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:
- Holiday Train Show
- 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 December Events, for all the rest go HERE
“Sure, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree gets all the glory—but there are so many other stunningly decorated trees all over the city!
From the Park to the Palace (hotel, that is), these stops are perfect to add to your route as you explore all the holiday fun in NYC.”
Here are 10 spectacular NYC Christmas trees, and once again Secret NYC does a wonderful job bringing the very best of NYC to our attention.
Check them out regularly, I do.
1. New York Public Library, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library
This year, NYPL’s enormous tree with fake snow dusting and woodsy pinecones — one of the most festive in the city — is said to be featured at the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library on Fifth Ave. Usually it’s at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building across the street. You can still see the festive wreaths on the famous lion statues out front there, and a lot of other holiday decor throughout the building as well!
Address: 455 5th Ave.
2. The Plaza Hotel
The dazzling tree in The Plaza Hotel lobby even has wrapped presents underneath! A stunning crystal chandelier also adds to the photo op, and don’t miss holiday-themed cocktails at Palm Court & an Eloise Pop Up Shop!
Address: 768 5th Ave.
3. Washington Square Park
This gorgeous tree makes the iconic Washington Square Arch even more picturesque. The official lighting for this year will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. TheRob Susman Brass Quartet will lead the group in holiday songs, with songbooks provided, and event Santa will appear (with candy canes!) to lead the lighting countdown. The multi-colored lights on the 45-foot tree will then remain lit from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. every day of the season.
Address: 5 Ave, Waverly Pl., W. 4 St. and Macdougal St.
4. Brookfield Place
This tree is only one of the fabulous holiday features in the downtown Brookfield Place shopping center this season. Don’t miss ice skating and a dazzling canopy of winter lanterns.
Address: 230 Vesey St.
5. Zucotti Park
Zuccotti Park is lined with dazzling trees everywhere that create a glowing display right in FiDi! Truly magical.
Address: At Liberty St. between Broadway & Church St.
6. The Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula Hotel looks just as festive on the outside as it does on the inside! There are multiple Christmas trees decked out with gold ribbon and giant ornaments.Advertisement
Address: 700 5th Ave.
7. Lincoln Center
This tree in Dante’s Park right near the glamorous Lincoln Center brings a bright light to the West Side! Usually it’s lit at the annual Winter’s Eve event, but this year Lincoln Center is hosting smaller neighborhood pop-up events and installations instead. Stay up to date on their website here.
Address: 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, on 62nd Street
8. The Seaport District
The Seaport District’s gigantic tree will go up Thursday, Dec. 2, with a special lighting ceremony and festive night with pop-up markets, hot cocoa and cookies! In general throughout the holiday season it’s the perfect place to see decor, go shopping, and get mulled wine or spiked cider at the Garden Bar.
Address: 19 Fulton St.
Three trees stand tall near the ice rink and they are the perfect addition to the Winter Village already overflowing with Christmas spirit — the official lighting takes place on Monday, Dec. 6! Don’t forget to also catch the holiday market and delicious bites at The Lodge.
Address: Between 5th and 6th Ave., W 40 St. and W 42 St.
10. New York Botanical Garden
Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx
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: