Plan Your December 2021with This Daily New York City Event Guide

Updated: Dec 8, 2021


Rockefeller Center Christmas Angels in New York City

In New York, December is a magical time. Each year, the city comes to life with jaw-dropping décor and holiday displays, winter-friendly events, and one-of-a-kind exhibitions.


Whether you're looking to celebrate the holidays or indulge in New York's arts & culture scene, here are 31 events—one for each day of the month—happening throughout the city. To have a monthly event guide sent to your inbox, subscribe to our New York City Inbox Concierge here.


December 1: Hanukkah Family Fest

Crown Heights


Head to the Jewish Children’s Museum for a fun-filled day of activities including donut decorating and craft workshops.


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December 2: A Gala Evening with Itzhak Perlman

Upper West Side


The renowned violinist and conductor will take the New York Philharmonic stage to perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1.


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December 3: The Mood Room

Fort Greene


At once theatre, dance, and spoken opera, “The Mood Room” features an all-female cast and centers around the story of five sisters in 1980.


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December 4: Autumn Abstractions

Virtual


The Riverdale Art Association's latest online exhibit explores the essence of autumn via mixed media, collage, photography, oil, acrylic, fractal print, and monoprint.


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December 5: Double Dutch Holiday Classic

Harlem


Watch the best Double Dutch teams in the world compete at the 30th Double Dutch Holiday Classic taking place at the Apollo.


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December 6: Lincoln Center’s Big Top Thank You

Upper West Side


Enjoy a winter celebration under the circus tent in Damrosch Park, where there will be cocktails, food carts, and festive performances.


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December 7: The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream

Upper West Side


Businessman and author David M. Rubenstein will discuss the evolution of the American experiment with New-York Historical Society CEO Louise Mirrer.


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December 8: African Diaspora International Film Festival

Greenwich Village + Virtual


The weeks-long New York African Diaspora International Film Festival will continue through December 12, featuring films focused on the global African diaspora.


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December 9: NYBG Glow

The Bronx


Explore dramatically illuminated displays of color at the New York Botanical Garden’s holiday installations. Plus, don’t miss the beloved Holiday Train Show while you’re there.


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December 10: Van Eyck to Mondrian

Midtown East + Virtual


The Morgan Library and Museum’s exhibition celebrates the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett’s 300th anniversary by showcasing 60 of its finest drawings created between the 15th and 20th centuries.


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December 11: A Conversation with Spike Lee

Fort Greene


Join the Oscar-winning filmmaker and his brother and official photographer David Lee for a conversation about the new photo book “SPIKE.”


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December 12: Winter Family Fair

Midtown East


See the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Morgan Library and enjoy live music, gallery exploration, and more.


interior image of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City

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December 13: The Makers Show

Downtown Brooklyn


Do your holiday shopping and support local makers at this market at City Point.


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December 14: The Shape of Things

Upper East Side


Experience this powerful new installation and series of performances by artist Carrie Mae Weems.


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December 15: Flying Over Sunset

Upper West Side


Cary Grant, Clare Boothe Luce, and Aldous Huxley take a psychedelic journey together in this new musical by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner James Lapine.


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December 16: Holiday Brass

Upper West Side


The New York Philharmonic’s holiday tradition returns with a family-friendly program celebrating the most festive time of year.


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December 17: Greater New York

Long Island City


Featuring the work of nearly 50 artists and collectives, this MoMA survey offers an intimate portrayal of New York City through various mediums.


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December 18: Big Band Holidays

Upper West Side


The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis will celebrate the season with its big-band arrangements of holiday classics.


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December 19: The African Origin of Civilization

Upper East Side


This Met exhibition presents masterpieces from West, Central, and Northern Africa to showcase five millennia of creativity from across the continent.


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December 20: Victorian Christmas Tour

Irvington, NY


Visit the Armour-Stiner Octagon House for a festive tour of the unique structure—the only known fully domed octagonal residence.


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December 21: Winter Solstice Walk

Riverdale


Take a scenic walk through Wave Hill’s gardens and learn about the plants that you see along the way.


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December 22: Andy Warhol: Revelation

Prospect Heights


This Brooklyn Museum exhibition explores the celebrated artist’s relationship with his Byzantine Catholic faith.


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December 23: Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights

The Bronx


Enjoy immersive light displays and animated light shows at the Bronx Zoo’s holiday celebration, which also features live entertainment and seasonal treats.


illuminated elephants at the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights display

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December 24: Animating The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Astoria


Learn how the 1966 short “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was created when you visit this Museum of the Moving Image exhibition.


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December 25: Binge-Watch Holiday Movies

Virtual


Curl up on the couch with your loved ones and enjoy one or several of these holiday movies that are currently on Netflix.


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December 26: Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration

Virtual


The Apollo Theater’s annual Kwanzaa tradition returns with an evening of music and dance that celebrates unity and intergenerational sharing.


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December 27: NYC Art Deco Tour

Virtual


Learn about New York City’s lesser known Art Deco enclaves, from Inwood to Bay Ridge to Sunnyside, through this on-demand video package.


Art Deco building in New York City

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December 28: Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction

Midtown West


Featuring 300 works, this MoMA exhibition explores Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s multifaceted approach to abstraction.


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December 29: The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Hudson Yards


Originally performed by Lily Tomlin, this one-woman show stars Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live.”


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December 30: Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts

Upper East Side


Be inspired by the Met’s first-ever exhibition exploring the work of Walt Disney and his use of French motifs in his films and theme parks.


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December 31: Give Back to Your Community

Across NYC


In the spirit of the season of giving, choose from an array of volunteer opportunities—whether it’s packing groceries, delivering meals, or tutoring young adults—to help your fellow New Yorkers.


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To have a monthly event guide sent to your inbox, subscribe to our New York City Inbox Concierge here. Plus, here's what's happening in Connecticut in December.

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