If your holiday spirit starts to flicker and dim this season, let a visit to New York City be the electrifying jolt needed.
RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR
Celebrate the holiday season with high kicks and killer costumes as this iconic dance group returns to the stage. Tickets start at $49.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 17-Jan. 1; Radio City Music Hall (1260 Sixth Ave.)
HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW
Hop aboard this whimsical winter experience featuring model trains chugging along a half-mile track. It winds through a display of nearly 200 iconic New York landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge — crafted from natural materials such as birch bark, lotus pods and cinnamon sticks.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 18-Jan. 15; New York Botanical Garden (2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx)
MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
In its 97th edition, the iconic annual pageant, with its giant helium character balloons and floats, is a festive start to the holiday season. Spectators can see parade balloons as well as marching bands, athletes, clowns, dance groups and Broadway actors and other celebrities. Enjoy this high-energy procession with its white-bearded, red-suited guest of honor before tucking away the turkey with family and friends.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 23
ROCKEFELLER CENTER TREE
Rockefeller Center’s towering Christmas tree has been the core of the city’s holiday celebrations for more than eight decades, attracting New Yorkers and visitors alike in a continuation of the tree-decorating tradition begun by day laborers during the Great Depression. Every year, merrymakers pack the sidewalks to view the center’s dazzling holiday decorations and the lighting of a glittering giant evergreen.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 29; 30 Rockefeller Plaza
INFO 212-332-6868, rockefellercenter.com/holidays
DEPARTMENT STORE HOLIDAY WINDOWS
Every year, shoppers are lured inside by the extravagant holiday window displays that are a signature of Manhattan’s department stores. Popular displays usually can be expected from Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co. and Macy’s Herald Square.
WHEN | WHERE December in midtown Manhattan
DYKER HEIGHTS CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
For sheer luminosity, it’s hard to beat the festooned homes of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. A six-block area in the residential neighborhood sparkles and twinkles with thousands of holiday lights, not to mention the Nativity scenes, inflatable snowmen, oversized nutcracker figurines, animatronic Santas, glowing angels and other flashy displays that cause tens of thousands of visitors each year to catch their collective breath.
WHEN | WHERE December in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn (11th to 13th avenues and 83rd to 86th streets)
HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT THE BRONX ZOO
Brighten up your holidays with this annual light display. This year's experience includes more wildlife lanterns and immersive light displays, plus stilt walkers, costumed characters, ice carving, s’mores, holiday trains and so much more. Adults and kids alike are sure to be dazzled by this display.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 17-Jan. 7, select dates only; Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd.)
KWANZAA: REGENERATION CELEBRATION
The historic Apollo Theater is once again holding its celebration of the annual African American festival. An afternoon and evening performances will combine music and dance to honor the core principles of Kwanzaa, such as unity, faith and creativity. Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, with choreographer Abdel Salaam, will perform. Tickets start at $25, on sale Nov. 15.
WHEN | WHERE 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30; Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St.)
INFO 212-531-5305, apollotheater.org
NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL DROP
Usher in the New Year with boisterous revelers and 3,000 pounds of colorful confetti. It all happens in Times Square as the world watches when a 12-foot Waterford crystal ball takes a 60-second plunge.
WHEN | WHERE Dec. 31; Times Square