YOUR HELPFUL HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE FOR 2015

Before you know it, the next few weeks will be a whirl of office parties, cocktail gatherings and gift exchanges. Make sure to take a moment to attend these magical moments around the city to make this the best holiday season ever.

We know that New York City is magical year-round, but there’s something especially brilliant about the holidays around the Big Apple. The air is crisp, lights seem to twinkle from every tree and window and snowfall quiets the noise of the city just a touch. Whether it’s finding the perfect gift or savoring a handcrafted hot chocolate, here are some of the best places to celebrate the season this year.

Now – December 21: The regular Grove St. Farmers Market adds holiday flair with the HDSID Holiday Artist & Maker Market held Mondays and Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. from now until Dec. 21. Find the perfect gift while browsing the wares of dozens of local artists and artisans.

Now – January 3: The Radio City Rockettes put the kick in holiday kick off in the beloved Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Take in the show’s mix of nostalgic favorites and modern additions (3D sleigh ride, anyone?) in the historic Art Deco treasure that is Radio City. Attendees to shows on Nov. 23 – 25 and Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 will receive a complimentary Radio City Christmas Spectacular Santa hat.

Now – March 6: The Winter Village at Bryant Park offers all the best of the holiday season in one centrally located and beautiful location. Here you can take in the lights of the city while ice skating, browsing more than 125 holiday shops or indulging in a number of food and drink treats. While skating runs through March of next year, the shops will close Jan. 3 so make your plan to visit soon.

November 26: What better way to kick off the holiday season than by taking in the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? TimeOut recommends three prime areas for viewing including Central Park West, Time Warner Center and Sixth Avenue. If you want to see the floats without fighting the crowds on Thanksgiving day, head to the Upper West Side the night before to watch them being inflated near the American Museum of Natural History. It’s a one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes moment that will make you feel like a true New Yorker.

Weekends, November 28 – December 20: The Holiday Mart at the Hub shopping center on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey City runs five weekends leading up to Christmas and features holiday arts and crafts, live music, food trucks and a toy drive. Opening weekend festivities Nov. 28 and 29 include an ice rink and tree lighting ceremony on Saturday.

December 3: Jersey City’s annual Christmas tree and menorah lighting ceremony will take place at the Grove PATH Plaza on Thursday, Dec. 3 beginning at 5 p.m. Join Mayor Fulop for a special ceremony, pictures with Santa and free cookies for the kids.

jerseycity project market

December 5 – 6: This heated outdoor bazaar celebrating local small businesses will take place at City Hall the first weekend in December to kick off the holiday shopping season. This lively, well-attended event will include local vendors selling an array of crafts and gifts as well as food and drink stalls.

worlds largest mnorah

December 6 – 13: Celebrate the Festival of Lights by visiting the World’s Largest Menorah in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. Each night of Chanukah will be celebrated with the addition of another light to the 32-foot tall menorah, live music, latkes and gifts for the children.

December 2 – January 6: The most famous Christmas tree in the world will be illuminated on Dec. 2 in a star-studded event that attracts tens of thousands attendees and millions of television viewers. If you miss the live event, the tree’s 45,000 LED lights are on display each day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (and all night Christmas night) until the first week of 2016.

Whether you prefer your holiday outings small and intimate or world-famous, New York City delivers.

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