What’s On in New York, December 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Whether you’re ready or not! December is here folks and New York City is about to get a whole lot cooler – figuratively and literally – with holiday inspired events, shopping and entertainment about to crop up everywhere. Ho ho ho!

AWNY is hosting and supporting the following events, join us:

Festive Drinks at Library Bar, Hudson Hotel, Dec 4:

Come and join Australian Women in New York for our annual Festive Drinks at Library Bar in the Hudson Hotel. All welcome – this event is open to men and women – including AWNY/AAA members and non-members. Bring a friend or two, or make some new ones. This is a free event (with a cash bar) but RSVP is required via the AAA ticket link.

American Australian Association Holiday Reception, Dec 5:

Join the AAA at their Holiday Reception from 6.30pm – 9.30pm at LiveTiles for plentiful hors d’oeuvres (including meat pies and sausage rolls) and open bar with Australian beer and wine. There’s even a lucky door prize! Tickets start at $25 for AWNY/AAA members and can be purchased on the AAA website.

New Members’ Photo Walk, Dec 7
Discover New York through the lens of your smartphone or camera. AWNY member and professional photographer Susie Lang is hosting a photo walk through central park for new members. Places are strictly limited.  Where: Central Park (The Ticket Office of the north side of the N,R,Q,W subway at West 57th Street and 7th Avenue). When: 1-3pm. RSVP: By December 5th to awny@aaanyc.org.

Save the Date: Kate Robertson Book Launch, Jan 23.

American Australian Association Arts Award, Jan 30:

Celebrate the incredible contributions made by Australians within entertainment and the arts.  Funds raised from this Dinner will help provide scholarships to artists who will pursue their education in each other’s country. Tickets and registration are available on the AAA website.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Throughout Dec: Holiday Events in NYC

Whether you’re interested in visiting Santa, seeing the Christmas lights, finding a tree, ice skating, holiday drinks or more, our AWNY guide to embracing Christmas and The Holidays in New York is here to help.

Throughout Dec: Holiday Markets (free)

Skip the big box stores and shop local at the many pop-up holiday markets offering unique gifts from local artisans. From the Manhattan mainstays through to neighborhood classics, there is plenty on offer and worth exploring.

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Pexels.com

Throughout December: Slava’s Snowshow

This Tony Award-nominated show has returned to Broadway every Christmas since 2004 for a limited season, this year at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Created by Slava Polunin, considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest clowns, this wistful theatrical favourite is known for its climactic blizzard and the wordless clowns who roam a wintry landscape, and is suitable for children aged eight years and over. Tickets start at $79.

December: Give back to the community (free)

The holiday season is meant to be a time of generosity and togetherness. But of course for many living in New York City it can feel quite the opposite. If you’re looking for a way to give something to those less fortunate than you this month, there are plenty of options. It might even inspire you to do a little something all year round.

December 1: Ben Lee at City Vineyard

Sydney-born musician, Ben Lee, plays City Vineyard along with Joanna Sternberg to debut his latest release, Quarter Century Classix. His new album contains covers of songs Ben was obsessed with as a teenager in the early 90s.

December 4: The lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (free)

Each year, thousands of people crowd the streets for this event and millions watch the live broadcast. While the event is free and open to all members of the public, lines are long and the weather can be cold, so plan ahead! The tree will remain lit and on display on the plaza between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues through Friday, January 17, 2020.

December 12 – 29: Cirque du Soleil, T’was the Night Before Christmas

This all-new, family theatrical production is an exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas classic as only Cirque du Soleil can imagine. This vibrant acrobatic spectacle about the joy of sharing and friendship promises to spark lasting memories in the hearts of children and adults alike. The production will run at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden from December 12 through December 29 with tickets starting at $40.

December 13: Jingle Ball

It’s back! The biggest touring concert of the year has returned once again, stuffed with more pop talent than you can shake a sprig of holly at. This year’s edition of the Jingle Ball includes its biggest line-up yet, with artists including Taylor Swift, Lizzo, BTS, Lewis Capaldi, Billie Eilish and many more! Warning: ticket prices may cause heart attacks.

December 14: Santacon (free)

SantaCon is an annual pub crawl in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes or as other Christmas characters parade in several cities around the world. If you don’t like being cold and waiting in long queues to get into bars that are normally empty in the East Village then this event probably isn’t for you. Worth checking out at least once while you live here.

December 14: PetCon

Looking for a different kind of “con” and you’re an animal owner (or lover) in New York? You might want to check out PetCon! Taking place at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, you can expect insightful panels, fun activations and meet-and-greets with your favourite celebrity pets. There will be adoption agencies there looking for new homes for some furry friends – great Christmas present!

Photo by Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado on Pexels.com

December 16: Latke Festival

If you like latkes (traditional Jewish potato cakes) then you’re going love this! In it’s 11th year, the Latke Festival is a charity event benefiting The Sylvia Center held at the Brooklyn Museum. Join a panel of celebrity judges to celebrate this tasty treat, dance to a live DJ and vote for the Best Latke of all! Tickets start at $60.

December 18 – 26: House of Yes holiday parties

If you’ve been meaning to head to House of Yes, December is a great time to finally go. One party nightclub, another part circus, topped off with a sprinkling of cabaret, House of Yes is a Brooklyn institution housed in an old ice factory with themed events year-round. Throughout December their schedule includes offerings like Merry Funkin Christmas, Holiday Island, A Very House of Yes Chanukah, Misfit Christmas and Dirty Thursday Ugly Sweater Party. Some events are free, others very reasonably priced if you get there early. Good attitude mandatory.

December 19: A City Singing At Christmas (free)

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City returns to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for this cherished and much-anticipated celebration of Christmas. An evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas hymns and carols closes with the performers and entire congregation raising their voices together to sing Silent Night by candlelight. Admission is free, but come early for best seats.

Photo by Blue Ox Studio on Pexels.com

December 25: Christmas Day lunch

New York City apartment kitchens don’t necessarily lend themselves to creating huge feasts. But don’t worry, if you’d still like to gorge on delicious holiday helpings, but would like to have someone else do the heavy lifting, there are plenty of restaurants that will not only be open on Dec 25, but will also be serving up delicious Christmas menus.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

December 31: New Year’s Eve

Where will you ring in the New Year? Times Square always plays host to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, where people come at 3pm to get a spot for a 6pm start, with no public restrooms and freezing cold. Otherwise watch from home, snuggled under a blanket with friends and something bubbly close by. If you’re lucky maybe a friend in NYC has a view of the action. Otherwise make like a true New Yorker and shun the ball drop altogether. Instead you can ring in the New Year at a rooftop barcruise around the harbour or take a midnight ride or run.

January 1: New Year’s Day Swim with Coney Island Polar Bear Club

Hangover cure or health boost? Find out for yourself with an “invigorating” plunge in the Atlantic with hundreds of other brave swimmers on this New Year’s Day tradition. The suggested donation is $25. 

Author: Julia O'Brien

Julia is originally from a small town in Victoria and has lived in New York since 2014. She spends her free time exploring the city and other parts of the States, with a razor sharp focus on trying food, wine and cocktails. And some coffee too.

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