The holiday season is now in full swing and with events popping up all over town, you need a little guidance. Here is our list of events to make your season bright.
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. Free.
12/ 1 – 29: Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise includes hot cocoa, cookies, a bar drink, live music, optional sing-alongs, and 1.5 hours of city light views, leaving Chelsea Piers (Pier 62).
12/ 1 – 1/ 5: Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks. Minors require an adult to skate.
12/ 1 – Jan. 5: 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 – 1/5: Hear an actor dressed as Charles Dickens read in an elegant, festive parlor at A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House, which is recommended for age 10+. An optional pre-show reception called “Christmas Spirit” is available some nights.
12/ 1 – 1/ 5: See animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and colorful designs lit by LEDs during Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo, with a holiday train, roaming carolers, and ice carvers. Closed Dec. 24 – 25 and Jan. 1 – 2.
1/ 1 – 1/ 26: 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 Nov. 25, 28; Dec. 2, 9, 15; Jan. 6, 13.
12/ 1 -2/ 23: 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’s Grand Central Gallery. Closed Nov. 28, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1. Free.
12/ 2: Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square features a 5:30 p.m. tree lighting in Dante Park, musicians, dancers, street performers, tastes of 30 local restaurants, and activities for children along Broadway (from Columbus Circle to 70th Street). Free.
12/ 2 – 8: See a free tree-lighting ceremony, often with music.
Dec. 2 – South Street Seaport
Dec. 4 – Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
Dec. 4 – Washington Square Park
Dec. 5 – Bryant Park
Dec. 5 – Central Park
Dec. 5 – Madison Square Park
Dec. 5 – New York Stock Exchange
Dec. 8 – Park Avenue
12/ 3: Sample 400 whiskies, and learn from master distillers and blenders at $275 WhiskyFest at Marriott Marquis.
12/ 4 (8 to 10 p.m.): Brave the crowds and winter weather to watch the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting and live entertainment. The tree stays lit until Jan. 17. Free.
12/ 4 – 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/ 4 – 1/ 5: 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.
1/ 5 (7 p.m.): Attend an emotional wedding ceremony, have a drink and appetizers (included), and dance at a reception while you check out wedding vendors in action at The Big Fake Wedding New York City at The Foundry.
12/ 5 – 8: The competitive NYC Horror Film Festival(NYCHFF) shows short and full-length films at Cinepolis Chelsea.
12/ 6 – 8: Find sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, expert advice, live entertainment, and family activities at the New York International Motorcycle Show in the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
12/ 6 – 1/ 26: 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 for age 21+.
12/ 6 – 1/ 26: See 120 lantern exhibits, watch cultural performances, browse the marketplace, and shop at food vendors during Hello Panda Festival at Citi Field.
12/ 7: Cranksgiving is a scavenger hunt on your bicycle for Thanksgiving food that you donate to charity, plus an after party. Bring cash, a bag/pack, and a bike lock.
12/ 8 (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/ 13: Jingle Ball brings big-name music artists every December to Madison Square Garden.
12/ 13 – 15: The Yorkville Nutcracker is a ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s music with familiar “Old New York” backgrounds like Central Park at Kaye Playhouse.
12/ 14: Wear a Santa suit and start at one of the bars that will be listed Friday night on the Santaconwebsite. Donation. Organizers ask you to obey all laws and be polite. You must sign into Facebook to see the official page.
12/ 15 (3:30 p.m.): Hear Christmas carols and sing along at Merry Tuba Christmas at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Free.
12/ 15 (2:30 to 4 p.m.): Advent Concert features music, inspirational readings, and dance at Marble Collegiate Church.
12/ 15 (meet at 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.
12/ 15 – 16: Stand on the spiral staircase of the Guggenheim Museum, or sit in its rotunda, to watch the Rotunda Holiday Concert with “joyous sounds of holiday music.”
12/ 17 – 21: See Handel’s Messiah performed in its entirety by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.
12/ 18 – 22: 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 – 21: 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/ 20 – 21: Jazz star Tony DeSare and stage legend Capathia Jenkins join The New York Pops’ annual holiday celebration, ringing in the most wonderful time of the year. Hear such favorites as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Carnegie Hall 8pm
12/ 20 – 21: Nutcracker Winter Suite is a one-hour, family-friendly version that includes only the dance performances at Symphony Space.
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 (3 p.m.): Watch the world’s best compete at World Bboy Battle Championships at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Manhattan.
12/ 22 – 29: 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/ 23 (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/ 24: Join the carolers and brass quartet at Christmas Eve Caroling at the arch in Washington Square Park. Free.
12/ 24 (9 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/ 28: Say goodbye to your worst memories of 2019 so you can start fresh in 2020 by tossing them into the shredder at Good Riddance Day in Times Square (on Broadway between 45th & 46th).
12/ 28 (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 (11:59 p.m.): Register for the NYRR Midnight Run to enjoy music and dancing beginning at 10 p.m., fireworks at midnight, and a four-mile run at Rumsey Playfield. Each runner is given a wristband for one guest.
12/ 31: 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. Free except reserved seats.