Days of NYC Holiday Treats
There is no shortage of ways
to welcome the holidays in New York City.
Our editors have put their heads together
and listed their 31 holiday favorites for
the 31 days of December.
Celebrate the season with tickets to the New York City Ballet's presentation of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. For more information about the ballet, including the schedule, history, story, pre- and post-show activities, and to purchase tickets, visit the New York City Ballet's web site.
Don't miss the
chance to see the Rockettes take the
stage for yet another rendition of the Radio
City Christmas Spectacular.
Oh sure, the show is a bit on the
schmaltzy side, but even the venerable New
York Times has expressed admiration for the shows
longevity (it celebrates 76th anniversary
this year) and ongoing appeal. So go
ahead, give in to your softer, more
nostalgic side and enjoy the Spectacular
in all its glitzy extravagance.
The tree at Rockefeller Center, the icon of Christmas in New York City,
will be lit for the first time tonight. Be prepared for
crowds, be prepared for the cold, and
above all, be prepared to ooh and ahh
with the rest of the onlookers. While
you're in the area, don't miss the
skaters at the famous rink below the
tree, and a walk through the
angel-decorated Channel Gardens to the
east of the tree. The tree will be in
place through January 6, 2008. (After
that, it will be recycled -- in the past,
the tree provided almost 3 tons of mulch
which the Boy Scouts of America used at
Make a child's day
by taking him/her to one of the great NYC
toy emporiums: FAO Schwarz (Fifth Ave. at 58th St.) or Toys R Us (in Times Square at 1514 Broadway). Older
kids will enjoy the NBA Store (Fifth Ave. at 52nd St.) and the World of Nintendo (10 Rockefeller Plaza). Know a little
girl who loves dolls? Then don't miss the
insanely popular American Girl Place (Fifth Ave. at 49th St.).
Celebrate New York
City's Dutch heritage by
following the tradition of having
children leave their shoes outside their
bedroom doors tonight, which is the eve
of Saint Nicholas's
Day. If the tots have
been good, will fills their shoes with
chocolates and other candy.
Tonight and each weekend night through Christmas, enjoy the Bronx Zoo Wild Winterland. Note that the zoo's annual nighttime holiday event moved to daytime in order to lighten energy output. This year, the event includes more animals, holiday decor and festive special events.
Celebrate the season tonight at 6:30 at
the Park Avenue Tree
Lighting and Carol Sing when at the touch of a button, tree
lights come ablaze on Park Avenue from 91st St. to the MetLife building in mid-town.
The American Museum of
Natural History joins the holiday spirit with two
19-foot, pine-bough and light-festooned Holiday Barosaurs,
which greet visitors to the museum on the
front steps. Inside the museum, look for Origami Holiday
Tree, which features
mythic creatures such as dragons,
mermaids, unicorns, as well as real
animals like narwhals and peacocks, all
delightfully made out of paper.
There is always
lots of hoopla surrounding the holiday
window displays at NYC department stores
like Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomindale's, Saks Fifth Avenue,
But we find the windows of some specialty
stores, like antique dealer Linda Horn on
the Upper East Side,
just as delightfully whimsical. An added
bonus? There are no crowds or long lines
to impede your viewing pleasure.
Learn about the
toys New York children have enjoyed in
the past by visiting the New York Toy
Stories exhibit at the Museum of the City
of New York.
Tomorrow night you can sing along at New
York City's most popular holiday season
music event: the annual Handel's Messiah
Sing-In at 8 pm at Avery
Fisher Hall, performing
as part of an exciting audience-chorus of
Enjoy the sounds of
the season by listening to the Big Apple Chorus at
the South Street Seaport;: performances are held at 6 pm and 7 pm on
and Sundays, with special performances
scheduled for 3 pm and 4 pm on Christmas
The tradition of
assembling hundreds of tubas for a
concert of Christmas music began in 1974
at Rockefeller Center and continues at 3:30 this afternoon.
Harvey Phillips, who founded TubaChristmas in
the first place, will conduct. If you
haven't experienced this phenomenon yet,
this is the year to try it!
throughout the month of December, the Central Park Zoo hosts a Wild Holiday Party! See
the animals feast on holiday fare: the
polar bears will tear open peanut-buttery
gifts; snow monkeys will un-decorate
edible trees; and red pandas will unwrap bamboo gifts!
We love the
holiday-themed Kaleidoscope Light
Show at Grand Central
Terminal. See the fanciful
play of lights on the walls of the main
concourse. These free shows run every
half hour on the half hour from 11
am - 9 pm, daily.
We love the annual Christmas Tree and
Neapolitan Baroque Crèche exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum
of Art. A vivid
sceneembellished with a profuse
array of diminutive, lifelike attendant
figures and hovering, silk-robed
angelsadorns the candlelit 20
foot-high blue spruce tree.
The atrium at the
Citigroup Center has been transformed
into a gigantic model railroad.
Watch the trains go up and down
mountains, over waterfalls and around
famous NYC landmarks. This will be the last year that Citigroup sponsors this
fabulous multi-scale display.
Get into the
holiday spirit by checking out all the
decorations along Fifth Avenue, including
the giant ribbon around the Cartier store
and the UNICEF Snowflake that hangs above the intersection of
Fifth Avenue and 57th Street
Give yourself a
treat and enjoy a cup of tea and
something sinfully sweet at one of the Sarabeth's restaurants (conveniently located on the
East and West sides, in Chelsea, and on
Central Park South) after a day of
There is still time to see the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden, where set amid evergreens and lights, trains and trolleys zip along a magical scene that features replicas of local landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to the Apollo Theater, made entirely from plant parts like berries, mushrooms, pinecones and twigs.
Join the crowds at
5:30 pm for a special lighting ceremony
of the world's largest Hanukkah Menorah (32 feet high), located at 59th Street
and Fifth Avenue; the celebration continues at the same
time each night of the holiday.
Starting tomorrow night
and running through January 6th, the Empire State
Building celebrates the
holiday season with special red and green tower lighting.
Don't forget to see Santa before he heads back to the North Pole to check on Rudolph and the elves! He'll still be appearing today at department stores like Bloomingdales and Macy's.
Make your Christmas
season extra special by attending a
service at Riverside Church and listening to the wonderful carillon music.
Wondering where to
feast and celebrate Christmas in New York
City? Thankfully, we've already found a list of recommended
brunch spots for you!
What better place
to celebrate Boxing Day, a
traditionally British holiday, than at
that NYC-based bastion of all things
Britannia-related, the restaurant and
shop Tea and Sympathy!
finalized your New Year's Eve plans? See
our Insider tips for suggestions of where to go and what
Learn about the
seven principles of Kwanzaa from noon to
5 pm today at the American Museum of
The Kwanzaa Celebration includes performances of African dance,
spoken word, music and traditional
crafts. The event also features vendors,
visual artists and craftspeople, as well
as representatives from the City's major
If you've been
bustling about outside in the chilly New
York air, we recommend that you warm up
with an Irish coffee -- the Kinsale makes the best in town.
Ice-skating at Rockefeller Center is
world-famous, but we like NYC's other
skating spots, too, including Bryant Park, the new Polar Rink at the American Museum of Natural History, and the two rinks in Central Park - Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink.
When you think of New Year's Eve in
New York City, certainly you think of all
the festivities at
So go ahead, join the millions around the
world who will watch the famous Time
Square ball drop during the countdown to