“It’s officially December and that means holiday mania!
There’s simply no better place than NYC to get in the spirit of the season and as 2021 comes to a close, New York City is bustling with activities.
From bar transformations, dazzling light displays, and all the icy fun and shopping in between—here are 80 magically festive things to do in NYC this month.”
Here are 5 of my faves:
The world’s most immersive observatory, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, is the place to be in NYC this holiday season. From the gasp-worthy light and sound show “AIR at Night” (pictured above), to experiencing what it’s like to be in your own snow globe over 1,000 feet above NYC when it flurries, to cozying up with a cup of cocoa in the Après bar and café, you must add SUMMIT One Vanderbilt to your NYC holiday bucket list! Due to demand, hours have been extended for the holiday season. Click here to get your tickets before they sell out. Sponsored
Rediscover your favorite city from new heights at NYC’s one-of-a-kind attraction opening on December 15th. This uplifting experience pairs a soaring theme park style ride with seven distinctly themed galleries that explore the most iconic aspects of NYC. See everything from a re-creation of NYC’s first subway station at City Hall circa 1904, Madonna’s custom Keith Haring jacket, to Central Park from a birds-eye view! Buy your tickets now to experience this exciting new attraction.
Is there anything more quintessential Christmas than the giant trees all around NYC? Here are festive tree lightings you can check out!
- Holiday on the Hudson: Saturday, December 4, 2021, 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.
- Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park: Monday, December 6, 2021 at 6 p.m.
- Washington Square Park: Wednesday, December 8 at 6 p.m.
- Madison Square Park: Thursday, December 9 from 4-5:30 p.m
Enjoy everything from enchanting performances of holiday classics inside a breathtaking NYC church, Nutcracker-inspired tunes, to a romantic dinner experience, all bathed in candlelight. Each concert makes for a stunning evening where you can simply sit back and savor the stunning holiday pieces you’ll hear. Get tickets here.
- Candlelight Holiday Special: “The Nutcracker” and More at Church of the Heavenly Rest
- Candlelight Holiday Special: “The Nutcracker” and More!
- Candlelight Dinner at Leuca: Holiday Special
Just because temperatures have dropped does not mean that rooftop season has to come to an end! From winter chalets to tropical-themed installations, here are some of our favorite winter spots:
For all the rest of these 80 things to do in NYC go HERE to Secret NYC.
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:
Friday, Dec. 10
Year Gone Hazy Beer Release Party: Bronx Brewery is hosting a special bash to celebrate the release of their latest beer, Year Gone Hazy! Kiss 2021 goodbye and enjoy the latest brew while enjoying live performances curated by The Bronx Native and BX Writers. 856 E.136th Street, Bronx. 5 to 10 p.m.
Joy of Christmas performance: The Cathedral Choirs and Orchestra at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine are coming together for a special holiday show. The show will celebrate the holidays with Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Antonio Vivaldi’s incandescent Gloria, and favorite carols sung by the whole audience. 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $50.
Saturday, Dec. 11
Screening of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”: If you love “Dracula,” you’ll want to head to this screening. Directed by Francis Coppola, the adaptation of the original Victorian-era Gothic vampire novel pulls out all the stops and brings the story to life. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria, Queens. 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11).
“RowsAttacks!” by elrow: Are you ready to party? How about a 13-hour party? That’s what you can get with elrow this weekend. This sci-fi-themed winter bash is aiming to be the biggest party in the city. Avant Gardner, 140 Stewart Ave, Brooklyn. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $74.79.
Sunday, Dec. 12
Paint in Central Park: Whether you’re looking to sharpen your art skills or are just wanting a nice fun time, painting in Central Park is a great option. All participants get a pre-sketched canvas, unlimited painting materials (brushes, acrylic paints etc.) and a take-home bag. Central Park. 1:30 p.m. $39.95.
Santa Claus is Coming to Estuary: Jolly ol’ Saint Nick is swinging by Brooklyn this weekend for a special event. Hosted by Estuary, come by to take a photo with Santa and contribute to their annual Toy Drive for Friends of Karen. A photobooth will be onsite for families to use, plus complimentary hot chocolate from Ebb & Flow Bakery. 159 Bridge Park Drive, Brooklyn. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations encouraged.
Best new restaurants in NYC
If you are looking for some of the best info on food and drink, restaurants and eating in New York City, then you want to head to New York magazine’s Grub Street.
Right now you want to check out: The Return of Restaurants
“Make up for lost meals. No takeout, no pasta kits, just 66 of the best new (or newly relevant) places to eat.” Edited by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, Photographs by Dina Litovsky
Here are 3 more of my faves:
Take in Park Views With Your Kelewele
Teranga / 1280 Fifth Ave.
The trapezoidal windows at Teranga have long afforded patrons panoramic vistas of Central Park North, but the city’s embrace of outdoor dining has made Pierre Thiam’s West African–leaning venue even more appealing than before. Now you can snack on kelewele (spicy roast plantains) right at the edge of the park, overlooking the verdant trees while enjoying a warm summer breeze. On a recent Friday, I sat near a pair of diners, one of them relaxing in a jujitsu T-shirt, as I made quick work of a yassa bowl: tender chicken thighs slathered in saucy golden onions. If indoor dining is still quiet here, you’ll never feel alone in the alfresco area. Folks zoom by on hoverboards and messenger bikes, shaved-ice vendors pour polychromatic syrups into snowy cups, and people flood in and out of the park.—R.P.S.
Eat to the Beat in Hell’s Kitchen
Guantanamera / 939 Eighth Ave.
The conga drums are back. Their steady beats spill out onto Eighth Avenue, where outdoor patrons sip minty mojitos on white tablecloths. Although this Hell’s Kitchen Cuban canteen served porky lechon asado and garlicky cassava throughout the pandemic, what was missing for months was the music — the prickly guitars and folksy Caribbean tunes that have made the restaurant an accessible spot for everyday salsa dancing. Ceiling fans spin overhead near the open-air frontage as waiters ferry crisp Cubano sandwiches and some of the city’s finest vaca frita: shredded skirt steak that’s seared until it achieves the texture of soft jerky. —R.P.S.
Taste the Middle East on the Upper West
Dagon / 2454 Broadway
Airy and sun-drenched, the dining room pulsates with Israeli pop and a steady conversational hum. If you didn’t know better, you would think you’d wandered into some beachside hot spot in Tel Aviv, not a post-pandemic restaurant in the sleepy West 90s. Chef Ari Bokovza’s Levantine-leaning menu looks similar to others across the city. But the familiar mezze and salads take a fun turn with delectable things like shishbarak (Lebanese mushroom-filled dumplings) and kubaneh, the fluffy Yemenite Jewish bread that you pull apart like Parker House rolls. —B.O.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.