Once Santa closes out the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the holidays will officially be in full swing in NYC. Expect plenty of annual mainstays like The Radio City Christmas Spectacular or the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show for a classic NYC holiday experience, or mix up your tried-and-true favorites and make a new tradition with some ideas from our holiday guide.
Below, you’ll find something to do every day of the holiday season, from Thanksgiving until Three Kings Day on January 6.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Courtesy, Macy's
November 24: Watch Snoopy and SpongeBob make their way down to 34th Street, as the holiday season kicks off at the
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
November 25: Witness the music and movement of
Colombian folkloric dance in celebration of Christmas at the Thalia Spanish Theater in Sunnyside.
Courtesy, Gingerbread Lane
November 26: Visit the world’s largest gingerbread village at
Gingerbread Lane in Essex Street Market.
November 27: Shop for out-of-the-ordinary gifts—from vintage accessories to holiday decor—at the Upper West Side’s
Grand Holiday Bazaar.
Union Square Holiday Market. Photo: Molly Flores
November 28: Continue browsing at the stalls of
Union Square Holiday Market, looking for stocking stuffers and sipping warm cider as you shop.
November 29: Have an evening of live entertainment, hot cocoa and festive holiday light displays at
NYBG Glow, an installation that spans the historic buildings and landscapes of the New York Botanical Garden.
Rockefeller Center Tree. Courtesy, Diane Bondareff and AP Images for Tishman Speyer
November 30: Look up at the annual
tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, as NBC Today Show anchors play host and an array of stars perform.
Head to the big top, or in this case, Lincoln Center, for a night of acrobatics, aerial feats and juggling by the Big Apple Circus.
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights. Photo: Lindsay Silverman
December 2: Walk through the
Bronx Zoo's holiday light display, featuring glowing animal lanterns and light shows.
December 3: Treat yourself to the epicurean delights of
a holiday pop-up by BEM Books & More, featuring food literature, home goods and more focused on the cuisine and traditions of the African diaspora.
December 4: Hop on the ferry to Governors Island, 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.
December 5: Marvel at
The Met’s 20-foot blue spruce Christmas tree and 18th-century nativity scene in the Medieval Sculpture Hall.
December 6: Ponder the meaning of life with
The Gift, an immersive installation at the NYPL that delves into the story of two stars—one approaching the end of its existence, and the other set to absorb its companion.
December 7: Watch as trumpeter Chris Botti performs his
18th annual holiday residency at the Blue Note Jazz Club, with sets (and the occasional celebrity guest!) through early January.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Courtesy, MSG Photos
December 8: Catch the iconic
Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the high-kicking Rockettes.
December 9: Enjoy
The Joy of Christmas! at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, where the orchestra and choir perform “Magnificat,” “In Terra Pax” and other favorite holiday classics.
Coca Cola Winter Wonderland. Courtesy, Apollo Theater
December 10: Take a picture with Santa under the famous Apollo Theater marquee during the
Coca-Cola Winter Wonderland event; the festivities include a toy and book drive and live performances.
December 11: Watch a matinee showing of
Oh Wh*rey Night! performed at the historic Stonewall Inn.
December 12: Make it a night to remember at Lincoln Center by catching the New York City Ballet’s holiday staple,
December 13: Skate under the northern lights—simulated by 4,000 bulbs right above the Seaport’s ice rink—thanks to
this year’s new Aurora installation.
December 14: Raise an eyebrow at the bawdy poems of a (fictitious) Tudor-era "poet of the perverse," as actor-comedian Gordon Boudreau brings
The Inappropriate Poetry of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes out of the Renaissance fair and onto the Off-Off-Broadway stage.
December 15: Indulge in a Swiss-style après-ski evening at
Salon de Ning’s Paradiso pop-up—complete with Alpine-inspired dishes, a cozy chalet dome and a view of the skyline from atop the Peninsula Hotel.
December 16: Hear the a cappella sounds of Kings Return as they perform holiday carols and their own original music at
Brooklyn Nutcracker. Photo: Kyle Froman
December 17: Shake off tradition at the
Brooklyn Nutcracker by the Brooklyn Ballet, featuring a reimagined take on the classic with hip-hop, ballet and world dance.
Hanukkah Menorah in Grand Army Plaza. Photo: Julienne Schaer
December 18: Gather on the first night of Hanukkah for a
Grand Army Plaza menorah lighting in Brooklyn or Manhattan.
December 19: Be there for the
John Henry’s Friends Benefit, a concert in support of educational opportunities for people with autism; the show headlines Steve Earle and the Dukes at The Town Hall.
Spectacular Factory: The Holiday Multiverse. Courtesy, Artechouse
December 20: Immerse yourself in
Artechouse’s larger-than-life interactive holiday experience—complete with a nutcracker army and giant wreaths.
December 21: Watch Yo La Tengo during their
Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom, all eight nights.
December 22: Witness the immersive
Amaze Light Festival bringing storybook characters to life right in Citi Field, featuring rides, food stalls and performances.
December 23: Laugh out loud (it’s encouraged!) with
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male comic dance company that mixes showmanship, skill and seriously funny visual gags; it’s at the Joyce in Chelsea.
December 24: Cozy up to
A Christmas Carol as Tony winner Jefferson Mays plays over 50 roles in this adaptation of the holiday classic.
December 25: Celebrate Christmas Day at Sony Hall with a matinee performance by the renowned
Harlem Gospel Choir.
December 26: Learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa through a
dance party at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, featuring choreographer Walter Rutledge, percussionist Nathanial Steely and West African dancer Nubia Braithwaite.
December 27: Welcome folk singer Suzanne Vega to the stage as she winds up her
four-night Home for the Holidays run at City Winery.
Decermber 28: Skate figure eights at
Wollman Rink in Central Park as you enjoy the last days of the holidays in NYC.
December 29: Help Patti Smith (and her band) ring in her 76th birthday during her
two-night stint at Brooklyn Steel.
December 30: The
Apollo Theater’s family-friendly Kwanzaa festivities return in person for the first time since 2019, with performances by the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.
New Year's Eve in Times Square. Courtesy, Times Square Alliance
December 31: Have a rockin’
New Year's Eve in Times Square while waiting for the ball drop at one of the most famous parties in the world.
Coney Island Polar Plunge. Photo: Dan Turkewitz
January 1: Dive into 2023 with the
Coney Island Polar Plunge—or just watch from a safe distance.
January 2: Discover your favorite NYC landmarks—made from natural materials like bark, twigs and leaves—while watching model trains zip through almost half a mile of track
right inside the New York Botanical Garden.
January 3: Light up seeing 1,000 Chinese lanterns at this
“Journey to the East” in SIUH Community Park; you’ll find an illuminated sea world, animal kingdom and even glowing swings to ride.
January 4: Bring the family to the abridged version of Mozart’s
The Magic Flute, a fairytale that comes to life every holiday season at the Met Opera.
Courtesy, Illuminate the Farm
January 5: Visit the Queens County Farm for the final days of “
Illuminate the Farm,” another lantern festival with handcrafted pieces that tell the stories of various Chinese myths and legends.
January 6: Wind up the holiday season at
El Museo del Barrio’s Three Kings Day Parade, with puppets, camels, music and more festive features.
For more seasonal inspiration, stories and activities, see our