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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Photograph: Diane Bondareff / AP Images for Tishman Speyer

NYC events in December 2022

Plan your month with our NYC events in December 2022 guide including holiday markets and festive food.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Shaye Weaver
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Contributor
Shaye Weaver
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Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year with the best NYC events in December 2022. This season's highlights include, well, you already know what they are. You can really get into the spirit when you visit one of New York's many holiday markets boasting great gifts for your friends and family as well as tasty provisions. Looking for something less festive? Check out terrific art shows and pop-up holiday bars.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2022

Check out our Winter Village video

Featured NYC events in December 2022

  • Art
  • Art

GingerBread Lane—the world's largest gingerbread village—is returning to Manhattan and will be on display at Essex Market from Saturday, November 26 through Sunday, January 15.

Artist Jon Lovitch has been working on the detailed gingerbread display all year long. The spectacular display will return to Manhattan after heading outside of the city for two years amid the pandemic. 

  • Art
  • Art

Local bakers transformed gummy bears, Rice Krispies Treats, Hershey's Kisses, M&Ms, PEZ, mini croissants, candy canes and pounds of icing into strikingly realistic gingerbread renderings of New York City neighborhoods, and you can admire their work at the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan this holiday season.

The museum's first Gingerbread NYC: The Great Five Borough Bake-Off runs through Sunday, January 8, 2023.  

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  • Things to do

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree (NYC’s pride and joy) is a beaming and brilliant symbol of the holiday season. Tourists and even native New Yorkers sure do love this Norway spruce. The trees change, but the annual sense of wonder remains the same. 

This year's tree measures in at 82 feet and weighs in at 14 tons! The Norway Spruce came from Queensbury, New York, and was transported to the city via flatbed truck.
  • Things to do
  • City Life

One of the biggest light shows in the country is now at Citi Field and it's truly dazzling.

The Amaze Light Festival by Artistic Holiday Designs features a series of five worlds—the North Pole, Land of Sweets, and a Whimsical Forest. There will also be a blend of live, high-energy performances every two-hours and the country’s largest animated light display with a mega light show every 30-minutes.

Tickets are now on sale at AmazeLightFestival.com

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Just last year, the Trust for Governors Island launched a unique winter village that quickly became a local holiday season must-visit. Unsurprisingly, the setup is back for a second year in a row through February 2023 with expanded public hours for winter-adjacent activities, food and drink options, on-site games, fire pits and a 7,500-square-foot skating rink for visitors of all ages.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Pier 15 at 78 South Street is being transformed into Winter Wonderland at Watermark, a festive destination inspired by The Santa Clauses, the upcoming Disney series based on the popular The Santa Clause films starring Tim Allen. Tickets, which include entry and a complimentary cup of hot cocoa, start at $20 per person and can be purchased right here.

There will be tons to do on-site during the 90-minute-long experience, starting with the chance to quite literally walk through Santa’s house, where you’ll get to sit in the figure’s cozy armchair by the fireplace in his very own living room. Don’t forget to snap some photos, of course.

The experience runs through January 15. 

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  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

The massive bows, angels, nutcrackers, lights and other festive decor that adorns New York City's most famous buildings comes together each year in a warehouse in Westchester County where hundreds of elves (ahem, employees) bring Christmas magic to life.

This year, you can peek inside the 110,000-square-foot warehouse of American Christmas, the company responsible for the beloved holiday decorations at Macy's, the Cartier mansion, Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller Center Channel Gardens and more. Plus, you can buy vintage decorations that once adorned iconic buildings, walk through larger-than-life displays in Santa's Village, explore several Dickens-themed photo opportunities and pose with 50 mesmerizing animatronics. 

See Santa's Village and the rest of the festivities at American Christmas, 30 Warren Place in Mount Vernon, through December 24. Tickets cost $10 during the week and $15 on weekends.  

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Two fun pop-up bars are back for the holiday season to get you into the Christmas spirit with, well, Christmas spirits.

The beloved pop-up Miracle has taken over The Cabinet in Manhattan for Miracle on 9th Street and Thief in Brooklyn for Miracle on Union serving up holiday cocktails until December 31. 

Say cheers to Christmas cheer with drinks like the Christmapolitan, Elfing Around, Snowball Old-Fashioned, Holiday Spiked Chai and Santa’s Little Helper in these bars with over-the-top decor and delightful drinkware. 

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  • Things to do

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. 

Every year, stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Macy's and Bloomingdale's create magical holiday window displays. Tourists aren't the only ones who can enjoy these festive showcases in Herald Square and Fifth Avenue—even for locals, they hold a dreamy nostalgia that only comes once a year.
  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

The Winter Village at Bryant Park has returns in all its holiday glory. On the grounds you can peruse about 60 shopping and food kiosks—all at one of the best NYC parks. Expect loads of handmade, unique and New York City-specific gifts for your family and friends. Work up an appetite at the 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink and then fill up at the rinkside pop-up restaurant called The Lodge Deck for festive cocktails and hearty food.

