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Things to Do

NYC holiday events, shows and attractions

Whether you can believe it or not, the music has started and the city is starting to glow with lights. Finally, the holiday spirit is back.

What better way to celebrate than to take advantage of all the city has to offer in warm cocktails, spicy sweets, warm latkes, winter-themed exhibits, holiday concerts, 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 Brooklyn Museum's WinterFest or the "Too Hot to Handel" performance of "Messiah." 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.

Christmas concerts with Trinity Church (Dec. 13-24)

Trinity Church Wall Street has a lot going
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street has a lot going on for Christmas this year, including a Christmas carol reading, a ceremony of carols, a Christmas Eve candlelight a midnight mass, and community caroling event.

Handel's "Messiah" (Dec. 13, 14, 16, 17): The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, with conductor Julian Wachner, will perform the classic at 7:30 p.m. on these dates, except for on Dec. 16, when it will be at 3 p.m. $25-$100.

"Compline by Candlelight: Ceremony of Carols" (Dec. 16): The Trinity Youth Chorus performs "Ceremony of Carols," Britten's set of ancient Christmas texts, at 8 p.m. Free.

"Comfort at Christmas" (Dec. 16): A service for those in grief or who have experienced loss can come to this service for meditative music, prayer, and a quiet space for comfort and support. It will be Led by the Rev. Alfred Loua and the Rev. Kristin Miles. Music is provided by Anne Damassa. Refreshments will be served as well. Free.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas' reading (Dec. 16): Assem. Al Taylor of Upper Manhattan reads the classic poem at the Church of the Intercession at W. 155th St. Free.

Community Carol Sing (Dec. 22-23): Head to St. Paul's Chapel to sing Christmas favorites with Downtown Voices, the Trinity Youth Chorus, and Trinity's new music orchestra, NOVUS NY, at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 23. $10-$25.

Christmas Eve events (Dec. 24): The candlelight Christmas mass will take place at midnight in St. Paul's Chapel with carol singing, music by the choir and a eucharist by the Rev. Elizabeth Blunt and the Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones. At 3 p.m., the church will host its family eucharist with giant puppets, a children's sermon and the Trinity Youth Chorus. Then from 9 to 10:45 p.m., the traditional service will start with a 40-minute prelude of choral music and carols, followed by a choral eucharist. Free.

Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum (Nov. 23-Dec. 31)

The Brooklyn Museum's grounds will transform into a
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum's grounds will transform into a winter wonderland for six weeks with fun activities, holiday shopping, cultural programs and more. Check out a Vinopolis wine tasting experience, sit in a beer garden, get lost in an enchanted tree maze, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, ride the Snowzilla and stand inside a giant snowglobe. There will be live music nightly, a chocolate dome with free tastings and a menorah lighting, too. Info: $9 to $42, 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesdays, one to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, 1 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, 200 Eastern Parkway, winterfestbrooklynmuseum.com)

Holiday Art Sale (Dec. 10-21)

Own or buy art for $1,000 or less
Photo Credit: Art Students League of New York

Own or buy art for $1,000 or less at the Art Students League of New York's annual Holiday Art Sale starting Dec. 11. Choose from landscapes, portraits, still life and abstract art as well as sculptures, which are capped at $1,500. Some pieces are priced at less than $100, so get there early. (Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekend, 215 W. 57th St. between Seventh Avenue and Broadway)

Stars United at The Rink at Brookfield Place (Dec. 2)

Stars United is back at The Rink at
Photo Credit: Brookfield Place

Stars United is back at The Rink at Brookfield Place, fusing Olympic ice dancing with electronic dance music stars and iconic vogue dancers directed by Karl Giant. If you want to go ice skating yourself, the rink will be open from mid-November for free. Former U.S. Olympian skaters will lead private lessons, intro to hockey for kids, corporate events, and more. (Free, 6 p.m., 230 Vesey St., gpice.com)

The Nutcracker (Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2)

The New York Theatre Ballet and choreographer Keith
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

The New York Theatre Ballet and choreographer Keith Michael will present the Tchaikovsky's classic story in four performances in Brookfield's Winter Garden. Seating on a first-come basis, so early arrival is suggested. (Free, 7 p.m. on Nov. 30, 1 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 1 p.m. on Dec. 2, 230 Vesey St., bfplny.com)

'Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah' (Dec. 15)

This 'Messiah' is unlike any other. Introducing latin
Photo Credit: The United Palace

This 'Messiah' is unlike any other. Introducing latin rhythms, jazz improvisation and gospel harmony, the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, the Fort Washington Community Choir, composer/conductor Chris Whittaker and others are performing the popular music in Washington Heights-style. Guest soloists include Angela Birchett ("The Color Purple," "Smokey Joe's Café"), Anwar Robinson ("American Idol" finalist, "Rent") and Yancy Garcia. ($15-$75; 3 p.m., 4140 Broadway at 175th Street, unitedpalace.org)

New York Philharmonic’s holiday concerts (Dec. 11-21)

The holiday season is supremely busy for the
Photo Credit: Chris Lee

The holiday season is supremely busy for the New York Philharmonic, which has a full slate of concerts.

