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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

Shaye Weaver
Written by
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

Hanukkah in New York
  • Things to do

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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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • The Bronx

The beloved New York holiday train tradition at the New York Botanical Garden is back for its 30th year!

The garden will become a mini-train depot with its collection of 25 G-scale model trains that'll chug along a nearly half-mile track (which is also overhead) by 175 miniature NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Rockefeller Center—all made of natural materials such as leaves, cinnamon sticks, twigs, bark and berries. 

Tickets are on sale now for the show, which begins November 20.

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

The Winter Village at Bryant Park is back this year in all it's holiday glory. On the grounds you can peruse about 170 shopping and food kiosks—all at one of the best NYC parks. Work up an appetite at the free, 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.

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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. 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.

  • Art
  • Art

Lovers of art: the Flatiron is home to a new, only-in-NYC piece that is sure to delight you. "Interwoven" is a new interactive installation by design firm Atelier Cho Thompson now on display in the Flatiron North Public Plaza on Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street. The piece, which seeks to celebrate the joys involved in being able to physically interact again, is the winner of the annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition and will stay put through January 2, 2022. The experience is made up of backlit papers that are hung on a grid and invite those walking by to share their response to the prompt: "I dream of a world where together we can..." According to an official press release regarding the installation, the specific prompt was selected by Youth Fellows from the People's Bus NYC, a community-led, intergenerational initiative that focuses on engaging people in the city's civic life "through beauty and joy."

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, open now through March 6, is poised to once again be one of the most exciting attractions this season. In fact, in addition to the over 170 holiday shops, kiosks and eateries that make up the destination, the village will play host to two exciting activities for New Yorkers to revel in. First up: a series of cozy igloos that are heated and overlook the park's iconic skating rink. Inside the clear and intimate structures, each one decorated with holiday cheer in mind, patrons can order delicious food and drinks to enjoy among friends or family (each igloo can accommodate up to eight guests). If it's something a bit more active that you're looking to do, consider visiting the on-site Curling Café, which will offer the first-ever iceless curling experience. Expect dedicated curling lanes where two teams of up to four people each can play some "street" (also known as iceless) curling for an hour-and-a-half. According to an official press release, the lanes are accompanied by "a private, heated dome where teams can warm up and share seasonal drinks and bites between games."

 

  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic
  • Upper West Side

After declaring bankruptcy in 2016 to widespread lamentations, the family-friendly circus came bouncing back to life at Lincoln Center a year later, and now returns for its 43nd season with an all-new show. Ringmaster and acrobat Alan Silva (America's Got Talent) presides over a spectacle that includes aerialist Nik Wallenda and his famous circus kin as well as comic daredevil Johnny Rockett, dachshund wrangler Diana Vedyashkina and an international cast of astonishing speciality artists. Philip Wm. McKinley, who presided over the post–Julie Taymor version of Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, serves as director and choreographer. (Schedules vary from week to week so be sure to check the curtain time.)

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

 

Between November 19 and January 9, visitors to BBG will be able to walk through the Cathedral of Light tunnel, a Fire Garden on Lily Pool Terrace, a Field of Light and an animated light installation covering Cherry Esplanade (and visible from the Robert W. Wilson Overlook). Colorful light displays highlighting the garden’s trees, landscapes, and architecture with more than 18 distinct works of light art and a series of light-based artworks by local artists will be installed in the Plant Family Collection. "Lightscape" is coming to BBG in partnership with Sony Music. It was launched at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London in 2014 and has sold out year after year across the U.K. and in Chicago. This is currently the only East Coast Lightscape (lucky, us!).

  • Things to do
  • The Bronx

Let it GLOW at the New York Botanical Garden this year at its second annual NYBG Glow! The outdoor light experience will brighten up the grounds with thousands of energy-efficient LED lights and festive installations. After dark, you can walk this expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience with even more illuminated displays than last year, including plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations reflecting the surrounding gardens and collections with the Haupt Conservatory and Mertz Library Building as glowing centerpieces. It's all an ideal backdrop for a family holiday photo op. Plus, there will be dance performances, ice carving demonstrations and other seasonal activities (and snacks) to enjoy. Tickets, which can be paired with Holiday Train Show tickets for a little bit more money, are on sale now. Learn more about the new safety measures online. All ages. 

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