New York events in December

Plan your month with our events calendar featuring the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Justin Timberlake, and The Nutcracker

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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.


Our December highlights

Sleep No More

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  1. McKittrick Hotel 530 W 27th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Thu Sep 11 - Wed Dec 31
More info

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. The Rink at Rockefeller Center 30 Rockefeller Plaza, between 49th and 50th Sts
  2. Sat Oct 11 - Wed Dec 31
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

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

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy, at Washington Ave
  2. Until Wed Dec 31
More info

More 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. The actual lighting takes place at the end of the program; most of the two-hour event is devoted to celebrity performances. Then the 30,000 energy-efficient LEDs covering the massive evergreen are switched on to oohs and aahs. If you’d rather gouge out your eyeballs with the tree’s 9.5-foot-diameter Swarovski-crystal star than brave the crush, there’s plenty of time during the holiday season to view the tree at your leisure.

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

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This big show by jam-jazz champs Medeski Martin & Wood finds the ever-funksome group renewing its acquaintance with soulful guitarist and fellow traveler John Scofield.

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Thu Dec 11
More info

Winter Solstice Celebration

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Having trouble deciding which one of your friends’ apartments will be used to host this year’s solstice bonfire and ritual sacrifice? Avoid all that messy virgin blood, and try a more modern tradition: Paul Winter’s annual concert, returning for its 35th year. You can see a slew of dance and musical guests and the Paul Winter Consort with Winter himself on sax.

  1. Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th St
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Dec 20
More info

Nurse Bettie Burlesque

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Shelly "The Singing Siren" Watson hosts this night of burly-Q action at the intimate Nurse Bettie, which features both nightlife newbies and stars of the Gotham scene.

  1. Nurse Bettie 106 Norfolk St, between Delancey and Rivington Sts, 10002
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Wed Dec 24
More info

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 13 - Sat Dec 27
Buy tickets

Whiplash

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Leo Allen presents top local comics in the newest incarnation of the UCBT’s popular late-night Monday slot.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Mon Sep 15 - Mon Dec 29
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 16 - Tue Dec 30
More info

"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. Emerging in the mid-1980s alongside other artists— such as Jeff Koons—who were furthering Duchamp's Readymade strategy, Gober's efforts were notable for the unabashed manner in which they reintroduced sentiment and poetical feeling into late-20th century aesthetics.

  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. It was arguably the first truly global art movement, and though each participant had an individual agenda, they all pushed forms originally developed in prewar abstraction into radically new directions, often going beyond painting and sculpture to explore installation, performance and other nontraditional methods. In the bargain, their efforts anticipated Minimalism and Conceptual Art.

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

"Death Becomes Her, A Century of Mourning Attire"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Widow's weeds from the Victorian and Edwardian period are given the Costume Institute survey treatment, which charts the evolution of funeral fashion from The Napoleonic Wars to World War I.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Tue Oct 21 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Enter this Guggenheim retrospective of painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924–2001). Gaitonde started as a figurative painter, channeling Indian tradition through modernist templates brought to the subcontinent by the British. By the mid-1960s, his style had evolved into abstraction. After a 1964 Rockefeller fellowship in New York, where he was exposed to the work of Mark Rothko, he began to create vertically formated, all-over compositions ranging from burnt orange to deep green.

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Fri Oct 24 - Wed Dec 31
More info

“Chris Ofili: Night and Day”

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Chris Ofili is still remembered for the Brooklyn Museum's 1999 “Sensation” exhibition and the painting he included: a portrait of the Madonna, adorned with a ball of elephant dung. Of course, Ofili has done so much more than that single painting, as this New Museum retrospective, the artist's first in the U.S., amply demonstrates. On view is the full gamut of the Afro-British artist's career, including paintings, drawings and sculpture, all of them revealing a lush aesthetic that draws on Ofili's African roots and his fascination with pop culture.

  1. New Museum of Contemporary Art 235 Bowery, at Prince St
  2. Wed Oct 29 - Wed Dec 31
More info

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

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

The mercurial Jefferson Mays (Tony winner for I Am My Own Wife) plays multiple members of an aristocratic clan in this new musical by Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman, based on the same novel that inspired Kind Hearts and Coronets. A distant and disinherited member of the D'Ysquith family slays his way to the earldom. Darko Tresnjak directs.

  1. Walter Kerr Theatre 219 W 48th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Until Wed Dec 31
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. Until Wed Dec 31
More info

"Gilded New York"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The phrase more money, more problems would not have sat well with upper-class early-20th-century New Yorkers, who flaunted their wealth in the form of jewelry, furs and elaborate houses. This exhibit, the first in the newly christened Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, displays 100 glamorous costumes, portraits and household objects, including a silver-gilt place setting and an “Electric Light” dress owned by the Vanderbilt family, John D. Rockefeller's luxe toiletry set, and loads of diamond, gold and platinum bling.

  1. Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
  2. Until Wed Dec 31
More info

"Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901–1911"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Besides being one of the first artists to push Modern painting into the realm of pure abstraction, Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) is also the signature artist of the Guggenheim collection, which contains more than 150 of his works. Taking advantage of its trove, the Gugg pulls out its holding of Kandinsky's paintings and woodcuts, spanning the decade before the artist's abstract breakthrough, when he worked in a representational style typical of the Blue Rider group.

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

"The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

MoMA takes viewers back to La Belle Époque in this survey of the graphic art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901), surely one of the best-known and beloved names in art history. All of his iconic images are here, along with the landmarks of late-19th-century Parisian nightlife referenced therein, as well as its habitués onstage and in the audience.

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

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is free and open late. Don’t get too excited—the admission may be gratis, but you’ll have to shell out $19 to rent skates (or BYO). Still, it’s a veritable winter wonderland: 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


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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