December kids' events in New York City

Looking for the best kids' events this December? See our December events calendar for kids to plan your month!

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Photograph: Gene Schiavone Radio City Christmas Spectacular
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December has the most fantastic kids' events ever! And you're the first to hear about them, thanks to our December events calendar for kids. Prepare for the most wonderful time of the year with festive events (Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa) as well as wintry adventures (like these sledding hills and other outdoor activities for kids).

RECOMMENDED: Full kids' events calendar for 2018–2019

Don't miss out on Macy’s Santaland 2018, the Radio City  Christmas Spectacular and our favorite  holiday train shows.

December kids' events

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The Illusionists—Magic of the Holidays (2019)
Photograph: Courtesy the Illusionists
Theater, Circuses & magic

The Illusionists—Magic of the Holidays

icon-location-pin Neil Simon Theatre, Midtown West
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The elaborate traveling magic show returns for its fifth edition in six years. This year's international lineup features American magician Kevin James (a veteran of the production's first Broadway incarnation) along with English mentalist Chris Cox, Korean sleight-of-hand man Hyun Joon Kim, French illusionist Enzo Weyne, British entertainer Paul Dabek, Russian quick-change wizards Sos and Victoria Petrosyan and the Ukrainian troupe Verba Shadow Theatre.

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Ghost of Marley in A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic
Photograph: Courtesy Manuel Harlan
Theater, Drama

A Christmas Carol

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Campbell Scott plays Scrooge in the latest stage version of Charles Dickens's classic yuletide story about a miser forcibly unclenched by visions of his own grinchiness. Matthew Warchus directs this 2017 adaptation by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); the lively production, which has been well-reviewed in two runs at London's Old Vic, includes several visually arresting sequences and a dozen Christmas carols.

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Photograph: Courtesy Jeremy Daniel
Theater, Children's

New Victory Theater's 2019-2020 Season

icon-location-pin New Victory Theater, Midtown West
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The NYC theater scene is gearing up for a kid-friendly lineup. During the 2019-2020 season at the New Victory Theater, families will be able to hang with their favorite picture-book fishes, listen to Aesop's fables and much more. The schedule, which is available on the theater's website, is as follows:   The Pout-Pout Fish: Oct 12–20 for ages 4–7 Aesop's Fables: Nov 1–2 for ages 7 and up  RE:PLAY: Nov 15–Dec 1 for ages 6 and up  42 FT–A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels: Dec 6–Jan 5 for ages 5 and up  Cartography: Jan 10–19 for ages 10 and up Riddle of the Trilobites: Feb 7–23 for ages 6 and up  Drumfolk: Feb 28–Mar 15 for ages 7 and up  Treasure Island: Mar 20–29 for ages 8 and up  Magic Shadows: Apr 3–19 for ages 5 and up  Snow White: Apr 24–May 4 for ages 7 and up  Jabberbabble: May 9–17 for ages 4–7 Fierce 5: May 30–June 14 for ages 9 and up 

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Photograph: Courtesy NYC GO and Off Broadway Week
Theater

Gazillion Bubble Show

icon-location-pin New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen
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Husband and wife duo Fan and Ana Yang have traveled world-wide to dazzle their audiences with their self-titled masterpiece, "bubble artistry." As lights flicker and music plays, prepare to catch some of the wonkiest looking bubbles you've ever encountered. Kids and parents alike will love how these soapy spectacles create a can't-miss experience. Ages 5 and up.

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Frozen
Photo: Courtesy Deen van Meer
Theater, Broadway

Frozen: The Broadway Musical

icon-location-pin St. James Theatre, Midtown West
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For the first time in forever, Disney's "Snow Queen"-inspired movie about sisterly love and a talking snowman is coming to Broadway. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and the whole gang will turn the St. James Theater into a winter wonderland full of songs from the original soundtrack. Expect phenomenal sets and stage-magic, plus a certain Oscar-winning song to get stuck in your head.

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Photograph: Courtesy David Mitchel + Arcadia Earth
Things to do, Exhibitions

Arcadia Earth

icon-location-pin 718 Broadway, Downtown
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This is planet Earth like you've never seen her before. NYC's latest immersive installation—located at 718 Broadway—is photo-worthy for a cause: While venturing through 15 rooms of underwater realms and fictional landscapes, "Arcadia Earth" visitors will be able to participate in virtual and augmented reality offerings while learning how our lifestyle choices will impact the future of our planet. Proceeds from all ticket sales will also directly support Arcadia’s educational and charity partner, Oceanic Global. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances for SPYSCAPE
Museums, Special interest

SPYSCAPE Spy School

icon-location-pin Spyscape, Midtown West
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Think your kid has what it takes to crack the code? Thanks to SPYSCAPE's newly opened Spy School, you'll have a budding FBI agent on your hands. Students in middle school through college are invited to the afternoon program that allows them to make and break WWII codes in themed Encryption mission, detect lies in Deception booths and much more. “We’re thrilled by the success of SPYSCAPE in New York City, and delighted to be able to offer this experience for free to students,” Ian Oldaker, COO of SPYSCAPE New York said in a statement. “We have had a lot of requests for this kind of program and we’re excited about creating new educational offerings as we continue to grow.” Spy School is free with a valid student ID, but attendees t must be accompanied by a paid ticket holder. We'll catch you there...or will we? Middle school–college.   

