The Best Way to Spend the Holidays in New York City

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The marathon sprint that is the holiday season is about to begin. From Thanksgiving on, revelers (the overzealous and reluctant alike) prepare for over a month of celebrations. And whether you take your gifts with a side of Santa or prefer your candles in rows of nine, New York City is sure to have something for you, whatever it is you are celebrating. Herewith, SIXTY shares some of its favorite seasonal festivities. We’ll kick things off with Thanksgiving because, well, everyone loves pumpkin pie, right?

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

You haven’t truly rung in Thanksgiving in New York City until you’ve kicked the day off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year marks 93 years of marching towering balloons through the streets, much to the delight of kids of all ages. Pro tip: you can view the parade from the second and third floors of The Shops at Columbus Circle. Get there at 9 a.m. on November 28—when the parade starts and The Shops open—to set up camp. Details here.

10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

Holiday Under the Stars

Speaking of The Shops at Columbus Circle, the mall will play host to a “Holiday Under the Stars” installation, running November 11, 2019 through January 5, 2020. Twelve 14-foot stars have been hung from the ceiling of the Great Room, which faces Central Park. All in all, a sight to see. Details here.

10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

At the time of this writing, New York City is an uncharacteristically “balmy” 61 degrees. The temperature, however, should soon be forced to cooperate with the holidays more near at hand, which means it’s a perfect time to throw on a cap and lace up your skates. For the last 80 years, tourists and locals have been sliding and gliding beneath the golden stare of Paul Manship’s “Prometheus.” Head on over and add yourself to that list. Details here.

45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

Bergdorf Goodman Windows

How many department stores can brag that their window displays have their very own Assouline coffee table book? Not many. But Bergdorf Goodman isn’t just any department store, and, as expected, they take the concept of creative merchandising to a whole new level. This year’s theme is “Bergdorf GoodTimes,” and was designed to evoke “the time-honored spirit of a holiday fête, but with a twist.” The windows are visible to the public from November 21 through the beginning of the new year. Details here.

754 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Even if you think you’ve grown out of toys, there is no denying the marvel that is the Bronx Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show. Built up and around all sorts of flora and fauna, a host of model trains move through recreations of 150 iconic landmarks, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, all rendered in natural materials. Beyond the locomotives, the Botanical Garden will offer a cappella performances, concerts, a poetry reading, and more. The show will be on display from November 23, 2019 to January 26, 2020. Details here.

2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10458

Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza

The menorah at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza claims to be the biggest in the world. That means these candles burn big and bright. Every night of Hanukkah (December 22 through December 29) promises to celebrate with live music, hot latkes, and presents for the little ones. Details here.

Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at NYCB

From November 29 through January 5, the New York City Ballet puts on this classic sugar-coated staple. Sit back and soak up Tchaikovsky’s score while the prima ballerinas leap through scenes of a most fantastical journey. If you haven’t seen it already, The Nutcracker is a holiday must. Details here.

Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

Concerts at Carnegie Hall

For those looking for something a little more cultured than another listening of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” head to Carnegie Hall this December for more highbrow fare. On December 2, catch The Holiday Music of Mark Hayes and Pepper Choplin, and, on December 8, the Vienna Boys Choir will raise their voices to the roof of New York City’s most beautiful stage. Details here.

881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Photo courtesy of Johnell Pannell



Curated by the SIXTY Collective, our unconventional dossier of what is happening in arts and entertainment, dining and nightlife, literature and pop culture, music and video, as well as travel and other leisurely pursuits.