Bask in the glow of the city’s magic this holiday season! Celebrate the first night of Chanukah at this family friendly event, experience the Dutch tradition of Sinterklass, dance up a storm at the Nutcracker dance party, or try something new at the first annual winter lantern festival. Plus there are workshops, train shows, and cookie swaps, too! Check out our top event picks below.

Photo: Philippe Put via Flickr 


Family Day: Skyscrapers
Bring your building crew and get ready for skyscrapers – the ultimate challenge! Around the world, skyscrapers are being built taller than ever before, in shapes that have never been seen. Families will then learn about some new innovative projects and work as a building team to design and build their own model skyscraper. Sat. Event Details.

Andy Warhol Family Day
You’re invited to the Whitney’s Andy Warhol Family Day! Introduce your kids to Warhol’s early drawings, celebrity portraits, and huge abstract artworks. Visit the galleries to learn how the artist became famous for making art about popular culture—from Coke bottles and soup cans to movie stars. You can also create your own Pop Art-inspired costumes, join a giant coloring party, participate in gallery activities, or pick up a Kids Activity Guide. Sat. Event Details. 


A Victorian Christmas
Visit the museum first, then sit for a proper holiday portrait with a Victorian Santa. Tour the museum to see 19th century period rooms decked out for the holidays and have your portrait photographed professionally with Santa in front of a lavishly bedecked Christmas tree. For children, adults, and families. Sat. Event Details.

Bright Lights Big Menorah
A fabulous first night of Chanukah event for families, open to all at no charge. Event includes a Chanukah carousel, Chanukah music, face painting, balloon art, crafts, community Menorah lighting, refreshments and- for the first time- the Amazing Chanukah Gelt Drop! Sun. Event Details.


Nutcracker Dance Party
Be transported inside the story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. You’ll have the opportunity to dance, drink and be merry at this fully interactive concert. Sat. Event Details.


Hanukkah Playhouse
This festive musical revue will get families into the spirit of Hanukkah with rousing musical numbers like “Thomas the Shammus” and “Latkes & Applesauce,” and a musical adaptation the children’s book In the Month of Kislev by award-winning author and folklorist Nina Jaffe. Sun. Event Details.


Sinterklass – Saint Nicholas Day
Children will enjoy a special visit from St. Nicholas as he arrives on horseback. Then in the Dutch tradition, visitors can feed St. Nicholas’s faithful horse carrots and hay. Sip hot cider, try your hand at colonial games, create a holiday pomander, decorate a Dutch clog for Sinterklaas, and dress the tree for the tree lighting that will close the day as the sun goes down. Sat. Event Details.

Holiday Concert & Cookie Swap
Join the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for a joyful holiday family concert and sing-along with our Community Brass Band, string, and vocal jazz ensembles, plus a solo performance from rock and pop vocalist Joy Askew. Followed by the third-annual COOKIE SWAP! Bring a batch of your favorite cookies to exchange, and get one FREE ticket! Ticket includes cookies, cider, and photo op with SANTA! Sat.Event Details.


Osmo 4-Day Pop Up
Osmo, the company that sparked the New Play Movement let’s kids test drive all their games for FREE at their 4-day pop-up. Games kids can play with include: Super Studio, Coding Awbie and Pizza Co. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.

Navidad: a Mexican-American Christmas
Enjoy a special performance of excerpts from Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s new production “Navidad,” featuring live music and dance that celebrate U.S. and Mexican Christmas traditions. Learn more about the customs and art forms featured during an intimate discussion with the dancers and musicians. Sat. Event Details.


NYBG Holiday Train Show
Enchanting model trains zip through a display of more than 175 New York landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This year’s exhibition showcases Lower Manhattan—the birthplace of New York City—featuring the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and iconic skyscrapers sharing the spotlight among old and new favorites. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.

Staten Island

NYC Winter Lantern Festival
The first ever festival of its kind, the event features seven acres lit up by 40 LED installations that stretch up to 30 feet tall. The LED lanterns will be accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dances and art. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.

–Jesseca Stenson