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HOLIDAY SHOWS

So many options for festive family show outings. Plus our thorough guide to Nutcrackers for all to find a version of the beloved holiday ballet that's right  for your family.

Short, sweet and interactive experiences to get wee ones in the holiday spirit. High quality and fun for older kids too.

Yeti, Set, Snow!

An original production from the historic, cozy Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre features a young girl who teaches a sweet, snow-hating yeti with a sparkly silver cat the value of snow and friendship. A fun musical with clever staging in a…

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My First Nutcracker

Join Clara and the Prince as they travel to a magical kingdom filled with delicious treats, dancing flowers and a pesky mouse king in this holiday classic reimagined by New York City Children’s Theater for theatergoers ages 3-8. Clara’s narration…

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These shows are splurges but so worth it. Best for kids who can sit sill and quiet for 2 hours (except Radio City, which is 90 minutes a bit more loud and forgiving of squirmers). Buy at the box office to avoid substantial online fees (and get seating advice).

A Christmas Carol on Broadway

Three visionary Tony Award winners — playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), director Matthew Warchus (Matilda) and set and costume designer Rob Howell (The Ferryman) — offer a magical new interpretation of Charles Dickens’ beloved story with…

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George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

The lavish New York City Ballet Nutcracker that started it all in 1954 is a rightly beloved American tradition. The first act is full of action with (actual) children playing at a party, mischievous giant mice battling toy soldiers and…

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The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

This truly spectacular show is great for all ages, even toddlers, with fabulous dancing by the talented Rockettes, dazzling costumes, special effects, camels, sheep and Santa Clause (many, many Santa Clauses in one of our favorite numbers). Includes a 10-minute…

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The Magic Flute

The Met’s English-language, abridged, family-friendly adaptation of Mozart’s sublime and mystical journey returns in Julie Taymor’s fanciful production featuring giant bear puppets, boys flying on dragons and stunning scenery. Plus grand spiral staircases and chandeliers in the lobby. * Entertaining…

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Rock And Roll Playhouse: Motown for Kids Holiday Celebration

Ring in the holidays with Motown songs in an interactive and educational live music experience for families in the super cool Brooklyn Bowl. Features the sounds of Diana, Stevie Gladys, the Temptations, and more. Loud and lots of dancing. Doors…

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Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi

Fabulous fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi narrates Sergei Prokofiev’s charming children’s classic accompanied by Ensemble Signal as a dancing cast costumed and directed by Mizrahi brings the lively tale of animals and instruments to quirky life. Only 30 minutes long plus…

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Matt Heaton’s Holiday Hootenanny

Enjoy a dance-filled, laugh-laced concert for the whole family. With his band the Outside Toys, Boston-based Matt Heaton performs hits from his shiny new album “Snow Day!” with fiddle drenched honky-tonk numbers, retro hi fi guitar stylings, and a rock…

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It’s Holiday Time in PaleyLand

Enjoy continuous screenings of beloved classic holiday TV programs including Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Friends: “The One With the Holiday Armadillo.” Also special family activities like arts and crafts, dreidel games, and free hot cocoa. Play…

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Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

See a special holiday screening of the beloved 1978 special, in which Big Bird deals with a major question (How does Santa fit down the chimney?) and Ernie & Bert face their own gift-giving dilemma. Special guests will be on…

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Holidays at Industry City

Happening, high-design Industry City hosts several free  family-friendly activities. Watch a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol (11:30 am), then meet Buddy the Elf  (12-5 pm). Shop the WantedDesign holiday market, hear holiday a capella (1:30pm – 4:30pm),  ice skate, salsa…

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Elf Movie Screening – With Santa and Karaoke

Join Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) on his journey to find his roots, satisfy his sweet tooth, and bring joy to the world at a screening in a gorgeous old movie palace. Arrive early for a meet and greet with…

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Dance on Screen: Bolshoi Ballet’s The Nutcracker

See Bolshoi’s magical Nutcracker production, recorded in front of a live audience. On Christmas Eve, the mysterious Drosselmeyer brings a Nutcracker doll as a gift for his goddaughter Marie. At midnight, the doll comes to life and finds itself in…

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The Muppet Christmas Carol

Swanky cinema Metrograph screens this 1992 Muppet take on Charles Dickens’s classic tale.  See the most emotionally rich Muppet movie with Michael Caine as a superb Scrooge, Kermit as Bob Cratchit, and a host of fantastic new creations, including the…

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A Golem from Buenos Aires

Argentinean theater artist and playwright Carina Toker picks up where the legendary Jewish folktale The Golem of Prague leaves off and weaves a story of creation, life, and learning.  A hilarious, poetic, and delightful story. Recommended for ages 4 & up

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Pre-Chanukah Concert with Bobby Doowah

Chelsea Shul hosts a high energy concert with favorite Chanukah songs by Bobby Doowah. Get into the holiday spirit with a concert, crafts, food and fun.

