Editors’ Picks, Christmas Edition: 11 Things to See in New York This Week

Get into the holiday spirit!

Thomas & Eno, Union Pond, Williamsburgh, L.I. (c. 1863), hand-colored lithograph, detail. Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.
Thomas & Eno, Union Pond, Williamsburgh, L.I. (c. 1863), hand-colored lithograph, detail. Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

This week, we’ve searched New York City for the most festive, exciting, and thought-provoking, shows, screenings, and events. See them below.

Wednesday, December 20–April 15, 2018

Figure skater Charlotte, age 17, starring in <em>Hip! Hip! Hooray!</em> on Broadway in 1915. Photo courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

Figure skater Charlotte, age 17, starring in Hip! Hip! Hooray! on Broadway in 1915. Photo courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

1. “New York on Ice: Skating in the City” at the Museum of the City of New York
Learn the history of one of winter’s favorite pastimes in this exhibition exploring New York City ice skating as an elaborate spectacle, commercialized leisure, and competitive sport, from the 1800s to the present. Objects on view include vintage photographs, posters, lithographs, paintings, and costumes.

Location: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue
Price: $18
Time: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

Through Monday, January 1, 2018

A window display from the Haas Brothers’ “Haas for the Holidays” collaboration with Barneys.

2. “Haas for the Holidays” at Barneys
For its annual holiday collaboration, Barneys invited Simon and Nikolai Haas of the Haas Brothers to redecorate the luxury department store’s Madison Avenue windows in their characteristically wacky style. Titled “Haas for the Holidays,” the display takes passersby on the journey of “Earth through the ages,” with animations brought to life on advanced LED screens. In addition to the window display, the Haas Brothers have also created interactive in-store experiences, limited edition merchandise, and a social media campaign wherein Barneys will make a $5 donation to the Children’s Defense Fund for every post that includes the tag #HaasRules.

Location:  Barney’s 660 Madison Avenue
Price: Free
Time: Store is open 10 a.m.–9 p.m., but windows are on view at all hours

Taylor Dafoe

The Flatiron Reflection project. Photo: Noah Kalina.

The Flatiron Reflection project. Photo: Noah Kalina.

3. “Flatiron Reflection” by Future Expansion 

The winner of the fourth annual Flatiron Holiday Design Competition is the Brooklyn-based firm Future Expansion, who have installed a “bundle of shimmering tubes” in the midst of Manhattan. Slip inside the panoramic central space to escape the buzz of the city around you, and see reflections of the Flatiron district’s skyscrapers in its mirrored surface.

Location: The North Flatiron Public Plaza at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street
Price: Free
Time: n/a

—Caroline Goldstein

Through Sunday, January 7, 2018

Photo by Garrett Ziegler, via Flickr.

Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Garrett Ziegler, via Flickr.

4. Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Think you’re too cool to be wowed by a Christmas tree? Guess again. Get yourself to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the daily 4:30 lighting of its gorgeously decorated blue spruce, standing some 20 feet high over an 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene in the Medieval sculpture hall, to have your holiday spirit refreshed. (While you’re there, you might want to brave the crowds for the stellar Michelangelo and David Hockney exhibitions, but they’re quite popular, so proceed at your own risk.)

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue
Price: Suggested admission, adults $25; seniors $17; students $12; children under 12 free
Time: Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; closed December 25 and January 1

—Brian Boucher

Origami holiday tree at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.

Origami holiday tree at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.

5. Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History
If one museum Christmas tree isn’t enough, there’s also the Natural History Museum’s take on the yuletide tradition, decked out with origami ornament version of specimens from the institution’s storied collection. Volunteers start folding in March each year to prepare the hundreds of intricate decorations.

Location: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West & West 79th Street
Price: Suggested donation $23
Time: 10 a.m.–5:45 p.m.; closed December 25

—Sarah Cascone

Through Monday, January 8, 2018

Writers Christmas 2017

6. “A Writer’s Christmas: Dickens & More” at the New York Public Library
It’s not so much a standalone exhibit as it is a rare gem of a display case, but of course, we think a manuscript by Charles Dickens alone is worth the trip. It will inevitably get you in the holiday spirit, though other displays on the concept by what the library describes as “a small group of literary luminaries” are more idiosyncratic. Dickens’s perennial favorite, A Christmas Carol, has spawned an infinite number of works addressing themes of personal redemption and reform since it first appeared in 1843. But the original tale remains a classic that merits repeated visits and re-reading.

