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NYC events in December 2019

Plan your month with our NYC events in December 2019 guide including holiday markets and shows like The Nutcracker

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2013
Photograph: Filip Wolak
By Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors |
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Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year with the best NYC events in December 2019. 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! 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 concerts.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2019

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Featured NYC events in December 2019

Viator
Things to do

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

Dyker Heights residents take the holidays very seriously: The houses in this nabe are decked out with thousands of lights, life-size toy soldiers, inflatable Santas and more. Take in all the best displays on this 3.5-hour bus tour.

Photograph: Ieva Sireikyte
Things to do, Markets and fairs

BUST Holiday Craftacular

In a city dominated by holiday markets, leave the tastemakers of BUST magazine to curate one of the best craft fairs of the season, with DIY gifts and custom cocktails, plus classes and workshops like "Incense Making 101" and "Meditation Through Movement and Hooping." 

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Things to do, Festivals

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.

Things to do

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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Bryant Park Winter Village
Photograph: Courtesy Angelito Jusay
Things to do, Markets and fairs

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 more than 120 holiday shops, including a bunch of new kiosks and eateries. And after you shop and skate, you can warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. FYI: The vendors are only there until the first week of January, but If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours (open through the beginning of March).

Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall
Photograph: MSG Entertainment
Things to do

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrates its 89th 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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Photograph: Filip Wolak
Things to do

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 Norway Spruce illuminated with more than 45,000 LED lights.

Things to do

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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Things to do

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 2019 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.

Find out what's happening in January

Music events in December 2019

Jack Bridgland
Things to do

SG Lewis (DJ set)

The U.K. singer-songwriter behind the atmospheric dance hits “Better” and “Throwaway” (both featuring Clairo) and “Hurting” (with AlunaGeorge) is bringing his groovy basslines to the decks at this beloved, intimate Brooklyn dance hall.

Courtesy Matt Robertson
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

PJ Morton

Last February, this New Orleans–bred keyboardist headlined the Super Bowl with his fellow Maroon 5 bandmates and took home his first-ever Grammy. But his illustrious solo act is flourishing, too. Catch him touring songs off his sixth, rather personal album, Paul. Lucky you if he also sings his award-winning R&B rendition of the Bee Gees’ hit “How Deep Is Your Love.”

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Insane Clown Posse
Photograph: Courtesy of Psychopathic Records
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Insane Clown Posse

While incels have attempted to co-opt the figure of the clown a la Todd Phillips' Joker for their violent misogynistic machinations, ICP perhaps offers a redemptive rewrite. Known for burning Confederate flags onstage and penning lyrics about attacking Klansmen, could ICP represent the anti-oppressive clown revolutionary Gotham City deserves? The band's veritable army of Faygo-guzzling, clown-makeup-wearing fans would probably say, "yes." What better way to decide for yourself than experiencing the band first-hand on a cruise ship?

Gilles O'Kane
Music, Punk and metal

Wavves

This San Diego-based pop-punk band is known to make a lot of noise, epic noise: Think grimey-riffs and anthemic, sugary choruses. If you can’t stop by the boys New Years Eve shindig at Baby’s All Right this year, you have another chance. A second gig was just announced at the Dance the night before. Get there, grab a beer and don’t get shy when you find yourself in the middle of a feverish mosh pit.

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Courtesy Nervous Records
Music, Dance and electronic

Anfisa Letyago

This Siberian-born producer just emerged from the Italian techno scene, and already her tracks are on dance floors around the world. The megatalent has earned support from prolific fellow DJs like Adam Beyer, Radio Slave and Pan-Pot who mix her tunes in their own sets, and now she’s making her big U.S. debut. Throw shapes all night long to tracks, such as “You Got to Work,” off her Hypnotic EP, released on Carl Cox’s own label, Intec.

Luis Nieto Dickens
Music, Jazz

Roy Ayers

It’s not every day that you can see a 78-years-young jazz-funk icon play the heck out of a vibraphone. Often labeled “The Godfather of Neo Soul,” Ayers is a key figure in the acid-jazz movement and one of the most sampled artists in hip-hop—you might not even realize you already love his work. Here’s hoping you can catch some of his celebrated compositions like “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” “Searchin” and “Running Away.”

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Music, Rock and indie

Citizen Cope

Known for serenading audiences with his nostalgia-inducing catalogue of soulful rock arrangements, singer-songwriter Clarence Greenwood is back in the public eye and heading to this movie theater–turned–performing-arts venue. Catch tunes from his latest album, Heroin and Helicopters, his first released in six years.

Cloud Nothings
Photograph: Pooneh Ghana
Music

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings play the sort of scruffy fuzz-pop you've heard a million times, but thanks to the vocal pathos and songwriting smarts of frontman Dylan Baldi and the wiry muscle of bassist TJ Duke and drummer Jayson Gerycz, this Cleveland crew achieves a rare resonance. If ringing in the New Year with a weary-yet-raging dose of nihilism sounds like your cup of tea, this is your NYE show.

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Le Poisson Rouge, The Freedom Party
Photograph: Courtesy Joonbug.com
Music, Rock and indie

Thurston Moore Group

Sure, we're still bummed about the demise of Sonic Youth—and let's face it, Kim Gordon and Moore's sad, sordid split—but both artists have been doing great work on their own, releasing new albums this year within a month of one another: Gordon with her upcoming No Home Record, and Moore with his new Spirit Counsel. Like much of the lanky frontman's recent solo output, the album plays like a suppler yet no less spellbinding Sonic Youth.

Bad Bunny
Photograph: Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Bad Bunny

Along with injecting an unexpected dose of retro Latin flavor to rap radio, Cardi B’s “I Like It”, also introduced American audiences to this Puerto Rican reggaeton phenom last year. But Bad Bunny's oeuvre of mega-hits extends far beyond that. Check out the Drake-featuring "MIA" or this year's fresh new banger "Callaita" for another taste of the star's talents before you catch him at this Brooklyn arena gig.

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