The Best 2016 Holiday Events In New York City

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Nothing says holidays like the wonderfully decorated greenery throughout New York City. We can’t get enough of the city’s most festive foliage!

American Museum of Natural History: The Origami Tree attracts visitors from all over the world. Volunteers fold over 1,000 models that make up the 13-ft tree. The theme this year is Origami Dinosaurs Among Us. On display from through 1/8/17

Dante Park at Lincoln Square: The lighting of the tree in Dante Park is the kickoff for the 17th Annual Winter’s Eve celebration at Lincoln Square. The night will be full of festivities, including music, jugglers, and stilt-walkers. Over 30 local restaurants and eateries will offer food tastings for a few bucks, so swing by for some wonderful food in addition to the party! 11/28

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Another New York City holiday tradition, the Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche, will be back up this winter. Last year’s tree was a 20-ft-tall blue spruce and was set up in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. The lighting times for this year have not been confirmed. On display through 1/8/16

Rockefeller Center: Perhaps the most famous Christmas tree lighting in the country, the magnificent tree at Rockefeller Center will be lit on Wednesday, November 30 in Rockefeller Plaza. People from around the country enjoy watching this famous tree lighting every year! On display through 1/7/2017

Washington Square Park: Come down to Washington Square Park and enjoy a lovely tree amidst one of the prettiest and most popular parks in the city! The lighting ceremony will be accompanied by music and fun for the whole family.

New York City is known for its lights, and that’s even truer during the holiday season! These holiday events are sure to put a twinkle in your child’s eye.

Dyker Heights: Everyone knows about the holiday tourist sites in Manhattan, but one of the best light displays is in Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood. Having originally started in the 1980s as a friendly competition between local families, the entire neighborhood now takes part with lavish lawn displays that light up the night!

Park Avenue’s Boulevard of Lights: Every year, the trees along Park Avenue from 54-97th Streets are lit up in a beautiful display. The tradition started over half a century ago when families wanted to memorialize soldiers who had given their lives in WWII. That meaning is still cherished, as the lighting ceremony begins at Brick Presbyterian Church on 91st. Lighting 12/4

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show: It’s the 25th anniversary of the Train Show, so the garden is celebrating in style! There will be a display of 150 landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more, all along more than a half-mile of track. On display through 1/16/2017

Santa’s Corner: Bayside, Queens, goes all out to celebrate the holidays with light displays on practically every street. There are lights, music and shows on every block! The epicenter is on 166th Street and 23rd Avenue.

The Shops at Columbus Circle: One of the most well-known shopping and eating centers in the city, the Shops will once again celebrate the season with a brilliant light display. Last year’s featured the famous Astolat Dollhouse Castle, which is valued at $8.5 million!

World’s Largest Menorah at Grand Army Plaza: Whether you are of the Jewish faith or not, everyone can enjoy the World’s Last Menorah in Brooklyn. At 32 feet high, the tallest allowed by Jewish law, this menorah attracts visitors from around the world. The celebration kicks off on the first night of Chanukah, with a concert and party, including latkes for everyone! Lighting 12/24

Holiday Markets
No city does shopping like New York City, and we really go all out during the holidays! Check out some of the fantastic places to spend some cash this season.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park: In addition to the tree, the Winter Village at Bryant Park hosts a wonderful winter market. You can grab a bite to eat in the Public Fare before grabbing some last minute gifts at the shops, which host a massive collection of local and handmade products. You’re sure to find something special for everyone in your family. Open through 1/2/17

Columbus Circle: Head over to the southwest corner of Central Park for the renowned holiday market at Columbus Circle. As their market celebrates its 13th year, you will find all sorts of seasonal goodies, from artisan chocolates to jewelry, that are sure to be perfect gifts for your loved ones. Open through 12/24

Grand Central Holiday Fair: Located in one of the most iconic spots in the city, the Holiday Fair in Grand Central is back again for another year of holiday shopping. Vanderbilt Hall will be full of shops selling handcrafted, American-made goodies including art, toys, and home goods. Open through 12/24

Union Square: This year’s holiday market is upgraded, with new sections like Little Brooklyn and a warming station for those cold December nights. The market is renowned for artwork such as posters or framed prints, wonderfully smelling soaps and candles, and scrumptious food and drinks. Open through 12/14

Brooklyn Flea: This year’s winter market is back at Skylight One Hanson in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. There will be 100 vendors selling their wares, with 75 vintage and craft vendors in the Main Hall and Mezzanine. Don’t miss the mosaic on the ceiling and keep an eye out for iconography and symbols that show the area’s past! Open on weekends through 3/27/17

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“Nutcracker” Shows
Enjoy one of these spellbinding renditions of a treasured holiday classic.

