Spirit Of The Season: Holiday Happenings In NYC

Full tree shot_RM_7693
AMNH Origami Tree

TREES
From origami to 18th-Century decorations, NYC’s most notable Christmas trees boast a variety of extravagant trimmings.

American Museum of Natural History: This year’s 13-foot Origami Holiday Tree is “Night at the Museum”-themed, featuring origami models of characters and featured artifacts from the movie. On display

Bryant Park: Tens of thousands of lights and ornaments decorate this spruce tree, which, at 50 feet tall, towers over the free-admission 170-ft by 100-ft ice skating rink and pop-up shops. On display

Dante Park at Lincoln Square: This year’s 25-foot Balsam Fir hails from West Leyden, New York, and features vintage-style silver glass glitter ornaments. On display

Madison Square Park: Dating back to 1912, this is one of the oldest holiday trees in the city. The lighting ceremony will feature festive performances by Audra Rox and more. Lighting 12/9

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Decorated with smiling Neapolitan angels and chubby cherubs, this tree transports visitors back to the 18th century. Lightings occur every Friday and Saturday evening. On display

Rockefeller Center: The iconic spruce is a worldwide symbol of the holidays in NYC. It features more than five miles of 30,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights and a Swarovski crystal star. On display

St. John the Divine: The Peace Tree stands as a symbol of longevity and happiness, boasting 1,000 paper cranes. On display

Washington Square Park: Catch the annual lighting of the 45-ft Christmas tree under the Washington Square Arch. Lighting 12/11

LIGHTS
Bright lights, big city—these displays will add some sparkle to your season.

Garabedian Family Christmas House: Don’t miss nearly 200 animated figurines grooving to holiday music in this Bronx family’s front yard.

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn: Made famous by the PBS documentary “Dyker Lights,” this neighborhood display has been wowing locals and tourists alike for over 20 years, featuring motorized displays and
toy soldiers 30 feet tall.

World’s Largest Menorah at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza: This menorah stands at a whopping 32 feet tall. Lightings every night of Hanukkah are accompanied by live music and latkes for all. 12/16-23

Santa’s Corner in Bayside, Queens: At the intersection of 166th Street and 23rd Avenue in Queens you’ll find thousands of glittering lights amidst other lit lawn figures, and a glass display case filled with moving toys.

Winter Garden: Check out 100,000 twinkling lights strung across a grove of 45-ft tall palm trees, against a backdrop of One World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan skyline.

DEPARTMENT STORE WINDOWS
Nothing says Christmas in New York like these lavish window wonderlands.

Barneys: Have a “BAZ DAZZLED” holiday! Director and costume designer power couple Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin designed these fantastical scenes, featuring everything from woodland creatures to ice skaters.

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A 2013 Bergdorf window

Bergdorf Goodman: Bergdorf wishes you an “Inspired” holiday with its “The Arts”–titled windows, celebrating creativity from literature—depicted by a crimson library—to music, represented by a “modern boogie-woogie bugle girl.”

Bloomingdale’s: Bloomies goes high-tech with interactive windows featuring games and opportunities to interact with the retailer’s social media channels.

Henri Bendel: Visit Bendel’s enchanted garden—this magical vintage landscape is filled with sparkling accessories, evergreen Cyprus trees, cobblestones, fountains, and Louise the Elephant.

Lord & Taylor: Lord & Taylor’s windows take viewers on a journey through an enchanted mansion, in a whimsical yet modern ode to the building’s century of history.

Macy’s: These “Santa’s Journey to the Stars”-themed windows trace the adventuresof a boy’s imaginary space journey with St. Nick, showcasing planet-scapes, custom-designed toys, and an interactive game.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Saks transforms 5th Avenue into “An Enchanted Experience,” with a first-of-a-kind show complete with video projections, LEDs, and strobe lights depicting the glamorous Art Deco style of the 1920s.

