Things to Do This Weekend in New York City


by staff, 11/27/2013

« »
  • print

Weekends in NYC are packed with festivals, performances, exhibitions and more—many of them free. See what's in store below, plus check out our events page and Save the Date tool for even more things to do.

November 29–December 1


Friday, November 29
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
It's likely you already know the story—and it's certain that no New York City holiday season is complete without seeing this production. The glittering classic, performed annually by the New York City Ballet since 1954, has become one of the City's signature family-friendly traditions. Expect to warm your spirit with visions of the Sugarplum Fairy and, naturally, the Nutcracker.

Lighting of the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah
Gather around the 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon at Grand Army Plaza (Fifth Avenue and West 59th Street, across the street from The Plaza hotel) to pay homage to the annual Jewish Festival of Lights.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Satisfy those on your shopping list and get into the spirit of the season with a trip to The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. More than 125 merchants fill the park through early January selling clothing, jewelry, household items, crafts, art and more. Plus, indulge in some warm and gooey treats from the vendors and go ice-skating at the Rink at Winter Village (free for guests who bring their own skates!).

Saturday, November 30
Small Business Saturday
Kick off your holiday shopping by supporting the mom-and-pop shop right around the corner during this nationwide event. For the fourth year in a row, American Express is partnering with a number of organizations to encourage customers to shop at small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Independent small businesses create jobs, are a boon to the local economy and offer great gifts and goods, which makes supporting them even more important to your community. For more information, visit—and even after November 30, remember to support local businesses.

Downtown Brooklyn Holiday Lights and Trolley
Enjoy tours of Downtown Brooklyn aboard the Holiday Trolley, which operates four consecutive Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas and features special activities like carolers and even a visit from Santa Claus.

Origami Holiday Tree
Holiday decor gets a crafty makeover with the American Museum of Natural History's annual Origami Holiday Tree. For this year’s theme, "Wicked, Wise and Wonderful," the museum has drawn inspiration from its Power of Poison exhibition to create the 500 folded-paper works that will adorn the 13-foot tree. After exploring the permanent exhibition halls, current shows (including the Power of Poison) and expansive collections, check out the tree to see which toxin-carrying creatures have been transformed into elegantly crimped ornaments.

Sunday, December 1
The Shadows Took Shape
This exhibit makes uses of Afrofuturist aesthetics to explore contemporary art. Since its coinage by Mark Dery in 1994, afrofuturism has been used by artists, writers and theorists as a framework to see and explore the past, present and future. Owing its title to a Sun Ra poem, this exhibit features more than sixty works, highlighted by 10 new commissions from artists working in photography, video, painting, drawing and sculpture.

The Grinch's Holiday Workshop
The Grinch and his holiday workshop arrive at the Children's Museum of Manhattan in an interactive exhibition inspired by Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Kids will enjoy seeing scenes from the book covering gallery walls, and they can participate in a scavenger hunt, play in a real-life sleigh and take part in other ongoing Seuss-related holiday programming.

Front Row: Chinese American Designers
Today is your last chance to see this exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America, which explores the history and influence of New York's Chinese-American fashion designers, including Derek Lam, Wayne Lee and Vera Wang.

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    New York City Ballet, Inc.
    David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  2. 2
    Grand Army Plaza
    Fifth Avenue and W 59th Street
    Manhattan – multiple locations
  3. 3
    Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
    Bryant Park, 42nd St. and 6th Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10018
  1. 4
    American Museum of Natural History
    Central Park West at 79th St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024
  2. 5
    The Studio Museum in Harlem
    144 W. 125th St.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10027
  3. 6
    Children's Museum of Manhattan
    The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024
  1. 7
    Museum of Chinese in America
    215 Centre St.
    Manhattan – multiple locations
    NY 10013

check-in date

check-out date