NYC Insider Guide December Events and Activities Calendar

New York City Events December 2019 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, The Illusionsists on Broadway, A Christmas Carol on Broadway, Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before and The Nutcracker Ballet.

There is nothing on the planet like New York City during the winter holidays. The City is breathtaking at this time of year. It’s also very cold and 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
  • A Christmas Carol, The Illusionists Holiday Show, Nutcracker Ballet
  • Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before
  • The RIDE Holiday Bus Tour
  • NY Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
  • Billy Joel, Cher, Andrea Bocelli
  • Holiday Tree Lightings: Lincoln Center, Bryant Park, Central Park

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Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes 2019

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

Nov 8, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
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.

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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

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Best Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

  • The Jewel facing Rockefeller Center - great value and location. My NY high school classmates stayed here for our reunion
  • Night Hotel - Rated the #1 Sexiest Hotel in America (best for couples)
  • 3 West Club - consistently receives excellent reviews, especially the location and value for the price.

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

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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. Choose from Bus Tours, Holiday Dining Cruises and Movie & TV Site Holiday tours.

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$72
View details

THE RIDE Holiday Edition Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$46
View details

Holiday Statue & Skyline Sightseeing Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$46
View details

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Party VIP

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$469
View details

Slice of 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

Holiday Lights Double Decker Night Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$55
View details

NYC Holiday Lights Motorcoach Sightseeing Tour

Price starting at US$55
View details

Holiday Jazz Cruise

Price starting at US$72
View details

See More: December Holiday Tours in New York City

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Ceremony, 7-9 pm

The unlit tree arrives in November, then Black Friday and Thanksgiving pass, 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

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Holiday Shows in NYC

NYC is home to more special holiday shows this season than EVER before! Tickets are selling fast for the Rockettes, The Illusionsists on Broadway, A Christmas Carol on Broadway, 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.

Holiday Shows in NYC

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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

Get savings coupons and find the best New York City Discount Pass for your NYC vacation. Unbiased reviews of the New York City Sightseeing Passes. Which is the BEST – NY Sightseeing Pass, New York City Explorer Pass, New York Pass or New York CityPASS?

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  • Includes 100 tours and attractions
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Go New York Explorer
New York City Explorer Pass

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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

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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.

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December New York City Concerts and Shows

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

See More: NYC Concerts Shows December – Bob Dylan, Phish, Bad Bunny, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Michael Bolton, Pentatonix, Mariah Carey,

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NYC Airport Guides - LGA, JFK, EWR

Our detailed NYC Airport Guides go in-depth on everything you need to know about each airport. Free shuttles, nearby hotels, Stay & Fly Free Parking, Taxis, Limos, Shuttles, Parking, Cheap Flights and more.

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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

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NYC Insider Print Map and Guide to Manhattan

Download over 100 pages of NYC maps, information and recommendations in less than 5 minutes! Our NYC Insider Printable Map Guide Book, Travel Planner and Bonus Map Guides include organized, easy to follow, color coded guides, detailed maps of every neighborhood, weekly chart of Free Museum Days and Times and free weekly neighborhood tours, Best of NYC Categories and lists by ALL native New Yorkers. Download everything you need to know NYC Like a Pro and make the most of your NYC vacation.

NYC Printable Map Guide Book

The information provided is exactly what we were looking for to be able to plan our trip this year to NYC!! We are over the moon at all the information and maps we received. Our excitement has grown exponentially since we got our info. Thank you for the thoroughness of your guides! Well worth it! - Odette (March 2019)

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Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before…

Cirque du Soleil 'Twas the Night Before...

December 12-29, 2019

‘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.

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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

NYC Uber and UberPool - Save $5 Coupon

For a long time, I was only pro taxi as Uber had so many issues and just congested NYC. However, the launch of uberPOOL has made rides much more affordable as well as better for our roads and the environment.

uberPOOL basically combines rides, so you may go out of your way for a few minutes, but the rides will cost you about 30% less. This is a great option for 1-2 people (any more than that and you'll have to take your own car). Many times, you'll have the whole ride to yourself anyway if they can't find you a match, so you'll save huge $$. Even better, get $5 off your first Uber or uberPOOL using my link or with code uber-nycinsiderguide.

Read More: NYC Limos, Taxis, Shuttles, Car Services

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The Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center

The Nutcracker NYC Ballet
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

November 29, 2019 -January 5, 2020
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.


More Info: Nutcracker Ballet

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Sports New York City Events December

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!

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The Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters NYC

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.

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December Broadway Show Picks

Check out our newest Broadway Shows and top NYC Insider Picks for December!

freestyle love supreme on broadway

freestyle love supreme

Sept 13, 2019 - Jan 12, 2020. Before Hamilton! Before In The Heights! More than 15 years after its inception, Freestyle Love Supreme — the original hip-hop musical phenomenon from Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale — arrives on Broadway. Every performance, the crew takes the crowd on a freestyle, hip-hop, improvisational, never-before-seen comedy ride. Performers take suggestions from the audience and spin them into instantaneous riffs and full-length musical numbers. With spontaneous guest appearances from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, James Monroe Iglehart, and more, every night brings the unexpected.

