Christmas Tree at Seaport. Photo: Matthew Penrod
Once Santa makes his way down Fifth Avenue during the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the holiday season is alive in NYC. The City puts on its party clothes, with choreographed light shows, pop-up winter wonderlands, incredible window displays and, of course, moving celebrations of the season through music and performance.
Read on for our comprehensive guide to the holidays in the City—and discover old favorites and new traditions.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo: Julienne Schaer
Courtesy, Jewish Children’s Museum
2. Bring the kids to the Hanukkah Family Festival at the Jewish Children’s Museum
Take the whole family to celebrate the festival of lights at the . Join Hanukkah-themed workshops, decorate a doughnut and learn how olive oil is made.
Dates to be announced (Hanukkah is December 7–15)
New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Photo:Michael Hull
Three Kings Day Parade. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV
6. Soothe yourself with the Candlelight Series’ holiday performances
This presents performances for the holidays like Holiday Soul and Jazz and the Holiday Special Featuring The Nutcracker, held at the Opera House, various churches and other venues across the City.
November 10–January 26
Radio City Rockettes. Courtesy, MSG
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Paul Kolnik
9. Continue a tradition with a showing of A Christmas Carol, The Musical
This returns for its 15th year, setting Charles Dickens’ famous story about one miserly man named Ebenezer Scrooge to music.
November 26–December 30
Solomon Dumas, Khalia Campbell and Samantha Figgins in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo: Paul Kolnik
10. Get Inspired by Holidays at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Dive into the beloved for its 65th season, which features world premieres and an updated take on Ailey classics.
November 29–December 31
Courtesy, New York Philarmonic
11. Celebrate the Holidays with the New York Philharmonic
returns with classic programming like Handel’s Messiah, featuring the instantly recognizable “Hallelujah” chorus, as well as the festive Holiday Brass concert and a production of Marvel’s Black Panther in concert.
12. Don't miss The Christmas Show at St. George Theatre
Catch the 20th anniversary of ; watch as Grandma reads a storybook that transports you on a journey from the North Pole to Times Square, with holiday sounds peppered throughout.
Courtesy, The Met Opera
14. Cheer for the biggest names in mainstream pop at iHeart Radio’s Jingle Ball
Music stars come together for this , featuring artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, SZA and OneRepublic.
15. Root for your favorites at the Amateur Night Holiday Special at the Apollo
Watch up-and-comers pay homage to legends in of the theater’s longtime series.
Courtesy, The Apollo
The Brooklyn Nutcracker. Photo: Kyle Froman
17. Find a twist on tradition with The Brooklyn Nutcracker at Kings Theatre
It's in with the new at by the Brooklyn Ballet, which offers a reimagined take on the classic with hip-hop, ballet and world dance.
Courtesy, Queens Farm
Jasmine La Beija. Photo: Diego Quintanar
20. Witness Mariah Carey belt her most famous holiday tunes
At Madison Square Garden, the legend behind “All I Want for Christmas” performs in all her seasonal glory as part of her
21. Have the Best Christmas of All with Norm Lewis at Carnegie Hall
Tony Award–winner Norm Lewis joins the New York Pops for full of holiday favorites.
Kwanzaa at the Apollo. Courtesy, Apollo Theater
22. Enjoy Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration at the Apollo Theater
Apollo Theater’s with performances by the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, in celebration of the guiding tenets of Kwanzaa.
23. Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at The Met Fifth Avenue
Marvel at 20-foot blue spruce Christmas tree and 18th-century nativity scene in the Medieval Sculpture Hall.
Dates to be announced
24. Head to the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden
—made from natural materials like bark, twigs and leaves—while watching model trains zip through almost half a mile of track right inside the garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
November 17–January 15
25. The Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History
A beloved tradition at the museum, is dedicated to elephants, with over 1,000 handmade folded paper models on this 13-foot-tall display.
A Christmas Carol: The Manuscript. Photo: Janny Chiu
26. A Christmas Carol: The Manuscript at The Morgan Library & Museum
In an annual tradition, the Morgan Library will turn to page 7 of Charles Dickens’ original manuscript of for this year’s exhibition of the work.
November 21–January 7
Courtesy, New York Historical Society
27. The Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection at the New-York Historical Society
Seek inspiration from the past for your own holiday train display at from the 1850s to 1940s, as well as elaborate American and European train station models, all handcrafted and hand painted.
