NYC Insider Guide December Events and Activities Calendar

New York City Events December 2021 are filled with magic, dozens of holiday trees, sparkling lights everywhere, store window displays, holiday lights tours, ice skating, shopping, (hopefully) white snow, the smell of roasted chestnuts (which, by the way, smell far better than they taste). We’ve got some amazing holiday shows this year, like the Rockettes, Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before…, The Nutcracker Ballet and more coming soon.

Broadway is Back with most shows already re-opened and the return of Dear Evan Hansen. New Broadway premieres this December include the long-awaited Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman & Sutton Foster, MJ the Musical, Company, starring Patti LuPone & Katrina Lenk.

There is nothing on the planet like New York in December, as the city is breathtaking this time of year. New York City in December can be quite cold and the city is more crowded than usual, but that is the price we pay to experience amazing New York City during the holidays.

Please check sightseeing and holiday hours for Christmas Eve and Day (December 24th and 25th) and New Year’s Eve (December 31st).

Please add your event or business to NYC Insider Guide.

Top NYC December Events

  • Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular
  • Christmas in New York City
  • New York City Holiday Lights Tours
  • New Year’s Eve in New York City
  • Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before…
  • The RIDE Holiday Bus Tour
  • Nutcracker Ballet @ Lincoln Center
  • Music Man Broadway – Hugh Jackman & Sutton Foster
  • NY Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
  • Billy Joel, Andrea Bocelli, Genesis
  • Holiday Tree Lightings: Lincoln Center, Bryant Park, Central Park
  • Holiday Markets in NYC
  • Ice Skating

Back to Top of NYC Events December

Holiday and Christmas Cruise Specials

NYC Insider Best Sellers every Holiday Season!!!! Classic Harbor cruises has some holiday treats just for YOU!!! Their upscale cruise line offers dozens of NYC Holiday Cruises, like Cocoa & Carols, Holiday Jazz, Holiday Brunch, Holiday Wine Tasting, New Year's and many more, all year round.

These cruises SELL OUT QUICKLY, so make sure to head over to: Classic Harbor Holiday Cruises to book your sail around Manhattan.

New York City Holiday Lights Tours

New York City Holiday Lights Tours

New York City during Holiday season is a don’t miss! Get in the festive spirit by taking a Holiday Lights Tour in New York in December. Choose from Bus Tours, Holiday Dining Cruises and Movie & TV Site Holiday tours.

Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$62
View details

Statue & Skyline Holiday Cocoa Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$48
View details

Dyker Heights Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$52
View details

Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$35
View details

NYC Holiday Lights Motorcoach Sightseeing Tour

Price starting at US$55
View details

Sunset & Holiday Cocoa Cruise

Price starting at US$72
View details

See More: December Holiday Tours in New York City

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Riu Plaza Manhattan Times Square

The Hotel Riu Plaza Manhattan Times Square, not to be confused with the Riu Plaza New York Times Square on 46th St, is HUGE with more than 650 rooms with mini-fridges and free Wifi. A huge hotel means super competitive rates at a hotel opening at the (hopefully) end of a pandemic in Times Square – nevermind their sister hotel down the street also has 600+ rooms to fill! Reservations open August 2021 making this hotel a December 2021 steal!

Hotel Riu Plaza Manhattan Times Square

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes 2021

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

On Sale Now: November 5, 2021 - January 2, 2022
Daily @ 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm (some variations)

With up to 5 shows per day on weekends, the Rockettes are a tradition during the NYC Holiday Season for more than 75 years. Don’t miss the signature eye-high kicks, precision choreography and exciting, show-stopping numbers – including one with Santa.

Back to Top of New York City Events December Activities Calendar

Best Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

See the Insider Guide for dozens more Hotels Near Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center runs from 47th - 50th Streets, between 5th and 6th Aves. Download our free neighborhood maps at Midtown East Hotels and Midtown West Hotels

Back to Top of New York City in December

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting 2021

Our best guess is that will be Wednesday, December 1, 2021, as it is almost always the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting 2021

Thursday, Dec 3, 2020 - Jan 11, 2021
Ceremony, 7-9 pm

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting is a highlight of every winter in NYC. The unlit tree arrives in November, and after Black Friday and Thanksgiving, the department stores open their famous window holiday displays.But, it is the week after Thanksgiving that represents the true start of Holiday Season in NYC for many New Yorkers.

