New York City events December 2019. Things to do in NYC.

New York City
Best events for 12 months

New York City events December 2019

Christmas on Long Island

December 1, 2019
27 miles east
See designer Christmas trees, visit the gingerbread village, watch live entertainment, ice skate, and tour the museum during Long Island Festival of Trees at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City,

Model train show

December 1, 2019
33 miles SW
Greenberg’s Great Train and Toy Show features train displays, train rides, and 140 vendors at New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, NJ. Free for children age 11 and younger. Held three times a year.

Lincoln Square holiday festival

December 2, 2019
1.2 miles NW
Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square features a 5:30 p.m. tree lighting in Dante Park, musicians, dancers, street performers, tastes of 30 local restaurants, and activities for children along Broadway (from Columbus Circle to 70th Street). Free.

Whisky festival

December 3, 2019
0.5 miles west
Sample 400 whiskies, and learn from master distillers and blenders at $275 WhiskyFest at Marriott Marquis.

Christmas tree lighting

December 4, 2019 (8 to 10 p.m.)
0 miles
Brave the crowds and winter weather to watch the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting and live entertainment. The tree stays lit until Jan. 17. Free.

Fake wedding

December 5, 2019 (7 p.m.)
3.1 mile east
Attend an emotional wedding ceremony, have a drink and appetizers (included), and dance at a reception while you check out wedding vendors in action at The Big Fake Wedding New York City at The Foundry.

Motorcycle show

December 6 - 8, 2019
1.5 miles SW
Find sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, expert advice, live entertainment, and family activities at the New York International Motorcycle Show in the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Pottery show

December 6 - 8, 2019
20 miles north
The Pottery Show and Sale is a famous curated event at the Art School at Old Church in Demarest, NJ.

Thanksgiving scavenger hunt

December 7, 2019
multiple locations
Cranksgiving is a scavenger hunt on your bicycle for Thanksgiving food that you donate to charity, plus an after party. Bring cash, a bag/pack, and a bike lock.

Spirits tasting

December 7, 2019 (2 & 6:30 p.m.)
4.4 miles SE
Taste samples of 100 styles of whiskey, vodka, gin, and tequila, and meet the makers at Brooklyn Whiskey and Spirits Fest, with live music and food for sale at Brooklyn Expo Center for age 21+.

Cheese festival

December 7, 2019 (6 to 9 p.m.)
9 miles east
Taste unlimited samples from artisanal creameries plus chef dishes, beer, and cider at The Great Northeast Cheese Fest at Flushing Town Hall.

Weird flea market

December 7 - 8, 2019
6 miles SE
Feast your eyes on anatomical curiosities, skeletons, natural history items, taxidermy, obscure home decor, jewelry, and dark art sold by 75 artists and purveyors at A Holiday Oddities Flea Market at Villain.

Prayers for pets

December 8, 2019 (2 to 3 p.m.)
0.8 miles north
Arrive early with your pet for Blessing of the Animals by a minister and a rabbi at Christ Church. Free.

Tasting in Chelsea

December 8, 2019 (1 p.m., VIP noon)
1.1 miles south
Enjoy tastes from “60 breweries, cideries, and distilleries” from New York state, plus food for sale at Fruit and Grain: a Beer and Cider Festival in Eventi Hotel.

Star-studded concert

December 13, 2019
1.2 miles south
Jingle Ball brings big-name music artists every December to Madison Square Garden.

Big Apple Circus

December 13 - 15, 2019
1.2 miles NW
The famous Big Apple Circus has high-wire aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, clowns, contortionists, rescue animals, and a band in a heated tent at Lincoln Center.

Discount tickets

Circus in the Bronx

December 13 - 15, 2019
13 miles west
Circo Hermanos Vazquez features human cannonballs, graceful dancers, daring acrobats, and crazy clowns in a heated tent across the street from Bronx Terminal Market.