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Spyscape
Photograph: Courtesy Scott Frances
Museums, Special interest

“DRIVEN: 007 x SPYSCAPE”

icon-location-pin Spyscape, Midtown West
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NYC's museum dedicated to all-things espionage will soon shed some light on 007. The first James Bond exhibit in New York examines the creativity that went into bringing the movies to life. Car aficionados: You'll be pleased to know that Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will on display. There are also many interactive components to the exhibit: You can check out gadgets and gizmos in the Q's lab, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Skyfall finale came to be and so much more. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Alex Vail copyright BBC NHU 2017
Things to do, Film events

"Oceans: Our Blue Planet"

icon-location-pin American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
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Although the spotlight is oftentimes on the dinosaurs, the Museum of Natural History wants to give patrons a chance to experience life under the waves, too, not just on land during prehistoric times. Thanks to the new film, Oceans: Our Blue Planet, musumer-goers can journey with the OceanX research vessel Alucia as it uncovers what's lurking beneath the sea. This film will be shown daily in the Museum’s Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater in 2D at 11:30am and 4:30pm, and in 3D at 10:30am and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm. The schedule is subject to change. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Evan Joseph Images
Things to do

Empire State Building's Reimagined Observatory Experience

icon-location-pin Empire State Building | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West
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NYC's most popular Instagram landmark underwent a renovation that is practically as breathtaking as its views of Manhattan. The $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience at the Empire State Building allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the iconic building: from the moment it was built to its place in pop culture today. Galleries focus on the construction, opening day and everything in between. Catch 70+ screens depicting the building's place in the NYC skyline, see if your favorite celebrity has made a visit and, of course, get a taste of King Kong! Giant ape fingers pierce the wall of a 1930s-themed office. Yikes! All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Courtesy of the National Museum of Mathematics
Museums, Special interest

“Math Unfolded”

icon-location-pin Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), Flatiron
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Photograph: Bruce White
Museums, Military and maritime

"The Last Knight"

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park
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The armor of Emperor Maximilian I, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire until 1519, was made for battle, and for showing off—just look at that lacy metalwork and exquisite details. There are over 180 items are in the exhibit, including the childhood armor of Maximilian's son, the future Philip I, King of Castile: This knight at the museum is sure to get the imaginations of your young ones racing. Mark your calendar for a special family afternoon on Nov 10 from 1pm–4pm that will include story time, a shadow puppet performance by Caroline Borderies and a chance for your young knights to embellish their custom armor. All Ages.

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Photogrpah: Courtsey TA Smith and Puppetworks
Things to do

Puppetworks presents Sleeping Beauty

icon-location-pin Puppetworks, Park Slope
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This Park Slope institution's fall performance is the Charles Perrault version of Sleeping Beauty, written in 1697. The familiar story comes to life when portrayed by a cast of hand-carved wooden marionettes dressed in intricate Medieval costumes. Set to the Tchaikovsky ballet score, it's an elegant telling that will delight your children. Note: bonus performances will be held on the school holidays on Oct 14 and Nov 11. Reservations suggested. Ages 4 and up.

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Photograph courtesy Filip Wolak
Things to do

Family Sundays

icon-location-pin The Rubin Museum of Art, Chelsea
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The museum opens up its doors every Sunday for family-friendly activities revolving around various themes (which switch each month). Not only do little ones get to explore their creativity and learn a bit more about particular topics, but they also can revel in the fact that they can take home their art after a day of working on a masterpiece. In May, the events are focused around the museum's The Power of Intention. After checking out the exhibition, the kiddos can experiment with oils and color to make an expressive original piece. Ages 3 and up.

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Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic
Kids

Story Time at Books Are Magic

icon-location-pin Books Are Magic, Carroll Gardens
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Each Saturday and Sunday, this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a story time. Authors read from their dazzling picture books, that can be incredibly funny, heart-warming, educational or all of the above. Be sure to check out all of the store's unique special events for children and young adult readers, too. Check out the lineup here. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats
Things to do

BAMkids fall programming (2019)

icon-location-pin BAM Rose Cinemas, Fort Greene
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The Brooklyn outpost invites its youngest visitors to get in tune with the arts by way of its BAMkids program, which includes concerts, workshops and movie screenings. Find the 2019–2020 schedule below. Ages 2–11.  Oct 20: Screening of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse at 2pm  Nov 3: Screening of Okko's Inn at 2pm  Nov 9: Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats performances at 10:30am and 2pm  Nov 16: Get Up, Stand Up! Family Workshop at 1pm  Nov 17: Queen of Katwe screening at 2pm  Dec 1: Muppet Christmas Carol screening at 1pm  Dec 7: Raga Kids performances at 10:30am and 2pm 

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Photograph: Courtesy The Jewish Museum, Matthew Carasella/SocialShutterbug.com
Things to do, Concerts

Jewish Museum's Fall 2019 Family Concerts

icon-location-pin The Jewish Museum, Central Park
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To prove that art and music are an unstoppable pair, The Jewish Museum and the the Diller-Quaile Music School will host a six-week program titled "The Sound of Color" for pre-schoolers and families. The program's family concerts are as follows:  The Funky Monkeys: Sept 22 at 11:30am Dan & Claudia Zanes: Oct 20 at 11:30am  Hopalong Andrew Band: Nov 24 at 11:30am Nefesh Mountain: Dec 25 at 11:30am and 2pm 

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Photograph: Courtesy Rita Veisbergs Thompson
Things to do, Performances

New Families, New Traditions

icon-location-pin Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park City
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Kids' musical group Yellow Sneaker will turn to puppet pals to help little event-goers (and their caregivers) embrace Jewish traditions and the importance of family. Note this is a drop-in program from the museum. Ages 4 and under. 

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Things to do, Play spaces

Saturdays Are for Spanish

icon-location-pin Various locations, Hell's Kitchen
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One World Project (302 Vanderbilt St) is looking to bridge the gap between cultures. Come to the Saturday play sessions (for both children and adults) to immerse yourself in the Spanish language by way of outside play, story time, music and other fun activities. Scholarships are available. Register online. Ages 5 and under. 

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