Don't miss the Small Business Spotlight booth, which features minority-owned business. Featured businesses include The Winsome Apothecary, The Picnic Day, Cocoa Puzzles and Avalah. 

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

The holiday shops at Bryant Park are now open for the season. This season will feature over 160 merchants, including 18 new vendors. Approximately 80% of vendors are minority/female/BIPOC-owned businesses.

Here are the dates for all of Urbanspace’s markets:

  • Things to do

The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights display has definitely earned its stripes as one of the best New York attractions. What’s not to love about all that razzle-dazzle to get you in the Christmas spirit?

The Brooklyn neighborhood is home to the most over-the-top Christmas light decorations with life-sized Santas, sleighs, snowmen and some houses even bump Christmas carols from loudspeakers. Crowds of all ages flock to the Kings County neighborhood to wander down the multiple blocks and avenues.

Also, bus tours are back from A Slice of BrooklynDyker Heights Christmas Lights and more.

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals

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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  • Things to do

The pressure is always immense to have a good time on New Year’s Eve—and have a good time you will. Ring in 2023 with a raucous amount of drinks and a good dinner 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.

  • Art
  • Art

Immerse yourself in the artwork of Frida Kahlo like never before at "Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon," which is now open in Brooklyn with tickets available through January 8. 

Instead of projecting artworks in large scale (like Immersive Klimt, also on view right now), the show is presented without reproductions of Kahlo’s art. Instead, “Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon“ offers an immersive biography of the artist through historical photographs, original films, artistic installations, collector’s items, virtual reality and music. 

Here's what you'll see in the exhibit.

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  • Art
  • Art

Warning: You’re bound to feel hungry after exploring this new exhibit at New-York Historical Society Museum & Library all about Jewish deli culture. Pastrami sandwiches, knishes, bagels, pickles and babka all get their due in “I'll Have What She's Having: The Jewish Deli," a show that's both delightfully fun and deeply meaningful.

The exhibition examines the important role of the Jewish deli through the immigrant experience, during World War II, as a refuge for Holocaust survivors, in pop culture and today. It's on view through April 2, 2023 at the historical society on the Upper West Side.

  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

From amazing costumes to Broadway history to fun photo opps, this long-awaited new museum is a must-see for theater buffs.  

You can expect the new museum to highlight over 500 individual productions from the 1700s all the way to the present. 

Among the standout offerings will also be a special exhibit dubbed "The Making of a Broadway Show," which honors the on- and off-stage community that helps bring plays and musicals to life multiple times a week. 

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  • Museums
  • Fashion and costume

Admire nearly 130 outfits ranging from haute couture pieces to stage costumes, alongside custom accessories, sketches, videos, images by leading fashion photographers, and spectacular installations that mirror the approach of fashion visionary Thierry Mugler.

Brooklyn Museum's Thierry Mugler: Couturissime explores the fascinating, edgy universe of the French designer. Mugler established himself as one of the most daring and innovative designers of the late twentieth century through bold silhouettes and unorthodox techniques and materials, including glass, Plexiglas, vinyl, latex, and chrome.

The exhibition isn't just a visual treat—it also brings in the sense of smell. An expanded section dedicated to fragrance centers on Mugler’s trailblazing scent Angel.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Get nostalgic and ride in a bumper car at The Standard Hotel by the High Line.

The entire redesigned is an ode to 1980s punk culture (think safety pins, “Barbiecore” uniforms and mohawks everywhere), complete with a delicious food and drink menu featuring both comforting classics and more modern offerings.

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  • Art

When you appreciate the greenspaces around NYC, do you ever stop to think about the people who make those spaces so enjoyable? Artist Fanny Allié hopes you do, and her new sculpture exhibition called Shadows brings those park workers to the forefront.

The mixed-media artist created 10 colorful sculptures inspired by the workers who maintain Bella Abzug Park (542 W 36th St.). To create the sculptures, Allié spent time with each person and asked them to pose in a manner that reflected themselves. She captured their poses on film, drew their outlines and translated them into steel silhouettes. Each worker chose their sculpture’s color.

 

The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance commissioned Allié to create the new public art, which will be on view until September 2023. 

  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic

AirOtic Soiree is bringing the heat to Hell's Kitchen with a 21+ cabaret-style performane showcasing incredible aerial acrobatics in a titillating, sensual style. The show takes audiences through an intense story of love, passion, sexuality and eroticism through an immersive circus and cabaret experience including extravagant costumes, seductive choreography and circus artistry. 

During the show, dine on dinner and decadent dessert towers curated by celebrity chef Saul Montiel. Before and after the performance, cocktails will be available for purchase.

See it at HK Hall, a historic venue with striking decor in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, with performances from November 4 through 2023. 

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