Discount tickets

Cabaret & music theater festival

December 13 - 21, 2019
1.4 miles SW
Winter Rhythms features cabaret & theater stars in 18 shows at Urban Stages Theatre.

Holiday market - Central Park

December 13 - 24, 2019
0.5 miles north
Enjoy a hot beverage or meal, and shop for gifts from 150 vendors at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market at Central Park West and 59th Street. Free.

Holiday market - Grand Central

December 13 - 24, 2019
0.5 miles SW
Grand Central Holiday Fair is a holiday market with 40 vendors in Vanderbilt Hall. Closed on Thanksgiving Day. Free.

Holiday market - Union Square

December 13 - 24, 2019
1.8 miles south
Find handmade jewelry, fine art, clothing, ornaments, toys, food, and drink at Union Square Holiday Market in Union Square Park. Free.

Christmas play

December 13 - 30, 2019
2.4 miles south
A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas ghosts, and Tiny Tim at Players Theatre in Greenwich Village.

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Winter in Bryant Park

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020
0.5 miles south
Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks. Minors require an adult to skate.

Star Wars: The musical

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020
0.7 miles west
Created by “a couple of Star Wars nerds,” A Musical about Star Wars is “the ultimate tribute to the fandom, the legacy, and the galaxy of the greatest story ever told” at St. Luke’s Theatre.

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The Nutcracker

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020
1.1 miles NW
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition with old-fashioned costumes, a tree that grows before your eyes, crystal-shaped snowflakes, fine choreography by New York City Ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s captivating music at David H. Koch Theater.

Lights at the zoo

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020
9 miles north
See animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and colorful designs lit by LEDs during Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo, with a holiday train, roaming carolers, and ice carvers. Closed Dec. 24 - 25 and Jan. 1 - 2.

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New version of “Oklahoma!”

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 19, 2020
0.4 miles west
The latest Oklahoma! is a “wide-awake, jolting, and altogether wonderful production” [N.Y. Times review] of Rodgers and Hammerstein’ story about life on the Western frontier, at Circle in the Square Theatre.

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Chinese lantern festival + market

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 26, 2020
10.2 miles east
See 120 lantern exhibits, watch cultural performances, browse the marketplace, and shop at food vendors during Hello Panda Festival at Citi Field. Free to age 3.

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Holiday Train Show

December 13, 2019 - Jan. 26, 2020
12 miles north
Watch model trains zip around miniature New York landmarks made of plant materials, and enjoy kids’ activities at the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden. Closed Dec. 25; Jan. 6, 13.

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Retro rock musical

December 13, 2019 - Feb. 9, 2020
0.6 miles west
Rock of Ages is a love story set on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and filled with 1980s songs by Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, etc. at New World Stages.

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Train show at Grand Central

December 13, 2019 - Feb. 23, 2020
0.6 miles south
The Holiday Train Show features a 34-foot-long model train layout (O gauge) with trains and subways that run on eight loops of track inside the the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery. Closed Nov. 28, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1. Free.

Santa bar crawl

December 14, 2019
NYC locations
Wear a Santa suit and start at one of the bars that will be listed Friday night on the Santacon website. Donation. Organizers ask you to obey all laws and be polite. You must sign into Facebook to see the official page.

Groovy comedy about dating

December 14, 2019 (7 p.m.)
4.5 miles north
Sweet Charity is a dance-filled musical comedy by Neil Simon about a girl seeking love in gritty 1960s New York City at Harlem Repertory Theatre.

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Tony winning musical

December 14, 2019 (3 p.m.)
4.5 miles north
Pippin is a high-flying acrobatic version of the classic story about a young prince who encounters colorful characters on his quest to find a life of passion and adventure at Tato Laviera Theatre in Harlem.

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Modern Nutcracker

December 14, 2019
11 miles south
Based on the classic story about a girl’s dreams on Christmas Eve, The Brooklyn Nutcracker fuses ballet, hip hop, and world dance genres “to represent the diverse traditions and vibrant culture of melting pot Brooklyn” at Kings Theatre.

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Nutcracker set in New York

December 14 - 15, 2019
1.2 miles north
The Yorkville Nutcracker is a ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s music with familiar “Old New York” backgrounds like Central Park at Kaye Playhouse.

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Mad scientist

December 14 & 22, 2019
0.4 miles west
A chemistry professor performs amazing feats in That Chemistry Show, which “combines the worlds of chemistry and show business” to surprise and entertain at The Playroom Theater.

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Cocoa & carols

December 14 - 29, 2019
2.4 miles SW
Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise includes hot cocoa, cookies, a bar drink, live music, optional sing-alongs, and 1.5 hours of city light views, leaving Chelsea Piers (Pier 62).

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Holiday Jazz Cruise

December 14 - 29, 2019
2.4 miles SW
Enjoy skyline views, holiday jazz performed by a trio, and a complimentary drink on the Holiday Jazz Cruise aboard a decorated 1920s-style yacht departing from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers.

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Tuba concert

December 15, 2019 (3:30 p.m.)
0 miles
Hear Christmas carols and sing along at Merry Tuba Christmas at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Free.

Christmas concert

December 15, 2019 (2:30 to 4 p.m.)
1.1 miles south
Advent Concert features music, inspirational readings, and dance at Marble Collegiate Church.

Boombox/smartphone concert

December 15, 2019 (meet at 5:45 p.m.)
2.1 miles south
Download the music, and then play it on cue with the crowd at Unsilent Night, which goes from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park. Free.

Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar

December 15, 2019
10 miles south
Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar features 60 handpicked local artisans, food vendors, and craft activities for kids in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Free.

Nutcracker in Queens

December 15, 2019 (3 p.m.)
10.5 miles east
The Nutcracker is a family-friendly show that “follows a little girl’s journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice, set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved music” at Kupferberg Center for the Arts in Flushing.

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Hip Nutcracker

December 15, 2019
11 miles south
The Hip Hop Nutcracker gives Tchaikovsky’s score a modern twist with 12 hip-hop dancers (including “King of Rap” Kurtis Blow), an on-stage DJ, an electric violinist, and a digital background with an urban vibe, at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. (Newark Dec. 20 & 21.)

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Science day in Brooklyn

December 15, 2019 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
12 miles south
City of Science offers interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities about science, technology, math, and engineering indoors at Park Slope Armory YMCA. Free.

Music in the Guggenheim

December 15 - 16, 2019
2.4 miles north
Stand on the spiral staircase of the Guggenheim Museum, or sit in its rotunda, to watch the Rotunda Holiday Concert with “joyous sounds of holiday music.”

Harry Potter live

December 15 - 22, 2019
0.6 miles SW
Based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features the grown up versions of Harry, Ron, and Hermione who must “grapple with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs” with illusions and magic at Lyric Theatre.

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Nutcracker in New Jersey

December 15 - 27, 2019
36 miles west
The Nutcracker by New Jersey Ballet features “splendid dancing, a full orchestra, eye-popping special effects, and a touch of holiday magic” at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ.

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African-American dance

December 15 - 29, 2019
0.5 miles north
Award-winning Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs contemporary dance to open “a window into the heart and soul, revealing our deepest selves” at New York City Center.

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Risque Nutcracker

December 15, 2019 - Jan. 26, 2020
7.4 miles SE
Nutcracker Rouge is a glittery burlesque-inspired blend of theater, cirque, drag, and dance portraying an erotic and opulent version of the holiday ballet in Brooklyn for age 21+.

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Blue Man show

December 15, 2019 - Jan. 31, 2020
2.3 miles south
Blue Man Group promises to rock your world with an exciting show that combines music, comedy, and special effects at Astor Place Theatre.

