NYC events in December 2017

Plan your month with our NYC events in December 2017 guide including holiday markets and shows like The Nutcracker
Photograph: Filip Wolak
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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! 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 2017

Check out our Winter Village video

Featured NYC events in December 2017

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 78-foot, 10-ton Norway Spruce illuminated in over 45,000 LED lights.

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.

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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.

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 2017 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 2017

The Hold Steady
Photograph: Danny Clinch
Music, Rock and indie

The Hold Steady

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The Hold Steady had so much fun celebrating the 10th anniversary of their critically-beloved album Boys and Girls in America at Brooklyn Bowl last December, they're returning to the venue this year for another four-night run. And again, it's sold out. Don't lose all hope though, Brooklyn Bowl is releasing day-of show tickets for each gig at 6pm. Cue up early to nab one, and have the added bonus of being there in time to catch the evening's surprise opener.

Buke and Gase
Photograph: Grant Cornett
Music, Rock and indie

Buke and Gase + Babyteeth

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This local art-pop duo offers an infectious marriage of angularity and exuberance. Its customized implements—a baritone ukulele and a hybrid guitar-bass, which give the band its name—may seem rarefied, but the group’s wide-eyed energy will win over any open-minded listener. The duo takes the stage at Elsewhere, the freshly opened 24,000-square-foot venue run by the crew behind Glasslands.

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A. Savage
Photograph: Courtesy Vince McLelland
Music, Folk, country and blues

A. Savage

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The Parquet Courts frontman hits the stage behind his first solo effort, Thawing Dawn, which features appearances by members of Woods, Ultimate Painting, PC Worship and Psychic TV. Savage's Texas roots permeate the album's first two singles, "Winter in the South" and "Wild, Wild, Wild Horses." Show up for clear-voiced ponderings on new love, and a little pedal steel guitar to boot.

Angel Olsen
Photograph: Zia Anger
Music, Rock and indie

Angel Olsen + Heron Oblivion

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As an old soul trapped in the feverishly creative and restless mind of a young artist, Angel Olsen has a lot to say, and it often comes out in a torrent of hot-blooded emotion. Last year's My Woman found Olsen flexing her vocal chops atop brighter production, resulting in an even more fiery gem than her previous efforts. It's her strongest album yet, and a dazzling testament to Olsen's evolving artistry.

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St. Vincent
Photograph: Renata Raksha
Music, Rock and indie

St. Vincent

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The ever-compelling Annie Clark hits town behind MASSEDUCTION, her fifth solo studio album as St. Vincent. According to Clark's mock press conference, delivered via Facebook Live, love is "literally the only point" of the album (trust that it'll contain all the dizzying highs and devastating lows that that entails). She's a fierce performer and is capping off a 23-city tour with this pair of Brooklyn shows. In short, you're in for a real barn burner.

Mogwai
Photograph: Steve Gullick
Music, Rock and indie

Mogwai + Xander Harris

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Post-rock powerhouse Mogwai, whose largely wordless epics have been lulling, bludgeoning and confounding adventurous music fans since the late ’90s, hits town in support of a solid new album, Every Country's Sun. Support comes from synth-disco up and comer Xander Harris.

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Vagabon
Photograph: Ebru Yildiz
Music, Rock and indie

Vagabon + Cende + Radiator Hospital

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Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist Lætitia Tamko crafts earnest, fuzz-swathed indie rock as Vagabon. Her striking debut album, Infinite Worlds, surfaced earlier this year, featuring Tamko on guitar, synths, keyboard and drums. Show up to bask in her considerable musicianship when she takes the stage.

Perfume Genius
Photograph: Luke Gilford
Music, Rock and indie

Perfume Genius

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This delicately melancholic singer-songwriter (real name Mike Hadreas) started out playing fractured, dark indie pop, utilizing a piano and minimal instrumentation. Over the past few years, though, he's scaled up his tonal pallete with glitzy synth shimmer, an exuberant sense of uplift and grandiose crescendos befitting of M83, all of which are employed to enrapturing effect on his stunning latest, No Shape.

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LCD Soundsystem

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The seminal NYC indie crew returns to the industrial-chic Brooklyn Steel for another string of shows, this time behind a newie, American Dream. It's the first number-one album of the dance-punks' career and a possible answer to any who questioned the motives behind the band's quick about-face after retiring in 2011: Listening to American Dream, it's clear LCD still has something to say. Get to know the new tunes if you haven't already; they'll sound even better when the band serves them up live at this 10-show run.

Yo La Tengo
Photograph: Carlie Armstrong
Music, Rock and indie

Yo La Tengo

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Dreidel-spinning fingers at the ready, folks: beloved indie-rock institution Yo La Tengo resumes its Hanukkah concerts after a five-year hiatus. The shows have crossed the river to a new venue (their home for more than a decade was the lovely, cozy Maxwell’s in Hoboken, which sadly closed in 2013), but you can count on the usual parade of surprise musical and comedic guests to grace the stage.

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See more NYC concerts in December

Recount the best of 2017

Best of 2017
Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do

The best of 2017

Our complete guide to the best of 2017, with everything from concerts to movies to restaurants to bars

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