New York City Events December

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NYC Insider Guide December Events and Activities Calendar

The New York City Events December Calendar 2018 is 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).

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
  • Nutcracker Ballet
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Musical
  • The RIDE Holiday Bus Tour
  • NY Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
  • Billy Joel, Andrea Bocelli in concert
  • Holiday Tree Lightings: Lincoln Center, Bryant Park, Central Park

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Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2018

Nov 9, 2018Jan 1, 2019
Daily @ 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm (some variations)

With up to 4 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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Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

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$64
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THE RIDE Holiday Edition Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$46
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Holiday Statue & Skyline Sightseeing Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$46
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Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Party VIP

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$469
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Slice of Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$52
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Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$35
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Holiday Lights Double Decker Night Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$55
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NYC Holiday Lights Motorcoach Sightseeing Tour

Price starting at US$55
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Holiday Jazz Cruise

Price starting at US$64
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See More: December Holiday Tours in New York City

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
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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Which is the BEST NYC Pass? Download our FREE Guide!

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

New York CityPASS - 6 Top Attractions

Price starting at US$122
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New York Pass - 1 to 10 Days, 80+ Attractions Included

Price starting at US$42
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ALL Included - Compare New York Pass Options

Price starting at US$20
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FREE Download Comparison Chart

Price starting at US$20
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New York City Go Select Card - Build Your Own NY Pass

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Explorer Pass - Pick the Number of Attractions - Choose Which as You Go

Price starting at US$84
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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

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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.

NYC Insider Print Map and Guide to Manhattan

This guide is incredible! I wish I had found it months ago. I like that it has suggested locations (shopping, restaurants and things to do) in each neighborhood. I can plan out days in each area and have activities, lunch, and maybe even dinner while in that area. Thank you so much – you have done an outstanding job covering everything – all in one reference! - Cindy (November 2017)

NYC Printable Map Guide Book

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.

L-O-V-E this guide! It's well thought out, easy to read and easy to follow with a very sensible layout. I can tell whomever wrote this put a heck of a lot of thought into every section. Thanks so much for this awesome book. This is going to make this our best NYC trip by far. --Brenda, PA

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How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

December 1330, 2018

Enjoy the hilarious tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to NYC to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Discount Tickets: How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

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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

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The Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center

The Nutcracker NYC Ballet
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

November 23December 30, 2018

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. Great seats at

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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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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 at Madison Square Garden

Nov 25, & Dec 27, 2018; Barclays Center
Nov 23 & Dec 27, 2018; MSG
Dec 30, 2018; Prudential Center (NJ)

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!

Network Broadway Play Bryan Cranston

Network Broadway Play - Bryan Cranston, Tony Goldwyn, Tatiana Maslany

Network centers on news anchorman Howard Beale who isn’t pulling in viewers. In what is to be his final broadcast, he unravels live on screen, and as the ratings soar, Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV. Nov 10, 2018 - March, 17 2019

Harry Potter on Broadway

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - 2018 TONY Award Winner Best Play

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father to three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. Previews March 16, Opens April 22, 2018. (Ages 10+).

Frozen Broadway Musical

Frozen on Broadway Tickets

With twice as many songs as the movie, Frozen on Broadway, is the timeless tale sisters, Elsa and Anna, pulled apart by a mysterious secret. As one young woman struggles to find her voice and harness her powers within, the other embarks on an epic adventure to bring her family together once and for all. Both are searching for love. They just don’t know where to find it. Previews Feb 22, 2018, Opens March 22, 2018. (Ages 8+).

The Cher Show Broadway Musical

The Cher Show Broadway Musical

The Cher Show is based on the life of Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman or as her friends call her, Cher! The kid on a tricycle, vowing to be famous. The teenage phenom who crashes by twenty. The glam TV star who quits at the top. The would-be actress with an Oscar. The rock goddess with a hundred million records sold. The legend who’s done it all, still scared to walk on stage. The wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. The woman, looking for love. The ultimate survivor, chasing her dream. They’re all here, dressed to kill, singing their asses off, telling it like it is. And they're all the star of The Cher Show. Previews Nov 1, 2018, Opens Dec 03, 2018.

Head Over Heels Broadway Musical

Head Over Heels Broadway Musical Tickets

Head Over Heels is the bold and fierce new musical comedy celebration of love in all its infinite varieties, told through the story of a royal family that must embark on an extravagant journey to save their beloved kingdom. Set to the iconic music of the 1980's all-female rock band The Go-Go's, it includes the hit songs “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” and many more!

Pretty Woman Broadway Musical

Pretty Woman Broadway Musical

Pretty Woman, the smash-hit 1990 film comedy, comes to the Broadway stage as a new musical. Edward Lewis, a successful businessman asks Vivian Ward, a prostitute with the proverbial heart of gold, to pose as his girlfriend. Things gets complicated and hilarious when this business arrangement turns into a love affair.

Full List of Broadway Shows and Discount Broadway Tickets

Celebrities on Broadway

Network Broadway Play Bryan Cranston

Full List of Broadway Shows


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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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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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Harry Potter A History of Magic

Harry Potter A History of Magic

October 5, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Harry Potter A History of Magic
New York Historical Society
harrypotter.nyhistory.org

Harry Potter: A History of Magic unveils century-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library and New-York Historical Society—with original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archives.

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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
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ALL Included - Compare New York Pass Options

Price starting at US$20
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Empire State Building: Silver Access (86 + 102 for Fee)

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$34
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Gulliver's Gate Exhibit NYC

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$34
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Ocean Odyssey Exhibit Times Square NYC

Bestseller
Price starting at US$40
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One World Observatory: Skip The Line (Priority Reserved)

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$34
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Giants & Jets MetLife Schedule

New York Giants Tickets

Ready to see the Giants star quarterback, Eli Manning, or wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr with a history-making one armed catch? 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!

More Info: NY Giants and NY Jets

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.

More Info: NY Rangers

NY Rangers Schedule – Home Games December

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Knicks MSG Schedule

New York Knicks Tickets

The NY Knicks, in their 70th Season, have a great roster, so come join our NY basketball team live in action at Madison Square Garden, “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

More Info: NY Knicks

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.

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