nyc holiday shows

Top Holiday Shows in NYC this December

The holiday season is here and there are loads of fun holiday things to do in NYC!  Scroll down to see our list of the top Music, Theatrical, and Holiday Celebrations happening around the city this month for people of all ages.

Music Shows/Concerts

For Free

Make Music NY  | | Various Locations

Date: Monday, December 21st

About: Make Music NY Winter, now in its fifth year, is a free, outdoor musical event in December that turns audiences into music makers. Inspired by Phil Kline’s annual boombox parade Unsilent Night, Make Music Winter transforms New York’s Cityscape with a dozen participatory musical parades on the winter solstice.

Cost: Free

Fun Fact: Before he was “B.B. King,” Riley B. King was just a kid playing his guitar on the streets of Mississippi for change

For Kids

Charlie Brown Christmas |  | Brooklyn

Date: December 11th-20th

About: Join the Peanuts gang again this year and help celebrate our 8th anniversary in the brand new venue-Redwood Studios in Brooklyn. They will be performing the classic Charlie Brown Christmas Special word for word and gesture for gesture set to a jazz trio performing the amazing Vince Guaraldi score.

Cost: $12

Fun Fact: The Charlie Brown TV Christmas Special is the second longest-running Christmas special of all time behind ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’ Poor Charlie Brown never comes in first.

For Adults

Mariah Carey | | Beacon Theater | Manhattan

Date: December 8th-18th

About: The undisputed Queen of the Christmas song, Mariah Carey brings her epic voice to Beacon Theatre once again this December with All I Want For Christmas Is You : A Night of Joy & Festivity show, promising a seasonal spectacular including her best-selling albums Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas II you, that could only come from the original diva herself.

Cost: $180 – $807

Fun Fact: Did you know that Mariah Carey’s hit holiday song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Is on the Guinness World Record list of the world’s best-selling single with over 14 million copies sold?


Theater Shows/Performances

For Free

The Nutcracker | | Brookfield Place

Date: December 4th & 5th

About: This one-hour version of the beloved holiday ballet performed to Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is set Art Nouveau-style circa 1907 with innovation choreography by long-time NYTB choreographer, Keith Michael. Perfect for ages 3 and up. 

Cost: Free

Fun Fact: There are 144 jingle bells on each of the Candy Cane costumes.

For Kids

Radio City Christmas Spectacular | | Midtown

Date: December 3rd- January 3rd

About: From a unique take on ”The Nutcracker” to our original “Here Come Santa Claus,” the show delights with Clara, ice skaters, dancing teddy bears, dozens of Santa Clauses and more surprises!

Cost: $45 – $500

Fun Fact: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been dazzling audiences for more than 6 decades.

For Adults

A Christmas Carol | | The Players Theater

Date: December 4th- December 30th

About: A lively musical adaptation of the classic Dickens tale. Follow along with Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by four ghosts; his old business partner Marley, the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. See what happens when he gets a glimpse of his own future if he doesn’t change his life. Will Scrooge catch the holiday spirit and save himself in the process? 

Cost: $32 – $52

Fun Fact: Charles Dickens was inspired to write A Christmas Carol in 1843 after he spoke at a charity night to raise money for the Manchester Athenaeum in England.


Holiday Celebrations

For Free

Kwanzaa Celebration | | American Museum of Natural History | Manhattan

Date: Sunday December 27th

About: Dubbed the “World’s Greatest Entertainer” and “the human beat box” for his unrivaled ability to rock a crowd, Harlem native Doug E. Fresh rings in the new year at the Museum’s 37th annual Kwanzaa spectacular.

Cost: Free for Members or with Museum Admission

Fun Fact: Kwanza will celebrate it’s 50th birthday in 2016!

For All Ages

Christmas Tree Lighting Rockefeller | | Rockefeller Plaza

Date: Wednesday, December 2nd

About: The 2015 tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, December 2 at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Each year tens of thousands crowd the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions watch the live broadcast.

Cost: Free/ First-Come, First-Served

Fun Fact: For almost 84 years the tree at Rockefeller has been a Norwegian Spruce species.

For All Ages

Menorah Lighting  | | Midtown

Date: December 6th-13th

About: Gather around the 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon at Grand Army Plaza to kick off the annual Jewish Festival of Lights.

Cost: Free

Fun Fact: The sounds of the Hebrew letters cannot be duplicated by the English languages so there are many different spellings of the word Hanukkah.

Miscellaneous Shows  


Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night | | Washington Square Park

Date: Saturday, December 12th

About: A luminous soundscape played by the audience on boomboxes carried through city streets. You have to see and hear to believe. 

Cost: Free

Fun FactThe Boombox was actually invented in the Netherlands by Philips in 1969.

For Kids

Holiday Train Show | | New York Botanical Garden | Bronx

Date: December 4th – January 18th

About: NYC’s favorite train show is bigger than ever! Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Cost: Free – $20

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Train Show spans over 250 acres?

For Adults

Holiday Cocktail Show |  | The Elektra Theatre | Midtown

Date: December 4th – January 2nd

About: This holiday show puts a new spin on a classic tale, and makes the ideal night out for your employees or clients! Conveniently located in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district, Christmas Carol Cocktailstakes your guests on a musical journey through time and space to discover the stories behind our most beloved holiday drinks past, present, and future, and also learn how to make them for their own parties! Presented in a private room that seats up to 70 people with packages that include hot and cold passed hors d’oeuvres, cash or open bar, and full audio-video presentation equipment.

Cost: $75

Fun Fact: There are 13 minerals that are essential for human life, and all of them can be found in alcohol.


Get out there and enjoy!