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NYC events in December 2016

Plan your month with our NYC events in December 2016 guide featuring The Nutcracker and Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year with the best NYC events in December. This season's highlights include, well, you already know what they are. But you’ll only find out how to get Radio City Christmas Spectacular tickets and where to see The Nutcracker Ballet in NYC here! Looking for something less festive? Check out terrific art shows and Christmas concerts in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2016

Featured NYC events in December 2016

Bryant Park Winter Village

Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (bring your own skates!), but also 128 holiday shops, including a bunch of new kiosks and eateries such as Marty V’s Burger and Super Mac + Cheez. And after you shop and skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. FYI: The vendors are only there until Jan 3, but If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours (open through March 6).

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By: Jennifer Picht

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrates its 88th year of precision dancing and high kicks this holiday season. Along with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker from the New York City Ballet, the Spectacular has become one of NYC’s most hallowed holiday traditions, drawing tourists and locals alike. Unlike The Nutcracker, 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.

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By: Rebecca Fontana

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting

Lost in New York? Every Christmas, thousands of New Yorkers (and tourists) find their way to the bright and brilliant nexus of town, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Whether you’re stopping by the tree for ice-skating, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, or to see the Lighting Ceremony, you’re certain to feel the magic when you witness the wonder of the 78-foot, 10-ton Norway Spruce illuminated in over 45,000 LED lights.

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By: David Goldberg

Christmas in New York

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and by “it” we mean Christmas. New York lights up into a winter wonderland each year with Christmas trees, holiday window displays and Christmas lights. Even the most tourist-averse New Yorkers have to admit that it’s a pretty spectacular sight. Get the most out of the holidays with our guide to the best holiday sales and holiday gift ideas, Christmas movies to watch with the family and plenty of festive things to do including Bryant Park ice skating, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and more.

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By: Tazi Phillips

Hanukkah in New York

Gear up for eight days of celebration! Time to nosh on latkes (and other delicious fried food), which you can sample at the annual latke festival. Or you can say l’chaim and warm up with winter cocktails. Check out our events celebrating the Festival of Lights.

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Holiday windows in New York City

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. In between picking out sweaters and great presents from our holiday gift guide, stop outside Macy’s, Barneys and other classic department stores to take in holiday windows that feature famous cartoonists, iconic New York attractions and more.

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By: Will Sabel Courtney

NYC New Year’s Eve

The pressure is always immense to have a good time on New Year’s Eve—and have a good time you will. Ring in 2016 with an all-night party, a raucous concert, dinner and a show, an open bar with a champagne toast, or a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. You’ll find these celebrations and more with our essential guide to New Year’s Eve in New York. Keep checking back for ticket announcements—we’ll be updating this page with new events from now through December 31.

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Music events in December 2016

The Magnetic Fields

Fifity songs written on 50 instruments celebrating 50 years of life—what more would you expect from the guy whose musical project centers on taking mundane concepts to the extreme? In what feels like the spiritual successor to the monumental 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt's upcoming 50 Song Memoir is another vast conceptual collection of charming yet cuttingly sardonic diddies, which the singer-songwriter will play in its entirety over the course of these two nights.

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Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) , Boerum Hill Friday December 2 2016 - Saturday December 3 2016

Bon Iver

Justin Vernon's ascendancy—from recording the debut Bon Iver album alone in a Wisconsin cabin to meeting up with Kanye West in Hawaii to collaborate on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy—might just be the quintessential indie-rock success story. His new album 22, A Million caught us all unawares, though, with its bizarre witchhouse-esque song titles and unexpected left-turns from folk-pop uplift into stuttering experimental electronics. Songs like "10 d E A T h b R e a s T" see the ex-folkster driving for full-throttle sonic maximalism while retaining his unmistakeable ear for intimate, heartfelt lyricism—or in other words, Yeezus seems to have left quite a mark on Vernon, and we are oh so thankful.

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The Capitol Theatre Friday December 9 2016 - Wednesday December 14 2016

Kacey Musgraves

Young country star Kacey Musgraves mixes a classic, honeyed sound with a subversive lyrical take on the traditionally straightlaced genre. Tonight she plays behind her new holiday album, A Very Kacey Christmas.

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The Town Hall , Midtown West Thursday December 8 2016

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Hipster-soul hometown hero Jones and her Dap-Kings, who’ve developed into quite the smash over the past few years, bring their vintage full-band funk to the stage for a night of shaking and shimmying.

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Kings Theatre , Brooklyn Friday December 9 2016

Parquet Courts + X_____X + Flasher

Brothers Max and Andrew Savage, along with their bandmates, are doing the once-a-generation job of stripping rock & roll back to something tight, primal and brilliant. Tonight the prolific, fruitfully quirky local indie-rock faves play a special year-end multimedia event with X_____X (Craig Bell of Rocket From The Tombs), and Flasher. Also on the menu is a sound installation by Eaters, a gallery of Andrew Savage‘s artwork, films by Joey Pizza Slice, a Dull Toolsrecord shop and other TBA pop-ups.

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Knockdown Center , Queens Saturday December 10 2016

Mac Miller

Hyped young MC Miller's artistry progressed leaps and bounds in the period between his critically-maligned debut and much-improved sophomore effort. The upward mobility seems to have resulted in some lofty artistic ambitions with this year's utterly surprising concept album, The Divine Feminine, a record which forgoes his original subject matters of Nikes, senior skip days and pizza to explicate the nuances of intimacy, distance and the "divine feminine energy of the planet." Okay.

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Terminal 5 , Hell's Kitchen Monday December 12 2016

Young Thug + 21 Savage

Endlessly inventive MC Young Thug is nothing short of high-powered. The Atlanta native exploded in 2014 with the potent, unhinged “Danny Glover” and the sticky, triumphant “Lifestyle” that made more seasoned rappers look old-fashioned. Never one to pronounce a syllable the same way twince, listening to Thugger is like watching someone invent a new language in real time. His newest release, JEFFREY, demonstrates both his endless talent for conjuring earwormy hooks as well as a piercing eye for transgressive fashion. Recent XXL Freshman pick 21 Savage opens.

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Terminal 5 , Hell's Kitchen Sunday December 18 2016


Connoisseurs of primo psychedelic fuzz rawk, everything from Hendrix's Band of Gypsys to contemporary heavyweights such as Clutch, will find sweet release in the molten jams of Earthless. Here the San Diego trio sets out to solidify their reputation for delivering adrenaline-inducing sets that will leave you reverberating all the way home.

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Bowery Ballroom , Lower East Side Tuesday December 13 2016

Something In The Way Festival

Boston indie label Run For Cover Records is taking over Webster Hall for its inaugural festival, and they're bringing some of their favorite bands with them. The line-up includes British rockers Basement, dream pop group Turnover and lo-fi band Elvis Depressedly.

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Webster Hall , Downtown Wednesday December 14 2016


Phans, rejoice! This December, the tireless jam-band vets hit the Garden for another four-night run of New Year's Eve gigs. This will be the Vermont quartet’s tenth time ringing in the holiday at Madison Square Garden and you better believe they'll be ready to bring the party.

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Madison Square Garden , Midtown West Wednesday December 28 2016 - Saturday December 31 2016
See more NYC concerts in December

Recount the best of 2016

The best of 2016

See our essential guide to the best of 2016 including upcoming concerts, movies, restaurant openings and more

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By: Tazi Phillips


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.