Travel

End the year with a bang in New York

From the iconic Rockettes to the dazzling lights in Bronx Zoo, the Big Apple offers unparalleled experiences during the holiday season

From the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - which officially kicks off the holiday season - to the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Centre and the New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City offers unparalleled experiences.

The city hosts classic and surprising ways to celebrate the holidays with vibrant performances, tours and lightings, especially from early November into January. Here are other things to see and do across the boroughs, according to NYC & Company, New York City's official destination marketing organisation.

Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes (Nov 8 to Jan 5; Midtown, Manhattan)

The annual musical holiday stage show returns to Radio City Music Hall, dazzling audiences of all ages. Expect a production that sparkles with incredible costumes, festive songs and the iconic synchronised high kicks.

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show (Nov 23 to Jan 26; Fordham, the Bronx)

Head to the New York Botanical Garden and be enchanted by model trains zipping through a display of more than 175 New York landmarks, each recreated with bark, leaves and other natural materials.

NYC Winter Lantern Festival (Nov 20 to Jan 12; Randall Manor, Staten Island)

Eight acres at Snug Harbor will be lit up by more than 50 LED installations, and the LED lanterns will be accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dance and art.

Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History (Nov 25 to Jan 12; Upper West Side, Manhattan)

The signature Origami Holiday Tree - featuring a 4m tree and 1,000 origami models - has been an annual tradition for more than 40 years. Volunteers fold year-round.

Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo (Nov 21 to Jan 5; Fordham, the Bronx)

Returning for the first time since 2007, the stunning light displays at the Bronx Zoo will cover several acres in a walk-through experience with wildlife-themed LED displays, custom Asian lanterns and animated light shows on Astor Court. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, performances, ice carvings, train rides, seasonal treats and souvenirs.

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science (Nov 23 to Jan 12; Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens)

Holding the record for the largest gingerbread village, the event is back and more edible than ever. Visitors are invited to witness the vast collection of gingerbread structures which are embellished with candy canes, chocolate and frosting.

A Christmas Carol (Nov 29 to Jan 5; Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

Throughout New York City, theatres bring Charles Dickens' timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future alive onstage. For a unique venue, head to the 1832 Merchant's House Museum in Greenwich Village as an actor portrays Charles Dickens and shares this memorable Christmas story in the Greek Revival double parlour.

Three extraordinary versions of The Nutcracker in three boroughs (Upper West Side, Manhattan; Flushing, Queens; and Flatbush, Brooklyn)

From Nov 29 to Jan 21, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Centre Plaza in Manhattan brings the classic Christmas Eve tale to life with breathtaking music and choreography.

In addition, The Nutcracker at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre is making an appearance at Flushing, Queens, on Dec 4, with a twist on the original characters. A historical puppet cast that is hand carved and traditionally painted is bound to entertain children and adults alike.

Lastly, The Brooklyn Nutcracker at Kings Theatre is a re-imagined holiday classic opening its doors on Dec 14. The production transforms familiar Nutcracker characters and scenes to represent the diverse traditions and vibrant culture of melting pot Brooklyn.

TOURISM & TRAVEL