There’s never a dull moment in the greatest city on the planet, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, FREE tree lighting ceremonies, FREE Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremonies, FREE ice skating, and Gridock Alert days.
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NOTE – In accordance with the NYC vaccine requirement, visitors ages 12 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter NYC museums, including those listed here.
Add these virtual and in-person events
to your calendar for the
Week Mon., Nov. 22 Through Thanksgiving Weekend, Sun. Nov. 28
Find More Things to Do on our
Featured Events This Week
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
It kicks off at 9am, back in all it’s glorious wonderfulness, after last year’s scaled down Pandemic version.
See our recommendations for best viewing spots.
Join top cookbook experts discussing – or debating – the history of this favorite Hanukkah food, including the best way to prepare it and serve it. Applesauce or sour cream?
FREE event, both in person and online, from Temple-Emanu-el Streicker Center.
Tuesday, Nov. 23 – Atlantic Avenue Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Wednesday, Nov. 24 – AMNH Origami Holiday Tree
Saturday, Nov. 27 – Park Slope Fifth Ave. Tree Lighting
Sunday, Nov. 28 – Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights
Presented by HIICAP: The Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program at the NYC Department for the Aging.
- Tuesday November, November 23rd at 5 PM.
- Reservation required for the Zoom link.
Free on Wednesday – Concerts at Grand Central Terminal
The shops at GCT are in full holiday mode, with special offers and gift wrapping. The Thanksgiving Market in Vanderbilt Hall is open 9am to 5pm.
On Wednesday, to provide some calm to the pre-Thanksgiving chaos, enjoy these FREE performances from artists of the “Music Under New York” program. It’s one of many visual and performing arts programs administered by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design to enhance the transit environment for customers.
- 10:00am-12:00pm – Erik Jacobson: classical cello
- 12:30pm-2:30pm – Luellen Abdoo: classical violin
- 3:00pm-5:00pm – Orlando Sanchez Soto: jazz saxophone
Also these six GCT bakeries are offering Thanksgiving specials, including chocolate turkeys, pies and cookies.
- Bien Cuit: Brooklyn-based artisanal bakery that delivers traditional breads, refined pastries, and original desserts, including Garam Masala Pumpkin pie and Maple Bourbon Pecan pie. Shoppers can find cakes, tarts, and eclairs among the sweet and savory baked menu.
- Jacques Torres Chocolate: Master chocolatier Jacques Torres presents Thanksgiving highlights including milk and dark chocolate turkeys, bonbon boxes, and chocolate chip cookie bundles.
- Li-Lac Chocolates: Li-Lac Chocolates is one of New York’s oldest chocolate houses. making old-world chocolates in small batches including a 10”-tall, 4.5lb chocolate turkey packed with gluten-free, kosher-certified milk and dark chocolates.
- Magnolia Bakery: The world-famous, NYC-based bakery will be selling their Thanksgiving favorites including pumpkin pie, apple crumb pie, chocolate pecan pie, and of course, cupcakes!
- Neuhaus: Since 1857, when they invented the praline, Neuhaus has created exquisite Belgian chocolates using outstanding ingredients and drawing on its master craftsmanship, experience, and passion. Their confections are authentically Belgian and are made with the finest non-GMO ingredients.
- Zaro’s Family Bakery: A 90-year-old NYC staple, Zaro’s returns to the Thanksgiving Market with apple pies (made only this time of year), babka, and cookies, including that NYC tradition, a black-and-white cookie.
Now Open- AMNH Butterfly Conservatory
Celebrating its 23rd year, this popular attraction returns to the American Museum of Natural History and transforms the coldest day into a summer escape.
Walk through a special area to be greeted by up to 500 fluttering, iridescent butterflies among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation in 80-degree temperatures.
- AMNH is at 79th St. and Central Park West
- Make it a museum day, and visit the New York Historical Society one block away
Museum Exhibits We Recommend
Notorious RBG: The Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Explore the life and impact of Brooklyn-born Ruth Bader Ginsburg – the trailblazing Supreme Court Justice and cultural icon – at a new exhibit at the New York Historical Society.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg features personal artifacts, archival photographs and documents, historical artifacts, contemporary art, media stations, and interactives spanning RBG’s varied roles as student, wife to Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, mother, lawyer, judge, women’s rights pioneer, and internet phenomenon.
Also now at the New York Historical Society – and for the same admission price – see
Celebrate a dynamic and multifaceted New York City from the 19th century to the present day with 130 stunning paintings, sculptures and works on paper by artists including Marc Chagall, David Hockney, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol
The exhibition showcases the extraordinary promised gift to New-York Historical from philanthropists and art collectors Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld, whose collection encompasses many views of an ever-evolving city.
- Through Feb. 27, 2022
Mandala Lab at Rubin Museum
There’s always good Karma at the Rubin.
