The holidays in New York City can't be beat. Take a break to soak up the magic of the season at a series of classic Christmas shows and concerts in Manhattan. Here, we've rounded up 5 can't-miss Christmas productions that are sure to put you in the spirit of things. So go ahead, nab your tickets, and mark your calendars for some guaranteed holiday cheer!
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
More than a million visitors each year come out to see Radio City Music Hall's biggest event: the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The show, a NYC holiday tradition since 1933, includes wow-factor acts like a living nativity scene, dancing bears, ice skaters, dozens of Santa Clauses, and, of course, routines by the famous high-kicking Rockettes.
The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center
Choreographed by George Balanchine to this iconic score by Tschaikovsky, the New York City Ballet presents its annual rendition of The Nutcracker again in 2015. See ballerinas glide across the stage alongside mice, toy soldiers, and more enchanting characters in the elaborate "Land of Sweets." Some 90 dancers and 60 musicians join forces to mesmerizing effect in this beloved annual holiday tradition at Lincoln Center.
Handel's Messiah at Lincoln Center
Another Christmas-in-NYC tradition, New York Philharmonic performs Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center. This year's performance of the three-part biblical classical music piece by composer George Frideric Handel comes conducted by Jane Glover, and includes highlights like choruses for “Unto Us a Child is Born” and the stirring “Hallelujah."
A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House Museum
The timeless holiday classic story A Christmas Carol stays true to the voice of Charles Dickens, via this reading that unfolds at the historic 1832 Merchant's House Museum. Actor John Kevin Johns plays Mr. Dickens as he reads the tale in the candlelit Greek Revival parlor of the old home-cum-museum, surrounded by atmospheric 19th-century holiday decor and antiques.
New York Pops Holiday Concert at Carnegie Hall
The New York Pops stage their annual Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall, with a program brimming with holiday musical favorites. Evening shows on December 18 and December 19 feature the "It's Christmas Time in the City" program, led by musical director and conductor Steven Reineke, and supported by Tony-award nominees Stephanie Block (Wicked) and Brian d'Arcy James (Shrek The Musical). Or, pop in on December 20 for a family-friendly afternoon concert themed on "A Charlie Brown Christmas," with a sing-along and more to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the classic TV special created by Charles M. Schulz.