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Christmas Shows in NYC 2024

Updated: March 9, 2024

Get into the holiday spirit by seeing one of these Christmas shows in NYC in 2024!

In this post, we list musicals, concerts, ballet and orchestra performances, gospel shows, and free Christmas events.

We are a group of local tour guides with Free Tours by Foot and we've written this post from our first-hand experiences attending these shows.

We also listened to our many guests as well as the members of our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group to help come up with this list.

Recommendations for Christmas Shows in NYC

The group consists of locals, like our guides, expats, regular visitors to NYC, as well as newbies.

There's no need to become a member of the group to search for and read posts, comments, and recommendations.

Now...on to the results.

And be sure to check out our post on Things to Do for Christmas in NYC

1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Even though the Rockettes originated in St. Louis, these high-kicking ladies have become synonymous with New York City.

During the performance, the Radio City Rockettes perform their famous “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”, as well as a variety of other numbers.

The show runs multiple times each day so you should be able to find a date right for you. Still, tickets sell fast so buy now!

  • Venue: Radio City Music Hall at 50th Street and 6th Avenue.
  • Dates: November 17, 2023 to January 1, 2024. Times vary by date.
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

Read our posts on Radio City Christmas Spectacular Discount and also Discounts for Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour.

2. Our Happy Holiday Gospel Special

This musical production inside of Memorial Baptist Church sets the stage for a spirited celebration of Christmas through song.

Songs for each nostalgic era and made famous by gospel choirs and carolers all over the world celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

You will hear Christmas carols made famous by Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Whitney Houston, Earth Kitt, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and a few more hidden surprises.

"Our Happy Holiday Special" guarantees a gospel good time, EVERY TIME!

  • Venue: Palladium-Times Square
  • Dates/Times: Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. (There is an accompanying Gospel walking tour of Harlem at 10:00 a.m.)
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

3. The Nutcracker

Seeing the New York City Ballet's annual production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker is a magical Christmas experience.

With elaborate special effects like a glowing Christmas tree that grows from 12 feet tall at the show's start until it reaches a towering 40 feet by the end.

The Nutcracker is a holiday performance not to be missed!

  • Venue: David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
  • Dates: ​​November 24 - December 31, 2023. Times vary depending on the date.
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

4. Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Twas the Night Before….

This is Cirque du Soleil’s first-holiday show based on the Christmas classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore.

You can expect the same type of spectacular acrobatics this troupe is known for, along with a holiday classic soundtrack.

  • Venue: The Theater at Madison Square Garden
  • Dates: December 7-28, 2023
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

5. Big Band Holidays at Lincoln Center

Get jazzy with the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis playing your favorite holiday music.

It is a holiday extravaganza for people of all ages and backgrounds.

  • Venue: Lincoln Center, 10 Columbus Circle.
  • Dates: December 13-17, 2023
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

Learn how to get discounts for Lincoln Center Tours tickets.

6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

See one of the best Broadway shows! Watch the continuing tale of Harry Potter unfold through this stage production of the eighth story in the franchise.

Fans of the Wizarding World won't want to miss this opportunity to experience the last Harry Potter story written to date.

The performance is 5-6 hours long, with just one intermission, which might be a bit much for younger children.

  • Venue: Lyric Theatre, 214 W. 43rd St.
  • Dates/Times: playing regularly throughout the year.
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

7. Merry Tuba Christmas - Free event

Celebrate the Annual Merry Tuba Christmas as hundreds of tuba players of all ages gather in the Rink at Rockefeller Center. It's free to attend!

They will be right next to the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and will play Christmas carols and other crowd favorites.

Tuba Christmas performance
  • Venue: The Rink at Rockefeller Center at 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th St.
  • Dates: December 10, 2023 at 3:30 pm.
  • Free.

TIP: While you are at Rockefeller Center, take the time to discover the beauty of this Art Deco complex of buildings.

Our post on Tours of Rockefeller Center lists all the options from a free self-guided tour to an official guided tour. 

8. Jingle Ball

The iHEARTRadio Jingle Ball is a charity concert sponsored by Z100 radio station.

Each year this pop concert features top stars.

The lineup features Olivia Rodrigo, OneRepublic, Sza, Sabrina Carpenter, Jell Roll and many more.

  • Venue: Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza.
  • Dates: December 8, 2023 at 7 pm
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

9. Special Holiday Concerts by Pop Stars

These big-name pop and contemporary music performers are celebrating the holidays! 

10. Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration

Join this one-hour holiday celebration with uplifting music by this renowned Harlem gospel choir of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Harlem.

You can choose between Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

  • Venue: Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
  • Dates: December 23 and 25, 2023 at 11 am
  • Tickets: $22 (ages 8 and up), $6 (aged 7 and under).
  • Purchase here.

Not here for the holidays? Luckily, you can see a performance any time of the year.

Find out where from our post, Gospel Music in Harlem and the Rest of New York City

11. Mozart’s The Magic Flute

This year, the Metropolitan Opera will perform an abridged version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, a musical fairy-tale perfect for the holiday season.

The show is produced by Julie Taymor of Lion King fame and has been shortened to under two hours, making it a great choice for families with young children.

