New York City during the holiday season is the most magical time of the year! We are officially in the holiday spirit here with all of our Christmas lights, ice skating, live performances, Christmas decorations and holiday and Christmas markets. There are tons of things going on this month that are pop-ups, rather than year round experiences, so if you’re visiting town, you will have a blast!
Here is everything to see and do in NYC during the month of December:
The holiday markets are one of my favorite things to do in December! There’s tons of food and adorable gift spots to shop from for the holidays. The big apple really knows how to celebrate! These are the best to get artisanal gifts from and try out foods from vendors you’ve never been to before. It’s the perfect time to shop for Christmas trees and they usually have them at these! You can try all of the markets featuring the Union Square Holiday Market, there’s one at Columbus Circle, Bryant Park and now at Grand Central Terminal!
ESSEX CROSSING’s THE MARKET LINE
Night & Nice Sunday Holiday Movie Series
If you’re looking for something fun to do this month with your family, check out the free Holiday Movie Series the ESSEX CROSSING’s THE MARKET LINE is doing on Sundays this month leading up to Christmas! The final one is The Muppets Christmas Carol at 3PM. In addition to this, they are doing a toy drive until the 15th where new and unused toys can be donated at the bottom of The Market Line’s staircase located at 88 Essex Street. This will benefit District 1 schools!
Image: The Market Line
Park West Opening
The World’s largest art gallery is coming to Soho! If you’re into art and collecting pieces, you will want to check this out! This is a major deal that they are finally in NYC for the first time and what better way to ring in the winter season than being able to go indoors and look at beautiful art.
Image: Park West
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie Brown fans, we have some news! The live jazz trio and same fantastic cast are back for the 14th year in Brooklyn to perform A Charlie Brown Christmas! If you have kids, I highly recommend this as an activity this month. It’s at the Opera House with only 4 shows on December 10th and 11th! Choose from either 2PM or 4PM either day and make a whole day out of it by grabbing lunch or dinner around there!
Image: The Opera House
There’s a new holiday market in Brooklyn! Located at Borough Hall, this is the perfect place to do festive things! Grab food, shop from local vendors for gifts and more! So if you live in Brooklyn, you don’t need to venture into Manhattan for a great holiday market during the coldest months!
There are always special events taking place in New York. But you know what’s a good time that is here year round? Summit One Vanderbilt! It’s an experience with the best views of the city! They have immersive art, food and cocktails, an external glass elevator and so much more!
Ice Skate at Manhattan West
It’s the season of ice skating! My kids love to try out all the rinks each year and we’ll start with Manhattan West’s! It’s a pretty decent sized rink surrounded by shopping, a hotel and food! So you can make a staycation out of it! What’s even more fun, is that they always have events going on that feature great things like free skating, some hot chocolate and more!
Image: Manhattan West
There’s something about bright lights and holiday lights during this time of the year! The Luminaries is a full display of colorful lights located at Brookfield Place. So the next time you’re getting some shopping done or grabbing a bite to eat, check out these lights!
Image: Brookfield Place
A Sherlock Carol
A new show is in town! This holiday comedy is running through January 1st and is starring Drew McVety and Allen Gilmore. It’s a theatrical production for all ages, so feel free to bring your kids! Holmes must investigate the mysterious death of Scrooge. What will he find?
Image: A Sherlock Carol
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol is back on Broadway! If you see any show this holiday season, let it be this one. Get into the spirit and witness the classic tale told on stage. Tickets are still available, but they are going quickly so act fast!
Image: A Christmas Carol Broadway
The Color Factory
The Color Factory is an interactive art installation with a few locations across the country. They have a winter promotion called Winter Colorland, where you can enjoy seasonal treats, see new installations and even go on a little ski lift through some confetti snow. Bring your kids and get some tickets because it makes for a fun day out!
Image: The Color Factory
We’ve all been ice skating, but have we tried bumper cars on ice? Yes, we have that here at Bryant Park! Take advantage of the cold weather and winter months! This is such a fun activity to do and actually makes an adorable date night. Also, you have to be ages 7+, so if your kids are older than 7, you are good to go!
