With winter trickling in, New York City is lighting up. The most magical season of the year is around the corner, so bundle up in your favorite scarf and sweater and don’t miss some of the best events happening in New York City, from holiday celebrations to winter wonderlands!
Holiday CelebrationsRadio City’s Christmas Spectacular
November 5th – January 2nd
1260 Avenue of the Americas
The Radio City Rockettes are back again to help you ring in this holiday season with their famous Christmas Spectacular show. The family-friendly show has become a yearly NYC holiday tradition since starting in 1933.
Union Square Holiday Market
November 18th – December 24th
The Union Square Holiday Market is a must-visit winter destination hosting over 160 local craftsmen, entrepreneurs, and artists. The many vendors include AJS Design Studio, Aliens of Brooklyn, Lina’s Shop, and Ninova. Browse the Union Square Market to find your perfectly unique gifts this holiday season while enjoying this eclectic experience!
Visit the Tree at Rockefeller Center
Through Jan 2nd
The annual Rockefeller Tree lighting (that took place this year on December 1st) dates back to 1931 when a group of Rockefeller Center workers pooled their funds to put up a 20 foot fir pine, then covered it with handmade garlands made by their families. This year’s tree is a 79 foot tall Norway Spruce pine that weighs 12 tons. With over 50,000 multi-colored lights and a magnificent 900 pound crystal star to top off the decoration, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a sight worth seeing, whether you’re a tourist or a New York local.
Dyker Heights Lights
December 1st – January 1st
84th Street between 11th and 12th Avenue
Brooklyn is home to one of the most elaborately decorated neighborhoods at Christmastime, Dyker Heights. Drive or walk down the streets and marvel at the festive sleighs, snowmen, and life-sized Santas while hearing Christmas carols blast from loudspeakers all around the neighborhood.
A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House
December 1st – December 31, Various evening times
Merchant’s House Museum – 29 East 4th Street, Manhattan
Summoners Ensemble Theater brings together their production of A Christmas Carol for the ninth holiday season at the Merchant’s House Museum. Transport yourself back 150 years with the 19th century holiday decoration and flickering candles, and enjoy the captivating performance created from Dickens’ own script.
NYSoM Holiday Mania
December 18th at 2:00pm – 6:00pm
East Harlem Tutorial Program, 2050 Second Ave., Harlem
Join in on the inclusive extravaganza of Holiday Mania! Enjoy Hanukkah activities, jeopardy, and games, visit the Kwanzaa village to spin the Wheel of Kwanzaa, and pay a visit to Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty! Free gifts while supplies last.
Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration
December 26th, 7pm
The annual Kwanzaa Celebration returns to the Apollo theater for an evening of celebration and reflection. Join online to view the Forces of Nature Dance Theater perform music, percussion, and modern and African dance.
Celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa by joining together to support black-owned bars in your neighborhood. The crawl helps to build community and facilitate economic empowerment as thousands of Kwanzaa Crawlers travel from bar-to-bar singing, dancing, and celebrating.
New Year’s Eve Ball Drop at Times Square
January 1st, 2022 12:00am
The most exhilarating event to ring in the new year happens in the heart of NYC in Times Square. Across the globe, the countdown to midnight celebrates the new year, but the annual Times Square Ball Drop joins together over a million spectators with celebrity hosts and performances, making it an unbelievable experience to kick off your year. Vaccinated guests will be permitted to enter for the 2021-2022 new year’s celebration.
5th Avenue Holiday Windows Display
Winter in New York wouldn’t be complete without a stroll down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to enjoy a spectacular 150 year old tradition – the holiday window displays. High end shops including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tiffany & Co. participate in the festive glory, making the street a must-see destination during the holiday season.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Homesick Irish patriots began one of NYC’s greatest traditions in 1792 while celebrating their freedom to be Irish immigrants, and the parade has only grown greater since. Today, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches up 5th Avenue, past the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and is enjoyed and celebrated by hundreds of spectators.
Culture & Festivals
14th Annual Black History Month Celebration
February 23rd 6:00pm – 7:45pm
Harlem School of the Arts – 645 St. Nicholas Avenue
The Harlem Chamber Players present their 14th annual Black History Month celebration. The program features William Grant Still Ennanga for Harp, Strings, and Piano; Nkeiru Okoye We Met at the Symphony for Mezzo-Soprano and String Quartet (World Premiere); and David Baker Through This Vale of Tears for Tenor, Piano, and Strings.
Amateur Night at The Apollo Season Opener
February 16, 7:30 pm
Apollo’s Historic Theater
Amateur Night at The Apollo is one of New York’s most popular live entertainment experiences and attracts talent from around the world. The competition is known to have launched careers of numerous legendary artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Jazmine Sullivan, and Luryn Hill. The event is back again after a two year break to bring together an entirely fresh roster of rising stars. Be a part of the audience to experience the artists and join in on the interactive ultimate decision of who will win the grand prize.
Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
February 12, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Chinatown – starting at Hester Street
Celebrate the colorful and bold Chinese New Year in New York City. Participate in the Lunar New Year parade filled with marching bands, colorful floats, giant dragon dancers, and more. More than 200 restaurants participate in the festival as well and offer visitors their authentic representation of cooking styles in China. Enjoy the tasty food and observe the beautiful costumes as you welcome the Year of the Tiger.
The Austrian Cultural Forum 11 East 52nd Street
September 22nd – January 7th
The Austrian Cultural Forum and Undercurrent present un/mute, an international exhibition of collaborative, mixed media art work by dozens of artists across the globe. The creative project was launched in 2020 to provide a collaboration opportunity for European and NY based artists. Some exhibiting artists include Emily Shanahan (NYC), Nicola Ginzel (Austria), Eren Aksu (Germany), and Aaron Bezzina (Malta).
Whitney Pond Park
7 Community Drive East, Manhasset, NY
Nov 12, 2021 – Jan 9, 2022
Take a short trip out of the city to Long Island for an unforgettable luminous experience. The LuminoCity festival uses lights, color, and imagination to create an immersive experience full of wonder and magic. Filled with towering luminescent sculptures, the LuminoCity mascot, Lumi, will guide you through this festive outdoor winter event!
November 19 –January 9
Explore the beauty of Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and nature in the winter at this enchanting light up experience. The trail will be lit up with over one million lights and feature showstoppers including Fire Garden, Sea of Light, and the Winter Cathedral tunnel along with works by local artists and a festive soundtrack to accompany you along the way.
The Butterfly Conservatory at AMNH
Opens November 20, 2021
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is celebrating the 23rd year of the Butterfly Conservatory. During the cold winter months, this exhibition welcomes visitors into a summer escape with over 500 fluttering butterflies creating a wonderful, exotic experience.
NYBG Glow – An Outdoor Color & Light Experience
November 24th – January 22nd
New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx
Absorb the beauty of the New York Botanical Garden through the illuminated experience of NYBG Glow. Watch landmark buildings and the surrounding garden come to life with whimsical colors and a brilliant light show.
Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
November 6th – March 2022, 9am – Midnight
Considered by Rockefeller Center to be “the tradition that never stops smiling,” ice skating under the lights of the Christmas tree is one of the most spectacular ways to embrace the charm of winter in New York City.
Under the Radar Festival
January 8-19, 2022
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street
Under the Radar Festival is back live in person this January! The festival has presented over 229 companies over the past 17 years and has become a staple of the New York City theater world. One highlight from this year’s festival will be performances by the Devised Theater Working Group. Hosted at the Public Theater, previous artists include Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Gob Squad, Belarus Free Theatre, Guillermo Calderon, and Young Jean Lee.
January 13 – 22
Winter Jazzfest annually celebrates the exciting and forward-thinking contemporary jazz and the history behind it. Taking the crown as NYC’s largest Jazz festival, Winter Jazzfest attracts a diversely unique crowd of deeply engaged music fans from 20 plus countries around the world. Some featured artists expected on this winter’s lineup include Romarna Campbell, Sam Gendel, Samantha Boshnack, and more.
New York Fashion Week
Spring Studios, 50 Varick Street
February 10-13, 2022
Join fashion icons at New York Fashion Week and watch some of your favorite models and designers strut the runway. Grab your tickets now for an experience to remember and get your favorite fashionista outfit ready!
Winter Lantern Festival
November 25 – January 9, 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM
The Winter Lantern Festival celebrates the Chinese tradition of lantern making that dates back generations to the Eastern Han Dynasty. Experienced designers participate in the festival by creating designs and frames for the lanterns, and then LED lights are inserted to complete them and bring them to life. The frames are then covered with traditional silk cloth and detailed painting.
New York Cares Coat Drive
New York Cares understands that warmth has many layers and means more than just a coat. With every $25 donated to the Coat Drive, not only will a brand new coat be delivered to a person in need, but an entire week’s worth of meals as well. Previous years have donated more than two million coats to New Yorkers in need. Help make a difference and make someone’s winter holiday season a little warmer.
Food & Markets
Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
January 29, 2:00pm – 6:00pm (VIP 12:00pm – 6:00pm)
Brooklyn Expo Center
The 12th annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival is ready to get smokin’ in Brooklyn this January to celebrate the southern state of mind. The festival offers everything from beer sipping, bourbon tasting, music, cigars, and tasty barbecue galore!
The Chocolate Expo
March 6, 10:00am – 7:00pm
The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City
Take a short trip outside the city to indulge in your favorite goodies while enjoying entertainment and fun activities at the Chocolate Expo, the official home of chocolate, food, and fun!
Coffee and Tea Festival: NYC
March 12 -13
Brooklyn Expo Center
Taste some of the finest coffees and teas this March at the 15th annual Coffee and Tea Festival. The festival is the perfect venue for coffee and tea lovers to hear from industry pioneers, taste award-winning international and local products, and more!
January 18–February 13
Created in 1992, NYC Restaurant Week is a semiannual highly anticipated celebration of dining around all of New York City. The program invites diners to sample an incredible array of eateries that make up NYC’s unique culinary culture at a discounted price.
Sports & Fitness
NYRR Midnight Run
December 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM
Kick off your new year at the NYRR Midnight Run! As 2021 comes to a close, join the fun and sprint into 2022 at this four mile run that will begin at the stroke of midnight. The course is along the Central Park inner loop starting and ending at the 72nd Street transverse.
Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge
January 1, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Coney Island Polar Bear Club – registration at Stillwell Avenue & the Boardwalk
Join the Coney Island Polar Bear Club in the 119th annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day! The world famous iconic event raises money to support local nonprofits and community organizations including the New York Aquarium, Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island USA, Coney Island History Project, and other local projects that help make a difference in the community. Get your gear ready to participate in this thrilling experience and plunge into your new year by supporting others!
JP Morgan Tournament of Champions
Grand Central Terminal
The JP Morgan Tournament of Champions traces back to the U.S Professional squash tournament in 1930 and was renamed in 1992. It is the oldest annual squash competition in the world. It has taken place in 17 different cities but has been held at Grand Central Terminal since 1999.
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
January 25th – 26th, 7:30pm
Madison Square Garden
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is back at Madison Square Garden for the 146th year for the epic two-night event showcasing exceptional dogs from across the country. Established in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization supporting the sport of dogs and the longest nationally televised live dog show. Tune in live on TV or reserve tickets to watch more than 200 breeds of dogs compete in various categories including Best in Group and Best in Show.
February 5, 2022 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield (Enter at 72nd Street)
The Olympic Regional Development Authority, I Love NY< I Ski NY, and the NYC Parks present Winter Jam at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Winter Jam is a free winter sports festival for New Yorkers of all ages to participate in and enjoy! Partnering with Gore Mountain, there will be a blow up mini mountain of snow in the heart of NYC to create an urban wonderland. Past activities of the festival included snowshoeing, sledding, curling, ice bowling, dodgeball, flag football, puppet making, photo ops, and more!