  • Venue: The Metropolitan Opera House
  • Dates: December 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, 2023. Times vary depending on the date.
  • Tickets: Not available in 2023

This magnificent opera house can be visited on a Lincoln Center tour.

12. Winter Wonderland at the Apollo Theater - Free Family Event

This free event is perfect for families!

It takes place at the legendary Apollo Theater.

Underneath the famous marquee, the whole family can take part in holiday-themed activities including picture-taking with Santa Claus, and see fantastic performances from local choirs.

  • Venue: Under the marquee of the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St. 
  • Dates: December 9, 2023 at 2 pm
  • Tickets: Free

Read more about the performance here

13. Amateur Night at the Apollo - Holiday Edition

This special holiday show includes talented children dancers, musicians, and singers who have won past Amateur Night's Stars of Tomorrow.

  • Venue: Apollo Theater, 253 W 125th St. 
  • 2023 Date: December 9 at 7:30 pm
  • Tickets: Prices start at $44.
  • Purchase here.

Take a tour of the historic Apollo Theater

14. Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night 

An annual celebration at the Apollo to recognize another seasonal holiday, Kwanzaa.

Hear music and see dance that exemplifies the values of the holiday, family, community, and culture.

  • Venue: Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St. 
  • Dates: December 30, 2 pm and 7:30 pm.
  • Tickets: Start at $25.
  • Purchase here.

15. Sing! An Irish Christmas!

Award-winning Keith and Kristyn Getty bring their unique interpretations of Christmas classics to Carnegie Hall.

Expect to hear beloved Christmas carols, modern hymns, and even Irish jigs!

  • Venue: Carnegie Hall
  • Dates: December 9, 2023 at 12 pm
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

16. A Christmas Carol - The Musical

This off-Broadway production of a timeless classic has run every holiday season for 10 years. 

This will be especially fun for children.

  • Venue: Players Theatre at 115 MacDougal Street (between W. 3rd & Bleecker).
  • Dates/Times: Nov. 26-Dec. 30, 2023. Show times vary by date.
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

The Players Theater is in Greenwich Village, a fun neighborhood to explore.

17. Unsilent Night - Free Event

A very unusual way to celebrate the holidays, and an unforgettable one. 

People gather in Washington Square Park to prepare for this one-mile parade in which everyone is invited to bring their own boomboxes or sound-blasters.

Unsilent Night

Everyone downloads the specific track for the event and then makes a lot of noise in unison! 

  • Venue: Washington Square Park
  • Date: December 17th, 2023 6:00 pm (meet under the Arch at 5:45 pm)
  • Tickets: Free

Click here for the details of how to participate.

18. A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House

Be transported back in time when you see this classic Charles Dickens tale in the landmark 1832 Merchant’s House Museum. 

  • Venue: The Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street between Bowery and Lafayette Avenue.
  • Dates: November 28 - December 24, 2023. Times vary by date.
  • Tickets: From $45 - $115. Purchase tickets.

19. A Charlie Brown Christmas Live

Join the Peanuts gang for this timeless seasonal classic.

This production features actors performing as the animated characters we love, along with the memorable Vince Guaraldi musical score.

Charlie Brown Christmas Live
  • Venue: Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank, New Jersey.
  • Dates/Times: November 24 at 1 pm and 4 pm
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

20. Make Music Winter - Free Event

A free outdoor music-making celebration featuring parades around the city, showcasing many cultures and genres. 

This takes place on the winter solstice and the longest night of the year.

  • Venue: Click here for the various events around the city 
  • Dates: 2023 not yet announced.
  • Tickets: Free.

21. A Christmas Carol in Harlem

This production by the Classical Theater of Harlem takes this Charles Dickens classic and adapts it to present-day Harlem.

While weaving in serious social issues, this production is still humorous and maintains a joyful holiday spirit. 

  • Venue: City College Center for the Arts Aaron Davis Hall.
  • Dates: 2023 yet to be announced.
  • Tickets: n/a

22. The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical

If you're visiting New York City with children, you might want to consider taking them to the musical version of this classic Christmas story.

  • Venue: to be announced
  • Dates/Times: to be announced
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

The venue and dates for 2023 have not yet been announced so check back with us!

23. New Year’s Eve -at the AMC Theater

Watch movies or dance all night on New Year’s Eve on adult-only floors with open bars and mini buffets or get tickets for the Family Fun New Year’s Eve (no alcohol served).

  • Venue: AMC Theater on West 42nd Street.
  • Dates: December 31, 2023, 9 pm - 3 am.
  • Tickets: Purchase here.

See our post about spending New Year's Eve in Times Square.


About The Author

Katherine Weatherford

I'm Katherine Weatherford and I'm a tour guide for Free Tours by Foot in NYC, but I have also been working professionally in theater for nearly two decades. I have worked onstage as an actor, both in New York as well as on the road, and have also worked behind the scenes as a choreographer, costumer, stage manager, and director. I am now the Co-Artistic Director of Greenwood Lake Theater , a professional theater company in the Hudson Valley. I love going to see shows of all kinds. Read More...
Updated: March 9th, 2024
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