holidays

Events, holidays, Midtown

All photos courtesy of Airbnb

“To honor the strength and resilience” of New Yorkers this year, Airbnb has teamed up with Nasdaq and Mariah Carey to offer two lucky locals (from the same household!) the chance to ring in the new year under the Times Square Ball. The 10th-floor terrace of the Nasdaq MarketSite will hold a heated igloo-like geodesic dome to get cozy in, as well as provide panoramic views of all the live, broadcasted events and performances that will be going on that night. The guests will also get a personal, virtual greeting from Mariah Carey, a $5,000 shopping credit, and dinner by a private chef.

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Events, holidays, Midtown

Photo credit: Countdown Entertainment, LLC, courtesy of Times Square Alliance

In September, the Times Square Alliance announced that its annual New Year’s Eve celebration will take place virtually this year, including the famous ball drop. This will be the first time in 114 years that the December 31 event will not have a crowd. But thanks to a new app developed by Jamestown, Times Square will come to the living rooms of revelers around the world. Turning the New Year’s Eve experience into a video game, the app lets users create a personalized avatar, explore a virtual Times Square, play games, and live stream the countdown to midnight.  Real-life musical performances, interviews, and countdowns are still happening this year but will be live-streamed instead.

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holidays

Image courtesy of IKEA

IKEA’s new gingerbread house brings the famous brand’s flat-pack furniture to a whole new scale. The Gingerbread Höme kit comes with downloadable, furniture-shaped cookie-cutter templates and simple instructions (no Allen wrench needed!) so that you can build edible versions of well-known pieces like the Billy Bookcase, Malm Bedframe, and Strandmon Armchair.

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Events, holidays

Photo by Charley Lhasa on Flickr

Dozens of New York City parks will glow with holiday displays this year, bringing some much-needed cheer to all five boroughs. The city’s Parks Department last week released an interactive map that marks all of the menorah and Christmas tree lightings at parks and administrative buildings in the city by borough. The agency is encouraging New Yorkers to stay local and enjoy the illuminated green spaces in their neighborhoods.

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Events, History, holidays

Manhattan’s Menorah being lit by Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, in 2016. Credit: Credit: Chaim Perl / Chabad.org/ Chabad Lubavitch/Flickr.

In the mid-1970s, former Chabad Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson encouraged his emissaries to build public menorahs in major cities and organize nightly lightings to increase public awareness about Hanukkah and inspire fellow Jews to light menorahs in their homes. Decades later, Chabad rabbis continue the effort in cities worldwide, but in New York, the practice hasn’t always been friendly. The tradition ended up creating a fun competition between rival menorahs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, both claiming to be “The World’s Largest.” To mark the first night of Hanukkah on Thursday, both of New York City’s 32-foot-tall menorahs will be lighted.

Find out the story and learn about this year’s lightings

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Features, holidays, NYC Guides, Restaurants

15 places in NYC to get latkes and takeout for Hanukkah

By Dana Schulz, Thu, December 10, 2020

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

A lot of families won’t be able to get together for Hanukkah this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little something special for the Festival of Lights. Many local New York City restaurants, bakeries, and shops are offering amazing holiday meal packages, along with latkes, sufganiyot, chocolate gelt, and more. Ahead, we’ve rounded up 14 great options, many of which also ship nationally if you want to include your out-of-town family and friends.

The full list here

Events, holidays, Midtown

You can spend a toy-filled night inside FAO Schwarz

By Dana Schulz, Wed, December 9, 2020

All photos credit: Airbnb

It’s like Night at the Museum meets Big–one lucky New York City family of four will get the chance to spend the night inside FAO Schwarz, arguably the world’s most famous toy store. The experience comes courtesy of Airbnb, who arranged the stay especially for the holidays. For just $25, you’ll be able to freely roam the store, as well as receive a special tour from a real FAO Schwarz toy soldier. Other perks include a shopping spree, a fantastic feast, and a music lesson on the store’s iconic Giant Dance On Piano.

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Events, Features, holidays

The holidays will undoubtedly look a bit different this year, but just like most special moments during the pandemic, there are still ways to celebrate. From drive-through light shows and massive glowing lantern festivals to curling and ice-skating, there are plenty of fun and safe ways to get in the holiday spirit. Ahead, we’ve rounded up nearly 20 of the year’s best events in and around New York City.

All the events here

Events, holidays, hudson yards

Photo courtesy of Edge

Edge, the city’s highest outdoor observation deck at 1,131 feet (as well as the highest in the entire western hemisphere), is all ready for its first holiday season. The Hudson Yards attraction is adorned with 50,000 twinkling lights illuminating the Skyline Steps and interior spaces and is offering a limited-edition holiday “Cocoa in the Clouds” to keep you nice and toasty while you take in those insane views.

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Features, History, holidays

How NYC brought Christmas tree markets to the U.S.

By Hannah Frishberg, Thu, December 3, 2020

A Christmas tree market in front of the Barclay Street Station circa 1895. Photo via the Library of Congress

The convenience of walking to the corner bodega and haggling for a Christmas tree is something most of us take for granted, but this seasonal industry is one that actually predates Christmas’ 1870 establishment as a national holiday and continues to be a one-of-a-kind business model today. In fact, in 1851, a tree stand set up for $1 at the west side’s Washington Market became the nation’s very first public Christmas tree market, the impetus behind it being a way to save New Yorkers a trip out of town to chop down their own trees. Ahead, find out the full history of this now-national trend and how it’s evolved over the years.

The roots of the Christmas tree industry

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