Tis the season! No for real, it’s not too early, it actually here! Visit with Frosty at the annual New York Public Library Holiday Party, make a delicious gingerbread house, have your first Santa visit at the annual Historic Richmond Town tree lighting or snag tickets to the Hip Hop Nutcracker. No matter what you’re celebrating, this city is ready with lots of festivities!


Photo: Historic Richmond Town



Hip Hop Nutcracker
Be prepared to be wowed, because this is not your average performance. The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, on-stage DJ and an electric violinist bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City. Sat. Event details

Carl Schurz Park Tree Lighting
What better way to kick of the season than with a traditional tree lighting! Head to the park to enjoy all the makings of a special holiday evening, including caroling, the Cantori choir, Orbital Brass, candlelight, candy canes, and hot chocolate, all with the beautiful backdrop of the East River and Gracie Mansion. Sun. Event details


Build a Tasty Gingerbread Masterpiece
Get into the holiday spirit as a family and work together to build a delicious gingerbread house. With endless decorating options, from frosted candy roofs to pretzel picket fences, your biggest challenge will be not eating the supplies. While you work to erect a masterpiece, enjoy cheerful holiday tunes and sip on hot chocolate. And the best part? You take home the gingerbread house and leave the messy kitchen behind. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer: The Musical
See all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life on stage. It’s an adventure that teaches your little elves that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Show up early to play “The Reindeer Games,” a variety of carnival-style reindeer-themed games and fun for all! Fri.-Sun. Event details

Holiday Open House Party
Head to New York’s most well-known library to celebrate the holidays at their annual party. The library will be transformed into a winter wonderland filled with puppets, circus acts, magic shows, stilt walkers, caroling, dancing and more. And keep your eyes peeled because Frosty, Scrooge, the Grinch and others will be making the rounds and possibly dancing! You will even have the chance to check out Charles Dickens’ personal copy of A Christmas Carol. This party is for members of the library only, but you can join to receive tickets for as low as $40. Hang out after or arrive early to enjoy even more holiday cheer at the Bryant Park Village right outside the library. Sun. Event details


Free Nutcracker Performance
Your little ones may not be ready to sit through a full production of the Nutcracker, and you may not be willing to pay for the ticket to find out. But here’s the good news, you can bring your tiny dancers to this abbreviated one hour kid-friendly production for free. Before the show, your little ones can even take pictures with their favorite sugar-plum fairies and other fun characters. Hang out after to enjoy all the other holiday festivities at Brookfield Place, including Santa and ice skating. Fri. & Sat. Event details


Reindeer Run
Your little reindeers can strap some jingle bells to their sneakers and get in some exercise while having fun AND doing something good! This nearly 3/4 mile run for the youngsters kicks off early before the adult Jingle Jog and promises a big cheering crowd for your kiddos. Feeling ambitious? You can join the adult jog which takes off after your kiddies. Complimentary post race hot cocoa will wrap up the fun day and all proceeds fund youth running programs in schools all over the city. Sat. Event details

Evergreen Holiday Party
Kick off the season at this festive holiday party that includes a visit from Santa, trips aboard the Santa Express trackless train, a S’mores station and hot chocolate. Sat. Event details


Light Up the Queens Botanical Garden
Celebrate the Winter Solstice with an afternoon of fun, crafts, music and a tree lighting. This free event will feature a performance by the a capella group Rough Dozen, photo ops with Santa, ornament making, and a tree illumination to cap off the day. Sun. Event details

Staten Island

Have a Very Merry Christmas in Historic Richmond Town
Nostalgic for an old-fashioned Christmas? Historic Richmond Town will give you a traditional holiday experience that will fill your whole family with joy. With carolers singing in the streets and horse-drawn carriages rolling past, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. There will also be story-telling, tours of historic homes, a choir performance, plus a visit from Santa (arriving on a fire engine!) for you and your little elves to enjoy. Be sure not to miss the free traditional tree lighting at 5 p.m. Sun. Event details.


How will your family enjoy the weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.

—Caitlin Dowling