December Events To Bring in Some Cheer

December Events To Bring in Some Cheer

Christmas tree lightings, holiday marts, holiday Train Show, sports and more. This season there is so much to see and do and here’s a helpful list.

12/ 1-8 Israeli minority film festival. Look for dramatic and documentary films as well as panel discussions about the history and culture of minority populations in Israel at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and other locations.

Bryant Park

12/ 1 -10 Christmas tree lighting

Watch a free tree-lighting ceremony with music. The lighting at Rockefeller Center is Nov. 30, 2016.

Dec. 1 (5:30 – 6:30 p.m.) – Central Park

Dec. 4 (6:30 p.m.) – Park Avenue

Dec. 6 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.) – Madison Square Park

Dec. 7 (6 – 7:30 p.m.) – Washington Square Park

12/1 -24 Holiday market – Central Park. Enjoy a hot beverage or meal, and shop for gifts from 100 vendors at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market at Central Park West and 59th Street. Free.

12/ 1-24 Holiday market – Grand Central Grand Central

12/ 1-24 Holiday market – Union Square. Find handmade jewelry, fine art, clothing, ornaments, toys, food, and drink.

12/ 1-31 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- 31 Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Bryant Park

12/1 Winter Village at Bryant Park has 125 holiday kiosk shops, and an ice-skating rink open until March 5 (free unless you rent skates).

Holiday Train Show

12/ 1-31 Holiday Train Show. 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.

 Train show, Grand Central

12/ 1- 2/ 26 Train show at Grand Central. The Holiday Train Show features a 34-foot-long model train layout with trains and subways that run on eight loops of track inside the New York Transit Museum Store. Closed Mondays and holidays.

12/2 – 22 Watch the New York Knicks play a home game at Madison Square Garden.

12/3 Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. Wear your tackiest holiday duds for drink specials on the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl.

12/3 Belgian beer tasting. Sample 20 Belgian beers and vote for your favorite during Battle of the Belgians at Jimmy’s No. 43.

12/3 Colombian Music Festival. Enjoy an evening of Colombian rhythms and styles with 30 musicians plus dancers at Encuentro NYC Festival at Le Poisson Rouge.

12/ 5 & 17 Jets football. Watch the New York Jets play at MetLife Stadium.

Dec. 5 – Indianapolis Colts

Dec. 17 – Miami Dolphins

12/ 9 Jingle Ball brings big-name music artists every December to Madison Square Garden.

12/9 Gospel Christmas. Joyous Celebration features contemporary gospel star VaShawn Mitchell (Nobody Greater), Tasha Cobbs (Break Every Chain), and Anthony Brown (Worth) at United Palace in Washington Heights.

12/ 9 – 11 Motorcycle show. Find sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, expert advice, live entertainment, and family activities at the International Motorcycle Show in the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

12/10 Santa bar crawl. Wear a Santa suit and start at one of the bars that will be listed Friday night on the Santacon website.

12/11 Tuba concert. Hear Christmas carols and sing along at Merry Tuba Christmas at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Free.

12/11 Tea dance. The Jazz Age Tea Dance features a live orchestra, dance lesson at 3 p.m., exotic teas, a cash bar, and food carts in the ballroom at Webster Hall.

12/13 Handel’s Messiah. See Handel’s Messiah performed in its entirety by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

12/15-17 Winter solstice concert. Celebrate the darkest night of the year with the Paul Winter Consort at the secular Winter Solstice Celebration in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

12/20 Christmas ghost stories. Lit by flickering candles, the actors of Radiotheatre NYC tell 4 or 5 stories of yuletide hauntings rooted in the chronicles of downtown Manhattan during Ghosts of Christmas Past at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christoper Street.

12/21 Street music festival. 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 in the schedule. Free.

12/22 Handel’s Messiah. The Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah with a 30-member chorus and 20-player orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

12/24 Caroling. Join the carolers and brass quartet at Christmas Eve Caroling at the arch in Washington Square Park. Free.

12/ 24 & 31 Gospel Christmas concert. Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration promises an hour of powerful music that brings joy to your heart and soul at 201 Lenox Avenue.

Menorah Lighting

12/ 24 – 31 Menorah lighting. 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. Free.

12/28 Say goodbye to your worst memories of 2016 so you can start fresh in 2017 by tossing them into the shredder at Good Riddance Day in Times Square.

New Years Eve Times Square12/31 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 and arrive early. Free.

12/31 New Year’s Eve – AMC. Watch movies or dance all night on the family no-alcohol floor or the adult floors with open bar and mini buffet at New Year’s Eve at AMC Theater on West 42nd Street.

12/31 New Year’s Eve – Madame Tussauds. Enjoy appetizers, an open bar, and 4-D cinema (with wind, snow, mist, and scent) at New Year’s Eve at Madame Tussauds New York. All ages welcome.

12/31 New Year’s Eve – jazz with Cécile McLorin Salvant features a jazz vocalist, a view of Central Park, and a three-course meal in Dizzy’s Club at Broadway and 60th. The 11 p.m. show includes a champagne toast at midnight.

12/31 Celebrate New Year’s Eve by hearing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra play Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein in David Geffen Hall.

12/31 New Year’s Eve – run. Free music and dancing begin at 10 p.m., fireworks at midnight, plus a 4-mile Midnight Run that requires registration, all at Central Park Bandshell.

12/31 New Year’s Eve – biking/skating. New Year’s Eve Bike Ride & Outdoor 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 New Year’s Eve – peace concert. Choir and orchestra music, solo singers, and bright candles at New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace will uplift you in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

12/31 Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night features joyful dance and music at the Apollo Theater, plus an after party.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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