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Latke Festival

December 16, 2019 (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
9.1 miles south
Your ticket to Latke Festival includes the potato treats made by dozens of top chefs, plus alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the Brooklyn Museum.

Discount tickets

Handel’s Messiah

December 17 - 21, 2019
1.2 miles NW
See Handel’s Messiah performed in its entirety by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

Discount tickets (midweek)

Big-band holiday concert

December 18 - 22, 2019
1 mile NW
Big Band Holidays features the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis playing swinging and soulful renditions of your favorite holiday music, plus a vocalist.

Charles Dickens’ Christmas

December 18, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020
2.5 miles south
Hear an actor dressed as Charles Dickens read in an elegant, festive parlor at A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House, which is recommended for age 10+. An optional pre-show reception called “Christmas Spirit” is available some nights.

Winter solstice concert

December 19 - 21, 2019
3.6 miles north
Celebrate the darkest night of the year at the secular Winter Solstice Celebration featuring musicians, vocalists, and the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

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Free comedy show

December 19 & 26, 2019 (Thursdays 8 p.m.)
0.8 miles west
The Bomb Shelter Comedy Show promises “comedians with national TV credits,” free pizza, and no drink minimums at The Gaf West, in Hell’s Kitchen.

Free tickets

Opera by Mozart

December 19, 2019 - Jan. 4, 2020
1.1 miles NW
The Magic Flute is an adventure-filled tale of good versus evil in which love conquers all, performed in English at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Discount tickets

Nutcracker dance

December 20 - 21, 2019
2.6 miles north
Nutcracker Winter Suite is a one-hour, family-friendly version that includes only the dance performances at Symphony Space.

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Holiday cocktail show

December 20 - 28, 2019
0.9 miles west
Three Christmas Spirits teach Scrooge how to make cocktails in the show The Imbible: Christmas Carol Cocktails at the Producers’ Club for age 21+. Each audience member receives three cocktails.

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Adult night - train show

December 20, 2019 - Jan. 18, 2020
12 miles north
Sip a cocktail under holiday lights, see model trains circle a miniature New York, and warm up at the fire pit during Bar Car Nights at the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden for age 21.

Discount tickets

Street music festival

December 21, 2019
NYC locations
Make Music Winter is a dozen musical parades on the streets and sidewalks on the first day of winter. Come watch, or join in as described for each event. A similar event is held in June. Free.

Formal ball

December 21, 2019 (9 p.m.)
3.4 miles south
Dress formally for the Winter Ball Speakeasy, which features a sextet playing jazz and holiday songs, hors d’oeuvres, and a complimentary cocktail at 1803 NYC for age 21+.

Breakdancing finals

December 21, 2019 (3 p.m.)
3.6 miles south
Watch the world’s best compete at World Bboy Battle Championships at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Manhattan.

Craft fair

December 21 - 22, 2019
4.4 miles SE
Shop from 200 artisans, chefs, and vintage vendors at Renegade Craft Fair, which also offers food trucks and cocktails at Brooklyn Expo Center. Free.

Handel’s Messiah

December 22, 2019 (2 p.m.)
0.5 miles north
The Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra perform Handel’s Messiah with four soloists in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, an annual tradition since 1961.

Discount tickets

Menorah lighting

December 22 - 29, 2019
7 miles south
Celebrate Chanukah nightly with live music and hot latkes at the Lighting of the Menorah, which is 32 feet tall, at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. Free.

Handel’s Messiah

December 23, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)
0.6 miles north
The Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah with a 30-member chorus and 20-player orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Caroling

December 24, 2019
2.1 miles south
Join the carolers and brass quartet at Christmas Eve Caroling at the arch in Washington Square Park. Free.

Jewish party

December 24, 2019 (9 p.m.)
3.1 miles south
Matzoball NYC is an annual event with DJ music at Capitale for age 21+.

Fun basketball show

December 27 - 30, 2019
28.6 miles east
Harlem Globetrotters perform ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, and comedy bits in an entertaining show.