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Judy & the Maccabees: A Family Hanukkah Musical

In a delightful family musical that re-imagines the ancient Hanukkah story, Judy is a feisty young girl who leaves her father to help the Maccabees in their fight for religious freedom. Audience members can participate in an interactive Hanukkah musical…

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Hanukkah Family Day

Celebrate the festival of lights as a family at the Jewish Museum. Build a sculptural Hanukkah lamp with funky found objects — a Jewish Museum tradition. Dance to the pop-rock tunes of Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights, sketch Hanukkah lamps…

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Dreidels and Donuts: A Hanukkah Concert

Join an epic jam session with Ramblin’ Dan’s Freewheelin’ 3-piece Band led by Bandleader Sean on Guitar and Andrew and Alex on Keyboards and Drum. Dance to a range of music including  Rock N Roll, Reggae, Funk Hip Hop, Folk…

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Slava’s Snowshow on Broadway

This wistful, mostly language-free theatrical adventure offers a dreamlike vision that overflows with magical dynamism and humorous antics, set within an absurd and surrealistic world. Created and staged by Slava Polunin, considered by many to be one of the world’s…

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42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels

With a brilliant blur of sequined stilts, feathered frocks and flashing circus stripes, the endlessly inventive Cirque Mechanics upends expectations in a dizzying, dazzling array of acts.

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‘Twas the Night Before… by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s spin on the beloved Christmas poem Twas the Night Before… follows a curious girl who’s become jaded by the hoopla surrounding Christmas as she is whisked away to an upside-down, inside-out world to meet acrobatic characters inspired…

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Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid

See Axis Company’s winter show for children, adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. An interactive play with music features Axis’ signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to…

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Breakfast With Santa & ELFPROV

Enjoy a continental breakfast, caroling and photo-ops with Santa and his elves. At 10 am see ELFPROV, an interactive musical comedy.

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Nut/Cracked

The Bang Group’s beloved, witty response to The Nutcracker  takes inspiration from all corners of the dance canon, from tap riffs to en pointe ballet, by way of bubble wrap, disco, and Chinese take-out noodles. Choreographer David Parker finds beauty…

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The Nutcracker & Visit to Santa’s Toyland

A special one-hour Nutcracker designed specifically for school-aged students brings to life Clara’s holiday dream of a mighty battle between a Mouse King and a Nutcracker, a meeting with her very own Sugar Plum Fairy, and a journey to the…

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The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Virtuosic break dancing tells an uplifting, family-friendly story set in the 1980s and today. The music is still mostly Tchaikovsky’s classic score, though some songs are sonically updated with live electric violin. This version of the Nutcracker is much louder than…

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The Knickerbocker Suite

A New York City themed 70-minute Nutcracker features famous landmarks woven into the time-honored tale. Based on the jocular story by artist Elliott Arkin, the first act opens with a satirical animated film narrated by Tony award winner Michael Cerveris…

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Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker

New York Theatre Ballet performs a kid-friendly, one-hour version of the Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday ballet set in Art Nouveau-style circa 1907 with innovative choreography by Keith Michael. Includes clockwork imps, an owl that flies above the audience, mice dressed in…

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Holiday Shows

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Tuesday, January 1

Caffe Storico

January 1, 2019 @ 11:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 10:00 pm
Caffe Storico
170 Central Park West at 77th Street+ Google Map

Feast on antipasti, artisanal pastas and paninis at Caffe Storico, a classy yet kid-friendly eatery within the engaging New-York Historical Society.

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10th Annual Welling Court Mural Project

July 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020

Walk though multiple blocks of 100+ murals by artists from around the corner and around the world, providing new arrays of visual experiences that change how people interact with their environment. Mural map available online.

