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Holiday in New York City

NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, invites locals and visitors to enjoy holiday traditions and cultural experiences across the five boroughs, many of which are in person for the first time in two years. With the return of spectators at annual events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes, festive shopping at NYC’s iconic department stores, ice-skating rinks, light festivities, cultural performances, winter exhibitions including the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, and more, there are endless opportunities for an unforgettable experience this holiday season in New York City. NYC & Company releases holiday activity across the five boroughs as foreign travel returns, following the arrival of the first international flights to NYC in more than 600 days last Monday.

Bryant Park, Midtown West, Manhattan, NYC

“A visit to New York City during the holidays is unparalleled, and we’re thrilled to once again welcome travelers from around the world,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon. “New experiences, annual events and iconic traditions across the five boroughs, coupled with the timely reopening of US international borders, emphasize that ‘It’s Time for New York City’ this holiday season.” 

See below a list of holiday activity across the five boroughs by the following categories starting with annual big events and cheerful performances. We will also share winter exhibitions and cultural events; flagship shopping offers; shop local businesses and pop-ups; light festivals and displays; ice skating rinks; hotel offers; outdoor igloos and cabins; holidays on the water.

Little Italy, Manhattan, NYC

ANNUAL BIG EVENTS:

 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 25 | Manhattan

The classic NYC celebration featuring larger-than-life helium balloons, fantasy floats, clowns, performance groups, Broadway’s best musicals, celebrity appearances and more is back in-person for its 95th year. New balloons will include Grogu; Netflix’s Ada Twist, Scientist; SpongeBob SquarePants and Gary; Smokey Bear; and Sonic the Hedgehog. New floats include Kalahari Resorts & Conventions’ Colossal Wave of Wonder, 1-2-3 Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues & You!, and Snoopy’s Doghouse. The Parade will begin at 9am, at 77th Street and Central Park West.

NYC & Company has compiled a list of hotel offers to watch the parade from the comfort of a hotel.

Lighting of the Largest Menorah in Brooklyn

November 28–December 5 | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza will light the largest Hanukkah Menorah each of the eight nights, with live music, hot latkes and gifts for children. 

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

•        December 1 | Midtown Manhattan

The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center has been a tradition for more than eight decades, lighting up Rockefeller Plaza each holiday season. The lighting ceremony will feature performances and classic Christmas songs by soon-to-be-announced artists, and be on view through early to mid-January.

Rebranded flags

New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop

•        December 31–January 1 | Times Square, Manhattan

The Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will sparkle in Times Square all season, but its descent on New Year’s Eve is a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime way to ring in the New Year. The event, watched by millions of viewers in NYC and around the globe, will welcome spectators back in-person this December. Guests can also stop by the New Year’s Eve Confetti Wishing Wall to submit (in person and online) a wish for the New Year on a piece of official NYE confetti that will be dropped at midnight as the ball drops.

CHEERFUL PERFORMANCES:

November 3, 2021: Dress rehearsal for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes.

The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

Through January 5 | Midtown Manhattan

The beloved holiday tradition returns to Radio City Music Hall this year after being paused last year, dazzling audiences of all ages with incredible costumes, festive songs, synchronized high kicks, and new acts.

Live Broadway Performances at Hudson Yards

November 15-December 13 | Hudson Yards, Manhattan

Enjoy a weekly series of free, live performances from Broadway’s biggest hit shows at Hudson Yards every Monday. Cast members will sing songs from productions including AladdinDear Evan HansenThe Lion KingMoulin Rouge!Chicago and more.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Presented by New York City Ballet

November 26–January 2 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center will return this year with exquisite costumes, magnificent sets, and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score that transports audiences to a land of twirling snowflakes, leaping candy canes, waltzing flowers and more.

 José Feliciano at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts 

November 27 | The Bronx

Ring in the holidays with a live performance by Grammy Award-winning legendary singer, composer, and virtuoso guitarist José Feliciano, known for best-selling Christmas single “Feliz Navidad.”

 A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House Charles Dickens in New York, 1867

December 1–31 | Greenwich Village, Manhattan

An actor portraying Charles Dickens will tell this timeless Christmas tale in the elegant intact Greek revival double parlor of the landmark 1832 Merchant’s House Museum.

The Christmas Show at St. George’s Theatre


December 10–12 | St. George, Staten Island

The famous theater presents its annual Christmas Show, a two-hour production filled with high energy and a rhinestone-studded series of songs and dances that the whole family will enjoy.

The Magic Flute Holiday Presentation at The Met Opera

December 10–January 5 | Upper East Side, Manhattan

The Met’s abridged, English-language version of Mozart’s magical fairy tale is a classic holiday treat for audiences of all ages, bringing the charming story and enchanting music to life.

 The Brooklyn Nutcracker at Kings Theatre

December 11 | Flatbush, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nutcracker transforms familiar characters and scenes from the holiday classic to represent the diverse traditions and vibrant culture of Brooklyn.

 Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at The Joyce Theatre

December 14–January 2 | Chelsea, Manhattan

The beloved all-male drag ballet troupe returns to The Joyce for an uproarious holiday season, taking the stage for three weeks of nonstop skilled pointe work and hilarious parodying of classical holiday-themed ballet inspired by Jerome Robbins’ In the Night.

 New York Philharmonic’s Handel’s Messiah at The Riverside Church

•       December 14–18 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

Grammy Award-winning Baroque specialist Jeannette Sorrell conducts the Philharmonic on this holiday piece including dazzling vocal solos, instrumentals and coral writing, in the neo-Gothic glory of Riverside Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents Big Band Holidays

December 15–19 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

With soulful big band arrangements of songs both sacred and secular, the Big Band Holidays series at the Rose Theater is an uplifting tradition enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

 The New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

December 24 | Midtown Manhattan

A favorite of Carnegie Hall audiences for more than 50 years, the New York String Orchestra returns for its annual Christmas Eve concert conducted by Jaime Laredo and will feature some of the nation’s most celebrated young musicians performing alongside guest artists.

Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration at The Apollo Theater

December 26 | Harlem, Manhattan

The Apollo Theater will host its annual Kwanzaa Celebration featuring Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theater in a power evening of music, percussion, and modern and African dance.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC

Website nycgo.com/holidays.

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