Brooklyn Academy of Music: “The Hard Nut” transports the audience to the swinging 70s with a rousing reimagining of this holiday classic featuring lyrical modern choreography, a local children’s choir, whimsical costumes, and dancing G.I. Joes! 12/10-18

Manhattan Movement & Arts: With scenes inspired by New York City’s landmarks, such as the Statute of Liberty, the Manhattan Youth ballet celebrates the charm of New York City in “The Knickerbocker Suite.” 12/9-18

New York City Ballet: With enchanting choreography, a one ton Christmas tree that grows on the stage, and the magical “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” the family is sure to have a memorable time at this rendition of George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker.” 11/25 – 12/31

New York Theatre Ballet: This Art Nouveau-style recreation of the original performance features imps, mice dressed in polka dots, and owls that fly over the audience, captivating those who are young and young at heart. The one-hour show is great for ages 3 and up. 12/10-11

The Kaye Playhouse: Take a journey through New York’s cherished landmarks and marvel at lavishly designed costumes and sets while watching young and professional dancers perform “The Yorkville Nutcracker.” 12/8-11

Ho, Ho, Ho! Here’s where you can spot Father Christmas and share with him your holiday wishes.

Brookfield Place: Visit Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Brookfield Place this year. Create photo memories with Mr. Claus himself, while enjoy shopping, dining and ice-skating experience to celebrate the holiday season. Through 12/24

Macy’s Santaland: Follow live elves and walk through an enchanted forest at Macy’s Santaland to meet the Santa! You and your family will travel to a 13,000-square-ft North Pole village featuring animatronic toys and a large train display. Through 12/31

The Plaza: Visit the century-old hotel and enjoy a special family style menu and seasonal dishes at the Todd English Food Hall. Children can make a trip to North Pole and celebrate Christmas with Santa at the Rawther Fancy Tea Party, where they can also enjoy stories about Eloise’s adventures while sipping pink hot chocolate. 11/25 – 12/24

Rockefeller Center Café: Enjoy a grand breakfast feast at the Rockefeller Center Café with the view of the ice rink and the famed Christmas tree. (And, of course, a photo opportunity with Santa and his elves.) Through 12/24

Spirit Cruises: Cruise the Hudson with a very special visitor from the North Pole when you bring your crew to the Lunch with Santa Cruise. Enjoy a delicious holiday buffet as well as a picture-perfect holiday experience with breathtaking skyline views of the city. 12/10

It’s that magical time of the year when you can sing out your favorite traditional Christmas hymns. Bring your friends and family and sing with fellow carolers from around the city!

St. Bartholomew’s: Be part of the tradition and gather around on the steps of St. Bart’s for Caroling on the Steps, followed by hot chocolate and cookies inside the historical church! 12/12

Cathedral of St. John the Divine: Join the Cathedral Choristers and enjoy a peaceful and family-friendly service, featuring readings, carols, and larger-than-life puppets to tell the Christmas story. There will be congregational carols for all to sing. 12/24-25

St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Sing along with the Diocesan Choir of Rockville Centre, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir at the 37th annual “A City Singing at Christmas” celebration. 12/15

Washington Square Park: Gather under the arch to celebrate the holidays by singing traditional Christmas and Hanukkah songs! The caroling will be accompanied by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet and led by singer Mary Hurlbut. 12/7 & 12/24

West Village: Carol around the historic Dickensian streets of the West Village neighborhood with the West Village Chorale. Starting and ending at Judson Memorial Church, you can enjoy more caroling and refreshments by the church’s piano at the end of the night. 12/17

Ice Skating
Put on your skates, sharpen the blades, and get ready to glide around the city’s local rinks this winter season!

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park: Bring your ice skates to the Rink, the centerpiece of the Winter Village at Bryant Park. As part of their Winter Village, they bring in and decorate a tree to tower over the festivities. Go for a skate or enjoy some hot chocolate in the shops! 10/29 – 3/5

The Rink at Brookfield Place: Skate with former US Olympic skaters Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, while enjoying the superb views of the Hudson and the Winter Garden. Opens 11/1

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: This is one of the city’s most celebrated attractions in the heart of Midtown. Skate in front of the iconic Christmas tree at the Rockefeller, an experience your family is sure to love!

The Standard: Bring your family and friends to the 3,000-square-ft rink at the Standard, High Line. Returning this year with new sophisticated design inspired by the golden age of the après-ski lifestyle, the Rink will also feature seasonal food and beverage menus at the Skate Shack and Living Room bistro.

Trump-Wollman Rink: What’s more magical than skating in the heart of Central Park? Create enchanting memories at this famous and romantic location where movies like “Love Story” and “Serendipity” were filmed. Opens 10/22