New York is one of the dreamiest places during the holidays. From viewing the extravagant Fifth Avenue window displays to marveling at the largest gingerbread village, there are many activities the whole family can enjoy this month in Manhattan and Queens.
Drop by NY Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show
Step inside the New York Botanical Garden's annual Holiday Train Show. According to the NYBG, "More than 25 G-scale model trains, trolleys, and ferries will hum along nearly a half-mile of track past re-creations of iconic sites from all five boroughs of New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and other locations in New York State." This year, the elaborate train set will showcase Lower Manhattan including new replicas of One World Trade Center, the Woodworth Building and vintage ferry boats. More than 175 other New York landmarks will be included.
Peep at the Holiday Windows
The city’s retailers like Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue never disappoint when it comes to their elaborate holiday displays. Take a stroll along Fifth Avenue to see all the festively decorated holiday windows, including Saks Fifth Avenue’s ten-story-tall light show, Theater of Dreams. For the first time, the windows feature a storytelling concept: this year’s magical store windows tell the story of a shopper’s visit to the theater, where she dreams of Saks.
(Photo Credit: Saks via Instagram)
Celebrate The Season at Parker Towers
If you don't want to go far, there are numerous events taking place right here at Parker Towers. (Events below are for residents only.)
- December 10: Happy Hanukkah! Join in as we celebrate the final night of Hanukkah with "Festival of Lights" event in the Front Courtyard at 6pm. Kosher snacks and beverages will be served.
- December 11: Parker Towers invites residents to our tree lighting starting at 6pm at the Front Courtyard.
- December 16: Indulge your sweet tooth at the Gingerbread House Decorating and Story-Time event at the Gramercy Party Room. Milk and cookies will be served. Reservations required. RSVP today!
Attend the Fourth Annual Chanukah on the Park
On December 9, Chabad of Forest Hills North & Anshe Sholom Chabad JCC is presenting their fourth annual Chanukah on the Park at Yellowstone Park. The night will feature the lighting of an 18-foot menorah, live entertainment, delicious food, colossal coin drop and much more. Admission is free, but you must RSVP. Event begins at 6pm.
Take a Ride on a Vintage Subway
All aboard! Travel back in time on the New York Transit Museum's annual “Holiday Nostalgia” train line. Riders can board the vintage 1930s R1-9 train cars, which are put back in service during the holidays. (It costs the same $2.75 as any subway ride.) The vintage trains will depart from 2nd Avenue on the F line in Lower Manhattan and run along 6th Avenue in Manhattan to 47th-50th/Rockefeller Center before heading up the Central Park West line, where the train will stop at 59th St – Columbus Circle before making its way up to 125th St on the A/C/D lines in Harlem.” Trains will keep rolling through select NYC Subway stations on Sundays through Dec. 30. Click here for the full schedule.
(Photo Credit: New York Transit Museum via Instagram)
Attend a Classical Concert
Celebrate the holiday season with the Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra. On Sunday, Dec. 9 and 16, the orchestra will perform classical music at 2 p.m. at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, located at 106-06 Queens Blvd. The FHSO has been performing the concert series for over 50 years and is made up of people, ages 11 to 92, from the Queens, Nassau, and greater New York Metropolitan areas. Tickets are $5; or $3 for seniors and students.
Visit Gingerbread Lane
The New York Hall of Science hosts the world’s largest gingerbread village, as determined by Guinness World Records for the past five years. Now, in its sixth year, chef Jon Lovitch will again try to break his own record with this year’s GingerBread Lane. (To be eligible for the title, every element of the gingerbread display must be edible.) Come to marvel the village as pieces of gum become brick walls, candy canes become railings on staircases, and M&M’s, jelly beans, and Necco Wafers become colorful rooftop shingles. GingerBread Lane is free with museum admission.
(Photo Credit: New York Hall of Science via Instagram)
Celebrate Kwanzaa at the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History has been hosting one of the country’s largest Kwanzaa celebrations and will host its 39th annual festival on December 29 from 12pm-5pm. The festival features live performances, film screenings, and a local artisan marketplace and fun giveaways. This year, Black Comics Collective hosting a live drawing performance inspired by the seven principles, and Oyu Oro Collective performing music and dance from Afro-Cuban traditions. Click here for more information. Everyone is welcome.
Visit FAO Schwartz
Three years after shutting down its iconic Big Apple venue, toy store FAO Schwarz has been reborn, as a nostalgic holiday pop-up. The new store, located at Rockefeller Plaza, is offering 20,000 square feet of toys, interactive experiences and shops, aims to provide holiday shoppers a "world of wonderment," according to a press release. The toy store includes fan-favorite features such as the giant piano (think Tom Hanks in Big) and beloved clock tower.
(Photo Credit: FAO Schwarz via Instagram)
See the New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic’s Messiah is the must-see holiday event for music lovers. “Messiah's dazzling solos, instrumental fireworks, and glorious choral writing have made it the quintessential New York Philharmonic holiday tradition,” the website says. The NY Philharmonic only performs Handel’s Messiah for five nights a year (December 12-15, this year), so experience the masterpiece as Music Director Alan Gilbert conducts at David Geffen Hall in New York City's Lincoln Center.
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