12/ 1 – 2: The competitive NYC Horror Film Festival (NYCHFF) shows short and full-length films at Cinepolis Chelsea.
12/ 1 – 8 (starts Nov. 28) See a free tree-lighting ceremony, often with music.
Dec. 2 – Park Avenue
Dec. 4 – Bryant Park
Dec. 5 – Washington Square Park
Dec. 6 – Madison Square Park
12/ 1 – 9: See dozens of films focused on the lives of African people during African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), with most screenings at Cinema Village & Teachers College at Columbia University.
12/ 1 – 24: Enjoy a hot beverage or meal, and shop for gifts from 150 vendors at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market at Central Park West and 59th Street. Free.
12/ 1 – 24: Grand Central Holiday Fair is a holiday market with 40 vendors in Vanderbilt Hall.
12/ 1 – 24: Find handmade jewelry, fine art, clothing, ornaments, toys, food, and drink at Union Square Holiday Market in Union Square Park.
12/ 1 – 30: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition with old-fashioned costumes, a tree that grows before your eyes, crystal-shaped snowflakes, fine choreography by New York City Ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s captivating music at David H. Koch Theater.
12/ 1- Jan. 1, 2019: Radio City Christmas Spectacular features dancers, drones, fireworks, and a flying Santa at Radio City Music Hall. Pre-show, meet a Rockette or Santa, and admire 10,000 crystals hanging in the Grand Foyer.
12/ 1- Jan. 2, 2019: Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks.
12/ 1 – Jan. 12, 2019: Watch model trains zip around miniature New York landmarks made of plant materials, and enjoy kids’ activities at the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden.
12/ 1 – Feb. 24, 2019: The Holiday Train Show features a 34-foot-long model train layout (O gauge) with trains and subways that run on eight loops of track inside the New York Transit Museum Store.
12/ 2: The Dog Film Festival features films about the bond between dogs and humans at School of Visual Arts. No pets in the theater.
12/ 2 – 10: Celebrate Chanukah nightly with live music and hot latkes at the Lighting of the Menorah, which is 32 feet tall, at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.
12/ 2 – 30: Award-winning Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs contemporary dance with multimedia to celebrate its 60th anniversary at New York City Center.
12/ 6 – 9: The Yorkville Nutcracker is a ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s music with familiar “Old New York” backgrounds like Central Park at Kaye Playhouse.
12/ 6 – Jan. 13: Nutcracker Rouge is a glittery burlesque-inspired blend of theater, cirque, drag, and dance portraying an erotic and opulent version of the holiday ballet in Brooklyn.
12/ 7 (SOLD OUT): Jingle Ball brings big-name music artists every December to Madison Square Garden.
12/ 7 – 16: A Harlemettes Holiday is a song and dance show “that moves to the rhythm of jazz, blues, and hip hop” at Harlem School of the Arts.
12/ 8, 2018 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.): Wear a Santa suit and start at one of the bars that will be listed Friday night on the Santacon website. Donation. Organizers ask you to obey all laws and be polite. You must sign into Facebook to see the offical page.
12/ 9 (3:30 p.m.): Hear Christmas carols and sing along at Merry Tuba Christmas at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Free.
12/ 9 (2 to 3 p.m.): Arrive early with your pet for Blessing of the Animals by a minister and a rabbi at Christ Church. Free.
12/ 9, 2018 (2:30 to 4 p.m.): Advent Concert features sacred songs, classical music, inspirational readings, and a dance performance at Marble Collegiate Church.
12/ 12 – 15: See Handel’s Messiah performed in its entirety by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.
12/ 12 – 22: Winter Rhythms features cabaret & theater stars in 22 shows at Urban Stages Theatre.
12/ 13 – 30: How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a live family musical about a grumpy grinch who tries to deny the people of Whoville their holiday cheer but can’t dent their Christmas spirit at Madison Square Garden.
12/ 16 (6 p.m.): Download the music, and then play it on cue with the crowd at Unsilent Night, which goes from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park. Free.
12/ 16 – 17: Museum to watch the Rotunda Holiday Concert featuring Vox Vocal Ensemble. Consider making a dinner reservation at their restaurant beforehand.
12/ 19 (7:30 p.m.): The Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah with a 30-member chorus and 20-player orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
12/ 19 – 23: Big Band Holidays features the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis playing swinging and soulful renditions of your favorite holiday music, plus a vocalist.
12/ 19 – Jan. 5: The Magic Flute is an adventure-filled tale of good versus evil in which love conquers all, performed in English at the Metropolitan Opera House.
12/ 20 – 22: Celebrate the darkest night of the year at the secular Winter Solstice Celebration featuring musicians, vocalists, and the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
12/ 21: Make Music Winter is a dozen musical parades on the streets and sidewalks on the first day of winter. Come watch, or join in as described for each event.
12/ 21 and 22: The New York Pops Holiday Concert. Get to Carnegie Hall to get your spirit bright.
12/ 24: Join the carolers and brass quartet at Christmas Eve Caroling at the arch in Washington Square Park. Free.
12/ 24 (10 p.m.): Matzoball NYC is an annual event with DJ music at Capitale for age 21+.
12/ 24 – 25: Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration promises an hour of powerful music that brings joy to your heart and soul at Mount Olivet Baptist Church.
12/ 27 – 28: Harlem Globetrotters perform ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, and comedy bits in an entertaining show.
Dec. 27 (12:30 p.m.) – NY, Madison Square Garden
Dec. 27 (7 p.m.) – Brooklyn, Barclays Center
12/ 28: Say goodbye to your worst memories of 2018 so you can start fresh in 2019 by tossing them into the shredder at Good Riddance Day in Times Square.
12/ 29 (2 & 7:30 p.m.): Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night features joyful dance and music at the Apollo Theater.
12/ 31: New Year’s Eve in Times Square has dazzling lights, big-name music, balloons, confetti, fireworks, and a crystal ball that drops at midnight. To join the crowd seeing it live, read the FAQ and arrive early. Free.
12/ 31 (7:30 to 9:30 p.m.) Celebrate the new year with soprano Renée Fleming and the New York Philharmonic in David Geffen Hall.
12/ 31: Free music and dancing begin at 10 p.m., fireworks at midnight, plus a 4-mile NYRR Midnight Run that requires registration, all at Central Park Bandshell.
12/ 31: New Year’s Eve Bike Ride & Future Positive After Party for bikers or skaters has three starting points that all lead to a dance party with fireworks at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Free.
12/ 31 (7 to 9 p.m.): Uplifting New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace offers choir and orchestra music, solo singers, and bright candles in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.