Handel's Messiah (Dec.11-15)

Holiday Brass (Dec. 16): The Philharmonic's Brass and Percussion sections perform holiday favorites starting at 3 p.m. $59-$89.

"Home Alone" in concert (Dec. 20-21): The Philharmonic performs John Williams's score live to the entire film starting at 7 p.m. $45-$135.

New Year's Eve with Renée Fleming (Dec. 31): Ring in the New Year with soprano Renée Fleming, the Philharmonic, and Music Director Jaap van Zweden starting at 7:30 p.m. $105-$275.

New York Pops' 'Under the Mistletoe' concert (Dec. 21-22)

Singer Ashley Brown (Broadway's
Photo Credit: Richard Termine

Singer Ashley Brown (Broadway's "Mary Poppins," and "Beauty and the Beast") and the New York Pops are putting on two concerts featuring classic and contemporary carols, including "Deck the Halls," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Winter Wonderland", and "O Holy Night." Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA, who are featured on a Hanukkah Medley, will join in as well. ($20-$145, 8 p.m., Carnegie Hall, nypops.org)

'A Christmas Carol in Harlem' (Nov. 30-Dec. 8)

Set in present day Harlem, Ebenezer Scrooge is
Photo Credit: The Classical Theatre of Harlem

Set in present day Harlem, Ebenezer Scrooge is a real estate mogul who has made his riches on the backs of others for a story touching on gentrification and social inequality. This reimagined classic by Shawn Rene Graham, director Steve H. Broadnax III and choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher uses classic holiday carols with twists of gospel, hip-hop, pop and R&B. ($25-$45, 8 p.m., with some matinees at 1 p.m.,Nov. 25-Dec. 8,City College Center for the Arts, 135th Street and Convent Ave., cthnyc.org)

Saint Thomas Christmas concerts (Dec. 4-22)

Saint Thomas' Choir of Men and Boys perform
Photo Credit: Ian Douglas

Saint Thomas' Choir of Men and Boys perform their annual "Messiah" concert with the New York Baroque Incorporated on Dec. 4 and 6 and then on Dec. 13, the Boys Choir and harpist Sara Cutler perform Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols." Finally, on Dec. 22, organist Daniel Hyde performs Olivier Messiaen's holiday organ masterpiece, "La Nativité du Seigneur." ($20-$95, 7:30 p.m., 1 W. 53rd St., saintthomaschurch.org)

Brooklyn Music School: 'Home for the Holidays' (Dec. 14)

Enjoy a night of holiday songs of Christmas,
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Music School

Enjoy a night of holiday songs of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and scenes from musicals like "Ragtime," "Into the Woods" and "The Wiz" performed by students in BMS's Musical Theater and Performance Program. The program introduces children to performance and musical theater in an 18-week intensive course that ends in fully produced performances at the BMS Playhouse. ($15, 6:30 p.m., 126 Saint Felix St., Brooklyn, brooklynmusicschool.org)

'What the Dickens?' Reading of 'A Christmas Carol' (Dec. 15)

Performers and writers are gathering at Housing Works
Photo Credit: Housing Works

Performers and writers are gathering at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe to do a reading of "A Christmas Carol" as audience members sip on hot cocoa, mulled wine and peruse the bookstore. All books and merch will be 10 percent off. (Free, noon to 4:30 p.m., 126 Crosby St., eventbrite.com)

Christmas concert at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church (Dec. 2)

A string quartet from Juilliard will play holiday
Photo Credit: Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church

A string quartet from Juilliard will play holiday tunes inside the ornate Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church for the holiday season. A cheese and wine reception will follow. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. (Free, 4 p.m., 124 Wadsworth Ave., facebook.com)

'Luminaries' by Arts Brookfield (Nov. 27)

Stop by Brookfield Place's Winter Garden to see
Photo Credit: Arts Brookfield

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. You can also go ice skating free and watch performances on The Rink at the waterfront, treats and music by the Original Dickens Carolers and Joe McGinty and The Loser's Lounge (Free, 5:30 to 8 p.m., 230 Vesey St., Brookfield Place Winter Garden, bfplny.com/)

Winter Onederland (Through Jan. 7)

One World Trade Center transforms into a winter
Photo Credit: Getty Images for One World / Cindy Ord

One World Trade Center transforms into a winter wonderland with a "magical underground winter grotto" decorated with crystals and icicles. 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. Those who stay to dine will be able to choose from a menu of festive fare, including a Thanksgiving-themed turkey dish and holiday cocktails like "the Fifth Avenue," "Winter in Central Park" and "ONEderland Eggnog." ($34-$54, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 285 Fulton St., oneworldobservatory.com)

Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Through Jan. 1)

Nothing says
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

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, rockettes.com/christmas)

Enjoy the sparkling Christmas trees around NYC

From Bryant Park's Winter Village (pictured) to the
Photo Credit: Colin Miller

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.

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