Photo of LuminoCityPhoto by Yunkai. Courtesy of LuminoCity Festival.

December this year is going to be an unusual holiday season for many New Yorkers, with winter ahead amidst a worsening pandemic. Despite this, the holiday spirit is high in New York City, with many exciting, socially distanced art events and installations coming this month. Whether you are spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve alone or with family and friends, don’t forget to check out the many vibrant holiday light shows throughout the city. Brookfield Place is returning strong this month with Luminaries and Light Up Metrotech, while LuminoCity Festival is coming back to Randall’s Island Park.

Besides the light shows, a new Flatiron Plaza art installation invites New Yorkers to contemplate connections with each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to move forward together. A sound installation unveiled by NYC AIDS Memorial captures the history of the AIDS epidemic. Remember to wear a mask as you check out these art events and installations. Here are the public art installations on display in New York City this December:


Photograph by Ben Hider/The New York Botanical Garden 

This holiday season, let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden in an all-new outdoor experience illuminating NYBG’s landmark landscape and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. With lots of room to spread out, explore a glowing world of color and light featuring the Haupt Conservatory as the centerpiece—its iconic exterior a glittering canvas. Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights, and picture-perfect installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections. Also during your visit, enjoy artistic ice sculpting, music, and pop-up performances by The Hip Hop Nutcracker. Due to COVID, the annual Holiday Train Show will only be open to NYBG Members, Patrons, and Bronx Community Partners.