NYC holiday events, shows and attractions

The music has started, the trees are strung with lights and, finally, the holiday spirit is upon us.

What better way to celebrate than to take advantage of all the city has to offer in warm cocktails, spicy sweets, Christmas movies, winter-themed exhibits, shopping and more.

Yes, there's the "Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes," but there's so much else to do during the most wonderful time of the year.

Check out the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show that turns into a "Bar Car" at night. Feeling naughty or nice? Make an adult-themed gingerbread house at Davio's Manhattan. Skip the crowds at Rockefeller Center and see the city's other beautiful trees and decorations.

There's more where that came from. Scroll through for our picks.

Wreath Interpretations Exhibit (Dec. 7-Jan. 4)

It's time to get in the holiday spirit, so head over to Central Park and check out this year's 35th annual exhibit of holiday wreaths at the Arsenal Gallery. Peruse through unique and unconventional wreaths from more than 40 fine artists and designers. The exhibit opens with a reception Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. (Free, 9 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 830 Fifth Ave.,

Grand Menorah Lighting (Dec. 17)

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with Chabad of the Upper East Side inside Carl Schurz Park by the East River. The lighting will feature live music, doughnuts and latkes. (Free, 5:30 p.m., at East 87th Street,

Reading of 'A Visit from Saint Nicholas' (Dec. 17)

Joy-Ann Reid, a political analyst at MSNBC and host of "AM Joy," will read the beloved Clement Clarke Moore poem, "A Visit from Saint Nicholas." After the reading, the big man himself will lead a lantern procession and wreath-laying at Moore's tomb in the church's cemetery and mausoleum, which will be followed by a festive reception. (Free, 4 p.m., The Church of the Intercession, Broadway at West 155th Street, Washington Heights,


NYC Hanukkah Concert with Matisyahu (Dec. 17)

Jewish musicians Matisyahu, Neshama Carlebach and Eli Schwebel will headline this year's Hanukkah concert for LGBTQ Jewish youth. The Jewish Queer Youth benefit concert is in honor of Marshall Koplitz, a supporter of the JQY community, and Mona Daniella Haddad, a member who took her own life last year. "LGBTQ Jewish youth, especially from Orthodox homes, deserve to know that they are loved," Matisyahu said in a statement. ($60, 6 p.m., Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W. 83rd St.,

'A Christmas Carol' (Dec. 21-23)

Rediscover the story of Ebenezer Scrooge as he finds the spirit of Christmas with the help of three ghosts in this David "Zen" Mansley production of the Charles Dickens tale. The play will feature filmed projections. ($10, 8 p.m., Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave.,

MatzoBall (Dec. 24)

Dance the night away at this Jewish singles party for those in their 20s and 30s at Capitale, while the city is quiet for Christmas Eve. ($50, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., 130 Bowery,

Winter Wonderland (Nov. 25-Dec. 23)

For five weeks, the Richmond County Bank Ballpark will transform into a winter wonderland with ice skating, rides, games, a holiday market and a nightly light show. Those who are old enough to drink can do so in Igloo Bar, which will have holiday-themed cocktails and live entertainment. ($10, 3-11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, 75 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island,

Latke Festival (Dec. 18)

Celebrate the deliciousness of potato pancakes and vote for the best recipe at this annual event at the Brooklyn Museum. Competing for title of "best latke" includes a daikon radish cake with tea-smoked duck and orange hoisin from Kings County Imperial; a "deeply rooted" latke with beets, onions, carrots and horseradish by R&D Foods; a crispy potato latke with rock shrimp and spicy lobster sauce from the Garden Court Cafe; and a plantain latke with shrimp ceviche and jalapeño cilantro crema by The Norm. A total of more than 20 latke creations will be available to sample. Tickets include unlimited latke tastings, wine, beer and cocktails ($70, 6-8:30 p.m., 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn,

Holiday Show Spectacular (Nov. 25-Dec.23)

Nitehawk Cinema is screening holiday favorites for a whole month, including "Die Hard," "A Christmas Story," "Black Christmas" and "Love Actually." ($12, 136 Metropolitan Ave. Williamsburg,

Winter Onederland (Through Jan. 7)

One World Trade Center has transformed into a winter wonderland with a "magical underground winter grotto." When you step inside the One World Observatory, you'll get to ride the SkyPod elevator at 23 mph while seeing the city evolve before your eyes on a screen. Plus, you can create a frosted window with the touch of your finger and marvel at a giant snow globe perfect for selfies, too. ($36, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 285 Fulton St.,

Open house at the Met Opera (Dec. 28)

Ticket holders for "Hansel and Gretel" at the Metropolitan Opera on Dec. 28 are invited to an open house to meet the Met's designers, singers, dancers, musicians and techs and learn about what they do. (Free, 11 a.m., 30 Lincoln Center,

Flatiron Cheer (Dec. 1-23)

Join in on a whole month of free activities and holiday-themed walking tours from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. Centered around the new public art installation, "Flatiron Reflection," catch free live performances and activities, like the Winter Solstice celebration on Dec. 21. Learn recipes from chefs John Doherty and Matteo Bergamini from Black Barn the Flatiron Partnership, and from other chefs from Cosme, Eataly and the Natural Gourmet Institute. Flatiron studios will also give free morning classes on Wednesdays.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Through Jan. 1)

Nothing says "Christmas in New York" quite like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Complete with the world-famous Rockettes and plenty of holiday cheer, this event is a family favorite. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Ave. of the Americas, Manhattan, showtimes vary, $35 to $269,

'Luminaries' by Arts Brookfield (Dec. 2 - Jan. 29)

Stop by Brookfield Place's Winter Garden to see the holiday light installation, "Luminaries." As visitors press the touch-sensitive stations, the 650 LED lights embedded in the canopy's lanterns will change colors and intensity throughout the display every 30 minutes. (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 230 Vesey St., Brookfield Place Winter Garden,

New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show (Nov. 22 - Jan. 15)

The NYBG's model trains ride throughout the 3,000-square-foot landscape of 150 scale-sized, iconic NYC landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. The Garden will also have a number of Bar Car Nights, which offer an after-dark viewing of the show with seasonal drinks, a fire pit and dueling pianos. Don't miss the Snow Globe Dancers as they guide you through the garden. ($25-35, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx,

Enjoy the sparkling Christmas trees around NYC

From Bryant Park's Winter Village (pictured) to the epic spruce at Rockefeller Center, there are plenty of twinkling Christmas trees around the city that'll get you in the holiday spirit. Here's our list of must-see Christmas trees to visit to get that festive Instagram photo.

Largest Menorah Lighting (Dec. 12-19)

The world's largest Hanukkah menorah at West 59th Street at Central Park will be lit from Dec. 12 to 19. The menorah stands 32-feet-high and weighs 4,000 pounds. The lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. except for Friday, Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. (