December 2014 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including Christmas activities and our picks from theater, the arts and music

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Soak up the holiday season in the city this December with our pick of New York events. This season's highlights include such trusty favorites as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker. Looking for something less festive? Head to "Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs," MoMA's survey focusing on some of the most compelling works of the painter's life. For those who just want to cut loose, Justin Timberlake hits Barclays Center, and Billy Joel offers his gigantic pop singalong at Madison Square Garden.


Featured events in October 2014

Winter Solstice Celebration

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th St
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Dec 20
More info

Then She Fell

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Arts@Renaissance 2 Kingsland Ave, at Maspeth Ave, ground floor
  2. Tue Sep 23 - Sun Dec 28
More info

"Submerged"

  • Critics choice
  1. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86, Twelfth Ave, at 46th St, 10036
  2. Mon Sep 22 - Fri Jan 1
More info

Elton John and His Band

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Wed Dec 31
Buy tickets

Free events in December 2014

Rockefeller Center Tree-Lighting Ceremony

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Proceedings start at 7pm, but you’ll want to get there as early as you can to secure a spot.

  1. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Rockefeller Plaza, between Fifth and Sixth Aves and 48th and 49th Sts
  2. Wed Dec 3
More info

Danh Vo, We the People

  • Critics choice
  • Free

In this remarkable project, Vo—a Danish artist living in Berlin whose family fled his native Vietnam for Denmark after the fall of Saigon—has created a full-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty, in 250 unassembled pieces.

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Until Fri Dec 5
More info

The Grand Tour

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Grand Central Partnership seeks to educate natives and tourists alike on the idiosyncrasies of the terminal and its surrounding ’hood with this free walk. Meet in the sculpture court at 120 Park Ave and 42nd St.

  1. Grand Central Terminal, Main Concourse 42nd St to 44th St, between Vanderbilt and Lexington Aves
  2. Fri Sep 26 - Fri Dec 26
More info

New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

A firm favorite of families and house parties taking a tactical break from drinking to sober up in the night air, this hootenanny warms up with live music and hot beverages in Grand Army Plaza.

  1. Prospect Park Prospect Park West to Flatbush Ave, between Prospect Park Southwest and Ocean Ave
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

After your skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours.

  1. Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd Sts
  2. Tue Oct 21 - Sun Jan 4
More info

Music events in December 2014

Skinny Puppy + VNV Nation + Haujobb + Youth Code

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Industrial veterans Skinny Puppy have left a mark on many during the last three decades—for both better and worse. Goth-inspired art-pop queen Grimes cites her first time hearing the band as a revelatory experience, but earlier this year, much to the band's dismay, the U.S. government used the SP discography in Guantánamo prison camps to torture inmates. 

  1. Best Buy Theater 1515 Broadway, at 44th St
  2. Tue Dec 2
More info

Cher + Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The omnitalented singer-actor—a star for nearly five decades—returns to the arenas in support of last year's Auto-Tune–drenched dance-pop beltfest Closer to the Truth.

  1. Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza , between 31st and 33rd Sts, 10001
  2. Mon Dec 8 - Mon Dec 15
More info

Justin Timberlake

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra’s swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of peak Michael Jackson, making magic night after night with a crack big band.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Sun Dec 14
Buy tickets

Westgay

  • Price band: 1/4

A cute crowd flocks to this weekly party, presided over by Frankie Sharp along with resident DJs Jonjon Battles and Nita Aviance.

  1. The Westway 75 Clarkson St, between Washington and West Sts
  2. Tue Sep 23 - Tue Dec 30
More info

Release: DJ Disciple and Friends

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Grammy-nominated DJ Disciple, a fixture of the NYC scene for years, takes control of the Lower East Side's intimate Sapphire every Tuesday for a night of house rhythms.

  1. Sapphire 249 Eldridge St, between E Houston and Stanton Sts
  2. Tue Sep 23 - Tue Dec 30
More info

Arts events in December 2014

Naked Boys Singing!

  • Price band: 2/4

Eight reasonably nice-looking men take it all off and vocalize in this collage of cutesy vignettes on gay themes, recently revamped with new jokes and more up-to-date references. Although sex is central to most of the numbers, the goofy nudism has no erotic charge, and when the show tries to be serious, it's hard to watch with a straight face.—Adam Feldman

  1. Kirk Theatre (at Theatre Row) 410 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, second floor
  2. Fri Sep 26 - Sat Dec 27
Buy tickets

"Behind the Screen"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

At the museum’s core exhibit (which was completely updated during renovations), you can put sound effects into film scenes, insert your voice into a part of The Wizard of Oz, or even make a short animated film and e-mail it to yourself. Learn about live video editing in the TV control room, where 14 different camera feeds from a Mets game help illustrate how a director splices the pieces together.

  1. Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106
  2. Wed Sep 24 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

People—women and men alike—can't seem to get enough of high heels, and the higher the heel, the more likely that it will attract attention. That ability to captivate is the driving principle behind this show, which argues that, whatever the sexual connotations of high heels, they are also art objects. 

  1. Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy, at Washington Ave
  2. Wed Sep 24 - Wed Dec 31
More info

iLuminate

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

If this eye-popping hour-long spectacle seems like an extended novelty act from America’s Got Talent, well, it kind of is. Creator Miral Kotb, a former software engineer, and her crew of glow-suited iLuminate dancers came in third place on the sixth season of that reality competition, which is a shame, since their high-tech show would probably play better in Las Vegas than Off Broadway.

  1. New World Stages 340 W 50th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Mon Sep 22 - Sun Jan 4
Buy tickets

Cabaret

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Originally staged in 1966, then brought to a sordid cinematic life in Bob Fosse’s (heavily adapted) 1972 film, the Kander and Ebb classic was revived and reconfigured anew in Roundabout Theatre Company’s triumphant 1998 account. Now that version has returned with its original star: the supreme Alan Cumming as the Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub, a decadent nightclub in Berlin’s Weimar period. 

  1. Studio 54 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Tue Sep 23 - Sun Jan 4
Buy tickets

More events in December 2014

Floating Kabarette

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Galapagos hosts this long-running, crowd-pleasing cabaret night, featuring a rotating cast of amazing artists, including resident dance troupe Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies—expect burlesque, magic, trapeze and much more. After the show, a dance party keeps the fun coming till 1am. Check the venue's website for each week's cast.

  1. Galapagos Art Space 16 Main St, at Water St
  2. Sat Sep 27 - Sat Dec 27
Buy tickets

"Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This is the first U.S. survey ever of the work of Robert Gober, whose sculptures and installations imbue simple, everyday objects (sinks, doors, newspapers, sticks of butter, storm drains) and figurative fragments with an outsized sense of longing and nostalgia. 

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sat Oct 4 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This historical survey, the first of its type in the U.S., takes the measure of the postwar Zero group, which included artists from Europe, Japan, and North and South America.

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Fri Oct 10 - Wed Dec 31
More info

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Since it turns on the niceties of aristocratic succession, why not start the coronation early: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is the new undisputed king of musical comedy. Filled with lunatic sight gags and the wittiest, loveliest show tunes in years, there’s not a weak link in the lively cast, and Darko Tresnjak’s antic, cartoonish staging is ideal. 

  1. Walter Kerr Theatre 219 W 48th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Tue Sep 23 - Wed Dec 31
Buy tickets


Users say

2 comments
jeannie spikes
jeannie spikes

i would like to go to new york city. for christmas.me and my family.. would like to go and have some fun.

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