Tiffany & Co.: Tiffany delights with windows harking back to the elegance of ’50s and ’60s New York, as graphic figures frolic in the City’s holiday landscape.A light show dazzles every 15 minutes from 4pm until midnight.

SANTAS
Cruise, dine, or take a selfie with Old St. Nick—here’s hoping you made the nice list!

ABC Carpet and Home: Take a photo with Santa amidst the store’s cozy yet ethereal décor. Weekends through 12/21

Macy’s Santaland: You’ll be transported to the North Pole as you visit with St. Nick in this 13,000-square-ft holiday wonderland, complete with elves and puppets. Ongoing

The Plaza Hotel: Little ones can sip tea and nibble mini sandwiches as they hear Santa tell a story, and get their photos taken with the Big Man in Red at this Rawther Fancy Tea. 12/3-19

Ridge Hill, Westchester: Join Shrek and his friends on an unforgettable adventure to find Santa in the North Pole in this immersive holiday hunt. Through 12/24

Rock Center Café: Enjoy a sweet breakfast with Santa at one of the city’s most festive locations, followed by a jolly skating performance by him and his elves. Through 12/24

ZEPHYR Cruise Circle Line: Cruise on the Hudson with Santa, and enjoy interactive games, a DJ, and dancing. 12/13 & 12/20

HOLIDAY MARKETS
Perusing these festive markets for one-of-a-kind toys and trinkets will get you in the holiday mood.

Artists & Fleas, Williamsburg: Hip families can check out the recent holiday expansion of this art and flea market, and be serenaded with acoustic sets by local bands on select weekends throughout the month. Weekends through 12/28

Brooklyn Flea Winter Flea + Holiday Market: Browse more than 100 vendors indoors for a special antique or vintage gift in a new 30,000-square-ft space in Crown Heights. Through March

Bryant Park: Visit more than 125 boutique-like vendors for unique gift inspiration, for everyone from mom and dad to the family cat. Through 1/4

Columbus Circle: Situated at Central Park’s Southwest corner, this picturesque market boasts more than 100 vendors selling everything from artisan chocolates to hand-crafted wooden puzzles. Through 12/24

Grand Central Terminal: New York’s longest-running indoor holiday market welcomes 22 new artists and businesses among its 76 vendors this year. Through 12/24

Union Square: Featuring a variety of unique items, from stylish pet accessories to bespoke crafts, this holiday classic attracts more than 1 million visitors each year. Through 12/24

ICE SKATING
Skip the line (and the tourists) at Rockefeller Center and get some quality ice time at one of these other city rinks.

Chelsea Piers: Enjoy twin rinks with beautiful views of the Hudson River—plus helmet rentals for parental peace of mind.

LeFrak Center at Lakeside: Choose between two 16,000-square-ft rinks—one covered and one open—or skate over the ice bridge between them, against the gorgeous backdrop of Prospect Park Lake.

The Rink at Brookfield Place: This 7,503-square-ft rink is bigger than Rockefeller Center’s, and looks in on the Winter Garden’s holiday lights.

Riverbank State Park: This rink overlooking the Hudson, located in Upper Manhattan, boasts some of the cheapest skating in the city, with $5 admission for adults and $3 admission for children.

The Standard, High Line: Enjoy this stylish skating atmosphere, where you can sip on white hot chocolate and nibble on doughnuts and waffles.

South Street Seaport: Get in the holiday spirit at this downtown rink, which hosts carolers every weekend through December.

Trump-Wollman Rink: This Central Park rink limits each skating session to 28 participants, so there’s plenty of ice to go around.

“NUTCRACKER” SHOWS
Renditions abound of this classic holiday ballet. This season, catch the Sugar Plum Fairy at one of these enchanting shows.

Brighton Ballet Theater: This Russian Ballet School production, featuring over 80 young dancers, takes Tchaikovsky’s classic back to its roots. 12/20

The Colonial Nutcracker: Created especially for ages 5-10, this historical production at the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts sets the story in Yorktown during the Revolutionary war. 12/14

Dances Patrelle (Yorkville Nutcracker): This family classic takes the audience through old New York, featuring the city’s most beloved landmarks, and gives young dancers and opportunity to dance alongside the pros. 12/4-7

The Knickerbocker Suite: This show by the Manhattan Youth Ballet and Manhattan Movement & Arts Center takes place in NYC, featuring the Statue of Liberty, 5th Avenue shoppers, and Central Park. 12/12-14 & 12/19-21

new york theater ballet
New York Theatre Ballet’s “Nutcracker”

New York City Ballet: The richness of Balanchine’s classic rendition will transport you to a land of sweets and keep the little ones rapt. Through 1/3

New York Theatre Ballet: This Nutcracker will be in the city for just one weekend this year—catch Keith Michael’s inventive choreography. 12/19-21

Puppetworks: “The Nutcracker” is accompanied by Anderson’s “Steadfast Tin Soldier” at this annual Puppetworks performance, perfect for ages 3 and up. 12/26-30

CAROLS
Here we come a-caroling—bundle up and take the family out for a festive sing-a-long.

Gramercy Park: This gated park opens its doors to the public on Christmas Eve for caroling beside its tree. 12/24

St. Bartholomew’s: Enjoy evening caroling on the steps of this iconic Midtown church. 12/15

St. John the Divine: This annual Christmas Concert features Bach’s “Gloria in Excelcis Deo” alongside a capella motets and beloved carols. 12/13

St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Sing along to traditional and contemporary carols performed by the cathedral’s own choir and other local choruses. 12/18

West Village: Join the West Village Chorale for their 40th annual festive caroling walk through the Village’s historic streets. 12/20

Washington Square: The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will accompany carolers under the Arch this Christmas Eve. Songbooks provided. 12/24

Relevant Directory Listings

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Broadway Dance Center Children and Teens

<p dir="ltr">With more than 35 years of experience, Broadway Dance Center Children & Teens provides young movers ages 3-18 with exceptional training. BDC delivers the finest all-around dance experience for students by offering a wide variety of styles and levels, performance opportunities, and the highest caliber dance instruction that only New York City and BDC Children & Teens can provide.</p> <p dir="ltr">This studio is so much more than a training course for young dancers; it is a diverse, family-friendly community for budding creatives. It has an exemplary faculty who follow the vision to not only develop a dancer’s love and ability in dance, but to do so in a nurturing and supportive way.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-16583089-7fff-d8a9-61c2-8f689f7348b2"></span></p>

Speakitaly NYC

<p>SPEAKITALY NYC offers stimulating and entertaining lessons for children 0 to 16 years through a wide combination of activities based on the communicative approach anchored in the Common European Framework of Reference: active learning (group work, role plays, etc.) and practice exercises aimed to improve listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Kids will start speaking and using Italian in a very natural way.  Small classes capped at 6 students to make sure each one gets the needed attention and facilitate learners' progress. </p> <p>Our method is driven by a didactic method that is the result of constant updates, professional certifications and more than 10 years of experience in working with non-native speakers from different native languages and levels of knowledge.</p> <p>Our aim is to develop a range of Italian language skills while improving accuracy that will enable the students and participants to interact without stress or feeling rushed. We want to help those in the community really embrace not only the true culture in Italy but the Italian culture within New York City… Who doesn’t love what Italy represents in the kitchen, in history & in the arts?</p> <p>Speakitaly wants to support multilingual families who want to learn a new language or pass along their ancestor’s heritage and culture. Raffaella, the founder said: "We see language awareness and intercultural sensitivity as the milestones for an inclusive society. Italian, like all other languages, is an enrichment and a growth in every way. Vi aspettiamo!"</p>

Child's Play NY Virtual Classes

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f0d8558c-7fff-41d5-daea-321d9ce61efc" style="white-space: normal; font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Child's Play NY is a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2009, committed to offering a diverse array of theater arts classes for children. They believe studying the art of acting encourages kids to be even more creative, collaborative and compassionate human beings. Since its inception, Child's Play NY has touched the lives of hundreds of students, worked inside dozens of schools and is consistently ranked as among the top theater arts programs. </span></span></span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is the 2019 winner of Brooklyn Family's Choice award for Best Performing Arts Class.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall/Winter 2020-21 Virtual Class Guide</span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">:</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make a Movie Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Experience creative fulfillment and movie magic with Child’s Play NY! Kids get to make and star in their own film, with professional actors, directors and designers. From development to design to editing choices too, kids can take ownership over the creative process. Their friends and family get to celebrate their accomplishments at a final watch party premiere! Deep project-based learning and peer-connection is at the heart of this 9-week experience which can be done remotely or in-person.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall and Winter Virtual Classes</span></strong></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-left: 36pt; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><strong>Hogwarts School (grades 1-3)</strong>: Come get sorted into your favorite house, jump on your Firebolt and let’s make some magic! Class culminates in a movie montage featuring our original scripted work from the session.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Create Your Own Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make your own custom group to support social-emotional growth and play. Child’s Play NY provides a dynamic teacher and their lauded curriculum that puts peer-interaction at the front and center. Custom classes are a special way to nurture what your child loves most and share that excitement with their friends, in-person or online.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Playwriting (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students will use their creativity, compassion and confidence to build a story they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Individually, each student will craft a play, and together they will workshop their scenes, exercising their acting, directing, and most importantly, imagination skills. Over the course of the sessions, students will learn the basics of playwriting and be able to present any and all parts of their theatrical story. All classes will include individual assignments and collaborative opportunities. Each day will be structured so that all participants have the chance to learn and study other writers’ work, write for 10-15 minutes and share their words with each other. By the end of the semester they will have used their bodies, intellect and imagination to come up with an original play. By being confident, vulnerable and creative with each other and actively supporting and encouraging each other’s work, students will emerge with meaningful connections to each other and a strong sense of their writing and collaborative abilities.<br />Class culminates in a montage and packet of students’ original work.<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Musical Theater Lab (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Learn how to be a triple threat in this dynamic class for budding performers with Child’s Play NY. Students focus on songs, dances and characters from Broadway’s most celebrated and kid-friendly shows. They work alongside professional performers with years of experience bringing their passion to children. Class culminates in a movie showcase of scenes and songs.<br />Join for the full session, or enroll as a drop-in!<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Shakespeare Scene Study (Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Young people become confident with Shakespeare’s world, language and characters as they learn how to interpret a role with technique and courage. Classically trained professional actors assist the players in their physical, vocal and emotional transformations. All Shakespeare teaching artists are classically trained professional actors and have performed Shakespeare both on and off Broadway and in regional theaters across the country.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students jump into the worlds of Shakespeare in this robust mash-up of improvisation and classic text scene study class. After learning the plot and characters from several plays, they rehearse and memorize scenes from the original text. New material, devised by the cast, adds a contemporary through-line to their show and highlights the universality of Shakespeare’s themes.<br />Class culminates in a movie showcasing their work.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>The Big Twist: A New Musical (Grade 1-4)</strong></div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In this acting class, students get to perform a brand new musical based on The Wizard of Oz.<br />The Wicked Witch of the South wants to return Oz to a time when WITCHES reigned supreme, and all was evil. Summoning a dark magic Tornado, the Wicked Witch of the South sends Oz hurtling into an alternate Oz. With the Yellow Brick road destroyed, the Wizard left powerless, and the citizens of Oz scattered to the Wind, our heroes are forced into unlikely partnerships to stop the Witch and restore the world to order. The Wizard of Oz meets The Tempest.  Class culminates in a premiere of a movie starring the students, filmed over the last few days of the session.</div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-57c50323-7fff-79ce-175a-5e25408c0e29"></span></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-84ebe141-7fff-03c2-24cf-fead86e88df2"></span></p>