December 2013 events calendar for New York City
Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve events, plus the best free things to do.
Get in the holiday spirit early with our events calendar for December: We’ve got the details on the best Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve events, plus a look at upcoming arts, theater and music events.
RECOMMENDED: New York City events calendar for 2013
Featured events in December 2013
- Critics choice
Since 1907, a sparkly sphere has been lowered in Times Square, and even though the rest of the country has adopted the tradition, New York can still lay proud claim to it. Last year's event boasted performances from Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. At a minute to midnight, the geodesic sphere (11,875 pounds, 12 feet across and covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and 32, 256 LEDs) will begin its 70-foot drop, before confetti is released into the city sky. Arrive by 2pm and be prepared to stay put: The main area (from 42nd Street to 47th Street) is usually packed by 3pm, and the rest fills up before 11pm. There’s also a limited amount of public restrooms in the area, and leaving to grab some food nearby means giving up your spot. Having said that, this is really the best kind of holiday masochism: You haven’t really celebrated until you’ve frozen your ass off and lost your voice screaming while that ball drops above you.
Christmas events in December 2013
The Spectacular has become one of NYC's most hallowed holiday traditions, drawing tourists and locals alike. Unlike the other two, however, there's nothing highbrow about Radio City Music Hall's pageant of glitz. It celebrates classic holiday values—peace! Love! Consumer confidence!—by deploying a flying Santa, a massive LED screen, and the sea of legs known as the Rockettes, all kicking in fabulous unison.
- Radio City Music Hall
Half the fun of holiday shopping in New York is ogling the tricked-out window displays along Fifth Avenue that pop up to coincide with the merriest, spendiest time of the year.
- Various locations
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