A Christmas Carol on Broadway

A Christmas Carol on Broadway

November 7, 2019 - January 5, 2020 - A new interpretation of Charles Dickens' classic story about Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge debuts on Broadway this holiday season. The ghosts of the past, present and future visit Scrooge and remind him what is really important in life. Time Out raves, “Five stars. It’s a stunning piece of visual theatre.”

The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays

The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays

November 29, 2019 - January 5, 2020 - The mind-blowing spectacular of 'The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays' on Broadway showcases the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible Illusionists on earth, alongside special guests Light Balance. In 2019, the show stars Dom Chambers and Eric Chien, the multi-talented magic makers known for their appearances on America's Got Talent, along with master entertainers Chris Cox, Paul Dabek, Kevin James, Sos & Victoria Petrosyan and Enzo Weyne.

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Tina Turner didn't just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new hit stage musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race. Previews: Oct 12, 2019, Tickets on sale through September 2020. Ages 14+

Jagged Little Pill Broadway Musical

Jagged Little Pill Broadway Musical

The Healys are a picture-perfect family, but looks can be deceiving. When the cracks beneath the surface begin to show, they must choose between maintaining the status quo or facing harsh truths about themselves, their community, and the world around them. Featuring Alanis Morissette’s iconic songs including “Ironic,” “You Oughta Know,” and “Hand In My Pocket,” plus brand-new songs written for the show. Previews: November 3, 2019

West Side Story Broadway

West Side Story Broadway

"A radical, thrilling new interpretation of this iconic work, with extraordinary dancing, breathtaking vision, and 23 young, brilliantly gifted performers all making their Broadway debuts. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a landmark in musical theater history as if for the very first time." Previews: December 10, 2019. Tickets on sale through June 2020.

Celebrities on Broadway

Plaza Suite Comedy Play

See More: Celebrities on Broadway and List of NYC Broadway Shows

 

Full List of Broadway Shows and Discount Broadway Tickets

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Fun Things to do in New York in Winter

There are so many things to do in New York in Winter, 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. 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

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LuminoCity Festival of Lights

New in 2019, The LuminoCity Festival of Lights is an entire island transformed into a Winter Holiday Wonderland.

LuminoCity Festival of Lights NYC

November 23, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Randall’s Island

In the inaugural year of 2019, LuminoCity proudly presents its signature event LuminoCity Festival, a month-long holiday event with an exhibition of spectacular light art displays, live performances and a celebration of cultures.

Described as an "An Immersive Wonderland of Lights," LuminoCity offers dozens of light displays including, The Winter Fantasy, The Skating Unicorn, Castle in the Clouds, Frosted Forest, Ice Valley, Frozen Field, Themed Nights, Holiday Markets and a lot more!

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New York Christmas Vacation Packages

New York City Events December

Prices on hotels tend to skyrocket during NYC’s busiest time of year! Luckily, we have a fantastic NYC Vacation Company that has scoured the city to bring you the BEST deals and help you enjoy your NYC vacation. December is a great time to
book your all inclusive NYC Vacation Package and save. All New York City Vacation Packages include Hotel, Taxes, Free Attractions and Museums, Discounts,
Maps, Vacation Planning Assistance and more.

Best New York City Vacation Packages in December:

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New Years Eve Cruises and Parties - NYC Insider Guide Exclusive Discounts

Use Promo Code NYCINSIDER for a 10% discount off your choice of New Years Eve fireworks cruises: Fireworks Cruise on Majesty Yacht or Family-Friendly Fireworks Cruise Aboard the Destiny. Treat yourself and loved ones to Open Bar, DJs, Buffet Dinner and of course, front row seats to the NYE fireworks by the Statue of Liberty. Tickets start @ $215. Read More: NYC New Years Eve Cruises

NYC New Years Eve Cruises

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Most Popular New York City Tours and Activities

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: 4-Hour Guided Tour (StatueTour)

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$51
View details

Compare New York Pass Options and Save

Price starting at US$20
View details

Empire State Building: Silver Access (86 + 102 for Fee)

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$34
View details

THE RIDE Bus Tour

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$60
View details

All Access: 911 Memorial Tour, Museum & Observatory

Bestseller
Price starting at US$100
View details

One World Observatory: Skip The Line (Priority Reserved)

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$34
View details

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Giants & Jets MetLife Schedule

New York Giants Tickets

Ready to see the Giants star quarterback, Eli Manning or 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



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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


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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


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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.

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

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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

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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.

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