36 New York City Weekend Activities and Events to Enjoy in December

November 30th, 2018 by

36 Family Activities for Celebrating the Holidays This December

December 1st to December 7th:

NYC Winter Lantern Festival: The New York City Winter Lantern Festival takes place from November 28th, 2018 to January 6th, 2019 at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, New York. The festival will be filled with various forms of entertainment such as a martial arts show, the water sleeve dance, and many more. The venue will have lantern exhibitions showcasing Sea World, Chinese Lights, Panda Paradise, and others.

Saturday Morning Show at Brookfield Place: The Saturday Morning Show returns to Brookfield Place for two Saturdays in December. The select performances will feature live children’s entertainment designed to get children engaged, as well as some comedy and magic for all ages to enjoy. Brookfield Place is located at 230 Vesey Street in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City.

Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum!: The Brooklyn Museum is hosting the first of its four Winterfest Silent Disco on Saturday, December 1st. The four-program will feature live musical entertainment from a variety of genres as well as holiday attractions, such as a carousel and an ice skating rink for individuals to enjoy. The venue is located at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.

The Largest Menorah: The lighting of the Largest Menorah takes place at Grand Army Plaza, which is located at the main entrance of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, on the first night of Chanukah, December 2nd with a live kick-off concert. Additional Chanukah celebrations will take place at Kaufman Music Center and 92nd Street Y.

Holiday Candlelight Tours: Rewind the clock to 1830 and step into an old-fashioned museum tour by candlelight. There will be refreshments and delicacies of that particular time period, as well as classical and holiday music performed by harpist Sarah Loveland Gill and PACC Recorder Consort. The program will take place on December 7th and 8th at Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden, located at 421 East 61st Street on the Upper East Side.

The Yorkville Nutcracker: This year’s performance of The Yorkville Nutcracker will take place on Thursday, December 6th to Sunday, December 9th at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, located at 695 Park Avenue on the Upper East Side. The event will showcase elaborate sets and costumes, a journey through Olde New York’s famous landmarks, and dancers from the New York City Ballet. If you are unable to make this weekend’s production, The New York Theatre Ballet is holding their own production of The Nutcracker on Friday, December 16th through Sunday, December 18th.

December 8th to December 14th:

Holiday on the Hudson: Organized by Summer on the Hudson and the Riverside Park Conservancy, Holiday on the Hudson will feature their annual tree lighting ceremony followed by the opportunity to decorate the tree, listen to musical entertainment and partake in warm refreshments. Festivities will take place on Saturday, December 8th in West Harlem Piers, located at 125th Street and Marginal Street.

Story Pirates Flagship Show: On Sunday, December 9th, the Story Pirates Flagship show performs stories written entirely by children, surely a comedic, enjoyable event for everyone in the family. The one-hour program will take place at The Pearl Theatre Company, located at 555 West 42nd Street in New York.

TheaterWorksUSA’s Dragons Love Tacos: The beloved children’s classic comes to the stage in this production by the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Saturday, December 15th. Additional stories performed include Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. The venue is located at 199 Chambers Street in Tribeca.

Escape Games for Kids: Mission Solvers has created and constructed child-friendly Escape Rooms for children ages 8-14-years old to participate in. Using written clues and age-appropriate themes, participants are able to solve challenges. Mission Solvers at apple seeds is located at 10 West 25th Street in Chelsea.

December 15th to December 21st:

Holiday Cookie Decorating: Celebrate the holiday season with your children by decorating holiday cookies that are both delicious and festive. Afterward, peruse the store to see what items are on your child’s Christmas wish list. The store is located at 75 Rockefeller Plaza right near the Christmas Tree, which will remain lit and on view until Monday, January 7th. Additional events at this American Girl location include Holiday Doll Hair Salon Spectacular and American Girl Welcomes Santa.

Just Kidding: I Spy Butterfly: I Spy Butterfly is a tale about a friendship that a young girl develops with a caterpillar turned butterfly. Suddenly, she wants to be where her friend is. On Saturday, December 15th, parents and children can enjoy a heartwarming, ecological tale. Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street on the Upper West Side.

Holiday House Decorating: Interested in building a gingerbread house for the holiday season? Visit Sugar Hill Creamery where participants will receive a pre-made gingerbread inspired house, sugar cone “tree” and other materials to help bring their vision to fruition. The event takes place on Saturday, December 15th at their Harlem location, 184 Lenox Avenue.

The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: The Dyker Heights neighborhood has some of the spectacularly placed Christmas lights, with more than tens of thousands of lights decorating the vicinity. Prior to visiting, make sure to dress warmly so you can walk around and experience the full effect. Recommended hours are between dusk and 9:00PM.

Paul Winter’s Solstice Celebrations: Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is home to this year’s 39th Annual Winter Solstice celebration featuring a 10-member Paul Winter consort, gospel singer Theresa Thomason, and 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. The cathedral is considered to be the world’s largest cathedral and is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, near Columbia University. Performances will take place from Thursday, December 20th to Saturday, December 22nd.

Home Alone in Concert: Fans of the beloved children’s classic Home Alone will particularly enjoy this version set to music by the Philharmonic. This two-night event takes place on Thursday, December 20th and Friday, December 21st at David Geffen Hall, located at 10 Lincoln Center Plaza on West 65th Street and Columbus Avenue.

December 22nd to December 28th:

Breakfast with Santa at Stella 34 Trattoria: With Christmas days away, make sure to carve out a time to visit Santa and his elves with your children. At Stella 34 Trattoria, families will enjoy an Italian breakfast feast, a photograph with the man in the red suit, and other interactive, fun activities to keep everyone occupied. The trattoria is located on the 6th floor of Macy’s in Herald Square. Alternative options for breakfast with Santa include The Plaza Hotel, The Rink at Rockefeller Center, and Queens Center.

Ornament Making: On Christmas Eve, visit the Museum of the City of New York for the opportunity to learn more about the story behind Saint Nicholas and afterward, create a unique ornament to place on your Christmas tree for Santa to see. The museum is located at 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street on the Upper East Side by Central Park.

Kwanzaa Family Celebration: On Wednesday, December 26th, the Museum of the City of New York is hosting a Kwanzaa celebration. Visitors can create a mkeka to learn more about the meaning and symbolism behind this African-American holiday. Additional Kwanzaa celebrations will take place at Brooklyn Children’s Museum,  American Museum of Natural History, and Williamsburg Music Center.

Holiday Open House: Even though the holidays are nearly over, families can maintain the festive spirit with a trip to Queens County Farm. From Wednesday, December 26th through Friday, December 28th, visitors can tour Adriance Farmhouse, drink hot mulled cider and partake in fun family-friendly activities. The museum is located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, New York.

December 29th to December 31st:

The Luminaries at Brookfield Place: On display until Friday, January 4th, 2019, visitors can enjoy this twinkling display of thousands of lights stemming from hundreds of hanging lanterns. The display is interactive, allowing individuals to activate the assortment of lights and lanterns via touch. The venue is located at 230 Vesey Street in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City.

Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical: This beloved tale will be wrapping up its last day at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 30th. Featuring well-known songs such as “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” families can watch this holiday classic come to life on the big stage. The Garden is located at 4 Pennsylvania Place on 7th Avenue between West 31st and West 33rd Streets.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park: Now in its 39th year, this breathtaking fireworks display takes place at Prospect Park’s Grand Army Plaza. The two-hour program will include live entertainment followed by fireworks at the stroke of midnight. It begins at 10:30PM on Monday, December 31st and takes place at Grand Army Plaza, located at the northern corner and main entrance of Prospect Park.

Dave & Buster’s NYE Party: Interested in seeing the ball drop from the heart of Times Square but want to avoid the hectic crowd? Buy tickets to Dave & Buster’s New Year’s Eve party, located at 41st Street and 8th Avenue (North) and get into the action. There will be a four-hour kid-friendly buffet, sweet confections for dessert, and enjoy the arcade. Visitors will then be able to watch a live broadcast of the ball drop and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast snug and warm while the crowd erupts outside.

New Year’s Eve in the Poconos Mountains: For families that want to get away from the city for New Year’s, book a weekend in Pocono Mountains. Various venues in the area are hosting parties, family events, and even a tubing party.

From All of Us at the Nanny Authority!

From all of us at the Nanny Authority, we wish you a happy and warm holiday season. See you in the New Year!