BEST OF NYC

Our Holidays in NYC guide is bursting with festive fun - and there are tons of great, hands-on museum family programs for non-holiday fun.

Take a photo with Santa (and watch out for drunken imposters during SantaCon Saturday), shop at festive markets and food halls, look for lights with our decor map, see a holiday show  Plus ways for all ages to give back.

Also check out any-weather interactive experiencesmust-see exhibits and immersive 3D art.

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Morningside Park Winter Solstice Celebration

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🎄 Enjoy live music, treats and the lighting the tallest living holiday tree in any NYC park at the Morningside Park Winter Celebration.

🎄 Holiday celebrations at El Museo del Barrio's include the adorable Coquí Club program (ages 3-5) and Parrandas with Bombayo.

🎄 Admire the edible displays in Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off and  learn about NYC’s restaurants, street carts Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate and the always entertaining Museum of the City of New York.

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Metropolitan Museum Tree

UPPER EAST SIDE

🎄 Spread holiday cheer and carol at a nursing home, in the same neighborhood as many extravagantly decorated brownstones and a Swarvoski gingerbread house.

🎄 Look for interesting animals and characters at the the Met's Neapolitan Christmas tree & creche.

🎄Join the Guggenheim Second Sunday Family Tour and explore two must-see exhibits - Alex Katz: Gathering with NYC characters in freestanding “cutout” works in  around the iconic spiral and Nick Cave: Forothermore, with elaborate installations and textile works.

🎄 Find monkeys and rainbow balloons among the immersive installations in Louis Vuitton’s 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries.

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UPPER WEST SIDE

🎶 Groove at a musical Afrofuturistic Winter Wonderland with all-ages workshops before the show, then hear more music and multicultural voices  inside kinetic sculpture Your Voices: A Kinetic Sculpture by Es Devlin. Both at Lincoln Center, also home to Big Apple Circus and the iconic George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.

🎶 Experience classical music and ballet in a relaxed, interactive setting at Mozart For Munchkin's Nutcracker & Holiday Favorites.

🎶 Make festive decorations in Living History: 18th-Century Winter Traditions and go on an I Spy scavenger hunt among historic toy trains, figurines, and miniature models in Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection at the New-York Historical Society.

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MIDTOWN

✨ Join engaging MoMA Family Gallery Talks, then head through the fabulous Fifth Ave holiday decor to visit a stylish Santa at Bergdorf's.

✨ Come back Sunday during pedestrian-only Fifth Avenue for All. Enjoy a range of performances, including choirs, drum lines, and a samba group. Use our updated map to find larger-than-life toys.

✨ Stop by Nelson and Zoey’s Christmas Party & Toy Drive at Wonderland Dreams and join Merry Tuba at Rock Center in the afternoon.

✨  Catch kid-friendly holiday shows My First Nutcracker and Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas. More Christmas spirit at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and four floors of holiday screenings, photo-ops and more at Holiday Time in PaleyLand.

✨ Head south for Macy's holiday windows  and (reservation-only) Macy's Santaland or north for Bloomingdales windows and  Bloomingdale's Santaland which is usually less crowded.

✨ Meet Ebenezer Scrooge and see the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol  at the Morgan Libary's Winter Family Fair plus enjoy crafts, live music, gallery exploration and film screenings.

✨ See a traditional Saint Lucia procession at the Scandinavia House Holiday Concert and feast at a Holiday Julebord.

✨ Stop by the festively decorated Langham hotel for complimentary Angelina Paris USA hot chocolate (the best), warm apple cider and Victorian carolers.

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Light on the Cobbles

MEATPACKING/CHELSEA

☃️ Larger-than-life light-up snowmen and other whimsical light displays are back in Meatpacking's Lights on the Cobbles.

☃️ Ride bumper cars on ice & dine on seasonal fare at 80s-themed Bump! at the Standard High Line.

☃️ See a American Ballet Theatre performance at abc carpet & home or a solo ballerina at sparkly Chelsea Market. Traverse immersive digital holiday-themed worlds at Artechouse's new Spectacular Factory: The Holiday Multiverse.

☃️ Meet Santa at an Join Pusteblume International Preschool's Nikolausfeier, Weihnachtsbasar & Posadas

 

☃️ Join art-making at Whitney Museum Open Studio and (free) Rubin Family Sundays.

 Explore kid-friendly exhibits in a Chelsea Gallery crawl plus see a shoe celebration at FIT.

✨ Tour two winter-themed infinity rooms - Winter Lights (with cars) on the High Line and the Wells Fargo Winterscape among the millions of lights at Hudson Yards (where Santa lands next week).

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DOWNTOWN

🎅 Meet Santa at Essex Market and admire a detailed gingerbread village. Plus shop for lots of great food gifts.

🎅 Pose by a rainbow disco tree and shop for unique stocking stuffers at Economy Candy.

🎅 Check out cool LES gallery shows including witty pop-art comics and mysterious white sculptures.

🎅 All ages can join a gift wrapping party for charity.

🎅 Shop in Soho and jump into a ball pit in a shoe store or rainbow sprinkle pool surrounded by pink Christmas trees.

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Luminaires

FIDI/SEAPORT

✨ Skate on the free admission Ice Rink under a Aurora Borealis inspired light installation. Join free family activities on a historic ship and dine like the Golden Girls.

✨ Find more rainbow lights and another waterfront ice rink at Brookfield Place.

✨ Take an immersive 360-degree journey through Monet's Garden or travel to ancient Egypt in cinematic 3D exhibition Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience.

✨ Enjoy sea­son­al activ­i­ties, fes­tive win­ter lights, fire pits and a 5,000-square foot outdoor skat­ing rink at Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage.

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Brooklyn Children's Museum ArtRink

BROOKLYN

🪩 Get creative at a Cooper Hewitt Holiday Window Display Workshop at happening Industry City, festively decorated with disco decor. Join a free Frozen Screening and ice skate with a winter princess.

🪩 Shop artisans at holiday markets including DUMBO x Brooklyn Flea and Art in Dumbo Shop the Studios.

🪩 Internationally-renowned clarinetist Oran Etkin with Brazilian accordionist and pianist Vitor Gonçalves celebrates music and diversity in Timbalooloo Jazz for Kids

🪩 Carol with Mark Morris Dance Group at Ashland Plaza.

🪩 No need to queue at Ticketmaster for Rock And Roll Playhouse: Songs of Taylor Swift -

🪩 Bundle up and celebrate the beauty of nature in winter on an enchanting trail animated by over one million dazzling lights at Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Lightscape.

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QUEENS

✨ Walk through 6 acres of dazzling holiday lights and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, tractors, favorite farm animals at Illuminate the Farm.

  Visit the free Queens Museum nearby to see a stunning miniature cityscape and other interesting exhibits.

 

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BRONX

🚂 Marvel at replicas of NYC landmarks (and model trains) at the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show, then see the garden come alive with colors at night in NYBG Glow.

🚂 Go on an illuminated safari at Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo.

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