From iconic attractions to hidden gems, multicultural festivals to once-in-a-lifetime concerts, New York City’s celebratory spirit and excitement are palpable during the annual holiday season.
There’s no place like New York City for the holidays. From iconic attractions to hidden gems, multicultural festivals to once-in-a-lifetime concerts, New York City’s celebratory spirit and excitement are palpable during the annual holiday season.
This year, head over to one of the greatest cities in the world to celebrate the holidays with vibrant performances, tours, lightings and more taking place from November into January.
We’ve rounded up some of NYC’s best kept holiday secrets:
1. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 4 | Midtown, Manhattan
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center has been a tradition for more than eight decades. Lighting up Rockefeller Plaza, the tree lighting ceremony features performances and classic Christmas songs. The tree will arrive on November 9, light up on December 4 and be on view through early to mid-January.
2. Lighting of the Largest Menorah in Brooklyn and Lighting of the World's Largest Menorah: Manhattan
December 22 | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; Grand Army Plaza, Manhattan
Both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Grand Army Plazas compete in the race for the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah. The Largest Menorah in Brooklyn has been lit since 1985, and the annual concert to kick off the holiday will be held on December 22.
3. NYC Winter Lantern Festival
November 20–January 12 | Randall Manor, Staten Island
The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is returning for a second year to Staten Island. Sponsored by Empire Outlets and venue partner Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, eight acres will be lit up by more than 50 LED installations, accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dance and art.
4. Hello Panda Festival at Citi Field
Hello Panda Festival at Citi Field
December 6–January 26 | Flushing, Queens
The debut of this international lantern, food and art festival will include 60 global cuisine vendors, arts experiences, live performances and a holiday market.
5. New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
November 23–January 26 | Fordham, the Bronx
Conveniently accessible via the Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal, head to the New York Botanical Garden to be enchanted by model trains zipping through a display of more than 175 NYC landmarks, each re-created with natural materials.
6. 11th Annual Latke Festival at the Brooklyn Museum
December 16 | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
One of New York City’s most unique and delicious holiday tasting events, the Latke Festival is a charity event that celebrates the best and most creative potato pancakes.
7. Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes
November 8–January 5 | Midtown, Manhattan
The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes returns to Radio City Music Hall, dazzling audiences of all ages with incredible costumes, festive songs and synchronized high kicks
8. Holiday Performances at the World Famous Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater, celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2019, hosts holiday events including a Harlem gospel choir performance at Coca-Cola Winter Wonderland on December 14, followed by the Amateur Night Holiday Special. Gospel legends Yolanda Adams and Donald Lawrence headline annual concert Holiday Joy: A Gospel Celebration on December 21. As a grand finale, the annual Kwanzaa Celebration on December 28 features Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and guest performances.
9. NYC Winter Outing
Unmatched value and enchanting experiences, NYC Winter Outing returns for the second year from January 21-February 9, 2020. Combining NYC & Company’s three signature promotional programs: NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week. During the three-week period, select Broadway shows, attractions, museums, tours and performing arts will offer 2-for-1 tickets and nearly 400 restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Additionally, the City’s hotels offer the most attractive rates of the year. Reservations for these winter value programs commence on January 8, 2020.
NEW YORK CITY’S INSIDER TIP: Experience all the iconic seasonal celebrations without the crowds and enjoy saving opportunities as hotel prices drop over the Christmas holiday (Dec. 24-27, 2019) and immediately following New Year’s Eve (Jan 2-5, 2020).