Things To Do

Your Ultimate Guide to the Holidays!

New York City is the perfect place to be for the holiday season! Whether it’s the Winter Village at Bryant Park, the Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting (or the Latke festival if you’re hungry!), or the iconic tree at Rockefeller Center, there’s always something to do. Here are some great events and sights to see with the family this holiday season.

 

Hanukkah Happenings!

Hanukkah Family Day at The Jewish Museum

 

Special Spotlight: Hanukkah Playhouse
Celebrate the holiday with a festive show packed with music and comedy, performed by the Broadway Playhouse. This interactive performance includes stories, sing-alongs, and more—be sure to catch the musical adaptation of “In the Month of Kislev!” The show takes place December 2nd at 11am. kaufmanmusiccenter.org

10th Annual Latke Festival, 12/3, 6-8:30pm, latkefestival.com
Eight Nights of Light: Celebrate Chanukah at the JCC, 12/2-12/10, jccmanhattan.org
Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting, 12/2-12/10, times vary, chabadparkslope.com
Hanukkah Family Day, 12/2, 11am-4pm, jewishmuseum.org

 

Holiday Markets

Urbanspace

Special Spotlight: Astoria Market
The Astoria Market only converts to a holiday spectacle thrice annually. Converted from the Queens Bohemian Beer Gardens, the market offers wares from various vendors. From jewelry to clothes to hot drinks, you’re sure to find the perfect present for that special someone…even if it’s yourself! The market is open on December 2, December 9, and December 16 from 12-6pm. astoriamarket.com

Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar, 11/24-25, 11am-5pm, brooklynholidaybazaar.com
Brooklyn Flea, opens 11/3, Saturdays and Sundays, brooklynflea.com
Columbus Circle, 11/28-12/24, 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, 10am-8pm Saturday, 10am-7pm Sunday, urbanspacenyc.com
The Grand Central Holiday Fair, 11/12-12/24, 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, 10am-7pm Saturday, 11am-6pm Sunday, (Closed Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve 10am-6pm), grandcentralterminal.com
Renegade Craft Fair, 11/17-18 & 12/22-23, 11am-5pm, renegadecraft.com
Union Square Holiday Market, 11/15-12/24, 11am-8pm Monday-Friday, 10am-8pm Saturday, 11am-7pm Sunday, urbanspacenyc.com
Winter Village, 10/27 through 1/2, 11am-8pm Monday-Friday, 10am-8pm Saturday & Sunday, bryantpark.org

 

Treats

Urbanspace

Christmas Morning Cereal at Dominique Ansel Bakery, dominiqueansel.com
Holiday Chocolates at L.A. Burdick Chocolate, burdickchocolate.com
Holiday Doughnuts at Doughnut Plant, doughnutplant.com
Holiday Spice Cake at Baked NYC, bakednyc.com
Old-Fashioned Gingerbread at Two Little Red Hens, twolittleredhens.com
Panettone at Sant Ambroeus, santambroeus.com
Truffles and Hot Chocolate at No Chewing Allowed!, nochewingallowed.com

 

Tree Lightings

Special Spotlight: Bryant Park Tree Lighting Skate-Tacular
Gather with the whole family to hear a celebrity guest read a holiday tale to the crowd in Bryant Park’s Winter Village. As they read, the story’s brought to life by ice skaters. Watch as the tree is lit to a chorus of fireworks, and later on, you can join the skaters with free time in the rink—along with live music! This event takes place on December 4. bryantpark.org

Carl Schurz Park, 12/2, 5-6pm, carlschurzparknyc.org
Christmas in Richmond Town, Date & time TBA
Holiday on the Hudson, 12/8, 4:30-6:30pm, nycgovparks.org
Madison Square Park, 12/6, 3:30-5:30pm, madisonsquarepark.org
Park Avenue Memorial Tree Lighting, 12/2, 6:30pm, fundforparkavenue.org
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, 12/28, 7-9pm, rockefellercenter.com
Seaport District Annual Tree Lighting, Date & time TBA
Winter’s Eve, 11/26, winterseve.nyc

 

Holiday Shows & Events

Special Spotlight: Gingerbread House Workshop
This special treat from Taste Buds Kitchen is designed with kids ages 2-8 in mind (accompanied by a caregiver). Bond with your child as you build a gingerbread house together with any number of tasty decorations. Plus, sip on hot chocolate and listen to holiday tunes as you decorate! The workshops run from November 23 to December 27. tastebudskitchen.com

