More Fun in the City at Offbeat New York Festivals and Events.
New York City Winter Fun -- 2013/2014
When the weather turns a bit chilly, New York City turns up the heat with nonstop holidays festivals and parades. And let's not forget shopping.
New York Road Runners Emerald Nuts Midnight Run -- December 31st
Kick off the New Year at the Midnight Run Presented by Emerald Nuts! Join the fun and celebrate with dancing (starting at 10:00 p.m.) and a costume parade and contest (starting at 11:00 p.m.) at the Central Park Bandshell, just south of the 72nd Street Transverse. The 4-mile unscored run will begin on the stroke of midnight, and will include a spectacular fireworks display to light up the night. Get psyched to run in the new year with NYRR! More information at: NYRR.org
New Year's Eve Grand Army Plaza Fireworks Display December 31st
Check out Brooklyn's dazzling New Year's Eve fireworks display at Grand Army Plaza, just off of Prospect Park. This free event is fun for all ages. The fireworks begin at midnight, but get there early if you come by car; parking spots can be scarce. The best places for viewing are along Prospect Park's West Drive (within the park) and on Prospect Park West, between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.
The GrinchOctober 25–December 31
The Grinch and his holiday workshop arrive at the Children's Museum of Manhattan in an interactive exhibition inspired by Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Holiday Lightings and Special Trees
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree December 4–January 7, 2014
It doesn't get much more "quintessential NYC Christmas" than the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, towering above the ice rink below. Things get festive on December 4, when thousands of revelers will fill the area for the lighting of this signature Norway spruce. Catch holiday-themed performances from a star-studded guest list, usually hosted by NBC anchors (like Al Roker). When the switch is flipped on that Swarovski star–topped tree wrapped in 30,000-plus energy-efficient LED lights, expect plenty of "oohs" and "ahs" from the crowd. If you can't make it to the big event, you can see the tree (and snap plenty of photos of it) through January 7.
World's largest Chanukah Menorah stands in New York City -- November 27 – December 5, 2013
The World's Largest Chanukah Menorah is proudly standing at New York's most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels.
November 29th at 6PM -- 30th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at South Street Seaport
The Seaport’s 30th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at the corner of Fulton and Front Streets on November 29th at 6pm. More information at: South Street Seaport
Origami Holiday Tree -- American Museum of Natural History tradition
November 25–January 12, 2014 Holiday decor gets a crafty makeover with the American Museum of Natural History's annual Origami Holiday Tree. For this year’s theme, “Wicked, Wise and Wonderful,” the museum has drawn inspiration from its Power of Poison exhibition to create the 500 folded-paper works that will adorn the 13-foot tree. After exploring the permanent exhibition halls, current shows (including the Power of Poison) and expansive collections, check out the tree to see which toxin-carrying creatures have been transformed into elegantly crimped ornaments. The delightfully decorated Origami Holiday Tree welcomes visitors to the institution throughout the holiday season.
Radio City Music Hall - Christmas Spectacular Now through December 30th, 2013
For decades New Yorkers and visitors have made this a holiday ritual. This iconic song-and-dance extravaganza, featuring the legendary Rockettes, is one of the holiday season's must-see attractions. Celebrating its 79th season this year, the show combines such classic scenes as "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and "New York at Christmas" with all-new numbers and the cutting-edge digital mapping technology of ChristmasVision, which transforms Radio City Music Hall's interior into a giant canvas. For more information visit Radio City Christmas
The Nutcracker™ at New York City Ballet @ Lincoln Center November 25th through December 31st, 2011
The heart of New York City's year-end holiday season, this glittering classic, performed annually by the New York City Ballet since 1954, has become one of the City's signature family-friendly traditions. For more information visit NYC Ballet - Nutcracker
Winter and Holiday Celebrations
Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square December 2
Once again this season, the neighborhood around Lincoln Square serves as the setting for the City's largest holiday festival (for one night only). Beginning with a tree lighting in Dante Park, the Winter's Eve festivities also include many street performers, food from some of the 'hood's best restaurants and fun activities, inside and out, for kids and grown-ups alike.
Holiday Train Shows
New York Botanical Garden
Visit the famous Holiday Train Show November 16–January 12, 2014. Large-scale model trains whiz by replicas of many of the City's most famous landmarks—including the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Penn Station—all created from natural materials like bark, pinecones, seeds and leaves by Paul Busse's team. For more information, visit NYBG.org
Holiday Train Show: Grand Central Terminal, Main Concourse
12th Annual New York Transit Museum Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal November 16, 2013 – February 23, 2014 Shuttle Passage off the Main Concourse The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal is back with its 12th annual Holiday Train Show, whose layout features Lionel trains traveling through a two-level, 34-foot-long miniature New York City and countryside scene. Vintage trains from the museum's collection, including New York Central models, and posters from the 1920s through the '40s will also be on display. For more information, visit Grand Central Terminal. The Centennial Holiday Light Show presented by Toshiba
It's Time to SkateWhen winter beckons, New Yorkers know it's time for ice skating. And there are several places to lace up those skates and hit the ice.
Bryant Park Celebrates Winter
The Pond at Bryant Park, made possible by Citi, is Manhattan's first and only free admission ice skating rink. Now until February 26, 2012 The Pond is the centerpiece of Bryant Park's winter season, which also includes the annual Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. The 170' x 100' rink features free admission ice skating, in addition to high quality rental skates, skating shows, special events, and activities.
Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center
Check rates and times at Rockefeller Ice Rink
Wollman Rink in Central Park
Skate in the middle of the urban oasis of Central Park. It's open, but check for conditions, prices and hours at Wollman Rink
The Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers -- Open
They're at Chelsea Piers - Pier 61 (23rd St. & the Hudson River).
New York's legendary department stores offer a window wonderland at holiday time. Visitors and New Yorkers alike love to stroll along the Avenue and enjoy the famed storefront tableaux. From the red awnings and understated elegance of Saks Fifth Avenue at 611 Fifth Avenue to Lord & Taylor at 424 Fifth Avenue extravagant windows and magical animation. Displays at Tiffany & Co. at 727 Fifth Avenue have a holiday sparkle all their own. FAO Schwarz at 767 Fifth Avenue is always a fun visit. While Fifth Avenue definitely has WOW appeal, the windows at Bloomingdale's 1000 Third Avenue are a study in urban chic, and the lavish Yuletide glow of Macy's Herald Square 151 West 34th Street is another perennial favorite