Check the full NYC Insider Guide to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Which is the BEST NYC Pass? Download our FREE Guide!

See All: Compare All NYC Passes – Download our FREE side by side Comparison Chart

Save with a New York City Attractions Pass

Want to find the BEST NYC Attractions Pass for your trip? Compare All NYC Passes - Download our FREE side by side Comparison Chart.

Back to Top of New York City in December

Best New Years Eve NYC Hotels

If watching the world’s most famous ball drop at midnight from your own New Year’s Eve NYC Hotel is on your bucket list, then don’t miss your chance to reserve a special NYE package in NYC. Some of our favorites include:

Best New Years Eve NYC Hotels

See More: Best New Years Eve NYC Hotels

Back to Top of New York City December Things to Do 2021

New Year’s Eve in New York City

You have so many options for New Year’s Eve in NYC.

New Year's Eve Times Square VIP Party at Applebees

Dinner Cruises with Fireworks

  • Public view of ball drop in Times Square
  • Private indoor parties around Times Square with view of ball drop
  • Special dinners at thousands of restaurants
  • New Years Eve with the New York Philharmonic

Check out the New Year’s Eve Party Guide.

Back to Top of New York City December Things to Do 2021

Holiday Markets in NYC

Holiday Markets in NYC

Explore the top holiday markets in NYC, sip hot cocoa, ice skate and shop your way through our fantastic holiday bazaars, featuring unique artisan gifts for the whole family. We review Grand Central Holiday Market, Union Square Holiday Market, Shops at Winter Village Bryant Park, flea markets, Holiday Markets Shopping Tours and more.

Cross off your holiday shopping list with our full season Guide to Holiday Markets in NYC

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Free un/mute Contemporary Art Exhibition

un/mute Contemporary Art Exhibition

September 22, 2021 - January 7, 2022
Free Admission, 7 days per week, 10am-6pm
Austrian Cultural Forum New York
11 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

On view at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Undercurrent, un/mute Contemporary Art Exhibition is the culmination of two online residencies launched in 2020 to provide European and NYC-based artists an opportunity for critical exchange and collaboration during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The free exhibition features sculptures, installations, films, drawings, photographs, and performances created by artists who confronted the parameters imposed by the lockdowns and found creative solutions from which we all might learn. More Info: un/mute Contemporary Art Exhibition

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

November 20, 2021 – Jan 23, 2022

A dazzling and detailed replica of Manhattan, made entirely from plants, leaves, seeds and bark. There are at least 14 electric trains running in loops around the city, which showcases more than 175 scaled iconic buildings and structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and the Statue of Liberty. The exhibit is great for both kids and adults, and makes an especially beautiful date night with cocktails on "Bar Car Nights" in December. Located in the Bronx, accessible by Subway and Metro North.

Just like NYC, twinkling lights go on at night with both city and holiday lights. All NYC landmarks and buildings are created entirely from botanical “ingredients” such as, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, poppy pods, pine cones, berries, mushrooms, nuts, bark, leaves twigs and dozens of other plant parts. Humming along between familiar sites such as the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center, large-scale model trains cover a quarter-mile of track to bring life to this traditional holiday landscape. The Holiday Train Show is definitely one of those “not-to-be-missed” and “only in NYC” unique and memory-creating things to do for couples, families and children.

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

NYBG GLOW – An Outdoor Light Experience

New York Botanical Garden GLOW

November 24, 2021–January 22, 2022 (25 Select nights)
5–10 pm

Back for it’s second year, let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden. Discover the beauty of the landmark landscape and historic buildings after dark, breathtakingly illuminated with a newly expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience. Washes of brilliant color, thousands of dazzling LEDs, illuminated plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations reflect the surrounding gardens and collections—creating a spectacle not to be [email protected] NYBG

Located in the Bronx, accessible by Subway and Metro North.

