Photo: Diane Bondareff/ API images for Tishman Speyer

New York City Offers Festive Events, Arts and Cultural Experiences, Hotel Offers and More Across All Five Boroughs

6.5 Million Travelers Expected to Visit NYC This Holiday Season 

NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau, invites locals, tristate residents and visitors from around the world to experience New York City for the 2022-2023 holiday season. As one of the most iconic holiday destinations, NYC will once again play host to festive experiences and events across dining, shopping, culture and entertainment throughout all five boroughs. The fourth quarter is historically the strongest of the year, accounting for approximately 30 percent of visitation to the City. This anticipated, vibrant holiday season comes amid New York City’s continued tourism rebound, with 6.5 million people expected to visit between Thanksgiving and New Year’s alone. A total 56.7 million people are forecasted to visit NYC before the end of 2022–roughly 85 percent of record 2019 tourism levels.

“A trip to New York City during the holiday season is magical whether it’s your first visit or an annual tradition,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon. “From mid-November to January, we expect roughly 6.5 million people from around the world to visit the City. The five boroughs witness a transformation that includes iconic experiences along Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center as well as new holiday markets, pop-events and performances that create memories of a lifetime.”

Following are festive events, performances and activities across the five boroughs to celebrate the holiday season in New York City:

ANNUAL BIG EVENTS:

November 24 | Manhattan

The classic NYC celebration featuring larger-than-life helium balloons, fantasy floats, clowns, performance groups, Broadway’s biggest musicals, celebrity appearances and more is back for its 96th iteration. The parade will begin at its traditional starting line at West 77th Street and Central Park West and conclude in front of the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store.

November 30 | Midtown Manhattan

The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center has been a tradition for more than eight decades, lighting up Rockefeller Plaza each holiday season. The lighting ceremony on November 30 will feature performances and classic Christmas songs by soon-to-be-announced artists, and the tree will be on view through mid-January.

December 18–25 | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza will light the largest menorah on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, with live music, hot latkes and gifts for children.

December 31–January 1 | Times Square, Manhattan

The Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will sparkle in Times Square all season, but watching its descent in person on New Year’s Eve is a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime way to ring in the New Year. Millions view the broadcast event in NYC and around the globe along with spectators in Times Square on December 31. Guests can also stop by the New Year’s Eve Confetti Wishing Wall from December 1 on to submit (in person and online here) a wish for the New Year on a piece of official NYE confetti that will be dropped at midnight as the ball drops. Guests can also look out for details (at TSQ.org) about the arrival of the official numerals (‘2’ and ‘3’ for 2023) that will be in Times Square before ascending to the top of One Times Square to be lit as we welcome the New Year. 

CHEERFUL PERFOMANCES:

November 9–January 1 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

The Big Apple Circus is back for its 45th anniversary season and invites visitors to experience the excitement of its dazzling newest extravaganza: DREAM BIG! For eight weeks only, Big Top at Lincoln Center will be home to astonishing wonders and daring acrobatics, setting imaginations soaring to the most astounding, awe-inspiring heights.

November 18–January 2 | Midtown Manhattan

The beloved holiday tradition once again returns to Radio City Music Hall for its annual musical stage show, which has dazzled audiences of all ages for nearly a century. With incredible costumes, festive songs, synchronized high kicks, new acts and several shows daily, now is the time to return and enjoy this festive custom.

November 21–January 1 | Midtown Manhattan

In this astonishing Broadway adaptation, Tony Award–winning actor Jefferson Mays tackles more than 50 roles in this season’s limited run of A Christmas Carol at the Nederlander Theatre. The beloved Dickens story featuring notable characters—Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the four ghosts—will be making its return for the first time since 2019 and will enchant theatergoers with its redemptive story.

November 25–December 31 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center returns for its annual performance featuring exquisite costumes, magnificent sets and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score that transports audiences to a land of twirling snowflakes, leaping candy canes, waltzing flowers and more. On November 27, TDF Autism Friendly Performances will present the first-ever Autism-Friendly Performance of New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

December 9–11 | St. George, Staten Island

The beloved theater presents its annual Christmas Show, a two-hour production filled with high energy and a rhinestone-studded series of songs and dances that the whole family will enjoy. The show also serves as a fundraiser for the St. George Theatre Restoration, Inc., over its limited three-day run.

December 10 | Harlem, Manhattan

The Apollo Amateur Night Holiday Special showcases talented young alumni of the show’s “Apollo Stars of Tomorrow” segment. The program captures the spirit of young performers all hoping to follow in the footsteps of music legends like Ella Fitzgerald and H.E.R., whose careers were launched on the stage of the Apollo.

December 16–January 6 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

The Met Opera’s abridged, English-language version of Mozart’s magical fairy tale is a classic holiday treat for audiences of all ages, bringing the charming story and enchanting music to life. This year’s series will feature Maestro Duncan Ward, making his company debut conducting Julie Taymor’s irresistible production.

December 17 | Flatbush, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nutcracker transforms familiar characters and scenes from the holiday classic to represent the diverse traditions and vibrant culture of Brooklyn. From the old Dutch Brooklyn to the iconic Flatbush Avenue, the production is fresh and full of virtuosity and celebrates the borough’s spirit.

December 24 | Midtown Manhattan

A favorite of Carnegie Hall audiences for more than 50 years, the New York String Orchestra returns for its annual Christmas Eve concert conducted by Jaime Laredo and will feature some of the nation’s most celebrated young musicians performing alongside guest artists, including Venezuelan violinist Rubén Rengel, who joins the orchestra for J. S. Bach’s virtuosic Concerto in A Minor.

December 30 | Harlem, Manhattan

The Apollo Theater will host its annual Kwanzaa Celebration featuring Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theater in a powerful evening of n and will celebrate the season with moments of unity, self-determination, as well as with sharing and giving back to local communities.

WINTER EXHIBITIONS AND CULTURAL EVENTS:

Throughout the holiday season | Lower Manhattan

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the historic cobblestone streets of The Seaport and Pier 17 turn into the ultimate destination for holiday celebrations. Festivities include the Hanukkah Menorah Lighting on December 18 and decorations throughout the streets.

November 19–January 8 | Chelsea, Manhattan

ARTECHOUSE, a pioneer in innovation digital and experiential art, will hold an immersive and enchanting holiday art experience, perfect for the whole family. SPECTACULAR FACTORY: The Holiday Multiverse will be open to the public for guests to immerse themselves into a multiverse of holiday villages. Visitors will float among giant swinging jingle bells, crash the party of a thousand nutcrackers, join a thrilling train ride through wreaths, take a spin in the candy cane carousel and more.

November 19–January 16 | Bedford Park, The Bronx

The Holiday Train Show—a favorite holiday tradition—has been making memories for over 30 years. Visitors will see model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 190 replicas of New York City landmarks, each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as birch bark, lotus pods and cinnamon sticks.

November 22–January 8 | Upper East Side, Manhattan

A NYC tradition, The Met’s Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche exhibition—an adorned tree with a nativity scene around its base—comes from a collection of 18th-century Neapolitan figures donated by American artist and collector Loretta Hines Howard in 1964.

November 27 throughout the holiday season | Midtown Manhattan

Fifth Avenue’s holiday celebration, The Fifth Season, returns for its second year to bring cheer to Manhattan’s most iconic avenue. The Fifth Avenue Association will once again welcome guests from around the world to enjoy the iconic holiday windows and breathtaking decorations. New for this season, Fifth Avenue will launch Open Streets. This new program will not only close Fifth Avenue to all vehicular traffic, but also open the sidewalks to a variety of food vendors and musical performers from local choirs and instrumental ensembles.

December 10 | Harlem, Manhattan

Under the twinkling lights of its famous marquee, the Apollo Theater invites audiences to bring the family for holiday-themed activities including picture taking with Santa Claus and amazing performances. This event is hosted by the Apollo’s Tour Director and Ambassador, Billy Mitchell. 

November 21 throughout holiday season | Upper West Side, Manhattan

The delightfully decorated 13-foot Origami Holiday Tree, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will have a Gems of the Museum theme, featuring 50 specially created gold-colored models for the golden anniversary.

December 3–4 | Riverdale, The Bronx

Create natural wreaths using a grapevine base and fresh greens harvested by Wave Hill gardeners, as floral designer Hanako Shimamoto shares simple techniques for designing one-of-a-kind decorations.

LIGHTINGS:

Throughout the holiday season | Hudson Yards, Manhattan

The Shine Bright experience will once again return to Hudson Yards. Featuring over 2 million twinkling lights, Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards, presented by Wells Fargo, will see the neighborhood adorned with 115-miles of string lights, 725 evergreen trees dressed, and 16-foot-tall illuminated set pieces in the shape of hot air balloons arranged through the Public Square and Gardens with a 32-foot hot air balloon centerpiece suspended in The Great Room of The Shops and Restaurants.

October 21–January 8 | St. George, Staten Island

The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is back for its fourth year to transform a new venue, SIUH Community Park in Staten Island, into an immersive world of light. Visitors will enjoy over eight acres of luminescence in addition to a live DJ, projection mapping, food vendors and more.

November 11–January 8 | Glen Oaks, Queens

Back for its second year, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival will transform Queens County Farm into an immersive and radiant oasis with festive lights and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, tractors, farm animals and more.

November 16–January 8 | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Explore the garden after dark at the illuminated Lightscape, which will celebrate the beauty of nature with an enchanting one-mile trail through BBG’s 52-acre landscape. Sold out in its first season, this year’s after-dark, illuminated spectacular features new works of art alongside returning favorites. Enjoy the Winter Cathedral tunnel, Fire Garden and Sea of Light, as well as new site-specific light works by local artists, accompanied by a curated soundtrack.

November 18–January 8 | Bronx Park, The Bronx

With more than 360 lanterns representing nearly 90 animal and plant species, Bronx Zoo’s family-centric holiday lights festival will connect visitors with real wildlife and wild places. During the evenings, the park comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns (with some life-size, some larger-than-life-size) and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. The celebration is complete with seasonal treats, classic holiday music and other festive entertainment. The beloved tradition is sure to enchant visitors of all ages, making it the perfect way to kick off the holidays this year.

Select dates from November 18–January 14| Bedford Park, The Bronx

Discover the beauty of New York Botanical Garden through NYBG GLOW, which will illuminate the garden’s landmark landscape and historic buildings after dark with a newly expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience. Building upon sold-out evenings the past two years, the event will expand across even more of the garden’s magnificent collections, making it a can’t-miss experience this holiday season.

Select dates from November 20–January 8 | Flushing, Queens

Amaze Light Festival welcomes visitors of every age to feel the spirit of the holidays in a universe of sparkle, music, food, dance, celebration and wonder. Guests will be greeted by the lovable characters Zing and Sparky from the Amaze storybook, who bring the stage dancers, singers and light show to life with their magic powers. Visit the holiday market and then stop in and grab a treat at Sparky’s Sweet Spot. Enjoy savory and sweet culinary treats, as well as specialty drinks and cocktails. Zip down Zing’s icy Thrill Hill, take in the wonder on a train ride, write a letter to Santa, and make traditions and memories that last a lifetime.

December 1–31, except the 24th & 25th | Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

Head to Brooklyn to experience the extravagant Christmas light displays in Dyker Heights, also known as “Dyker Lights.” This guided bus tour, departing from Manhattan, offers visitors a special experience to view the uniquely decorated homes, learn about the history and stories of the neighborhood tradition and more.

December 3 | Flushing, Queens

Lewis Latimer House Museum will be holding its annual tree lighting and hosting fun winter activities, perfect for families and children of all ages to enjoy. Locals and visitors alike are invited for one night only to test out mini winter experiments at the North Pole, build an edible snowman at the Elf Tinker Shop or enjoy gingerbread arts and crafts with Mrs. Claus.

FESTIVE HOTEL OFFERINGS:

On sale from mid-November | Citywide

NYC & Company’s second iteration of NYC Hotel WeekSM will return for 2023 alongside signature programs, NYC Restaurant Week®, NYC Broadway WeekSM and NYC Must-See WeekSM. On sale from mid-November, shoppers can give the gift of New York City with a 23% off discount. Valid for stays over January 3–February 12, 2023.

November 24–January 1 | Midtown Manhattan 

Enjoy afternoon tea at The Palm Court at The Plaza, an iconic destination for holiday festivities, as well as Santa Claus visits, the “Home Alone 2” experience and one-of-a-kind gifts at the Eloise Pop-Up.

November 27–December 23 | Midtown Manhattan 

The hotel will hold its annual Letters to Santa program, where customized postcards are provided to all guests upon check-in, allowing visitors to write their very own letter to Santa and “mail” them in the property’s Santa mailbox. Each evening, a North Pole Postman will pick up the cards, which are read by the hotel’s “Guest Experience Elves” and Santa Claus himself. Each guest will magically find a personalized response from the desk of Santa Claus, placed in their room to create treasured memories.

December 1–31 | Midtown Manhattan 

Prospective guests will delight in The Refinery Hotel’s Winter Spectacular. All December long, each stay booked with this special offer comes with a live Christmas tree, decorated and set up for guest arrival, along with hot chocolate, milk, cookies and gingerbread house kits upon request. Perfect for travelers or locals looking for a festive staycation.

December 31 | Midtown Manhattan 

The Knickerbocker Hotel continues with tradition, ringing in 2023 with its annual New Year’s Eve party. The one-of-a-kind celebration will host guests with a night of surprise and excitement just 150 feet below the Times Square Ball—the closest live view of the event in the world.

ICE-SKATING RINKS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: 

November 5 throughout the holiday season

The world-famous ice-skating rink will return for the holiday season for visitors to skate under the iconic Christmas tree, a quintessential NYC experience. In collaboration with Coach, Rockefeller Center will unveil this year’s activations, including a bespoke holiday gift shop, custom hospitality cart serving special treats, and live onsite patch customization for a curated line of Coach products. Santa will join visitors on the ice in December.

October 28 throughout the holiday season | Midtown Manhattan

Enjoy NYC’s free 17,000-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Visitors can also enjoy the Holiday Shops, free shows, events, activities, and eats and drinks at The Lodge.

October 23–throughout the holiday season | Midtown Manhattan

The Wollman Rink’s 2022–2023 ice season reopens to the public, inviting visitors to kick off the season and enjoy skating in Central Park with the picturesque Manhattan skyline in the background. This year, Wollman Rink is partnering with Culture Pass, as well as the expansion of the Wollman Rink Access Program, to help provide access to New Yorkers who have historically not been able to afford to visit the rink.

Throughout the holiday season | Manhattan

Enjoy four-course holiday brunch cruises, a Cocoa and Carols cruise and more holiday themes, while sailing across the East and Hudson Rivers with views of the NYC skyline and Lady Liberty.

Throughout the holiday season | Manhattan

Enjoy a NYC Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s dining cruise, among others, featuring festive decor, meals and stunning views of the City while sailing across the East and Hudson Rivers from the glass-enclosed deck.

December 31–January 1 | Midtown Manhattan

Visitors are invited to start the new year off on the right—and left—foot at the NYRR Midnight Run. Join the fun and celebrate as 2022 comes to a close; the countdown to 2023 begins at 11:59pm, and at the stroke of midnight, a fireworks display will light up the night sky and kick off the start of the 4-mile race.

January 1 | Coney Island, Brooklyn

Each year on January 1, members of the Polar Bear Club and anyone else brave enough to participate venture into the frigid waters at Coney Island. Watch hundreds of daring souls plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, where the temperature of the water hovers right above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature can be well below freezing. The event is free, but in lieu of admission, participants are encouraged to donate to community organizations.


SHOP LOCAL AT SMALL BUSINESSES AND FLAGSHIP STORES:

Available now throughout the holiday season | Midtown Manhattan 

Nordstrom once again invites shoppers to Make Merry with the arrival of its holiday campaign featuring Tony Award–winning performer Leslie Odom Jr., Emmy-nominated actress Christina Ricci and their families. The campaign will showcase a curated selection of the best products, stories and experiences shared within the homes of Odom Jr. and Ricci, just in time for visitors to plan ahead for holiday shopping. The catalog is now available online and in select stores.

Available now throughout the holiday season | Midtown Manhattan 

Locals and visitors alike are invited to various flagship stores, such as Macy’sBloomingdale’sBergdorf GoodmanCartierSaks Fifth Avenue and more, to find this season’s most brilliant holiday presents for friends and family.

Throughout holiday season | Upper East Side, Manhattan

The 36th Annual Miracle on Madison Avenue, NYC’s holiday shopping tradition, will benefit the pediatric programs of The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

October 28 throughout holiday season | Bryant Park, Manhattan

This year, the European-style Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park welcomes travelers and locals alike to kick off the festive season with must-buy gifts and sweets matched with cozy libations and winter activities.

November 14–December 24 | Midtown Manhattan

Grand Central Terminal welcomes back its famous indoor Holiday Fair to the splendor of Vanderbilt Hall this November after a two-year hiatus. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is one of New York City’s most coveted attractions, welcoming thousands of locals, commuters and visitors for a curated holiday shopping and gifting experience. This year’s event will feature 36 vendors, including Ekologic, Garden of Silver and Rebel Designs.

November 17–December 24 | Union Square, Manhattan

Urbanspace’s longest running holiday market will return this year with over 160 vendors featuring unique gifts created by local craftsmen, artists and entrepreneurs.

Sundays, November 24–December 24 | Dumbo, Brooklyn

Visitors are welcomed once again to Pearl Street for Dumbo’s iconic Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market. One of the borough’s most popular attractions, shoppers will support local vendors and cross off holiday shopping with vintage and antique items, crafts and gourmet food stands.

Sundays, November 27–December 18 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

Find one-of-a-kind handmade holiday decoration and giftable items: candles, skincare, fashion, handbags, vintage accessories and collectibles, handmade jewelry and furniture, rare antique silver and glassware, and of course delicious artisanal treats and foods. Annually, the market provides more than 1,000 independent local merchants with much-needed affordable retail space.

November 28–December 24 | Upper West Side, Manhattan

Internationally known as one of the most elegant places for holiday shopping, visitors will lose themselves in aisles of art, jewelry, home goods and delicious eats from local artisans and designers, all while roaming through NYC’s iconic Central Park, just a stone’s throw away.
 

For additional holiday celebrations and itineraries, visit nycgo.com/holidays.

About NYC & Company:

NYC & Company is the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For the official source on all there is to see and do in New York City, go to nycgo.com.