotlight: Kwanzaa Spectacular at American Museum of Natural History

    Celebrating the week-long African-American heritage holiday, the American Museum of Natural History is offering their yearly Kwanzaa Spectacular. The event features musical performances, markets with artists from the African-American community, and an overview of the seven principles known as Nguzo Saba. The Museum honors the holiday and invites people to join in on the celebration on Saturday December 30. amnh.org

    18th Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square, 11/27 from 5:30-9pm, winterseve.nyc
    Ball Drop in Time’s Square, 12/31, newyearseve.nyc
    Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night at Apollo Theater, 12/30 at 9pm, apollotheater.org
    Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 11/23 from 9am-12pm, macys.com
    New Year’s Eve in Prospect Park, 12/31 at 11pm, prospectpark.org

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