Photograph by Rhonda Dorsett, Courtesy of St. John the Divine
Believe it or not Christmas is here and the New Year is just around the corner! If you’ve already seen the holiday decorations, admired the department store window displays and taken a picture with the Rockefeller Center Tree, check out our Untapped picks for more events happening in New York City this Christmas week:
Friday, December 21st
Photograph Courtesy of Make Music
Join in on the 5-borough Make Music Day Winter Celebration! Sixteen participatory parades will take to the streets, parks, plazas and public spaces all across New York City this Friday from 12:00pm until 8:00pm. Everyone of any age and musical ability is invited to participate in this nationwide event. Take part in a Deep Listening meditation at the Oculus, join a New Orleans-style jazz parade at the Louis Armstrong House, hop on the Solstice Soul Train or flat-foot with fiddlers in Flatbush! You can find all the parades happening Friday here.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice at the largest Cathedral in the world. The 39th Annual Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Concert at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is a multi-media event featuring musicians, vocalists and the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. The performances offer a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people gathered together on the longest night of the year to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year. If you can’t make a performance of the concert, which will be held on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, you can download music from the solstice collection for free.
Saturday, December 22nd
Explore the abandoned hospital complex at Ellis Island on Untapped Cities’ behind the scenes hard hat tour. On this urban exploration you will gain access to areas of the 22-building complex that have been off-limits to the public for over sixty years, including the contagious disease wards, the laundry facility and the morgue. You will also see pieces of the site-specific art installation Unframed installed by world-renowned artist JR.
Discover the maritime history of New York City on Untapped Cities’ brand new tour! For the first three and half centuries of its life, this city was defined and sustained by its maritime operations. However, New York’s maritime roots are often overlooked and ignored. Take a journey back through lower Manhattan with Untapped Cities guides Justin Rivers and Mandy Edgecombe to experience New York as the world’s greatest port of call. Hear stories of infamous sea captains Adrian Block and William Kidd, walk the less-charted trail along the historic east side slips including Old Slip and Coenties, learn about New York’s old buried ships on both the Hudson and East River shores and New York’s old floating churches and visit related sites including the International Merchant Marine Building, The Cunard Building, the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, the stunning Merchant Marine Memorial and the South Street Seaport.
Enjoy a night of hidden holiday science and history as told by the city’s best researchers and storytellers at Caveat’s Santa’s from 23rd Street and Other Secret Histories of New York Holidays. Learn the backstories of your favorite holiday traditions, from the nordic mythology behind Santa’s reindeer to the birth of Santa on West 23rd Street! This festive evening of holiday history will be hosted by local historian, tour guide and freelance writer Lucie Levine with stories from Christa Avampato and Dustin Growick. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today!
Sunday, December 23rd
Grab some unique last minute gifts at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn. This indoor market is free to attend. There will be music from local DJs, food from tasty food trucks, and over 100 vendors to shop at, from jewelry and candle makers to clothing and housewares.
Uncover the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal on Untapped Cities’ signature walking tour of the historic station. Peek into the private hidden tennis courts, discover millions of dollars worth of treasures, and reveal more wonders of the Beaux-Arts beauty that you might pass by everyday on a hurried commute.
Monday, December 24th
Gather for Christmas Eve caroling at Washington Square Park near the Washington Square Arch with The Rob Susman Brass Quartet, song leader, and other revelers from all over the city. Songbooks with lyrics will be distributed by the Washington Square Association, but you probably already know the words!
Celebrate the 175th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the New York Public Library’s A Dickens Christmas Exhibit. The exhibit also marks the 150th anniversary of Dicken’s American reading tour with Dickens’s heavily annotated prompt-copies—which he used in his performances—of A Christmas Carol and other holiday books, including The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth, together with original photographs, first editions, and ephemera. The exhibit will be on view until January 7th at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, McGraw Rotunda. Note that the library closes at 3pm today!
Tuesday, December 25th
While the streets outside the Museum at Eldridge Street are quiet on Christmas day, inside, clarinetist Greg Wall’s band Klezmerfest! will lead a joyous communal celebration! There will be singing, dancing and dabbling in Yiddish at this annual concert. The shows will start at 12pm and 2pm. After the concerts, visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy the Museum’s two exhibitions, on paper cut art and menorahs from around the globe.
Wednesday, December 26th
Head to the Queens Country Farm for some warm winter activities inside the decorated Adriance Farmhouse. At this annual Holiday Open House, warm up by the fireplace with a cup of hot mulled cider and take a tour of this historic landmark. There will even be crafts for the kids all day long! This event, from 12:00pm until 4:00p.m, is free and open to the public.
Thursday, December 27th
Enjoy the last few days of Winterfest Brooklyn outside the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn’s first winter village and holiday market. The 40,000 village boast a The Wine Tasting Experience at Vinopolis, a Christmas tree maze and a chocolate dome for the kids, tons of vendors to shop at and more special events.