High Line 14th Street Passage (Tenth Avenue & West 14th Street)
This open-air group exhibition on the scenic High Line explores the relationship between man and nature, looking at how the boundaries between the natural world and culture are defined, crossed, and obliterated. We liked the circle of colorful creatures swallowing each other, the giant griffin sculpture, and he mysterious silver witch shoes (and the paletas from the La Newyorkina stand at 17th street).
See-saw and play music with your feet in the interactive La Deliciosa Show by Radamés “Juni” Figueroa on 30th Street.
American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street))
See spectacularly complex geometric quilts made exclusively by men using richly dyed wools derived from British military and dress uniforms. The visual virtuosity of the quilts, often incorporating many thousands of pieces no larger than one-inch square, assumes a deeper emotional resonance as we consider them within the matrix of war and its aftermath.
Google @ Flatiron (110 Fifth Avenue)
Explore, play, shop and test drive new Google products. Dance in an immersive Pixel photo studio, explore new worlds in a virtual reality experience and step into a colorful living room and meet Google Home.
David Zwirner (34 East 69th Street)
David Zwirner presents two major concurrent exhibitions of recent work by unique Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. See sixty-six paintings from her iconic My Eternal Soul series, new large-scale flower sculptures, a polka-dotted environment, and two very cool Infinity Mirror Rooms in the Chelsea (525 & 533 West 19th Street) locations, and a selection of new Infinity Nets paintings uptown. Expect lines; go early and/or on weekdays if possible (and get this book to read while you wait).
CandlePower Pop-Up Experience (503 Broadway)
Walk on walls, sit among giant flowers, chill oceanside and more in an interactive, multi-sensory shopping experience from Yankee Candle.
Time Warner Center (10 Columbus Circle)
14-foot stars hanging from the 150-foot tall ceiling light up in an array of colors in time to holiday tunes by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Peek into the festively decorated Williams-Sonoma for free samples of holiday candy and hot apple cider. See cast members of Broadway shows perform on Mondays 5-6 pm.
New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex (Grand Central Terminal)
Watch models of the MTA’s vintage and current trains and subway cars travel deaprt from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole in this small yet charming display full of delightful details. This year’s exhibition showcases Lionel Metro-North, Polar Express, and vintage subway train sets against a cityscape backdrop designed by Brooklyn-based artist Josh Cochran.
Union Square (14th Street & Fourth Avenue)
Browse holly-lined aisles for unique gifts, nibble on sweet and savory treats and sip on cider and cappuccino. Upgrades for this year include new sections like Little Brooklyn and Urbanspace Provisions, a warming station and lounge and live music. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday also visit the city’s flagship farmers’ market and enjoy nature’s seasonal bounty of cheese, baked goods, cider and local produce. Between 3pm – 6 pm throughout the week and 11 am – 7 pm on weekends, make ornaments and other art projects with Children’s Museum of the Arts.
Bryant Park (42nd Street & Fifth Avenue)
Shop at over 100 boutique-style booths offering a wide array of handmade gifts and food – including 5 top-notch chocolatiers. Warm up in the rink-side Danny Meyer restaurant Public Fare or enjoy a selection of games, chess, and art supplies at the second floor Overlook as you watch the ice skating at the city’s only free-admission rink (or skate yourself). After the tree-lighting ceremony on Dec 1, check out the dazzling 50-foot Norway Spruce by the library.
American Museum of Natural History (West 81st Street & Central Park West)
Volunteers begin folding in July to complete the 500 creations in the dazzling annual Origami Holiday Tree. Find feathered dinosaurs, alligator hatchlings, and stunning modern birds among other treasured models. Patient volunteers are on hand to teach visitors of all ages the art of origami folding.
Fifth Avenue (36th to 56th Street)
Swanky store windows on and around Fifth Avenue are especially eye-catching during the holidays. Go early or on weekdays to avoid the tourist crowds. Some highlights, listed north to south:
– Barneys (660 Madison Avenue @ 61st Street)
In “Haas For the Holidays,” designers Simon and Nikolai have created an imaginative universe that offers an interpretation of the Earth through the ages, with some of the Haas’ recurring characters coexisting across eras ranging from the planet’s beginning to the far distant future. Animation and sculpture illustrate four phases of time: Primordial, Utopia, Millennium, and a vision of the future that’s been titled Mushroom Singularity. Trippy, colorful and fun.
–Bloomingdales (59th Street & Lexington Avenue)
Whimsical, circus acts and mannequins sporting dazzling outfits reference the new musical P.T. Barnum biopic “The Greatest Showman.” More than 7,600,000 Swarovski crystals were used to embellish and outfit the costumes and props used in each window.
–Bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth Avenue @ 58th Street)
To New York With Love” honors local cultural insitituions including American Museum of Natural History (Swarovski crystals—encrusted dinosaurs) the New York Philharmonic (red neon signs shaped like trumpets), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Botanical Garden, the New-York Historical Society and UrbanGlass.
– Henri Bendel (712 Fifth Ave @ 56th Street)
Enchanting designs featuring flowers, birds and butterflies created by Lovepop decorate the store’s front and main level, including 30,000 paper butterflies hanging from the ceiling.
–Saks Fifth Avenue (611 5th Avenue @ 49th Street)
See stunning vignettes from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in celebration of the film’s 80th anniversary of the film. Snow White frolics with adorable woodland creatures, the seven dwarfs sing in a crystal cave and the Wicked Queen acts wicket. The 49th and 50th Street windows showcase gorgeous modern interpretations of Snow White’s dress created by four designers (Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa). An extravagant light show on the facade repeats every ten minutes from 5 to 11 pm daily.
–Tiffany (727 Fifth Avenue @ 57th Street)
Wooden drawing figures pose in fun scenarios including literally “fishing” for jewels. Miniature versions of Tiffany’s “starburst” chandelier by Austrian glassmaker Lobmeyr sparkle in each window.
– Lord & Taylor (424 Fifth Avenue between 38th & 39th Streets).
In “The Best and the Brightest,” celebratory two polar bears, a starry NYC skyscape, a vintage circus, a woodland wonderland and Santa are seen through giant snow globes. Sparkling greenery flanks the front entrance.
–Macy’s (West 34th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues)
“The Perfect Gift Brings People Together,” showcases family traditions and preparations with an ornate ice-skating window, sesonal cityscapes and more. A fifteen foot tall Santa perches above the marquee (don’t forget to visit him inside).
Columbus Circle (Central Park West & 59th Street)
Enjoy a hot meal or snack and shop for holiday gifts among booths featuring wooden puzzles, adorable puppets, gingerbread houses and kits, chocolate and savory truffles, handcrafted home accessories, Japanese tacos, handmade jewelry and more at this charming market near the southwest entrance of Central Park. Don’t miss the nutella-stuffed churros. Warm up in nearby Time Warner and watch the jazzy Holiday Under the Stars light show.
Brookfield Place (220 Vesey Street)
650 hanging lanterns create a canopy of rainbow lights in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Visitors send a wish to the lanterns above by touching a wishing station, transforming the installation and spurring a $1 donation from Arts Brookfield to the GRAMMY Foundation® to support its GRAMMY in the Schools® music education programs for high school students. Choreographed light shows, entitled “Snowfall,” “Christmas Tree,” “Ribbons,” “Firecracker,” and “Northern Lights” occur every two hours between 8 am and 10 pm.
ABC Carpet & Home (888 Broadway at 18th Street)
This may be the best-looking Santa in the city. Take a photo amidst ABC Carpet’s gorgeous decorations. The wait sometimes extends out the door, so come early and bundle up. Enjoy a delicious brunch at Jean-Georges’ ABC Kitchen post-photo. Bring your own camera, ideally one that works well in the not-great lightingThrough Dec 17
Saturday 10 am–3 pm
Sunday 11 am–3 pm
Arsenal, Central Park (830 Fifth Avenue (at 64th Street))
Employing an array of uncommon materials, more than 40 participating fine artists, designers, and imaginative individuals create unique and unconventional wreaths. This year’s wreaths draw inspiration from a range of themes ranging from the personal to the universal.
The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52 Street )
Enjoy daily screenings of beloved classic holiday TV programs from the Paley Archive, along with family activities including ornament and puppet making, visits with Santa and free hot cocoa.
Metropolitan Museum Of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street)
Free, museum admission not required.
Families with children ages 18 months–3 years can look, listen, and have fun with gorgeous picture books in the lovely Nolen Library. Fills up in bad weather so come early.
Eloise at the Plaza (Fifth Avenue & Central Park South)
Skidder into the pink Eloise shop to listen to one of Eloise’s many adventures in New York City, Paris, Hollywood, Moscow and more. Free to attend but space is limited, so arrive early to grab the most mahvelous spot. Stay after to explore The Plaza, take a photo with the Eloise portrait or graze throughout The Plaza Food Hall.
Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling (898 St. Nicholas Ave at 155th street)
Storyteller Carletta Joy Walker shares stories of spring in a participatory and lively program.
Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) (2 Columbus Circle)
Led by artists-in-residence, this drop-in, hands-on series lets visitors of all ages test their skills at art making and creative production in various art making processes, techniques and ideas during the museum’s pay-what-you-wish hours.
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