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NYC Holiday 2018 Guide: 12 must-go parties, tree lightings, and magical moments

Posted by Hannah Davies on

Things to do in New York holiday 2018

There's lots to love about New York, but at the top of our list: carbs (pizzas and bagels), a healthy Yankees-Mets rivalry, and the always dazzling, bright lights and flashing signs. New York City is a truly magical place to be any time of year. However, the holiday season makes New York even more magical than average. 

Whether you're a family with young kids, or a college student ready to celebrate, this holiday season has something for everyone. Take a stroll through Bryant Park's Winter Village and check out all of the festive holiday vendors — *wink, wink* you just might stumble across Lovepop! Or grab your best friends and your ice skates and enjoy all that Central Park has to offer! NYC is the place to be this holiday season.

Here is our curated list of 12 Things to Do this Holiday Season in NYC:

1. NYC Christmas Tree Lightings

  • Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting (November 28th at 8 pm)
  • Central Park Tree Lighting + New York Stock Exchange (November 29th at 5:30 pm and 2:30 pm)
  • Astoria Park (December 1st at 2pm)
  • Park Avenue + Queens Botanical Garden (December 2nd at 6:30pm and 12pm)
  • Bryant Park (December 4th at 6 pm)
  • Madison Square Park (December 6th at 3:30 pm)
  • W. Harlem Piers Park (December 8th at 4:30 pm)

Why: What's a better way to celebrate the holiday season than with twinkling lights? Take the chance to explore the city by attending each of these festive tree lighting celebrations!

2. Brooklyn Whiskey and Craft Spirits Fest
When: Saturday, December 1st from 2-5 pm and from 6:30-9: 30 pm
Where: Brooklyn Expo Center (72 Noble St)
Why: Bring in the holiday cheer with some tasty samples! Meet the distillers who make 100 styles of rum, cognac, whiskey, vodka, gin, and tequila, and enjoy the live music and food for sale (21+).

3. The 10th Annual Latke Festival
When: Monday, December 3rd from 6-8: 30 pm
Where: The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway)
Why: Tickets include access to the event along with unlimited latke and food tastings; beer, wine, cocktail and non-alcoholic beverages included. All net proceeds will go to The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting childhood obesity and food-related diseases through hands-on programs in the kitchen and at the farm to teach lifelong healthy eating habits and culinary skills.

4. 45th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center
When: Sunday, December 9th at 3:30 pm
Where: The Rink at Rockefeller Center, 49th and 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Why: Tubists of all ages will line up under the famous Christmas tree and fill the plaza with the organ-line sound of low brass. Spectators are encouraged to sing along with the Christmas carols and holiday favorites.

5. Phil Kline's Unsilent Night
When: Sunday, December 16th at 5:45 pm
Where: The Arch in Washington Square Park
Why: Composer Phil Kline will lead a massive chorus of boomboxes from the West Village to the East Village. He will hand out a limited number of vintage boomboxes from his collection — and cassettes for those who bring their own. The public is strongly encouraged to bring their own boomboxes or sound-blasters, and to pre-download the track.

6. Handel's Messiah
When: Wednesday, December 19th at 7:30 pm
Where: Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave)
Why: This performance includes the award-winning baritone John Brancy and a stellar cast of soloists with the Musica Sacra Orchestra, complete with baroque bows and a focus on period performance practices.

7. Christmas Eve Caroling
When: Sunday, December 24th from 5-6 pm
Where: The Arch in Washington Square Park
Why: The Rob Susman Brass Quartet, song leader, and the revelers from all over the city will lustily sing out some familiar tunes. The words are in the songbooks distributed by the Washington Square Association, but many will know them by heart.

8. Matzoball NYC
When: Sunday, December 24th from 10 pm-3 am
Where: Capitale (130 Bowery)
Why: Hosted by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals (SYJP), Matzoball sets the stage for the ultimate party experience that you do not want to miss out on! Get your tickets now!

New Year Bear Lovepop pop up card

9. Good Riddance Day
When: Friday, December 28th from noon -1 pm
Where: TSq (Plazas Bdwy between 42nd-47th Sts)
Why: Say goodbye to your unwanted memories of 2018! Tell Shred-It what you want to say good riddance to from this year, either in writing or on video, and you could win a 5-day trip for two to NYC for Good Riddance Day and New Year's Eve.

10. Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night
When: Saturday. December 29th at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: The Apollo Theater (253 W 125th St,)
Why: This performance features the renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and guest performances. The Apollo's celebration is a joyful evening of dance and music honoring the principles of Kwanzaa--family, community, and culture.

11. AMC 42nd Family Fun New Years Eve
When: Monday, December 31st at 7 pm - Tuesday, January 1st at 3 am
Where: AMC Theatres (234 West 42nd Street)
Why: There's plenty of entertainment and adventure for celebrants of all ages, whether you want to get down to the sounds of a live DJ, play fun-filled games, or even catch your favorite movies (PG13 only and for guests 13 an up). Enjoy an exhilarating night of NYE celebration with all your loved ones without breaking the bank.

12. The Celestial Ball
When: Monday, December 31st at 9 pm - Tuesday, January 1st at 2 am
Where: India House (1 Hanover Square)
Why: Who's ready to be starstruck? Gods, goddesses and immortals great and small convene to welcome the new year amidst a sea of glowing constellations for a night filled with divine music, sparkling champagne, and dazzling live performances rich with mythological and celestial themes. Hello, 2019!

And for any holiday festivities, you can always make a magical moment even more unforgettable with Lovepop. Visit our retail locations across New York City or pick a favorite online with our new holiday collection.


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