For some people, the holiday season begins as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers were gone and the clock struck midnight on Black Friday. You know the ones: folks who wait all year to crank up Mariah Carey, assemble their Christmas trees or menorahs and string up the flashy lights. Whether you're in the spirit already or need some help getting there, here are some events and destinations perfect for locals and visitors alike.
Support Black-owned businesses in a Brooklyn holiday pop-up market
If you’re eager to get all your shopping done this weekend then check out The Lay Out’s Buy/By BLK holiday market this weekend at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Lay Out is a community organization that has focused on creating space for Black people since the George Floyd uprising. Enjoy chill vibes, games and DJ sets while you spend your money on more than 30 Black-owned brands. Dec. 3 and 4, noon – 5 p.m.; eventbrite.com
Don your ugly sweaters and sing "Hallelujah"
For decades, the West Village Chorale has come together each year to sing Handel's celebrated seasonal oratorio, "Messiah," inviting the public to sing along. Taking place this Sunday at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South), the event is open to anyone who wants to take part in belting out the "Hallelujah" chorus. And if that's not enough singing for you, on Dec. 17 you can join the Chorale again for its 48th annual Greenwich Village Caroling Walk. Participants are encouraged to wear their ugliest sweaters while they fa-la-la through the Village. Dec. 4 and 17 at 3 p.m.; westvillagechorale.org
Get up off your couch and watch classic holiday specials in public
Visitors to the Paley Museum, located just two blocks from the Rockefeller Center crowds at 25 West 52 Street, can enjoy the magic of the season by meeting favorite characters like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Hermey the Elf and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, snapping photos with Santa and participating in arts and crafts events. The museum's four floors will feature a curated collection of classic holiday films and TV specials celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day and Christmas. Through Jan. 8, times vary; paleycenter.org
Go ice skating at Brooklyn's waterfront creative hub
Brooklyn creative complex Industry City is lit up for the season with festive décor perfect for photo opps, plus live music, heated courtyards and family-friendly activities. What’s sure to be the most exciting part of Winter at IC is skating on an outdoor rink, complete with a bar serving up hot cocoa and snacks. The rink is open Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays into the new year. Through January, times vary; industrycity.com
Head for the harbor and cruise your way into Christmas
Starting next Wednesday and coasting through the end of the year, Circle Line transforms its Harbor Lights Cruise into a winter wonderland on the water. The boats will be decked out in twinkling lights, garlands, holiday ornaments and Christmas trees, while customers enjoy panoramic views of New York City from the comfort of heated indoor decks. December 7 at 7 p.m.; circleline.com
Gawk at unconventionally beautiful Christmas wreaths reinterpreted by fellow New Yorkers
Wreaths wrought from the most unlikely materials are on display all this month in the New York City Parks Department’s 40th annual Wreath Interpretations show at the Arsenal Gallery, located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue. This Big Apple tradition re-imagines the traditional Christmas wreath using materials like caution tape, safety pins, traffic light reflectors and even bath sponges. Each has its own theme, such as endangered species and chemistry. Nearly 40 festive garlands are on display, all handmade by artists, designers and members of the public – including children. Through Dec. 30, hours vary; nycparks.org
— reported by Rosemary Misdary
Step back in time at Staten Island's oldest cultural institution
Visitors to Christmas in Historic Richmond Town will find themselves immersed in a winter wonderland as they step back in time. The village centers around a 40-foot Christmas tree due to be lit during an opening-night ceremony on December 10. Activities include old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday caroling, cookie decorating and (of course) photos with Santa. Dec. 10–11 and 17–18, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; historicrichmondtown.org
Finish your holiday shopping with a custom-curated Brooklyn pop-up market
If you don't wrap up your shopping this weekend, the Jummy's Picks Holiday Pop-Up, presented by Black-Owned Brooklyn at Atlantic Terminal, is here to help. Spanning two weekends, the event includes a curated selection of 50-plus local businesses, along with live DJ sets, visits with “Papa and Mama Soul Santa” and lounge areas for eating and relaxing. Dec. 10–11 and 17–18, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m; mixily.com
Kick up your heels to the sounds of Eastern European Jewish roots music
Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics have been a leading force in reviving traditional Eastern European Jewish music since 1986. The group has performed in more than 20 countries worldwide and released 11 albums to date, which means there's a plethora of music to pull from for its Hanukkah show at the East Village nightclub Drom – among a variety of offbeat holiday events. December 11 at 8 p.m.; dromnyc.com
Let a high-flying countertenor light up your Hanukkah
Charismatic countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo comes to the Streicker Cultural Center at Temple Emanu-El (1 East 65th Street) for "Everlasting Light," a special free Hanukkah concert featuring selections from Handel's oratorio "Judas Maccabaeus," plus seasonal songs and contemporary fare. Joining Costanzo are fellow opera star Angel Blue, NYC indie orchestra The Knights and the world-renowned Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m.; streicker.nyc
Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect date for the Klezmatics concert.