Things to Do this December in NYC

A cartoon advertisement of Hansel and Gretel playing in New York City.
Photo Credit: Hansel and Gretel

With twinkle lights strung on every tree and store windows decked out to the nines, it’s easy to see why this is dubbed the most wonderful time of the year. We’ll be covering lots of holiday related activities in the weeks to come, so today wanted to highlight five things to do this month that have nothing to do with Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s Eve festivities. Bundle up, and enjoy!

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Dog Film Festival: December 10th

Besides sparkling trees, one thing that makes (most) New Yorkers pretty happy is dogs. What better way to spend a winter’s afternoon and evening than at the Dog Film Festival, only a short cab ride from the Midtown East buildings at the School of Visual Arts! Featuring a variety of films celebrating the love between dogs and their people, this  festival is age appropriate for everyone in the family. Unfortunately, only service dogs are allowed in the theater–all other furry friends need to stay home.

There are two different screening times, 2:45pm and 4:45pm, but both will be showcasing different films. Tickets are expected to sell out, so get yours online before the event!

An interior view of a lighted area where The Paul Winter’s 38th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration takes place in NYC.
Photo Credit: The Paul Winter’s 38th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Winter Solstice Celebration: December 14th-16th

The Paul Winter’s 38th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration is a celebration of the darkest night of the year, and the secular multi-media event happening at near Glenwood apartments in the  The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine will feature musicians, vocalists, and dancers and drummers from the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. While this isn’t a holiday event, per se, their website calls it “New York’s favorite holiday alternative to the Nutcracker and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular”, so if you enjoy the performing arts, pencil this one into your December calendar.

Hansel and Gretel: December 18th-January 6th

Unless you’re a seasoned opera goer, attending a performance at the Westside’s Metropolitan Opera House can be intimidating. This month, you can relish in that a popular children’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, is coming to the stage. The opera is sung in English, and since it’s a story line most are familiar with, this is an ideal way to ease into the opera. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce younger New Yorkers to the world of the opera house.

A cartoon for Street Music Festival in New York City this December.
Photo Credit: Street Music Festival

Street Music Festival: December 21st

Even though it’s felt like winter for quite some time now, Make Music Winter is a street music festival that is held to celebrate the first official day of winter on December 21st, i.e. the longest night of the year. The free festival is happening on various streets throughout NYC, and comprises musical parades that cover many different cultures and genres. Everyone from professionals to amateurs and spectators alike are encouraged to attend! Make sure to check their website for the latest in parade locations. (NOTE: at the time of writing this the final schedule with locations was not posted on their website–says it will be up by late November, will update with the exact date before publishing)

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Good Riddance Day: December 28th

As we get nearer to the end of 2017, it’s a time of reflection. A time to think about all the good (and not so good) that may have occurred in our lives over the past 365 days. You can head to the heart of New York City, i.e. Midtown’s Times Square, and literally say goodbye to your worst memories of the year by writing them on paper and tossing them into a shredder from 12pm to 1pm. If you can’t make it in person, just tag #GoodRiddanceDay on Twitter and Instagram and they’ll shred it for you! Just in time to start fresh and clean for 2018.

What are you most looking forward to in NYC during the month of December? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!

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