Shred bad memories

December 28, 2019 (12 to 1 p.m.)
0.5 miles west
Say goodbye to your worst memories of 2019 so you can start fresh in 2020 by tossing them into the shredder at Good Riddance Day in Times Square, on Broadway between 45th & 46th.

Magic show

December 28 & 30, 2019
0.6 miles east
Emmy-nominated magician Matt Roberts brings his humorous and surprising interactive magic show for all ages to Club Bonafide.

Discount tickets

New Year’s Eve - restaurants

December 31, 2019
NYC locations
OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve - Times Square

December 31, 2019
0.5 miles west
New Year’s Eve in Times Square has dazzling lights, big-name music, balloons, confetti, fireworks, and a crystal ball that drops at midnight. To join the crowd seeing it live, read the FAQ and arrive early. Free.

New Year’s Eve - Sony Hall

December 31, 2019
0.6 miles west
Metropolis NYE has DJ music, live performances, an open bar, and a “City of Tomorrow” theme in the glamorous Paramount Hotel for age 21+.

Discount tickets

New Year’s Eve - The Plaza

December 31, 2019 (9 p.m.)
0.6 miles north
Spend “an unforgettable evening” at the $895 New Year’s Eve Ball, with live entertainment, dancing, passed hors d’oeuvres, a buffet, dessert, an open bar, a countdown, and champagne in The Palm Court.

New Year’s Eve - AMC

December 31, 2019
0.7 miles SW
Watch movies or dance all night at New Year’s Eve on adult floors with open bars and mini buffets, or get tickets for the Family Fun New Year’s Eve without alcohol at AMC Theater on West 42nd Street.

New Year’s Eve - show tunes

December 31, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)
1.1 miles NW
Celebrate the new year with Broadway and film hits, Viennese waltzes, and operetta gems, featuring special guests singing with the New York Philharmonic in David Geffen Hall.

New Year’s Eve - run

December 31, 2019 (11:59 p.m.)
1.2 miles north
Register for the NYRR Midnight Run for a four-mile run on Central Park’s inner loop, midnight fireworks, and a post-event party. Each runner is given a wristband for one guest. See the web page entry points.

Fireworks in Central Park

December 31, 2019
1.3 miles north
Fireworks are launched from Cherry Hill in Central Park at midnight. Sections of the park will be closed for the Midnight Run, but the web page says “The general public may still view fireworks from south of 72nd Street inside the park.” Expect strict security. Free.

New Year’s Eve - Webster Hall

December 31, 2019 (8 p.m.)
2.2 miles south
Webster Hall New Year’s Eve has DJs on three floors, 100,000 balloons that drop at midnight, fire and aerial performers, “sexy dancers and glamorous freaks,” an open bar, and a champagne toast at midnight in Webster Hall. Age 19+ to attend, age 21+ to drink.

New Year’s Eve - peace concert

December 31, 2019
3.6 miles north
Uplifting New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace offers choir and orchestra music, solo singers, and bright candles in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Free except reserved seats.

New Year’s Eve decadent party

December 31, 2019 (9:30 p.m.)
4.2 miles south
The Celestial Ball is an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party by Dances of Vice with exotic acts and live bands at Down Town Association.

Fireworks in Prospect Park

December 31, 2019
7 miles south
Enjoy live entertainment followed at midnight by New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. Pedestrians also can view the fireworks from West Drive inside Prospect Park. Street views are available on Prospect Park West (from Grand Army Plaza to 9th Street). Free.

New Year’s Eve with knights

December 31, 2019
10.7 miles NE
Ring in the New Year with the lords and ladies of Medieval Times. Ticket includes admission to the Museum of Torture, a two-hour live tournament, a four-course meal, party favors, DJ dancing, and champagne at midnight (or kids’ beverage) in Lyndhurst, NJ.

Discount tickets

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