The holidays are in full swing and there is so much to do around NYC, as always! Below are my top picks of the best food, events, museum exhibitions, and entertainment to check out for December 23 – 29.
* For the best Christmas things NYC has to offer, click here. And for all the best parties and restaurants for New Year’s Eve, click here.
RED GATE BAKERY
68 East 1st Street, NY, NY 10003
Officially opened as of December 19, 2019, Red Gate Bakery is a rustic and cozy, yet chic bake shop offering out-of-this-world cookies and other sweet treats! The bakery is decorated with white subway tiles, and wood features, all with signature red accents that make the atmosphere very inviting. You receive a warm welcome as you enter, by the chef and owner, Greg Rales, as well as Director of Operations, Patricia Howard. Greg’s enthusiasm radiates and you can truly tell that he loves what he does.
Some of their signature items include brown butter blondies, salted caramel brownies, brown butter carrot loaf, and midnight banana bread. They also offer celebration cakes in interesting flavors, such as chocolate stout, toasted coconut banana bacon, vanilla bean strawberry, and yellow birthday cake, all available via special order. And of course, the cookies! I am a self-proclaimed cookie monster and desserts are my weakness, so of course, I had to try a little bite of almost everything! Their signature cookies include cannibal cookies, white chocolate grapefruit cookies (my absolute personal favorite), chocolate toffee cookies, burnt chocolate cookies, and spiced & iced oatmeal cookies. The white chocolate grapefruit cookie has such a unique blend of flavors and is light, soft, and delicious! All of the cookies are very tasty and it’s really hard to have only one!
Red Gate also has some special seasonal offerings including a holiday version of the oatmeal, also known as a “snoatmeal” cookie, decorated with a glittery iced snowflake, homemade holiday Oreos – eggnog and peppermint, both delicious, as well as the best warm, nutmeg eggnog I’ve ever had in my life, and peppermint hot cocoa. They will also have special menu items throughout the year, and for other holidays, that you will not want to miss. This bakery is a must visit. It feels like home and is the perfect place to stock up on some tasty treats!
THE HO HO HOLIDAY LOUNGE AT THE SPRINGS
Now – January 1, 2020 | $13+
The Springs Brooklyn, 224 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Get in some last minute holiday cheer and head to Brooklyn to visit this jolly and “massive 7,500 sq. ft. pop-up lounge that is a unique one-stop shop for festive cocktails, Fornino pizza, and Greg’s trees Christmas Market.” The Springs
ROSÉ CHALET WEEKEND
December 28, 12-9pm & December 29, 12-6:30pm | $45 | Age 21+
Rosé Wine Mansion, 111 W 32nd St, NY, NY 10001
“Calling all snow bunnies! You’re invited to join us for an Après-Ski party at our Rosé Chalet on the weekend of December 28-29. Bundle up in furs, show off your favorite styles from the slopes and experience the world through Rosé-tinted goggles. We’re celebrating the winter season with icy Frosés, Rosé shot skis, and alpine entertainment that will give you chills.” – Rosé Wine Mansion
HELLO PANDA FESTIVAL
Now – January 26 | 5-10pm | $28+
Citi Field, 41 Seaver Way, Queens, NY 11368
Head to Queens to visit the largest lantern festival in North America and “light up the night with an illuminating cultural experience. Featuring over 120 lantern exhibits, live entertainment and interactive experiences, the first-ever Hello Panda Festival is designed to stir the senses and inspire imaginations. Our event celebrates the traditional Chinese art of lantern making with magical displays of light and color, handcrafted by world-class artisans. Other attractions include cultural performances and arts experiences, a holiday market and 60 international food vendors curated by The World’s Fare.” – Hello Panda Festival
Learn more here | Buy Tickets Here
SURROUNDS – 11 INSTALLATIONS
Now – January 4, 2020 | $25
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Before ending on January 4, be sure to check out this exhibition at the MoMA. It features 11 unique art installations by various artists.
Now – January 16, 2020 | $23
The American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, NY, NY 10024
Be sure to head to the Museum of Natural History to check out the Dark Universe exhibit before it closes. The exhibit features “exquisite renderings of enigmatic cosmic phenomena, seminal scientific instruments, and spectacular scenes in deep space. The Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe celebrates the pivotal discoveries that have led us to greater knowledge of the structure and history of the universe and our place in it—and to new frontiers for exploration.” – AMNH
HANDEL’S MESSIAH 2019
December 23 | 7:30pm | $20+
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave, NY, NY 10019
“Musica Sacra presents its annual performance of the Messiah featuring a cast of soloists and the Musica Sacra Orchestra, complete with baroque bows and a focus on period performance practices.” – Carnegie Hall
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: THE MAGIC FLUTE
Now – January 4, 2020 | $30+
The Metropolitan Opera, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, NY, NY 10023
“A beloved holiday tradition continues as Mozart’s delightful fairy tale returns in the Met’s abridged, English-language version for families, perfect for younger audiences, with no intermission and a running time of less than two hours. Lothar Koenigs conducts a dynamic cast of standout Mozarteans in Julie Taymor’s magical production, an enduring Met classic with its eye-popping puppetry and stunning visuals.” – Metropolitan Opera
A SOLDIER’S PLAY
December 27 – March 15, 2020 | $59+
American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, NY, NY 10036
Starring some familiar stars, David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood, A Soldier’s Play takes place in 1944, on a Louisiana Army base. “A sergeant is murdered—and the crime, with its masterfully unfolded investigation, triggers a gripping barrage of questions about sacrifice, service, and identity in America. A hair-raising drama that reverberates with the “authentic and exciting pulse” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) of mystery, Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece rockets onto Broadway for the first time.” – A Soldier’s Play