December 23, 2013

The Ultimate NYC Holiday Week Planner

The Best Santas, “Nutcrackers,” theater, light shows + more + some really great weekend events for the family.

By New York Family

Pirate School at Symphony Space

Pirate School at Symphony Space

As you prepare for a fun- and family-filled Christmas holiday, be sure to check your list twice for festive happenings…missing any of the seasonal offerings from our site this month is sure to get you a spot on the naughty list!

*Enjoy our winter recipe roundup for all any seasonal parties. Dig in!

*Deck the halls…and the city sidewalks! Don’t miss a single city Christmas tree…plus, chart a course to gaze upon some of the best holiday light displays in Dyker Heights (see our slideshow to get inspired), and many more merry and bright locales.

*Need last minute gifts? Try some of the city’s best holiday markets and top department stores. Plus, don’t miss our toy guide and grownup gift picks!

*Feeling crafty? Our original paper snowflake tutorial is sure to keep little hands busy through winter break. Plus–check out our latest roundup of cool city craft spots as well as our checklist of gingerbread workshops!

*Celebrate the spirit of the season by learning about some of our favorite local charities.

*Christmas Eve might be Santa’s busiest day of the year, but chances are he still has time to snap a photo with your little one–visit any one of these Santa hot-spots for sure-fire smiles.

*There’s still time to check out any of the many holiday theater performances–including plenty of “Nutcracker” shows, New Victory’s “Mother Africa” (see our slideshow to learn about the different dances and instruments), and the classic Radio City Christmas Spectacular (as one local Jewish mom learns, it’s plenty of fun even if you don’t celebrate Christmas itself)!

And if you have any room left in your schedule, please read on for the best of this weekend’s offerings!


Check out the Hot Mama burlesque troupe as they celebrate the holidays with a special post-Christmas show. Watch performances by Little Brooklyn, Kat Mon Dieu, and the Incredible Edible Akynos. Hosted by Raven Snook. For parents only! (Thursday)


“Remake the Holidays,” a four-day-long arts and crafts festival at the New York Hall of Science, brings together workshops, demos, artist installations and more.  Each day is centered around a different theme, from electronics to 3D design. Don your thinking cap! (Friday through December 30)

The “Pirates of Penzance” lands at Symphony Space. Filled with wacky characters and, of course, swashbuckling pirates, this musical comedy will leave the family laughing long after you leave the theater. Sit back and enjoy! (Friday through December 31)

Magician Max Darwin makes objects appear out of thin air and defies the laws of physics in his interactive, high-energy show for the whole family at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. Prepare to be mystified! (Through December 31)

Round up the family for a charming musical production of Hansel & Gretl that everyone is sure to love! Amore Opera presents a 90-minute adaptation of this classic children’s tale filled with plenty of singing. Happy New Year! (Friday-Saturday)



Join the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday for their 35th annual celebration of Kwanzaa. Hosted by storyteller Linda Humes, expect a showing from the Supremes of Broadway hit “Motown” fame, among other fun acts.  Let’s celebrate! (Saturday)

Head to the Plaza for a special New Year’s Dance Party on Saturday! Your little one can make their appearance on the Eloise zebra catwalk and then make a beeline to the tea room for fabulous treats and games.  Get down! (Saturday)

Decorate festive Reindeer cupcakes using fun and easy techniques at Taste Buds Kitchen in Chelsea. Be creative! (Saturday)

Symphony Space’s Just Kidding series presents “Pirate School,” combining clown theater, slapstick, magic, and puppetry. Ahoy matey! (Saturday)

Let your children prepare for a brand new year by making their own 2014 wall calendar at Wave Hill. Kids will get to design their own layout, taking inspiration from various Wave Hill images. Here’s to 2014! (Saturday-Sunday)



Catch The Itty Biddies live in their concert at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. The band’s blend of folk and pop music make them a hit with kids and parents alike. Sing along! (Sunday)

Enjoy a day of fun and learning at the historic Mount Vernon Hotel, one of the city’s oldest buildings. Children ages 3 to 6 can bring a favorite doll or teddy to meet Mrs. Woodhull, the hotel proprietor’s wife. Tea and cookies for all! (Sunday)

Kids will serve as secret-agent architects while searching the Museum of the City of New York in a family-geared scavenger hunt. Little ones will learn special architectural vocabulary and styles, plus secrets about the iconic Colonial Revival building. Ready the detectives! (Sunday)


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  • Micheal Alexis

    Wow. i would travel to nyc one day.. that is my dream