Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year with the best NYC events in December 2021. This season’s highlights include, well, you already know what they are. You can really get into the spirit when you visit one of New York’s many holiday markets boasting great gifts for your friends and family as well as tasty provisions. Looking for something less festive? Check out terrific art shows and pop-up holiday bars.”
Featured NYC events in December 2021
Here are 6 of my faves:
- The BronxUntil Jan 23, 2022
The beloved New York holiday train tradition at the New York Botanical Garden is back for its 30th year!
The garden will become a mini-train depot with its collection of 25 G-scale model trains that’ll chug along a nearly half-mile track (which is also overhead) by 175 miniature NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Rockefeller Center—all made of natural materials such as leaves, cinnamon sticks, twigs, bark and berries.
Tickets are on sale now for the show, which begins November 20.
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is back this year in all it’s holiday glory. On the grounds you can peruse about 170 shopping and food kiosks—all at one of the best NYC parks. Work up an appetite at the free, 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink and then fill up at the rinkside pop-up restaurant called The Lodge Deck for festive cocktails and hearty food.
Half the fun of holiday shopping in New York is ogling the tricked-out window displays along Fifth Avenue that pop up to coincide with the merriest, spendiest time of the year. In between picking out sweaters and great presents from our holiday gift guide, stop outside Macy’s, Barneys and other classic department stores to take in holiday windows that feature famous cartoonists, iconic New York attractions and more.
Dyker Heights residents take the holidays very seriously: The houses in this nabe are decked out with thousands of lights, life-size toy soldiers, inflatable Santas and more. Take in all the best displays on this 3.5-hour bus tour.
The colorful lanterns created by the LAB at Rockewell Group are officially back at Brookfield Place for the season. Open daily now through January 2, 2022 between 10am and 8pm, visitors will be able to send a motion-activated wish into the glowing lanterns up above. There’s something simply magical about sending our wishes into a light-filled display of beauty. The destination will also be hosting a special new interactive experience titled Maestro this year. From 10am through 8pm on December 4-7, 11-12 and 16-19, visitors will actually get to conduct their own symphony. Holiday music will play in the background while patrons use gesture-controlled instruments to create unique light shows.
The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, open now through March 6, is poised to once again be one of the most exciting attractions this season. In fact, in addition to the over 170 holiday shops, kiosks and eateries that make up the destination, the village will play host to two exciting activities for New Yorkers to revel in. First up: a series of cozy igloos that are heated and overlook the park’s iconic skating rink. Inside the clear and intimate structures, each one decorated with holiday cheer in mind, patrons can order delicious food and drinks to enjoy among friends or family (each igloo can accommodate up to eight guests). If it’s something a bit more active that you’re looking to do, consider visiting the on-site Curling Café, which will offer the first-ever iceless curling experience. Expect dedicated curling lanes where two teams of up to four people each can play some “street” (also known as iceless) curling for an hour-and-a-half. According to an official press release, the lanes are accompanied by “a private, heated dome where teams can warm up and share seasonal drinks and bites between games.”
TONY lists 29 November Events, for all the rest go HERE
Friday, Dec. 3
Actionplay at BKCM: Dive into a truly incredible music experience during the Actionplay Holiday Concert Extravaganza. Hosted by The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Actionplay is a theatre organization for autistic, neurodivergent, and disabled teens and adults and their holiday show will get you right into the spirit. 58 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn. 7 p.m. Free.
Metro-North Blood Drive: Give the gift of life this weekend with Metro-North and the New York Blood Center. Come down to donate blood at Vanderbilt Hall to give back this holiday season. Grand Central Terminal-Vanderbilt Hall, 87 East 42 Street, Manhattan. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 4
Lightscape: Hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lightscape is one of the largest light shows in New York City. Bundle up and take a stroll through the outdoor holiday illuminated trail with over a million lights that run almost the full length of the garden. 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn. Multiple times. $34 for adults, $18 for kids.
Winter Wonder at the Garden: As the holiday season ramps up, the Queens Botanical Garden is bringing back holiday fun for the whole family. Come by on Saturday to shop, drink, craft and even meet Santa himself! 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, Queens. 12 to 5 p.m. Free.
The Oddities Flea Market: Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? There’s no better place to find it than at the Oddities Flea Market one-day holiday pop-up market. Come by and shop the eclectic options. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, Manhattan. 1 to 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15.
Sunday, Dec. 5
Pet Portrait Painting: If you or a loved one have a pet that you love so much, get a portrait done on Sunday! Matt Timms, creator of All The Bad Cats, will be at Grand Army Bar painting 6 inch x 6 inch portraits of your pets. Just bring a digital image of the pet for him to work off of and enjoy the bar while you wait. 336 State Street, Brooklyn. 5 to 11 p.m. $80.
TALEA Holiday Market Bazaar: Shop around for friends and family at this pop-up shop at TALEA Beer Co. The shop will feature a number of local vendors to browse through while sipping on TALEA beer. 87 Richardson Street, Brooklyn. 12 to 5 p.m. Free to attend.
Hanukkah Hunt Gallery Program: Families are welcome to come before the last night of Hanukkah to explore menorahs from around the world. Head into the hunt and make your own discoveries in your sketchbook. The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue, Manhattan. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free with museum admission, free for kids 18 and under.
So many great things to see and do, places to eat and drink in NYC.
How to find them? Here are 6 more of my fave NYC suggestions: