New York City Tourism + Conventions, the official destination marketing board for New York City, has officially announced the commencement date for holiday season festivities in ‘the City that Never Sleeps.’
In a press statement, the board says that the series of events, including cheerful performances, winter exhibitions, holiday lightings, and more, commencing with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, is sure to appeal to all travellers in NYC.
“New York City is one of the world’s most iconic and aspirational holiday destinations, with magical energy felt across all five boroughs and an incredible number of seasonal activities to enjoy at this special time of year. The fourth quarter is the most popular time of year for visitors. We expect to welcome nearly seven million travellers between Thanksgiving and New Years in 2023, a very strong indicator of New York City’s enduring popularity,” says New York City Tourism + Conventions, President and CEO Fred Dixon.
The board lists some of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season in New York City:
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
November 23 | Manhattan
An iconic New York City celebration on its 97th edition, the parade will be showcasing larger-than-life helium balloons, imaginative floats, clowns, performance groups, Broadway musicals, soon-to-be-announced celebrity cameos and much more. The parade is set to kick off from West 77th Street and Central Park West.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 29 | Midtown Manhattan
For over 80 years, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has cemented its place as a classic NYC holiday tradition, illuminating Rockefeller Plaza throughout the festive season. The November 29 event will include timeless performances presented by soon-to-be-revealed artists, remaining on display until mid-January.
Lighting of the Largest Menorah in Brooklyn
December 7—15 | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
The board says that 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 to enjoy.
New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop
December 31—January 1 | Midtown Manhattan
The Times Square New Year’’s Eve Ball sparkles in Times Square all year long but watching its descent in person on New Year’s Eve is a spectacular way to ring in the New Year.
Cheerful performances :
Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes
November 17—January 1 | Midtown Manhattan
Travellers can revel in the timeless and beloved holiday tradition as it once again graces the stage of Radio City Music Hall. Featuring dazzling costumes, joyful songs, synchronised high kicks, innovative acts, and multiple daily shows, it is the perfect opportunity to experience this festive custom.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Presented by New York City Ballet
November 24—December 31 | Upper West Side, Manhattan
The board suggests that visitors may also explore George Balachine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Viewers will dive into a world of beautiful costumes, stunning sets, and Tchaikovsky’s iconic music as they experience twirling snowflakes, lively candy canes, graceful waltzing flowers, and more, during this cherished annual performance.
‘Twas the Night Before… by Cirque du Soleil at The Theater at MSG
December 7—28 | Midtown Manhattan
Perfect for families, ‘Twas the Night Before…, Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever holiday production, is a whirlwind of love, holiday cheer, riotous fun, and adorably endearing characters that will establish a new tradition for all to treasure, says the statement.
The Christmas Show at St. George Theatre
December 8—10 | St. George, Staten Island
On the 20th anniversary of St. George Theatre’s Christmas Show, a two-hour production filled with high energy and a rhinestone-studded series of songs and dances will be featured that the whole family will enjoy.
The Magic Flute Holiday Presentation at The Met Opera
December 8—30 | Upper West Side, Manhattan
Travellers can also opt for the Met Opera as it presents an abridged, English-language adaptation of Mozart’s magical fairy tale. This enduring performance is perfect for all age groups, delivering a captivating narrative and delightful melodies.
Holiday Programming at the Apollo Theater
December 9 and 30 | Harlem, Manhattan
Apollo Theater is set to feature several special events to welcome locals and travellers alike, including the annual Kwanzaa Celebration on December 30, led by choreographer Abdel Salaam and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, honouring Kwanzaa principles and African diasporic traditions. The theatre also welcomes families for festive activities, Santa photos and exceptional performances, hosted by the Apollo Theater’s Tour Director and Ambassador, Billy Mitchell.
Candlelight Holiday Concert Series
Select dates from December 13—21 | Brooklyn Heights
Candlelight concerts at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, the Church of Heavenly Rest and The Williamsburg Hotel, will feature live, multi-sensory musical performances that transport guests to awe-inspiring locations in New York City like never before.
The Brooklyn Nutcracker at Kings Theatre
December 16 | Flatbush, Brooklyn
Showcasing an exceptional burst of creativity, the Brooklyn Nutcracker offers a fresh take on the cherished holiday favourite. The statement adds that this show weaves a tapestry of Brooklyn’’s varied traditions and dynamic culture, paying homage to the historical Dutch influence and the iconic Flatbush Avenue through its innovative and skillful performance.
Henry’s The Gift of the Magi at Queens County Farm
December 16 | Glen Oaks, Queens
Queens County Farm Museum will offer free, outdoor reading of O. Henry’s the Gift of the Magi by acclaimed actor Kevin R. Free.
Circle Songs: A Holiday Concert Series at Perelman Arts Center
December 20—23 | Lower Manhattan
During Pac NYC’s inaugural season, visitors can experience a four-evening holiday concert series featuring world-class artists, including countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo with The Knights, Toshi Reagon’s circle of sonic experiences, Time for Three’s innovative transformation of Western music, and the dynamic Broadway duo; Orfeh and Andy Karl.
Best Christmas of All with Norm Lewis at Carnegie Hall
December 22—23 | Midtown Manhattan
The New York Pops’ annual holiday tradition returns for a merry night of classic carols, contemporary favourites, and a few surprises with Broadway baritone and Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis.