NYC & Company, the official destination promotion and marketing organization of New York City, invites travelers from all over the world to visit the destination during the most joyous period of the year, between Thanksgiving and New Year. The New York season begins with the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in November and continues with the lighting ceremony of the iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. During this time, each neighborhood will receive visitors of various nationalities to attend various local events. Traditional activities include shop window displays, craft markets to explore, as well as attractions and cultural raffles. The season comes to an end with the start of the New Year, with the burning of fires in less well-known regions such as Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and the unforgettable fall of the ball in Times Square.
“New York City is the place to look out for during the festive season of the year – it’s the time when hotels, attractions and upscale shops shine, offering 6 million global visitors a memorable travel experience,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company.
What to see and do (by district):
91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – with large helium balloons, Broadway artist performances, martial bands from around the country and celebrity appearances, the event kicks off the holiday season on November 23rd.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – iconic symbol of the city, the event takes place on November 29. The tree stays on until January 7.
The Rockettes kick off the holiday season with the return of the spectacular Christie Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, which runs from Nov. 10 to Jan. 1. The production will enchant the audience with extravagant costumes and fan favorites. Remember that families should be scheduled for the first Party City Kid’s Day on November 26 with performances that appeal to children of all ages.
Between November 30 and January 5, the annual Brookfield Luminaries experience at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place will be back. Every day from 8am to 10am visitors can send their wishes in one of three seasons lit by hundreds of lanterns, turning their designs into a fascinating display of color.
The famous shop windows of the city are not to be missed during the season. AWindowsWear runs daily tours that start at Macy’s in Herald Square, past Fifth Avenue, Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and other attractions. In previous editions, the tours took place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
The New York Transit Museum Gallery and Store in the Grand Central Terminal is back with the 16th Annual Holiday Train Show. Lionel trains traverse miniatures of New York City and the rural two-tiered and 10-foot-long mines. Vintage Museum Collection Vessels travel by the North Pole diorama between November 16 and February 4.
At the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, the 11th annual Kwanzaa Celebration, Regeneration Night, takes place on December 30th. The event reveres family, community and culture on a lively night with music and dancing.
Also on December 30, the American Museum of Natural History holds the 39th edition of Kwanzaa celebration, honoring the seven guiding principles of this festive season with the international market.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s participation at the New York City Center takes place between November 29 and December 31. Artistic director Robert Battle leads the company of 32 in more than two dozen dynamic jobs in a series of special performances. The highlights of the season are the world premieres of Members Do not Get Weary and Victoria, as well as the end of the season on New Year’s Eve.
Louis Vuitton presents Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton, between October 27 and January 7 at the old American Stock Exchange building in Lower Manhattan. Curated by Olivier Saillard and idealized by Robert Carsen, the free exhibition depicts the saga of Louis Vuitton House from 1854 to the present day. One of the 10 chapters of the program is entirely dedicated to the United States and New York City.
ELF The Musical, the station’s favorite, is on display at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in the short term. Back to orders, production runs from December 13 to 29.
The Metropolitan Opera presents the familiar show The Magic Flute. Directed by Julie Taymor (The Lion King), the play performed in English is an excellent introduction to children’s opera. In addition, during the December 29 and 30 performances, viewers will be invited to participate in activities such as dress-up and show-and-tell.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art again illuminates the blue pine tree in a 17th-century Neapolitan nativity scene in the Museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall. AExhibit of the Crèche is a highlight for New Yorkers and global visitors between November 21 and January 7.
Visitors can take advantage of one of the city’s many outdoor skating rinks that opened in October for the season, including Rink at Rockefeller Center, Wollman Rink in Central Park and Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park. Rink at Brookfield Place opens on November 1st.
The New York City Ballet features George Balanchine’s classic, The Nutcraker, one of the most beloved of the public, to appear between November 24 and December 31 at Lincoln Center.
The beloved Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is a miniature train show that travels through more than 150 emblematic landscapes of the city. The 26th annual interaction highlights Midtown Manhattan with new versions of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building and St.Bartholomew’s Church, which runs November 22-January 15.
Families can have fun making Christmas-themed crafts during Holiday Workshop Weekend at Wave Hill on Dec. 9-10 and bring home their own natural garlands, treasure chests, and other souvenirs.
In Downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Ballet’s Nutcracker is an adaptation of the classic Christmas. Combining ballet, hip-hop and various dance genres, the show features characters and scenes representing the region as Old Dutch Brooklyn and Flatbush Avenue. The performances take place between 7 and 9 and from 13 to 16 December.
In the Park Slope area, the Grand Army Plaza receives the night lights during theLargest Menorah, during the Hanukkah, between December 12 and 19. Must visit since 1984, with concerts, children’s gifts and daily celebrations during the festival of lights.
The Slice of Brooklyn’s Christmas Lights Tour celebrates its 10th anniversary from December 1st to 31st (except Christmas Day). The glittering lights of Dyker Heights display toy soldiers over 9 feet high, with nativity scenes and other attractions.
Ending the season in Brooklyn, the Prospect Park Alliance presents the annual fireworks display at the Grand Army Plaza to celebrate the arrival of the new year. The best places for viewing are along Prospect Park’s West Drive and between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.
Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science will be open between November 11 and January 14. In anticipation of its fifth consecutive achievement as the largest gingerbread house in the Guinness Book, more than a thousand houses and gingerbread structures will be on display.
Astoria Market Bohemian Hall makes year-end shopping possible on December 3, 10 and 17. With vintage pieces as well as local handicrafts, it is the ideal setting to get eclectic gifts. The space also offers delicious desserts and pastries from local bakers.
The tradition remains with A Christmas Carol at the Queen’s Theater. Scrooge and the Spirits of Christmas from past, present and future are in residence in the district between December 8 and 22, thanks to Charles Dickens and the Titan Theater Company.
The first Winter Wonderland SI at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, located near the Staten Island Ferry, will feature ice skating, racing, games and a market with 34 vendors, among other attractions. At the beginning of every night, the venue will provide a light and sound show, as well as the Igloo Bar for adult participants, with cocktails and live entertainment.
The classic Christmas tradition continues at the 14th Annual St. George Theater Christmas Show between the 8th and 10th of December. Located just steps from the Staten Island Ferry, the two-hour theatrical production features more than 100 actors, an orchestra and several references to venues such as the North Pole and Staten Island.
While you are here:
When you’re in town to experience the end of the year classics in Midtown, take the opportunity to see what’s new. Midtown represents the “new” NYC. This season, the region will be the heart of energy and development in Manhattan.
Gulliver’s Gate, housed in the former New York Times building on West 44th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, features over 300 miniature buildings and models of iconic global landmarks. A city full of blocks, the attraction is due to advanced technology, interactivity and the immersive world that stimulates the imagination of visitors of all ages.
Opened on October 6, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is an immersive experience never seen in Times Square (West 44th Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues) that uses innovative technology to transport visitors on an incredible underwater trip across the Pacific Ocean.
Beginning in November, the NFL Experience Times Square, a new attraction on the corner of 47th and Seventh Avenue, places visitors in the physical challenges of professional NFL athletes. The guests enter as fans, become players and leave the venue as champions on this heroic journey.
New Broadway musicals will entertain guests during the season. Visitors will be able to see the entire schedule of shows at. The highlights are SpongeBob, family success and nostalgia, and The Band’s Visit, new work starring New Yorker Tony Shalhoub, among others.