It’s the most magical time of the year! New York City is known for being home to the world’s best shows, so what would the holiday season be without watching some of the best Christmas shows?
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There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to explore the city’s holiday decorations and watching a festive show!
These Are The 18 Best Christmas Shows in New York
Radio City Christmas SpectacularBroadway Show in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Radio City Spectacular is undoubtedly the most popular Christmas show in NYC. The Rockettes have performed at the iconic Radio City Music Hall since 2931 and have created a holiday tradition for many visitors and locals. The precision dance group makes your jaws drop for 90 minutes. It’s the most famous annual Christmas show in New York that everyone looks forward to. Because it is so popular, there are up to 5 performances on a single day.
AirOtic Soirée: A Circus-Style Cabaret Dinner Show (November 18 – December 30, 2022)Other Art & Culture in Hell's KitchenAdd to myNY added
Attention cabaret fans: there’s a new show in the city! You can now see a group of highly talented acrobats in the heart of Manhattan. AirOtic Soirée combines modern burlesque and high-level cirque acrobatics with a menu created by Chef Saul who has already been featured on Good Morning America. After the show you can enjoy a nice cocktail and meet the cast.
Every Friday and Saturday throughout January and February you have the opportunity to experience this brand new sensual show in Hell’s Kitchen.
The NutcrackerOther Events in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
Another classic among the best Christmas shows in NYC is The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet. It was originally performed in 1892 and therefore looks back at a long-standing tradition. The shows’ popularity only increased over the years so that even today, we can enjoy the wonderfully performed ballet performances. In fact, there are several different versions of the Nutcracker ballet in NYC, ranging from the well-known George Balanchine version to “Nutcracker Rouge”, an erotic reimagination of the holiday classic. For many, the Nutcracker is not only their favorite ballet but also their favorite Christmas show in NYC.
A Christmas CarolBroadway Show in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
When talking about Christmas Shows in NYC, we cannot forget A Christmas Carol. The classic story by Charles Dickens returns to Broadway for the holiday season. The tale is guaranteed to capture your attention with its magical new interpretation. The musical tells the story of a bitter man who has a change of heart after being visited by four ghosts that transport him in the past, present, and future. During the dazzling musical performance, expect to hear cherished carols such as “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World”.
Did you know? The timeless tale is a new version adapted by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s playwright Jack Thorne. It’s almost a guarantee that A Christmas Carol will also make it to your favorite Christmas shows in New York.
Harry Potter and The Cursed ChildBroadway Play in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an original new story by J.K. Rowling. The story takes place many years after Harry Potter’s last adventure “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” at the end of which, Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Draco are bringing their own children to the Hogwarts Express.
That’s where the story picks up. When Harry Potter’s son Albus first arrives at Hogwarts, not only must he face the challenge of living up to his famous father’s reputation but also must carve his own path in the school’s hallowed halls. Nothing is ever simple in Hogwarts and Albus’ adventure is both nostalgic for fans of the original series and packs plenty of its own twists and surprises for seasoned and new viewers alike.
We can’t tell you more at this point, as we don’t want to reveal the entire story for you. At each viewing, fans are given collectible buttons with the phrase #KeepTheSecrets, reminding us not to give away any spoilers.
Candlelight: Holiday Jazz and Soul Classics feat. Ella Fitzgerald (December 21, 2022)Other Events in WilliamsburgAdd to myNY added
Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in New York City. Get your tickets now to discover Holiday themed jazz music at The Williamsburg Hotel under the gentle glow of candlelight.
Christmas Light Show at Saks Fifth AvenueOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store, which is located in Midtown Manhattan, offers an experience like no other flagship store in the city. It’s one of the original stores responsible for helping to make fifth ave a must-visit shopping destination.
The flagship store is a whopping ten stories high and features everything from designer clothing to accessories to home decor. You’ll find all of the top designers at Saks Fifth Avenue, including Prada, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and more! In addition to clothing, you can also find beauty products and services here, making it the perfect one-stop-shop for all your luxury needs.
The flagship store is often considered to be the most luxurious department store in New York City and offers an experience that is sure to please everyone who visits. With outdoor light experiences, and intricate displays adorning each floor of Saks, it’s no wonder why many consider it to be one of the must-visit store’s flagship stores in NYC.
Santa's Secret Immersive Holiday Experience (November 25 – December 31, 2022)Other Events in Hudson YardsOur Highlight
The Magic Flute - Holiday Presentation (selected dates December 16, 2022 - January 6, 2023)Other Art & Culture in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
The Metropolitan Opera is bringing back the family’s favorite holiday presentation, “The Magic Flute.” This tamed version of Mozart’s musical fairy tale features Maestro Duncan Ward and company. The Met’s abridged version of The Magic Flute brings you tenors David Portillo and Ben Bliss, who both play Tamino, the prince trying to win the love of princess Pamina, sung by sopranos Sydney Mancasola and Joelle Harvey. You will also see other cast members, including Chris Kenney, Joshua Hopkins, and Soloman Howard. The show features a runtime of one hour and 50 minutes and is showing at The Met from December 16, 2022 until January 6, 2023.
Joy of Christmas! at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (December 9 & 10, 2022)Building in Harlem & Washington HeightsAdd to myNY added
For one weekend only, you can enjoy the St. John Divine’s Cathedral Choir and Orchestra playing the sounds of Christmas. The show is conducted by the Director of Cathedral Music, Kent Tritle, and the Associate Director of Music and Choirmaster, Bryan Zaros. The show is an amazing combination of the Cathedral orchestra, choirs, and soloists. These artists perform Magnificat by Antonio Vivaldi, The Christmas Bird by Sheena Phillips, In Bethlehem Above by Yshani Perinpanayagam, and more. Click here for tickets to Joy of Christmas!.
Peter & the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev with Isaac Mizrahi at Guggenheim Museum (December 10 & 11, 2022)Museum in Upper East SideOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Peter & The Wolf is a story for all ages! The Guggenheim is proud to host Isaac Mizrahi as he narrates and directs this famed story from Sergei Prokofiev. This classic and charming children’s story is accompanied by performances by a live orchestra and costumes designed by Mizrahi. The choreography was directed by John Heginbotham, who did a great job bringing this 30-minute show to life for the entire family. This special Peter & The Wolf show lasts only two days, so don’t miss out! Tickets range in price from $5 up to $35 and are on sale now!
A Child's Christmas In Wales at the Irish Repertory Theatre (December 1 - 31, 2022)Other Events in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
Beginning on December 1 and running through December 31, 2022, you can catch the show “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” at the Irish Repertory Theatre. This joyous holiday classic makes its special return for the sixth time. Dylan Thomas’s famed A Child’s Christmas in Wales features traditional and contemporary Christmas music intertwined throughout the iconic story of what happened on a snowy Christmas Day in Wales.
The show stars Ali Ewoldt, Kerry Conte, Dan Macke, Jay Aubrey Jones, Ashley Robinson, and Kylie Kuioka. Tickets are on sale now, with prices starting at $70.
A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House (December 23 - 29, 2022)Museum in NoHoAdd to myNY added
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories. Now, you can catch John Kevin Jones’s one-hour take on this classic holiday ghost story. The Merchant’s House Museum is the former mansion of a wealthy 19th Century family, making for the perfect setting for a story in New York City in 1867. Tickets are on sale now and range in price from $45 up to $115. Also, consider going to the pre-show reception before select performances. Here you’ll sip mulled wine and listen to Jones recite “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Moore.
Tickets for this are limited and can be purchased here.
The Nutcracker at Brookfield Place (December 2 - 4, 2022)Mall in Battery Park CityAdd to myNY added
Keith Michael, a long-time NYC Theatre Ballet choreographer, brings his innovative ballet styles to the beloved Tchaikovsky score set in 1907 to Art Nouveau-style. From a luminous owl flying above the audience and clockwork imps to dancers with large chopsticks and mice dressed in polka dots, this reimagined timeless classic bursts with excitement and energy. This one-hour show is suitable for audiences ages three and up. The Nutcracker at Brookfield Place requires advanced registration and runs for three days: December 2 through December 4, 2022.
Tickets are available here.
Big Band Holidays at Lincoln Center (December 16 - 18, 2022)Building in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
Each December, Rose Theater is home to this holiday extravaganza. Big Band Holidays is brought to you by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The show consists of soulful big band performances of both secular and sacred songs. Big Band Holidays is a traditional event that’s enjoyed by audiences of all backgrounds and ages. So, bring the entire family to enjoy live performances of “Jingle Bells,” “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” and more. Big Band Holiday is held at the Rose Theatre and will run daily from December 15 through December 19, 2022. Big Band Holidays Tickets sell out fast, so reserve yours today!
Z100s Jingle Ball (December 9, 2022)Other Events in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
New York’s number-one hit station, Z100, hosts an annual charity concert known as the Jingle Ball. This spectacular show returns for 2022 to Madison Square Garden, where fans will be delighted to see musical performances by some of today’s biggest musical stars.
Musical guests this year include the Backstreet Boys, Charlie Puth, AJR, The Kid LAROI, Demi Lovato, and more. Unfortunately, tickets to this show sell out fast and are already officially sold out for 2022. However, you can win tickets by signing up at various retailers or even listening to Z100 for a chance to call in and get tickets.
The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical (tbd)Other Events in Park SlopeAdd to myNY added
The tradition that’s captured the hearts of people around the world is returning to the live stage this holiday season! The thrilling spectacle that is The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas musical combines dance and music to transport the audience to the North Pole. In this magical place, you’ll witness the daily lives of Santa’s magical Elves. The story features an original score and story, beautiful costumes and sets, and so much more. Though dates have not been announced for this year, you can sign up on their website for future updates.
New York is home is the epicenter of entertainment and surely does not disappoint during the holiday season. There are plenty of Christmas shows in New York that are worth watching, ranging from classics to modern adaptions of your favorite tales. Please know that you can’t return home without having seen at least one of the best Christmas Shows in NYC!
My personal favorite
When thinking about my favorite Christmas shows in New York, I don’t have to think very long. It’s probably no surprise that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes is my personal favorite. I love watching the show over and over again. In fact, it is a family tradition to watch the spectacle every year. For us, it’s the ultimate Christmas show in New York City though I do enjoy all other shows as well. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting during the holiday season. Because of the many daily shows, you can flexibly integrate the show into your schedule.
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