The wait is coming to an end. Not only is the holiday season making a comeback, but this year – thanks to vaccines and reminders – New Yorkers can (safely) return to most of their favorite holiday traditions. Most sites require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test from the past 72 hours, as well as a mask, so check protocols first. And read on for an assortment of seasonal deals across town.
Maybe nothing says Christmas in New York like “The Nutcracker” – especially George Balanchine’s version, performed by the New York City Ballet until January 2. Watch the famous one-ton Christmas tree rise from 12 to 41 feet on stage. And âThe Brooklyn Nutcrackerâ arrives at the Kings Theater on December 11; enjoy a fusion of ballet, hip-hop and dance genres from around the world.
Holiday-themed performances are coming to the majestic concert hall this month, starting with “To sing! Irish Christmas“with Keith and Kristyn Getty on December 16. The next day the New York Pops will be joined by Tony Award winner Laura Benanti in their”Back home for the holidays“show. Then, a flurry of takes on Handel’s” Messiah “: the New York Oratorio Society will perform the classic piece on December 20, Sacred music will present its interpretation the next day and the Master choir and orchestra will take its turn on December 23. And on December 27, Russian pianist Katya Grineva will perform a selection of Bach, Tchaikovsky and other greats in “Classic vacations. “
Jack Thorne’s adaptation Charles Dickens’ classic has left Broadway for a nationwide tour, with stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Ghost of Christmas Past still haunts many places in New York City. “A Christmas Carol: The MusicalWill run Off Broadway at the Players Theater until December 30th. At Merchant’s House Museum, Dickens himself (played by John Kevin Jones) will tell his timeless story (as he did in 1867 for a month of sold-out shows in New York City) until December 31. For another theatrical twist on the Victorian era, try “The streets of New YorkâAt the Irish Repertory Theater.
Radio City Rockettes
Like many performances on this list, “The Christmas ShowIs back until January 2 at Radio City Music Hall. Snatching a ticket means joining the roughly 80 million people who have seen the show since its official launch in 1933. Watch the 36 Rockettes on stage kick, tap and spin with synchronized precision in costumes sparkling vacation. And keep an eye out for the streets outside Music Hall – the live camels, sheep and donkeys from the âLiving Nativityâ scene are paraded there early in the morning and late at night.
Four years ago, Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser successfully added New York touches to the British holiday tradition known as the panto with their tumultuous “Jack and the Beanstalk”. The only thing we can predict about the couple’s new panto, “Dick Rivington and the Cat”, at Abrons Arts Center until December 19 is that there will again be audience participation, topical references and pop songs.
Members of Broadway Inspirational Voices may ply their trade on the Great White Way, but artistic director Allen RenÃ© Louis is more likely to guide them through Christmas carols and hymns in âWelcome Home: A Holiday Gospel Concert,â at Symphony space December 6.
A version of “Drag Race” from former Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme’s “The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special” has been available online for a year, but the pair, like the best drag groups, are thriving live. Catch them at the town hall, December 3-4. Meanwhile, showbiz maven Murray Hill single-handedly restores a ba-dum-bump sensibility in “A Murray Little Christmas” at Joe’s pub, December 14-18.
Outdoors in Midtown
The storefronts of Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Macy’s are once again adorned with twinkling Christmas lights and snow-filled storefronts. Highlights include a T. rex carrying a Christmas tree decorated with dinosaur ornaments and an owl teaching reindeer a lesson in how to fly. (For mechanical Santas at home but equally impressive, take a look at the front yard displays in Dike heights, Brooklyn.)
Also take time to admire the 79-foot-tall Norway Spruce at Rockefeller Center, now lit up at least until New Years Eve. Admission to the Rockefeller Center ice rink costs $ 20 to $ 54, with an additional $ 10 skate rental. Bryant Park, the city’s only free-entry ice rink, lets you bring your own skates or rent them on site. In addition, its Winter Village, a European-inspired open-air market, offers local crafts, handicrafts and international gifts.
Light up the menorah
The rivalry continues between what are believed to be the largest Hanukkah menorahs in the world: one at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and one at Grand Army Plaza in Midtown. Both are 32 feet tall, weigh 4,000 pounds of steel, and are lit almost every night until December 6. At the Jewish Museum on December 15. Hanukkah Family Day will feature pop-rock music by Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights, menorah-making tutorials, and vacation stories by Jeff Hopkins.
Nothing will oppose “Kwanzaa: a celebration of regenerationAfter 15 strong years at the Apollo Theater in Harlem – not even Covid. This year, the virtual performance will feature the Forces of Nature Dance Theater, founded by Abdel R. Salaam; stream it live on December 26th or watch it on demand from December 26th through Jan. 3. In person on Brooklyn Children’s Museum will hold its 14th annual Kwanzaa celebration, December 26-30, which will feature art workshops, drum lessons and storytelling sessions.
For the 30th consecutive year New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, toy trains pass miniature models of city landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Yankee Stadium, until Jan.23.ShineThe installation showcases a mile and a half of exterior color and light through January 22. Or explore Brooklyn Botanic Garden“Lightscape” from, until January 9th. There, the Winter Cathedral Tunnel, the Fire Garden and the Sea of ââLight will shine alongside a series of poems by Jacqueline Woodson, written in the light.