Location: 476 Fifth Avenue, New York
Price: Free
Time: Sunday, 1 p.m.–5 p.m.; Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; closed December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1

—Eileen Kinsella

Through Sunday, January 14, 2018

Charles Dickens, <em>A Christmas Carol</em>, London: Chapman & Hall, (1843), illustration by John Leech depicting Marley's Ghost. Courtesy of the Morgan Library & Museum.

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, London: Chapman & Hall, (1843), illustration by John Leech depicting Marley’s Ghost. Image courtesy of the Morgan Library & Museum.

7. “Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas” at the Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum presents the first five original manuscripts of Charles Dickens’s iconic Christmas literature (A Christmas Carol, 1843; The Chimes, 1844; The Cricket on the Hearth, 1845; The Battle of Life, 1846; and The Haunted Man, 1848). The exhibition explores the personal and socio-political circumstances that gave rise the novel, tracing the genesis, composition, publication, and critical reception of Dickens’s most famous book.

Location: The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue
Price: $20
Time: Monday–Thursday 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; closing 4 p.m. December 24 and December 31; closed December 25 and January 1

Henri Neuendorf

Through Monday, January 15, 2018

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. Photo courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden.

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. Photo courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden.

8. “Holiday Train Show” at the New York Botanical Garden
This annual favorite, from artist Paul Busse, features stunning model buildings crafted in astonishing detail from plant parts gathered from his property in Alexandria, Kentucky. This year’s cityscape includes new versions of Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, among other architectural favorites, amid half a mile of track and more trains than ever before. Bring the kids during the day, or go after hours and enjoy a wintery cocktail during the festive bar car nights.

Location: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx
Price: $30 through January 1 and weekends, $23 non-holiday weekdays; $35 bar car nights
Time: Tuesday–Sunday, plus Monday, January 1 and 15, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; closed December 25; bar car nights, December 22, 23, 20, and 30, and January 6 and 13, 7 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

Through Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bergdorf Goodman's American Museum of Natural History-themed window for their 2017 "To New York With Love" display. Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman.

Bergdorf Goodman’s American Museum of Natural History-themed window for their 2017 “To New York With Love” display. Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman.

9. “To New York With Love” at Bergdorf Goodman
As per tradition, Bergdorf Goodman, one of the prestigious department stores on Fifth Avenue, tells a story this holiday season through their iconic window displays. This year, the retailer celebrates New York’s cultural institutions by showcasing seven local favorites: American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Museum of Moving Image, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Philharmonic, New York Historical Society, and UrbanGlass. The windows are luxe—dripping with Swarovski crystals—colorful, dramatic, and a sight to behold.

Location: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue
Price: Free
Time: Store is open 10 a.m.–8 p.m., but windows are on view at all hours

—Hannah Pikaart

Through Saturday, January 27

Nutcracker Exhibition

10. “Winter Wonderland: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The exhibition explores the early years of the now iconic ballet’s life, from its less-than-successful premiere in February 1954 to the success of the remounted production in 1964. The show relies on the archives of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, including photographs, set models, costume designs, and original film footage to evoke a sense of nostalgia, faith, and childhood innocence.

Location: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza at West 65th Street and Columbus Avenue
Price: Free
Time: Monday and Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m.; closed December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1

—Eileen Kinsella

Through Sunday, March 25, 2018

Erwin Redl's "Whiteout" (2017). © Erwin Redl, photo: Rashmi Gill.

Erwin Redl’s “Whiteout” (2017). © Erwin Redl. Photo courtesy Rashmi Gill.

11. “Erwin Redl: White Out” at Madison Square Park 
Experience an otherworldly dimension to New York City’s favorite park with this new installation from artist Erwin Redl. Hundreds of LED lights are suspended in a grid formation around the space, hovering just above the grass in an eerie yet beautiful kinetic light work.

Location: Madison Square Park, between Fifth & Madison Avenues, 23rd & 26th Streets
Price: Free
Time: 6 a.m.–11 p.m.

—Caroline Goldstein


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share