Get FREE tickets for the opening night celebration of the new Mandala Lab, the Rubin’s latest interactive space. Explore innovative installations, enjoy free admission, soak up beats with DJ Luna Rosa, and toast the new third floor.
The Rubin is at 150 West 17th St., open 11am to 5pm Sat./Sun. and to 10pm on Friday.
FREE admission on Friday evenings.
Puppets of New York
Get up close with New York City’s quirkiest residents—puppets! At the Museum of the City of New York.
Puppets of New York examines the extraordinary, surprising, and diverse history of the puppetry traditions, practices, and languages that made New York City home.
This wonderful new exhibit features more than 100 puppets that span the city’s history from theater, television, and street life—including Lamb Chop, Sesame Street, Avenue Q, The Lion King on Broadway, avant-garde theater, parades, and more, and poised to bring joy and awe to people of all ages.
Seriously – who doesn’t love puppets?
with the PuppetMobile.
More NYC Museums & Exhibits Worth Visiting
This wonderful small museum just steps from Battery Park is all about the history and architecture of skyscrapers around the world, and how they influenced the growth of cities.It’s re-opening with open the long-delayed Supertall 2020 exhibition, now renamed Supertall 2021.
The show is both a survey of 58 supertalls worldwide – including here in NYC – and a showcase of a dozen recently completed towers that represent some of the most stunning new forms and innovative approaches to structural engineering around the world today.
There’s also a virtual lecture series World View presented talks by the principal designers of these extraordinary projects.
Skyscraper Museum is now open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from noon to 6pm, with FREE admission, but timed-entry reservations are required.
- Book your FREE ticket here.
- The Skyscraper Museum is at 39 Battery Place across the street from the Museum of Jewish Heritage, another must-visit NYC museum.
This little gem is about the history and influence of Chinese in America, from building railroads to building high tech networks, fashion, games, food, and more.Current exhibitions include Asian American Responses: Resisting the Tide of Racism, and a photography exhibit of Chinatown.It has re-opened with its normal pre-Pandemic hours:
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 6pm
FREE Admission: In celebration of receiving a generous donation from Mackenzie Scott, MOCA is able to offer free admission for all throughout the run of the Responses Exhibit,
- MOCA is at 125 Centre Street.
- No Reservation Needed.
Louis Armstrong House Museum
This off-the-radar gem in Queens has reopened for in-person tours.
NYC Libraries Return to Full ServiceYet another sign that NYC is back in business – NYC libraries in all five boroughs are back to full service/
That means you can borrow books and CDs, use the FREE computers, and more, at all three NYC library systems, NYPL, Brooklyn Library and Queens Library.
This branch of the Smithsonian is always FREE.
Exhibits feature the arts and culture of native peoples from Alaska to the southern tip of South America.
NMAI is open Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm, at 2 Broadway at the northern edge of Battery Park.
Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
This museum, housed in the glorious and opulent former home of Andrew Carnegie, re-opened recently.
The historic cargo ship traveled the world, delivering goods between such fabled ports as Calcutta, Buenos Aires and – of course – New York City, and represents the thousands of ships which have docked along the New York waterfront over the centuries.
- FREE self-guided tours Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
Also FREE tours of the historic floating lighthouse on weekends.
The Guggenheim Museum of Art
- Pay-what-you-wish Friday and Saturday, 4pm to 6pm
- Reservations are required.
There is FREE admission all day Saturday.
Visitors with disabilities and their caregiver receive free admission every day.Get more from your visit with the FREE audio tour you can download into your smartphone.
Explore the Jewish Museum through the voices of artists, scholars, rabbis, and more. From thematic tours including Jewish Rituals and Artists’ Voices; to tours for kids and families, and Verbal Description tours for individuals who are blind or have low vision. Uncover rich stories from many voices and perspectives at Tours.TheJewishMuseum.org.Headphones must be used in the galleries.
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More to Do in NYC Every Weekend
Greenpoint Terminal Market
This popular outdoor market is back for the season on Saturdays and Sundays, with a full roster of vendors, including food, and also entertainment.
This season, Greenpoint Terminal Market expands with roller skate rental and lessons, Yoga, Capoeira,fitness, art and dance classes.And there’s always the expansive and gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline.
There are more than 100 vendors, from vintage and antiques to local art and design, and fashion.
International food vendors on hand reflect the multi-cultural diversity of Brooklyn.
Greenpoint Terminal Market is at 2 Noble St., Brooklyn.
- By Subway – take the G Train to Greenpoint Avenue
- By Ferry – take the East River Ferry to Greenpoint
NYCOTC Publisher/Executive Editor Evelyn Kanter is a native New Yorker who has written for the NY Times, NY Daily News, NY Post, New York Magazine, and is a former on-air reporter for WCBS Newsradio 88 and WABC-TV Eyewitness News.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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