Image courtesy of Chabad West Village
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sunset on Sunday, December 18, and lasts until sunset on Monday, December 26. There are a variety of events across New York City that celebrate the eight-night holiday, including menorah lighting ceremonies, arts festivals, live music, and much more. Ahead, find a way to celebrate the holiday, from the famous menorah lighting in Central Park and Prospect Park to arts and crafts at the Jewish Museum.
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All photos courtesy of NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney
NYC Park’s annual Wreath Interpretations exhibition has returned to the Arsenal Gallery for its 40th year. Now through December 30, the public can visit the gallery, located in Central Park, and view nearly 40 unique, handcrafted wreaths that celebrate the holiday season.
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All images courtesy of the Empire State Realty Trust
Santa Claus will be visiting the Empire State Building Observatory for the first time ever this holiday season. On two days in December, visitors can meet Santa and share their Christmas wishes on the iconic building’s 80th floor. The landmark skyscraper will be decked out with festive decor and offer musical performances.
How to meet Santa
Image courtesy of Samir Hussein for Getty Images
Here’s a chance to visit Christmas Queen Mariah Carey’s New York City penthouse during the holidays. Hosted by Booking.com, “Mariah’s Ultimate Holiday Experience” consists of a three-night stay at The Plaza hotel, a cocktail hour and Christmas card photo shoot at the superstar’s penthouse apartment, tickets to Carey’s “Merry Christmas To All” concert at Madison Square Garden, and much more. Available to just two lucky fans, the exclusive experience opens for booking on a first-come-first-service basis on December 14 at 5 p.m.
All I want for Christmas is Mariah Carey’s apartment
Photo by Marc Hermann, Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
Holiday Nostalgia Rides, the New York Transit Museum’s beloved tradition, has returned to the city for the first time in two years. Every Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Yorkers will be able to ride vintage subway trains that will depart from Chambers Street and 137th Street-City College stations and make express stops on the local 1 line track. The Holiday Nostalgia Train will feature the Train of Many Colors, a selection of different vintage subway cars from the 1960s representing different eras of the subway system’s history.
Travel back in time this holiday
Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr
Kicking off the holiday season, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns this Thursday. The 96th annual event will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 inflatables, 700 clowns, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, and of course, one Santa Claus. Ahead, find out what you need to know about this year’s parade, from the lineup and the best in-person viewing spots to street closures and how to watch the festive procession at home.
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FAO Schwarz at Rockefeller Center; Photo: Charles Sykes/AP Images for FAO Schwarz
The thing about tradition is, it never gets old. And in New York City during the holidays, there are some annual traditions that just make the city magical — the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, lights on 5th Avenue, the Bryant Park holiday market, and Santa at Macy’s to name a few. And while these tried and true mainstays will never go out of style, it is nice to switch it up once in a while. We’ve rounded up some lesser-known holiday events and activities to mix things up this holiday season in NYC.
Check them out
Image courtesy of Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor on Flickr
Landmarks across New York were lit blue, pink, and white on Sunday in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day honors transgender individuals who have lost their life due to anti-transgender violence. The tribute came just one day after a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado left five people dead.
Gamaliel Rodríguez, Collapsed Soul, 2020–21. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 84 × 112 in. (213.3 × 284.5 cm). © 2021 Gamaliel Rodríguez. Courtesy of the artist and Nathalie Karg Gallery NYC. Photograph by Gamaliel Rodríguez
An exhibition opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art this month is the first survey of contemporary Puerto Rican art presented in a major United States museum in almost 50 years. Titled “no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria,” the exhibit is made up of work from 20 intergenerational artists who explore the years since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017 and respond to the political, social, and environmental factors connected to the disaster.
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All photos courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has arrived in Midtown, marking the start of the holiday season in New York City. Donated by a family in Glens Falls, New York, the 82-foot-tall Norway Spruce tree is 50 feet wide and weighs around 14 tons. After its arrival at Rockefeller Center this weekend, the hefty tree was hoisted into position by a crane and set in place, where it will stand throughout the holiday season. The annual tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, November 30.
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