Cool Things To Do in New York City in December 2021 With Kids

The annual St. Nicholas Day celebration at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House features all the trappings of a traditional Dutch Christmas. Photo courtesy of the venue
The annual St. Nicholas Day celebration at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House features all the trappings of a traditional Dutch Christmas. Photo courtesy of the venue

Christmas lights and holiday activities are back this December, and that's just the beginning of things to do in New York City this month.

What a difference a year makes! Suddenly, Santa is popping up all over town, trees are lighting up, carols are being sung, Nutcrackers are battling mouse kings, toy trains are dazzling young engineers, and Hanukkah gelt and doughnuts are being passed out in abundance. And if you need a break from holiday-themed adventures completely, check out the new Sharks exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History!

We've made selecting the perfect spot for your holiday photo a snap, and we have some special ideas for seasonal day trip destinations, too. Find even more holiday fun in our Christmas Guide for NYC families.

We’re adding more events to our Family Activity Calendar every day, so don’t forget to check it frequently.

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Places featured in this article:


Visitor Center in Conference House Park

Astoria Park Lawn

Dimenna / New York Historical Society

St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church

Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

Museum of Television and Radio, Paley Center
Broadway in Bryant Park
Bryant Park - 12:00 PM Pick
Hudson RiverKids Chelsea
Pier 63 at Hudson River Park - 4:00 PM Pick
Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
Central Park - 6:30 PM Pick
41st Annual Battery Dance Festival
Rockefeller Park - 7:00 PM Pick
Harlem Week
Harlem (See listing) - various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides