Top Ten Things To Do In December

Take The Holid-A-Train
Chug Along on Bar Car Nights
While the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show is fun for all ages, their Bar Car Nights, held from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. on 12/2-12/3, 12/16-12/17, 12/23, and 12/30, are an adults-only affair. Marvel at the display during special, extended evening hours, sip a cocktail or two, and enjoy live performances from some of NYBG’s favorite street performers and musicians. Spiked cocoa and savory wood-fired small plates are just some of the festive and delicious offerings available during this annual cold-weather fête.
(New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx)

 

Take A Bow
Marvel at the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Since making its international debut in 1993, the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker has become a treasured holiday tradition. Local child dancers are invited to audition and participate in the onstage saga, which also features a 60-foot growing Christmas tree, dazzling handmade costumes, stunning hand-painted sets, and the company of the Moscow Ballet, nearly 40 dancers strong. The show is touring America and comes to New York at 3 p.m. on 12/3 at Brooklyn’s famed King’s Theatre. Tickets start at just $32.50.
(King’s Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn)

 

miracle-on-madison

Shop ‘Til You Drop
Buy for a Cause During the Annual Miracle on Madison
With a Salvation Army Santa on every corner, New York makes it easy to remember the less fortunate during the holiday season. Do your part to give back while stuffing stockings and trimming your tree during the annual Miracle on Madison. On 12/3, participating shops on famed Madison Avenue will donate a percentage of their sales to The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, a volunteer-led organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of patients, supporting cancer research, and providing public education on the early prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.

 

Believe In Magic
Go Back to the Turn of the Century with The Illusionists
Through 1/1/17, Broadway is home to the original rock stars: a globe-trotting cast of illusionists whose magic, sleight of hand, conjuring, and clairvoyance made them the world’s most sought- after performers at the turn of the last century. Lavish costumes and sets are the scene for these scene-stealing acts of art and imagination, including the origins of some of the greatest and most dangerous illusions ever built, plus never-before-seen experiments, transporting you from modern New York to a bygone age of mysticism and wonder – perfect for the holidays. (Palace Theatre, 1564 Seventh Ave.)

 

Eat It Up
Eat, Drink and Be Merry at the Holiday Carolers Brunch
What’s more festive than stuffed French toast with pear- cranberry compote and hazelnuts? How about stuffed French toast with all the trimmings and live carolers? On Saturdays in December (12/3, 12/10, 12/17, 12/24, and 12/25), The Lambs Club hosts professional carolers and serves a tempting brunch including duck con t latkes with poached egg, frisée, and lingonberry or house-cured smoked Arctic char with crème fraiche, caper berries, and a bagel. And, yes: stuffed French toast, plus hot cocoa for all. Fa la la la YUM.
(The Lambs Club, 132 W. 44th St.)

 

Top It All Off
latke-festivalSample the Savories at the Annual Latke Festival
On 12/19, the Brooklyn Museum gets up close and personal with the borough’s storied Jewish heritage when it hosts the seventh annual Latke Festival. Chefs from across the city come together to present their best versions of the classic snack, with a panel of judges (and, of course, the guests) critiquing the offerings and choosing their favorite. In a season with more than enough excuses to overeat, this is one of our perennial favorites and a fun way for non-New Yorkers to get a real taste of the city. (Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn)

 

Shake It Off
The Taylor Swift Experience
“Cherry lips; crystal skies. I could show you incredible things.” And you’ll find them all at The GRAMMY Museum’s traveling exhibit, The Taylor Swift Experience. As the Los Angeles-based museum’s most popular exhibit ever, this is sure to bring Swifties in droves to the Seaport, where they’ll find “as seen in New York” outfits, GRAMMY Awards gowns, home videos, hand- written lyrics, and more. Whether you’re cheer captain or sitting on the bleachers, there’s something here for you. (The GRAMMY Museum, 19 Fulton St.)

 

Run Home For A Touchdown
The Seventh Annual Pinstripe Bowl Brings Football to Yankee Stadium
The Bronx is best known for the pinstriped masses who descend from April through October, but on 12/28 a contemporary tradition will make its seventh appearance at storied Yankee Stadium: the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, bringing top-notch Division I NCAA college football to New York. Last year’s Duke-Indiana game was a thriller, and while the teams will change, the action on the field will not. No word yet on whether they’ll score a field goal or a triple, though… (Yankee Stadium, 1 E. 161st St., The Bronx)

 

Get Baked
Score Some Treats at Tate’s Bake Shop Pop-Up
There was a time when you and your sweet tooth had to travel all the way to Southampton for a batch of Tate’s famed cookies. With this month’s pop-up shop at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, the best of the East End lands in the heart of Manhattan, with sweets perfect for holiday giving – or holiday indulging. A bag of cookies makes a charming hostess gift, and we promise: no one will be disappointed that you didn’t bake them yourself. (Leave that to the professionals!)
(Bank of America Winter Village, W. 42nd St. at Sixth Ave.)

 

nye-at-the-mckitrick-hotelRing In The New Year
Go All Out at the King’s Winter Masquerade
Choosing a destination for your New Year’s Eve evening is never easy, but this year there’s a clear winner: the annual King’s Winter Masquerade at The McKittrick Hotel. For anyone who has ever experienced Sleep No More, little else needs to be said; for the rest of us, the details are sparse but undeniably enticing: Masks. Performers. Music. Revelry. A massive haunted hotel and some of New York’s most dynamic singers and dancers. What else do we need to say? (McKittrick Hotel, 520 W. 27th)