December may bring chilly weather and snowfall, but the Big Apple truly comes to life over the holiday season. From pop-up markets to arthouse films and ballet, here are the December events you won’t want to miss.
Upper West Side
Columbus and Amsterdam Ave.,between 63rd and 85th Streets, New York
Whether you’re visiting the Upper West Side to enjoy its museums, for a stroll in Central Park, or to shop on Amsterdam Avenue, there are several options for exploring the area. Neighborhood walking tours provide historical context and single out hidden spots, while broader city sightseeing tours and hop-on hop-off bus tours typically highlight top Upper West Side attractions and are a good option if you’re pressed for time. Walking and pedicab tours of Central Park can help you navigate the 843-acre (341-hectare) green space, and themed tours—such as gospel tours and entertainment industry tours—offer a deep dive into NYC culture.
Things to Know Before You Go
Opera, theater, and ballet lovers shouldn’t miss a show at Lincoln Center, New York’s premier performing arts space.
Central Park’s five visitor centers are a good place to ask directions or learn about general park information.
Music fans gather by Central Park’s Strawberry Fields mosaic, honoring famed Beatles’ musician John Lennon.
How to Get There
The Upper West Side covers a large swath of Manhattan, from West 59th to West 110th streets, bounded by Central Park and the Hudson River. The neighborhood is easiest to access by subway. To explore Amsterdam Avenue and the Museum of Natural History, take the 1, 2, or 3 train to 72nd or 86th Streets. You also can ride the A, B, or C train and hop out on Central Park West (8th Avenue).
When to Get There
With so much to do on the Upper West Side, how you plan to spend your time is the best way to determine when to arrive. To visit the museums and shop, plan to arrive during the day, on a weekday, to avoid Saturday crowds. Visiting at night is a great choice for dinner and an evening stroll in Central Park.
Visiting the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is a standout New York museum. Its numerous family-friendly exhibits celebrate biodiversity and the natural world. Find historic dioramas, taxidermied animals, and world-famous dinosaur exhibits. Aspiring astronauts should stop by the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The museum is open seven days a week, from 10am to 5:45pm.
- Things to do in New York
- Things to do in Brooklyn
- Things to do in Long Island
- Things to do in Philadelphia
- Things to do in Boston
- Things to do in Salem
- Things to do in Washington DC
- Things to do in Williamsburg
- Things to do in Buffalo
- Things to do in Niagara Falls
- Things to do in Niagara Falls & Around
- Things to do in Montreal
- Things to do in Toronto
- Things to do in Pennsylvania
- Things to do in Massachusetts
- American Museum of Natural History
- Hayden Planetarium
- New-York Historical Society Museum and Library
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
- Belvedere Castle
- The Dakota Apartments
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
- Strawberry Fields (John Lennon Memorial)
- Neue Galerie New York
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
- Bethesda Fountain
- The Jewish Museum
- New York City Fifth Avenue
- The Met Breuer