FREE
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Billy Johnson Playground

October 1, 2019 @ 7:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
Billy Johnson Playground, Central Park
East 67th Street & Fifth Avenue Upper East SIde+ Google Map

This rustic playground hosts an amazing 45-foot granite slide nestled into a rocky hill, bucket and tire swings, and an amphitheater and miniature stone bridge made of natural materials like plants, stone, and wood at a child’s scale.

FREE
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Eataly NYC Downtown

October 1, 2019 @ 7:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 11:00 pm
Eataly NYC Downtown
101 Liberty Street, Floor 3 Lower Manhattan+ Google Map

The downtown outpost of Italian marketplace Eataly is focused on bread, but you can also find delizioso pizza, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, pasta, rotisserie chicken, chocolate, gelato and weekend kids cooking classes.

FREE
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Épicerie Boulud

October 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
Épicerie Boulud
1900 Broadway at West 64th Street Upper West Side+ Google Map

Chef Daniel Boulud's casual outpost is one of our favorite stops before or after Lincoln Center shows. My daughter gets a gourmet hot dog, I have a tasty salad or quiches, my son gets a hearty sandwich, we all end with colorful macarons. Counter service with limited seating; we like to go across the street to Dante Park (which usually has interesting public art) on sunny days - then come back for the artisanal gelato.

FREE
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DeSalvio Playground

October 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
DeSalvio Playground
Spring Sreet &Mulberry Street+ Google Map

This recently upgraded park has cool design, a big includes a big jungle gym with monkey bars atop rubber matting, lots of shaded seating area, a basketball court (with two hoops), checker board tables and sprinklers.

FREE
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Venchi Chocolate and Gelato

October 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 10:30 pm

Find a vast selection of bon bons and bars from historic Italian chocolatier plus gelato in a a variety of chocolate and other delicious flavors. Make it even yummier with creamy base of Suprema chocolate spread or a cone dipped in seasonal sprinkles like granules of Piedmont Hazelnuts, Nougatine, Chocaviar or Raspberry. Some seating in the back surrounded by a chocolate waterfall wall or enjoy it in nearby Union Square.

FREE
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Stick With Me Sweets Bonbons

October 1, 2019 @ 10:30 am - December 31, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
Stick With Me Sweets
202A Mott St Soho/Tribeca/LES

Gorgeous bonbons in an array of colors and artisanal flavors taste as good as they look in this small Nolita chocolate shop.  

FREE
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Cones

October 1, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - December 31, 2020 @ 11:00 pm
Cones
272 Bleecker Street+ Google Map

Argentinean-style small-batch ice cream and sorbet  comes in traditional and adventurous flavors including sweet potato with brie cheese, yerba mate  and the popular sweet corn with cinnamon.

FREE
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Uptown GRANDSCALE Mural Project

November 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020
Harlem Metro-North Station
101 East 125th Street at Park Avenue+ Google Map

Uptown artists transformed three blocks of fencing located adjacent to the 125th Street Metro-North station into a canvas for murals that support and uplift the community.

FREE
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Color Factory Circle Game

November 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020
Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA)
102 Charlton Street Soho/Tribeca/LES

Interact with colorful dots by following painted prompts such as ‘leap up’ and ‘reach for the sun.’ Right outside the Children’s Museum of the Arts, which has a jelly bean dispenser (bring quarters) encouraging more color exploration. Both can be found on the Color Factory’s neighborhood exploration map, availble for free at 251 Spring Street.

FREE
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Dubuffet Sculpture

November 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020
Fosun Plaza
28 Liberty Street Lower Manhattan

An office tower plaza features a dynamic Jean Dubuffet sculpture and a peaceful Noguchi rock garden fountain.

FREE
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Hive

November 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020
Broadway-Lafayette Subway Station
Broadway & Lafayette

Watch rainbow lights dance across hexagonal honeycomb shapes on the ceiling of the Bleecker Street Station in a light installation by Leo Villareal.

FREE
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Mural Outside Fluevog

November 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020
Fluevog New York
250 Mulberry Street Soho/Tribeca/LES

Colorful florals decorate the wall outside a shoe store with fun funky shoes. A poster with a shoe telling us to ‘Choose Love’ might lead to philosophical questions about the emotional ability of footwear.

FREE
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WTC Street Murals

November 1, 2019 - December 31, 2020
World Trade Center
Fulton & Greenwich Lower Manhattan

Street artists from around the world vibrantly transformed the streets surrounding 3 World Trade Center with fun, colorful murals, bringing love and joy to a place of mourning.

