As you may know starting in November, New York City is transformed into a beloved holiday destination with celebrations throughout. From annual favorites like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker to smaller, treasured celebrations like viewing Christmas lights, New York City provides a unique experience for visitors and locals during the holidays.
Opening the joyous holiday season are the more than 10,000 participants in the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade is followed by the much-anticipated Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting on December 3.
The 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (macys.com/parade) will take over the streets of New York City on November 27 starting at 9am. Visitors and viewers will be in awe of its giant helium character balloons, fantasy-filled floats, marching bands, performance groups and clowns. The parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West and then makes its way toward Columbus Circle, where it will turn onto Central Park South before making its way down Midtown on Sixth Avenue from 59th to 34th Streets. The parade concludes with its final turn onto 34th Street in front of Macy’s Herald Square.
Every year, holiday markets pop up across the City, selling homemade goods, holiday treats and gifts. Annual favorites typically include the Union Square Holiday Market, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park and the Grand Central Holiday Fair.
New York City Ballet will present one of the season’s favorite annual productions, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, complete with marching toy soldiers, a one-ton Christmas tree that grows before the audience’s eyes and crystalline snowflakes. The show will run November 28–January 3 (nycballet.com).
The Big Apple Circus is coming to Lincoln Center October 17–January 11. The annual show is a New York City holiday season favorite. This year’s show, Metamorphosis, is a brand-new spectacle with a flying trapeze, a musical clown and contortionists (bigapplecircus.org).
In its eighth year, A Slice of Brooklyn’s Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour offers visitors the opportunity to see the famed Dyker Heights Christmas lights, most recently seen on TLC’s Crazy Christmas Lights. Every year the neighborhood is ablaze with illuminating exhibitions complete with 30-foot toy soldiers and nativity scenes. The bus also offers festive holiday music and old-time Christmas television variety specials, topped off with a taste of Brooklyn’s best cannoli and hot chocolate. Tours run December 1–31 (asliceofbrooklyn.com).