Charlie Brown Christmas, 11/23, bergenpac.org
Kids’ Chorus, 12/9 at 3pm, metmuseum.org
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 12/13-30, msg.com
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 11/22, macys.com/social/parade
NYBG Holiday Train Show, 11/17-1/21, nybg.org
NYCB Nutcracker, 11/23-12/30, nycballet.com
Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, 11/9 through 1/1, rockettes.com
Winter Solstice Celebration, 12/20-22, solsticeconcert.com
Winterfest, 11/23-12/31, brooklynmuseum.org

Special Spotlight: Hip Hop Nutcracker
Head over to Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre for this one-of-a-kind performance that combines classic Christmas with contemporary flair. The production engages with Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” score as a jumping-off point, combining it with hip hop choreography to make the story come alive in a modern way. The show is on December 23 at 6pm. hiphopnutcracker.com

Lights

Special Spotlight: Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show
It’s worth fighting through the crowd of tourists to get a glimpse of what Saks has to offer for the winter season. Saks Fifth Avenue’s light show is so renowned that people fill the opposite avenue to spectate, and it’s kept so tightly under wraps (pun intended) that the display is a secret until its grand reveal! saksfifthavenue.com

Dyker Heights, Thanksgiving through Christmas
Holiday Under the Stars, theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com
Radio City Music Hall, Thanksgiving through Christmas, radiocity.com
Winter Village at Bryant Park, opens 10/27, bryantpark.org

Trees

Special Spotlight: Christmas Tree at the Met
Once again, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will display a 20-foot Christmas tree—a blue spruce, to be specific. The tree is surrounded by a Neapolitan Nativity scene and angels dressed in silk, just as the scene would have been arranged in the 18th Century. The tree will be in the Museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall from November 20 until January 6. metmuseum.org

Cathedral of St. John The Divine Peace Tree, throughout December, stjohndivine.org
Holiday Tree in Bryant Park, 12/4, bryantpark.org
New York Botanical Garden Trees, lighting 12/2 from 4-5:15pm, nybg.org
New York Public Library Christmas Tree, 11/19 through 1/7, nypl.org
NYSE Christmas Tree, 11/29 at 5pm, nyse.com
Origami Holiday Tree at AMNH, 11/19, remains through 1/13, amnh.org
Park Avenue Christmas Tree, 12/2, 6:30, fundforparkavenue.org
The Plaza Holiday Tree, theplazany.com
Rockefeller Center, lighting 11/28, remains through 1/7, rockefellercenter.com

Caroling

Special Spotlight: Washington Square Park Caroling
Head to the Village park around the magnificent tree—which will be lit early December, and is the second-longest-running tree lighting in the city—to warm up your vocal chords. Join other city dwellers in song to ring in the season. December 24 at 5pm, washingtonsquarenyc.org

Cocoa & Carols, times vary, sail-nyc.com
Holiday Tubas
, 12/9, tubachristmas.com
New York City Opera Caroling, bryantpark.org
St. Bartholomew’s, 12/30 at 9pm, apollotheater.org
Unsilent Night, 12/16 at 6pm, unsilentnight.com

Ice Skating

Special Spotlight: Sky Rink Chelsea Piers
You can skate year-round at this icy spot located in Pier 61. Kids can gaze out to views of the Hudson River as they round one of two rinks, regardless of age or ability. Take classes or free-skate, and be sure to check their slate of programming as the holidays get closer! chelseapiers.com/sr

The Bank of America Winter Village, lafayetteny.com
Lasker Rink, open late October through mid-March, laskerrink.com
LeFrak Center at Lakeside, open 10/26, lakesidebrooklyn.com
The Rink at Brookfield Place, open November, therinkatbrookfieldplace.net
The Rink at Bryant Park, open 10/27, bryantpark.org
The Rink at Rockefeller Center, open 10/8 through mid-April, therinkatrockcenter.com
Wollman Rink Central Park, wollmanskatingrink.com

Santa Sightings

Breakfast with Santa, 11/23 through 12/24, therinkatrockcenter.com
Brookfield Place, 11/23-12/24, bfplny.com
Santa’s Corner, bryantpark.org
Santaland, 11/23-12/24, macys.com/santaland
New York City Fire Museum Santa Rescue, nycfiremuseum.org
The Plaza, theplazany.com

Special Spotlight: Window Displays of 5th Avenue between Herald Square & 36th Street 
New York has no shortage of fantastic holiday window displays, and luckily, the best ones are all on 5th Avenue. Take a leisurely walk past Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Henri Bendel, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue to catch a glimpse of the seasonal Christmas, Hanukkah, and holiday designs (and maybe head inside to warm up!). Macy’s holds their window display grand reveal on November 15 at 6pm.

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