Image: Bryant Park
Stay at the Beekman
If you’re visiting NYC or planning a staycation and looking for a place to stay, look no further! The Beekman is a stunning option in lower Manhattan. This hotel is a restored historic landmark with some of the very best views of the city. They even have a great space to use as a wedding venue if you’re looking for one! The food and design in this hotel is unmatched!
The Standard High Line
We all know the High Line as the place we can walk with great views of the city. But did you know that had a ton of stuff going on over there like restaurants, a hotel and bumper cars?! Yes, they have bumper cars on ice this winter! Make a whole afternoon out of it! Start at the Biergarten, the Standard Grill for food and finish the night off with Bumper car fun and stay at the Standard Hotel! There’s so much more to do in the neighborhood, too.
Image: The High Line
Grand Central Holiday Fair
It’s back! Open until December 24th, this holiday fair is at Grand Central Terminal! You can actually avoid the cold weather with this one, as it’s all indoors. And incredibly convenient to get to, might I add! It’s steps away from the subway. Shop, eat and be merry!
Image: Grand Central
Winter at The Seaport
The Seaport has so many things going on these days, I can barely keep track! It’s pretty close to us, so we like to run over there with the kids and see what’s going on! There’s ice skating with stunning skyline views, The Golden Girls Kitchen pop up, newly restored Tin Building, a Christmas tree and so much more! Easily accessible by train and ferry, The Seaport has it all!
Image: The Seaport
I don’t know about you, but my girls and I look forward to The Nutcracker Ballet each year! We’re really excited to hear that the Brooklyn Ballet is performing this year! On December 17th with performances at both 2PM and 7PM, you won’t want to miss out on this!
Lincoln Center Nutcracker
If you aren’t available for the Brooklyn performance or you just want to see the iconic NYC Ballet performance, you are in luck! Tickets are still available and you can check their schedule to see what works best for you. I recommend bringing the whole family!
Image: Lincoln Center
Winter Lantern Festival
Now this is one of the coolest things going on this month! We love a good light show and this one is top tier! Located at Smithtown Historical Society, you can find tons of lights such as holiday and animal lights! This is perfect to bring your kids to and get into the holiday spirit!
Image: Winter Lantern Festival
Madison Square Park Tree Lighting
Most of the tree lightings have already taken place. But in case you missed any, you might be able to catch this one! On December 7th, from 4-6PM, you can catch a whole event for the Madison Square Park Tree lighting! They usually light the tree around 5, so if you’re available for a moment to catch this, you won’t want to miss it!
Image: Madison Square Park
Dine at Rolf’s
This German restaurant goes all out for Christmas! It’s known as one of the top spots to dine at for the holidays, so getting a reservation isn’t always that simple. You’ll want to check in with them a lot to see if there’s been any cancellations, but it’s worth it!
Stone Street Igloos
The igloos are back! Don’t lose any time going out with friends this winter, because there are some toasty igloos available to dine and drink in. Stone Street is known for their pubs and bars and the fact that the igloos are back makes it a game changer for the winter.
Image: Secret NYC c/o @marzenka_ on Instagram
UWS Christmas Pop Up Bar
Tinseltown is here! This Christmas-themed pop up bar is located at 594 Amsterdam Avenue. With a full Christmas themed bar and menu, it’s the place to be this season! Grab your friends and go have a merry night!
Image: I Love the Upper West Side
Unlimited Tipsy Holiday Brunch
Bucket Listers is partnering with Selene to create the ultimate unlimited tipsy holiday brunch! It starts at $49 per person and is running through January 22nd. With time slots available for 90 minutes at a time, you’ll have the merriest brunch with friends! Tickets are flying, so get some now!
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2 thoughts on “Everything to do in NYC in December”
any recommendations on best spot to see Santa? I’d love to do Macys but I’m intimidated by the line and crowd! We’ll be in town next weekend!
So fun! The North Pole Express, At the Top of the Rock, The Empire State Building or Hudson Yards!