November 24–February 4
Courtesy, Historic Richmond Town
28. Spend Christmas in Historic Richmond Town
Experience a 19th-century where you can walk around to see shops like the general store or watch an artisan at work. Holiday programming includes horse-drawn carriages and candlelit tours.
Dates to be announced
29. Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Learn the seven principles of Kwanzaa through art, workshops, dance and musical performances at the , produced by the Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation.
December 26–December 30
Link to event TBA
30. Inspire your sweet tooth at Gingerbread Lane
Visit the world’s largest gingerbread village at .
Dates to be announced.
Courtesy, Brookfield Place
31. Immerse yourself in Brookfield Place’s holiday programming
Situated right on the water is Brookfield Place and its famous winter garden, which brings the City its annual Luminaries light installation featuring like waterfront ice-skating and holiday performances.
Dates to be announced
32. Hop on the ferry to Governors Island Winter Village
Head from Lower Manhattan or waterfront Brooklyn to , where historic Colonels Row houses serve as the backdrop to the island’s Winter Village, complete with sledding, skating, lawn games, fire pits and seasonal bites.
Dates to be announced
33. Marvel at the lights of “Shine Bright” at Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards welcomes the winter with a holiday display illuminated by 2 million white lights and a hot air balloon suspended from the ceiling. Check their website for other upcoming holiday events.
Photo: Will Steacy
Christmas tree, The Seaport. Photo: Matthew Penrod
35. Watch the Seaport transform for the holidays
See the Rooftop at Pier 17 become at the North Pole, with ice-skating, seasonal treats and a photo op in Santa’s own comfy chair.
November 22–January 7
Courtesy, Queens County Farm Museum
Courtesy, Brooklyn Botanical Garden
37. Head to Lightscape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Walk through the , which has 1 million glittering lights, art installations and even an illuminated tunnel with a cathedral-style top.
November 17–January 1
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights. Photo: Julie Larsen
Glow. Courtesy, NYBG
39. Marvel at the New York Botanical Garden’s Glow
Have an evening of live entertainment, hot cocoa and festive holiday light displays at , an installation that spans the historic buildings and landscapes of the New York Botanical Garden.
November 17–January 13
Astra Lumina. Photo: Moment Factory
Grand Army Plaza. Photo: Billy Hickey
42. Sample Arthur Avenue’s holiday treats
Visit for some authentic and old-school Italian holiday cookies and pastries from shops like or .
Ongoing, though some items seasonal
43. Browse the City’s holiday markets
By November, the City’s holiday markets are in full swing. For fun decor, stocking stuffers, warm ciders and a classic holiday market experience, there’s the , the Holiday Shops at and the . For a more eclectic shopping experience, hit , or the .
Dates vary, though generally early November through December 24
44. Marvel at the window displays on Fifth Avenue
Have yourself a merry little NYC day walking from Rockefeller Center to The Plaza Hotel, right across from Central Park. Take Fifth Avenue to see the holiday window displays at beloved stores like and .
Dates vary, usually mid-November to end of the year
Courtesy, The Plaza - A Fairmont Managed Hotel
45. Sit down for Holiday Tea at The Plaza Hotel
If you’re looking to re-create that movie magic of the holidays in New York City, should be on your list, featuring holiday activities like a festive afternoon tea in .
Afternoon Tea Menu available November 1 to December 31.
46. Take a Holiday Cruise on New York Harbor
A tour around the (Holiday Jazz, Cocoa and Carols) shows you the city sights while you sit or stand aboard a beautiful wood-paneled, 1920s-inspired yacht—decorated for the season.
Starting November 15
Courtesy, On Location Tours
47. Witness the silver screen come to life at the Holiday Lights & Movie Sites tour
Take in the sights from beloved holiday movies set in New York City on Head to locations like Rockefeller Center or Bryant Park’s Winter Village to celebrate films like Elf, Eloise at Christmastime or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
November 25–January 2
Courtesy, Wave Hill
48. Take the Holiday Wreath Workshop at Wave Hill
Welcome the holidays to your door with a wreath you made yourself at . Learn techniques and designs from the pros during or simply buy one at the Artisan Market on December 1 and 2 .
Wollman Rink. Photo: Billy Hickey
49. Hit the ice…
Explore the many rinks across the City, including ones in Cenral Park, Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center. Find all your options in handy .
Dates vary (most run from November
50. …And the Beach!
Dive into 2024 with the —or just watch from a safe distance.