• The 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held on Nov 23 and will feature huge helium balloons, performances by the casts of Broadway musicals, select marching bands from across the nation and there will be celebrity appearances too. macys.com
    Kermit the Frog at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
    Kermit the Frog at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
  • An iconic symbol of the holidays in New York City, the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will take place on Nov 29. The tree remains lit through January 7. (rockefellercenter.com)
    Michael Vadon/flickr
    The giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre
    The giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre
  • The Radio City Rockettes will present their Christmas Spectacular production from November 10–January 1. The extravagant costumes add to the fun. Do note, the inaugural Party City Kid’s Day, featuring pre-show activities to enthral kids will be held on Nov 23. (rockettes.com)
  • See your wishes turn into a mesmerizing show of colours at the annual Brookfield Luminaries experience — Nov 30-Jan 5 — in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Between 8am and 10pm daily, visitors can “send” a wish from one of three stations to the canopy of hundreds of lanterns above, transforming the wish in to a mesmerizing display of colours. (brookfieldplaceny.com)
  • One of the best ways to while away your time in NYC is to browse through the shop window displays. You can also take a WindowsWear tour. The daily tour, which begins at Macy’s in Herald Square and journeys up Fifth Avenue, passes the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Centre, Central Park and more. In previous years, holiday tours have taken place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. (windowswear.com)
  • Did you know that the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal is back with its 16th annual Holiday Train Show? Lionel trains travel through a two-level, 34-foot-long miniature New York City and countryside scene. Vintage trains from the museum’s collection travel to the diorama’s North Pole from Nov 16 to Feb 4. (grandcentralterminal.com)
  • Dec 30 is Regeneration Night at the 11th annual Kwanzaa Celebration at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre. The Apollo’s celebration honours family, community and culture through dance and music (apollotheater.org)
    Inside the legendary Apollo Theatre
    Inside the legendary Apollo Theatre
  • The American Museum of Natural History will hold its 39th annual Kwanzaa celebration on Dec 30 too, honouring the seven guiding principles of the holiday and featuring an international market. (amnh.org)
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s holiday engagement at New York City Centre takes place from Nov 29 to Dec 31. Artistic Director Robert Battle leads the company of 32 in more than two dozen dynamic works and a series of special performances. Unique to the season are world premieres of Members Don’t Get Weary and Victoria, plus a New Year’s Eve Season Finale. (alvinailey.org)
  • Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton will be held until Jan 7 at the former American Stock Exchange building in Lower Manhattan. Curated by Olivier Saillard and designed by Robert Carsen, the free exhibit retraces the adventure of the House of Louis Vuitton from 1854 to the present. One of the show’s 10 chapters is entirely devoted to the United States and New York City. 
  • ELF The Musical will be in performance at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden from Dec 13–29. (theateratmsg.com)
  • The Metropolitan Opera presents The Magic Flute, directed by Julie Taymor (The Lion King). The abridged English language presentation is a great introduction to opera for children. Additionally, those attending the December 29 and 30 performances will be invited to participate in activities, including opera-themed “dress-up” and “show-and-tell”. (metopera.org)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan will light a 20-foot blue spruce above an 18th-century Neapolitan nativity scene, in the museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall. The Exhibit of the Crèche is a long-standing holiday highlight and will be open to view from Nov 21–Jan 7. (metmuseum.org).
  • Many of NYC’s outdoor skating rinks open in October. So you may enjoy these outdoor sporting zones through the holiday season. Some of the rinks that you are likely to find open are the Rink at Rockefeller Center (therinkatrockcenter.com), Wollman Rink in Central Park (wollmanskatingrink.com), Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (wintervillage.org) and The Rink at Brookfield Place. (gpice.com)
  • The New York City Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, one of the most beloved and anticipated holiday classics, from Nov 24–Dec 31 at Lincoln Centre. (nycballet.com)
  • The New York Botanical Garden’s cherished Holiday Train Show is a twinkling display of model trains traveling through a miniature landscape of 150+ iconic city structures. The 26th annual iteration spotlights Midtown Manhattan, with new versions of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building and St. Bartholomew’s Church, are on view from Nov 22–Jan 15. (nybg.org)
    Replica of the Little Red Lighthouse which stands underneath the George Washington Bridge in Fort Washington Park at the Holiday Train Show in Botanical Garden
    Replica of the Little Red Lighthouse which stands underneath the George Washington Bridge in Fort Washington Park at the Holiday Train Show in Botanical Garden
  • Indulge in making special holiday-themed crafts with your kids and family during the Holiday Workshop Weekend at Manhattan’s Wave Hill, Dec 9–10. You can take home their very own natural wreaths, treasure boxes and other great keepsakes too. (wavehill.org)
  • In downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Ballet’s Nutcracker is an iteration of the holiday classic. It fuses ballet, hip-hop and various dance genres, plus reimagines Nutcracker characters and scenes to represent Brooklyn neighbourhoods, such as Old Dutch Brooklyn and Flatbush Avenue. Performances dates — Dec 7–9, 11 and 13–16. (brooklynballet.org)
  • In Park Slope, Brooklyn, Grand Army Plaza hosts nightly lightings of the largest Menorah (32 feet tall) from Dec 12 to 19 during Hanukkah. There are concerts, gifts for children and celebrations each day through the festival of lights. (largestmenorah.com)
  • A Slice of Brooklyn’s Christmas Lights Tour, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, runs from December 1–31 (excluding Christmas Day). Dyker Heights’ sparkling lights exhibitions feature 30-foot-tall toy soldiers, nativity scenes and more. (asliceofbrooklyn.com)
  • You can start the New Year with a cracking time at the annual fireworks at Grand Army Plaza, presented by Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Alliance. The best places for viewing are along Prospect Park’s West Drive and between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. (prospectpark.org)