December Events to Make the Season Bright

December Events to Make the Season Bright

Lights on 6th Ave

The holiday season is full swing and with events popping up you need a little guidance. Here is our list of events to make the season bright.

12/1-3 Find sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, expert advice, live entertainment, and family activities at the New York International Motorcycle Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

12/1-10: See dozens of films focused on the lives of African people during African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), with most screenings at 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

12/1 – 24: Grand Central Holiday Fair is a holiday market with 40 vendors in Vanderbilt Hall. Free.

12/1 – 24: Find handmade jewelry, fine art, clothing, ornaments, toys, food, and drink at Union Square Holiday Market in Union Square Park. Closed for Thanksgiving. Free.

12/1 – 31: 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 – 1/14: Nutcracker Rouge is a decadently sumptuous baroque burlesque production, including opera, circus, ballet, gorgeous design, and fine music in Brooklyn.

12/1 – 1/15: 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. Closed Dec. 4 & 25; and Jan. 8.

The Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show

12/1 – 2/4 4: 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. Closed on holidays. Free.

12/1 – 3/4: Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks that stay open until Jan. 2.

12/2: Wear your tackiest holiday duds for drink specials on the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl that begins at Bar None.

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

Christmas tree lighting

See a free tree-lighting ceremony, often with music.

11/ 29 – Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

11/30 – Central Park

11/30 – New York Stock Exchange

12/1 – Bryant Park

12/3 – Park Avenue

12/5 – South Street Seaport

12/6 – Washington Square Park

12/7 – Madison Square Park

12/3(2 to 4 p.m.): Arrive early with your pet for Blessing of the Animals by a minister and a rabbi at Christ Church. Free.

12/6 – 31: Hear an actor dressed as Charles Dickens read in an elegant, festive parlor at A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House.

12/7 (8 p.m.): Triumph of Art features the American Symphony Orchestra playing works influenced by confrontation with authoritarian regimes, both fascist and communist, from Russia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia at Lincoln Center.

12/8 (7:30 p.m.): Jingle Ball brings big-name music artists every December to Madison Square Garden. Sold out, but resale tickets are available.

12/9: Wear a Santa suit and start at one of the bars that will be listed Friday night on the Santacon website. Donation. Organizers ask Santa’s to obey all laws and be polite.

12/10 (2:45 & 4:45 p.m.) The Dog Film Festival features films about the bond between dogs and humans at School of Visual Arts. No pets in the theater.

12/10 (4:25 p.m.)Watch the New York Giants play the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

12/12 – 16: See Handel’s Messiah performed in its entirety by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

Menorah, Chanukah

12/12 – 19: 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.

12/12 – 23: Winter Rhythms features cabaret & theater stars in 22 shows at Urban Stages Theatre.

12/13 – 17: 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.

12/14 – 16: 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.

12/17(3:30 p.m.): Hear Christmas carols and sing along at Merry Tuba Christmas at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Free.

12/17(meet 5:45 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.

Street music festival

12/21: Make Music parades on the streets and sidewalks on the first day of winter. Come watch, or join in.

12/21(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.

12/23 & 25: Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration promises an hour of powerful music that brings joy to your heart and soul at 201 Lenox Avenue.

12/24 (5 to 6 p.m.): Join the carolers and brass quartet at Christmas Eve Caroling at the arch in Washington Square Park. Free.

12/28 (12 to 1 p.m.): Say goodbye to your worst memories of 2017 so you can start fresh in 2018 by tossing them into the shredder at Good Riddance Day in Times Square.

12/30 (2 and 7:30 p.m.) Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night features joyful dance and music at the Apollo Theater.

Times Square Ball Drop

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. Join the crowds, see it live and arrive early. Free.

12/31: Watch movies or dance all night, with your choice of a family no-alcohol floor or adult floors with open bars and mini buffets at New Year’s Eve at AMC Theater on West 42nd Street.

12/31 (8 p.m.): Celebrate New Year’s Eve by hearing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra play the music of Bernstein on Broadway 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 & 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 (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.



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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