5 Activities in NYC This Holiday Season You Won’t Want To Miss
Holiday season is a busy time here in the city. Here are the top five activities in NYC during the most wonderful time of the year, including the Nutcracker, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and more.
Holiday season is a busy time, but here are five activities in NYC you’ll want to carve out some time for (plus a couple more, for extra holiday cheer). Hey, they don’t call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing. And if you call New York City home, it’s easy to see why.
The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet | Through January 3
A magical evening that brings toys to life and leaves visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in your head? It’s hard to think of a holiday performance more iconic than George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. The elaborate staging and Tschaikovsky’s beloved score transport viewers to the Land of Sweets. This New York City Ballet production runs through January 3. Tickets range from $35 to $260.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular | Through December 31
The only thing that might be more iconic than the Nutcracker — at least in New York — is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which premiered in 1933. Expect the Rockettes and their internationally known high-kicks, along with a living nativity, a dazzling snow scene, as well as the charming ragdolls who make up Santa’s workshop. Tickets range from $45-$299.
Rockefeller Center Tree | Through January 7
While you’re at the Radio City Music Hall, don’t forget to check out the Rockefeller Center tree. This massive tree (this year’s is 85 feet tall) arrives from Pennsylvania in November. In early December, tens of thousands of fans flock to Rockefeller Plaza for the tree lighting ceremony. The tree’s 45,000 LED lights are powered by 300 solar panels installed on the roof of 45 Rockefeller Plaza. The tree will remain lit and can be viewed until January 7.
Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall | December 22
On Monday, December 22, New York’s Oratorio Society will perform one of the most Christmassy activities in NYC. The iconic presentation (the one with the “Hallelujah” chorus) is one of the composer’s most well-known pieces. Tickets range from $45-$162.
Wait, wait, there’s more!
When you need a break from the big box stores, visit one (or all) of the open-air gift markets, which feel like a little bit of Europe in the middle of Manhattan. Check out these three:
- The Union Square Holiday Market (through December 24), which specializes in handmade items, like jewelry, bags and leather goods.
- The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (through January 4), located right next to the skating rink, which includes more than 125 boutiquey shops offering everything from clothes to jewelry, home goods, local foods, and more.
- The Columbus Circle Holiday Market (through December 24) also includes unique gifts from artisans, with things like handmade chocolates and toys.
One of the most popular activities in NYC during the cold wintertime is actually outdoors: Gawking at the holiday windows. The city’s iconic department stores — Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Henri Bendel among them — pull out all stops in imaginative window displays that draw tourists and New York natives alike.
Image Source: Flickr/Bob Jagendorf