FREE
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Vandal Gummy at 4WTC

November 1, 2019 @ 5:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 12:00 pm
4 World Trade Center
150 Greenwich Street Lower Manhattan

Wonder at how a giant gummy bear ended up in a prison mugshot, gripping an identity placard in between his gelatin paws in this lobby installation by WhIsBe.

FREE
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Eataly Chocolate & Gelato

November 1, 2019 @ 6:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
Eataly Flatiron
200 Fifth Avenue at West 24th Street Gramercy/Flatiron

Shop by weight from bins of colorful Venchi bon-bons or pick up some artisanal chocolate made in Italy with raw ingredients in a variety of shapes and textures according to traditional recipes, from smooth spread to crunchy bars to elegant cigars. Or sample some of the best gelato in the city in a range of flavors.

FREE
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Pier 25 Playground

November 1, 2019 @ 7:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
Pier 25
227 West St+ Google Map

The longest pier in Hudson River Park hosts an awesome playground with eight different water features (including some very unpredictable fountains), rock climbing walls, swings, monkey bars, a big sandbox, geodesic-dome-shaped climbing net and more. Also explore a 18-hole miniature golf course, a snack bar, sand volleyball courts, berthing areas for historic ships and a large artificial turf lawn.

FREE
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Levain Bakery UES

November 1, 2019 @ 7:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 8:30 pm
Levain Bakery UES
1484 Third Avenue between 84th and 83rd Streets+ Google Map

Everything is baked on-site throughout the day at the UES outpost of legendary bakery, from an array of rustic breads to the world-famous six-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie. We are constantly debating the merits of these versus the equally giant dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, and the whole wheat walnut raisin rolls are also yummy (and a little healthier). Off-the-menu ice cream sandwich - two three-ounce cookies surrounding vanilla ice cream from Ample Hills - available on occasion, follow…

FREE
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Norma’s

November 1, 2019 @ 7:30 am - December 31, 2020 @ 2:45 pm
Le Parker Meridien
119 West 56th Street Midtown+ Google Map

Availble-all-day breakfast at this nautical-themed kid-friendly hotel lobby restaurant are over-the-top and pricey - there's even a $2000 ' Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata' with caviar. Creative sweet and savory dishes in the $30+ range include Super Cheesy French Toast with caramelized onions and applewood smoked bacon, a 'Waz-Za' waffle with fruit inside and outside and crackly brûlée top, and Artychoked Eggs Benedict with truffle porcini sauce (and an artichoke heart instead of en english muffin).

FREE
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Noglu

November 1, 2019 @ 7:30 am - December 31, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
Noglu
1266 Madison Avenue at East 91st Street+ Google Map

Everything is 100% gluten-free and organic at this cozy French import featuring gourmet meals, pastries and coffee. The menu changes with the seasons  but you can always find classic signature dishes such as burgers (classic or vegetarian) and quiches. First floor is take-away counter service, the second floor is casual sit-down table service.

FREE
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Heavenly Rest Stop

November 1, 2019 @ 7:30 am - December 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

Enjoy excellent pastries, sandwiches, salads and breakfast dishes plus Melbourne-style coffee) nestled among the limestone arches of what was once a side chapel of a 1929 art-deco church, or pick up provisions for a Central Park picnic.

FREE
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Chelsea Waterside Park Play Area

November 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Chelsea Waterside Park Play Area
West 23rd Street & Eleventh Avenue Chelsea/Meatpacking+ Google Map

The newly designed play area features a giant, multi-colored, one-of-a-kind, Robinia wood pipefish plus water features incorporating limestone cattle head sculptures reclaimed from historic meatpacking district business New York Butchers’ Dressed Meat Company.

FREE
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Heckscher Playground

November 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Central Park, Heckscher Playground
Sixth Avenue & Central Park South+ Google Map

Central Park's largest playground features a shaded area with swings and slides, a large, maze-like climber, lots of water features with tunnels, ramps and slides plus giant rocks to climb (and a bathroom). Face painters, musicians and giant bubble makers often congregate at the entrance. Closes at dusk.

FREE
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Chocolat Michel Cluizel

November 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Chocolat Michel Cluizel
199 Madison Ave at East 35th Street+ Google Map

Indulge in world renowned gourmet chocolate in a French-style café. Enjoy baked-on-site French pastries,  freshly brewed specialty coffees and an assortment of chocolate bonbons and bars with a fair-trade focus. Counter service with a small, stylish seating area.

FREE
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