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Fun Things to do in New York in Winter

There are so many winter activities in NYC, making it one of the BEST times to visit NYC. Yes, the weather can be cold and wet, so it is a risk. However, there are two huge payoffs, depending on a pre-or post holidays visit. Wondering what do to in New York in winter? Some of our favorite picks are:

Fun Things to do in New York in Winter

See All: Fun Things to do in New York in Winter

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

NYC Insider Print Map and Guide to Manhattan

NYC Printable Guides - Available for Immediate Download

REALLY??? This is a lifesaver! I’m too ADD-riddled to ever have been able to compile all this info in a useful way. Thanks to these tools, our 3 short days in NYC will be spent just how we want with no time wasted. I really can’t say enough good things. To anyone on the fence about this purchase…it truly is the best $20 you can spend and will probably save you way more than that in time alone.

NYC Insider Printable Guides

Honestly this was the best book I’ve ever purchased and it was worth every single dollar I spent on it!!

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2019

December Broadway Show Picks

Broadway is Back with most shows already re-opened and the return of Dear Evan Hansen. New Broadway premieres this December include the long-awaited Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman & Sutton Foster, MJ the Musical, Company, starring Patti LuPone & Katrina Lenk.

The Music Man on Broadway

The Music Man on Broadway - Starring Hugh Jackman & Sutton Foster. Performances start Dec 20, 2021

The Music Man follows traveling salesman Harold Hill (Jackman) as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys band that he vows to organize, despite the fact that he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. When he soon falls for the town librarian, Marian Paroo (Foster), his plans take an unexpected turn. One of the most cherished musicals ever on Broadway, The Music Man was an instant smash hit in 1957 and went on to win five Tony Awards.

Company Broadway Musical

Company Broadway Musical - Starring Patti LuPone & Katrina Lenk

Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy about life, love and marriage, presents this iconic musical with the lead role of “Bobby” re-imagined for the first time as a woman. At Bobbi’s 35th birthday party all her friends are wondering why isn’t she married? Why can’t she find the right man? Why doesn’t she settle down and have a family? Her friends are driving her mad! Find out how she handles it through Sondheim’s iconic songs – The Ladies Who Lunch, Being Alive and Side by Side. Previews Nov 15th, Opens Dec 9, 2021. Ages 16+

Dear Evan Hansen Broadway Musical

Dear Evan Hansen2017 Tony Award Winner

Resumes December 11, 2021. A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Ages 12+

Diana Broadway Musical

Diana Broadway Musical - Previews November 2, Opens November 17, 2021.

When Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, she instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Leading fiercely with her heart, Princess Diana stood up for her family, her country and herself. She defied expectations, she rocked the royals and she created a legacy that will endure forever. DIANA is the electrifying new musical about a woman who chose to be fearless, and as a result became timeless.

The Lehman Trilogy Broadway Play

The Lehman Trilogy Broadway Play - Sep 25, 2021- Jan 2, 2022

Directed by Academy Award®, Tony® and Golden Globe® winner Sam Mendes, The Lehman Trilogy follows three brothers from their arrival in America in search of a new life, to the collapse of the firm they established, to the resulting financial crisis, the largest in history. The Wall Street Journal says, "You should crawl across broken glass to see it." NYC Insider Guide saw this in London and it was AMAZING! The acting is superb, the characters indelible and the set design totally unique. This is a true New Yorkers play and a must-see.

Full List of Broadway Shows and Discount Broadway Tickets

Buy Great Broadway Tickets Today!

Broadway Shows will resume starting Sept 2021! We have opening dates for Hamilton, Aladdin, Phantom, Six, Diana & Music Man + 20 more shows! Please note the vaccination, mask and healthcare guidelines for your theater.

Top Picks for Broadway Tickets

Note: All of our ticket partners are legitimate, recommended ticket sellers and guaranteed to sell you official NYC Broadway tickets.

Back to Top of NYC Broadway Shows


Back to Top of New York City Events December Activities Calendar

December New York City Concerts and Shows

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

See More: NYC Concerts Shows December

Hotels Near Penn Station, NYC

Staying near Penn Station / Madison Square Garden is a great idea when staying late for the Rangers, Knicks or your favorite concert, arrive or leave early via Amtrak or LIRR or just want to stay in a very affordable area of Manhattan steps from the Empire State Building, Macy's and no more than a 15 minute subway ride anywhere in Manhattan. Some of our top picks near Penn Station include:

Hotels Near Penn Station NYC

See More: Hotels Near Penn Station, NYC

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021

Holiday Shows in NYC

NYC is home to more special holiday shows this season than EVER before! Tickets are selling fast for the Rockettes, Cirque du Soleil 'Twas the Night Before, and The Nutcracker Ballet. Don't miss out - now is the time to score the best seats on the best days.

Back to Top of New York City December Events 2021

Save $$ on New York Concert Tickets

Note: All of our ticket partners are legitimate, official, recommended ticket sellers and guaranteed to sell you official NYC Concert tickets.

Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before…

Cirque du Soleil 'Twas the Night Before...

Dec 9 – 27, 2021

‘Twas the Night Before… is an exhilarating new spin on the beloved Christmas classic as only Cirque du Soleil can imagine. This vibrant acrobatic show about the joy of sharing and friendship promises to spark lasting memories in the hearts of children and adults alike. Expect the unexpected! Find out what really happened before Santa dropped in. A Modern Spin On A Holiday Classic For The Whole Family.

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021

Christmas in New York City

Christmas in New York City

There is nothing like Christmas in New York City. The Rockefeller Tree, Central Park, Bryant Park, Lincoln Center, glamorous store window displays and holiday lights everywhere you look bring the most amazing city and landmarks in the world to a whole new level. You want to make sure to have the best dinner, know which attractions are open and closed and so much more.

Read the full NYC Insider Guide to Christmas in New York City to get the inside scoop and plan your Christmas holiday.

Back to Top of New York City in December

New York City Gift Ideas

There are so many fantastic New York City Gift Ideas that will bring a smile to anyone who lives here, is moving to NYC or is just visiting for a few days. You can treat your loved ones of any age to almost anything in NYC, like foodie gift cards, Broadway gift cards, or a special experience as a gift for someone visiting New York.

New York City Gift Ideas

  • Ticketmaster Gift Card - There is probably no more versatile gift in NYC than a Ticketmaster Gift Card. Broadway, Sports, Concerts and so much more.
  • Classic Harbor Cruise - NYC Boat Cruises are one of my favorite things to do in NYC, with both my lifelong NYC friends and when visitors come to town
  • NYC Foodie and Restaurant Gifts - choose from dozens of food tours, restaurant gift cards, classes.

See All: New York City Gift Ideas

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Ice Skating in NYC

Do you like to see? Or be seen? Ice skating at Rockefeller Center is a chance to be in the spotlight; or perhaps, spot a figure skating star. There’s also lots to do around Rockefeller Center, from fabulous shopping to television studio tours, this can be a great way to spend an afternoon in NYC.

Ice Skating in New York City

Other great skating spots, for those who want a little more ice time and a little less glitz, Lasker and Wollman rinks in Central Park and Winter Village in Bryant Park are great bets. Read more insider tips at our guide to Ice Skating in New York City

Back to Top of New York City Events December

The Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center

The Nutcracker NYC Ballet

Nov 26, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022
Tickets on Sale in September

From the moment the lights dim, you will be transported to a magical place filled with adorable children, marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree that seemingly grows forever, mischievous mice, waltzing snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth.

Photo: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

More Info: Nutcracker Ballet

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

Lincoln Center - Opera, Ballet, NY Philharmonic, Jazz, Broadway

You really haven't been to NYC until you experience THE beating heart of our Arts & Culture scene, Lincoln Center, home to the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, NYC Ballet, Julliard School, Broadway and so much more. See what NYC's (always amazing) classic cultural scene has to offer while you are here.

Lincoln Center NYC

More: Lincoln Center Venue Guide

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021

Jacuzzi Hotels NYC in Room

Jacuzzi Hotels NYC in room offer travelers a wonderful way to relax and connect after a long day of walking around NYC. Our top picks for in room jacuzzi spa tubs include:

Jacuzzi Hotels NYC in Room

See More: Jacuzzi Hotels NYC in Room

Back to Top of New York City December Things to Do 2021

Things To Do in New York in December

Things To Do in New York in December

Don’t let the cold weather fool you! There are lots of great things to do in New York in December. For starters, winter sports abound, whether you like to play, watch, or both. Shopping reaches a fever pitch this month, from crafts and artists’ markets to flea markets to sample sales.

If you want to ice skate, see the most beautiful skyline lit up to a whole new level, head to Radio City Music Hall for the Rockettes, Lincoln Center for the Nutcracker, see the best of Broadway or the beautiful windows of 5th Avenue, don’t miss our insider tips and guide to a great December in NYC.

Back to Top of New York City December Things to Do 2021

Christmas in New York Holiday Season Calendar

Christmas in New York Holiday Season Calendar

Check our day by day guide to the Holiday Season in New York City. Thanksgiving, the Rockettes, Cocoa and Carols Cruises, The Nutcracker Rockefeller Tree, Central Park Christmas Tree and more on our NYC Holiday Events Calendar. Deck the Halls, Light the Menorah and celebrate Christmas in New York with our calendar.

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

NYC December Sports

Winter is a great time to catch one of our 6 professional sports teams in action! The Giants and Jets are heading towards the end of football season. Knicks and Nets basketball is underway, as is the NY Rangers and Islanders hockey season. Make sure to add a NYC Game Day to your NYC vacation – it’s an absolute MUST in NYC!

New York Sports November

Back to Top of New York City Events December 2021 Activities Calendar

The Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters NYC

TBD 2021

Dec 27, 2019; February 17, 2020 MSG
December 29, 2019 @ Nassau Coliseum
Dec 30, 2019; Prudential Center (NJ)
February 16, 2020; Barclays Center

The legendary Harlem Globetrotters are always a blast to watch. This is not ordinary basketball – it is a comedy show and wholesome family fun. Their high-flying blend of basketball action and comedy has thrilled fans of all ages for over 80 years. We loved this show as a kid.

Back to Top of New York City Events December

Walk, Bike, Bus, Blade or Fly Over NYC?

Tourist Attractions Empire State Building

Back to Top of New York City December Events

Giants & Jets MetLife Schedule 2021

New York Giants Tickets

MetLife Stadium will operate at full capacity for the 2021 season!!!!! Ready to see the Giants and catch our newest star recruit, Saquon Barkley? Perhaps you'd rather see football's newest stars on the Jets roster? Either way, there's nothing like a traditional American football game, so head on out to MetLife Stadium, where tickets start at just $40 per game!

NY Giants & Jets Schedule – Home Games December

Back to Top of New York City Events December

Rangers MSG Schedule

New York Rangers Tickets

Get your New York Rangers tickets and schedule to see our NY hockey team live in action at Madison Square Garden. The NY Rangers have made the finals and/or playoffs the last six consecutive seasons. Their games are the easiest sporting events in NYC to attend, right in Midtown Manhattan, a block from the Empire State Building.

NY Rangers Schedule – Home Games December

Back to Top of New York City in December

Knicks MSG Schedule

New York Knicks Tickets

No matter how they are performing, Knicks games are always a blast and there's nothing like an event at MSG. Come join our NY basketball team live in action at Madison Square Garden, "The World’s Most Famous Arena." Go NYC style with cheap seats, fast paced sports action, hot dogs and beer and cheer on the New York Knicks today! As a general rule, with plenty of exceptions, basketball games start at either 7:30pm or 12:00pm, November through April.

NY Knicks Schedule – Home Games December

Back to Top of New York City Events December

Things to Do in NYC by Month

Our Event Calendars show you exactly which events occur by day, but our Things to Do monthly guides highlight seasonal tours, bike rides, best time for boat cruises, when to buy tickets, the biggest sales and all the optimal times to do activities by month. Check out our Monthly Things to do in NYC Guides.

Things to do in NYC by Month

Promote YOUR NYC Event on NYC Insider Guide

NYC Insider Guide consistently ranks on the first page of Google and other search engines for New York City Events. We can get YOU there as well! There is no faster, easier or more cost-effective way for YOUR event to be highlighted in Google’s #1 spot. Learn More: Promote your New York City Event

Promote YOUR Business on NYC Insider Guide

Back to Top of New York City Events 2021 Activities Calendar

Promote YOUR Business on NYC Insider Guide

Help US Help Our site visitors by promoting YOUR NYC business. Have a great NYC restaurant, hotel, store or attraction? Want to offer a coupon to our guests? Want to share your favorite parts of New York City? We want to hear all about it. Learn More: Promote YOUR Business on NYC Insider Guide

Promote YOUR Business on NYC Insider Guide

List free or choose from one of our featured packages. We love to design custom promotions that help both our site visitors and our local NYC businesses. We never do banner advertising. We work WITH you to make the most of your advertising by designing unique programs to maximize our expertise with our site visitors and spending habits.

Back to Top of New York City Events 2021 Activities Calendar