2017 New York City Holiday Events Calendar

For those of us living in the Tri-State area, we’re lucky to be just a short car ride away from one of the most festive and exciting cities in the world: Manhattan, better known as, “The Big Apple”! To help you plan your upcoming activities, here’s our 2017 New York City Holiday Events Calendar.

Fun and free: Holiday windows in NYC!

One of the most cherished Manhattan holiday traditions is also a free one—enjoying the department store window displays of some of New York City’s finest and most iconic department stores. Here are some stores and addresses to put on your holiday look list:

  • Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets
  • Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue at 58th Streets
  • Bloomingdale’s, 59th Street and Lexington Avenue
  • Cartier, 653 Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street
  • Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue at 56th Street
  • Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue at 39th Street
  • Macys, 34th Street and Sixth Avenue 
  • Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
  • Tiffany & Co., 727 Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets
  • Van Cleef & Arpels, 744 5th Ave, between 7th and 8th Avenue

91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Considered the official kickoff to the holiday season, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is watched by more than 3.5 million people on the streets of Manhattan and more than 50 million people nationwide.

In 2017, new balloons will include Jett from Super Wings, Harold the Baseball Player, Macy’s Golden Snowflake Stars, and the Macy’s Blue and White Star. You’ll also see appearances and performances by Sabrina Carpenter, Jojo Siwa, 98 Degrees, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Flo Rida, Wyclef Jean and The Goo Goo Dolls. Plus, numbers from Dear Evan Hansen, Anastasia, the upcoming Once On This Island and the new SpongeBob SquarePants musical.

The parade starts at 9:00 am sharp at West 77th Street and Central Park West, then proceeding to Central Park South to 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), and ending at 12:00 noon at 34th Street in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

Recommended areas for watching the parade include the first leg along Central Park West, Time Warner Center and, finally, along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street. Note the section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public.

When: Thursday, Nov. 23, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: 77th Street and Central Park West to 34th Street/Herald Square, Manhattan
Info: www.macys.com/parade 

85th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Another iconic Manhattan holiday moment is the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting! The 2017 tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Rockefeller Plaza and will remain on display through January 7, 2018.

The giant tree is traditionally a Norway spruce, and is lit with 30,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights on five miles of wire. And to top it off: a Swarovski crystal star.

The annual tree lighting is free and open to the public on a first come, first-served basis.

When: Tree lighting is Nov. 29. The tree stays lit and can be viewed until 9:00 pm on Jan. 7, 2018.
Where: Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Manhattan.
Info: www.rockefellercenter.com

Newly-Updated Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

Since 1933, people of all ages have been enjoying the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show. But this New York City holiday tradition is anything but stale. The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) announced recently that the 2017 production of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, has undergone a complete technological overhaul.

Technological enhancements in this year’s Christmas Spectacular include updated graphics in every production number as well as complete visual transformations of scenes such as the energetic tap number, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and the finale number, “Snow.” For the first time ever, all eight of the venue’s iconic proscenium arches will have imagery projected onto them using the most advanced 14K digital mapping technology available.

From a unique take on “The Nutcracker” to the original “Here Comes Santa Claus,” the show features 140 performers, including ice skaters, dancing teddy bears, the world famous Rockettes, a live Nativity, and of course, a guest appearance from Santa Clause himself!

The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, will run from November 10, 2017 – January 1, 2018. Tickets are on sale now at www.rockettes.com/christmas and the Radio City box office.

When: Nov. 10 through Jan. 1
Where: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City
Info: radiocitychristmas.com

2017 New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show

One of the lesser known, but equally festive and family-friendly New York City holiday events is the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show. Enter the Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory—a stunning Victorian-style glasshouse and a landmark itself—and watch the Garden-gauge trains loop a quarter-mile of track past 150 New York landmarks, including the original Yankee Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Trans World Airline Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport, and several bridges that remind that Manhattan is, indeed, an island.

This year’s exhibition features 3,000 square feet of additional exhibition space, making room for dozens of new trains, bridges, and tracks, as well as, a captivating short film of the show’s behind-the-scenes magic, and a stunning multisensory finale of light and sound.

When: Nov. 22 – Jan. 15
Where: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
Info: www.nybg.org/hts

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

Another timeless New York City holiday classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is the holiday ballet of all ballets. From the moment the lights go down, you will be transported to a magical place inhabited by marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree, adorable children, mischievous mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth. As in years past, 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands and about 100 students from the School of American Ballet team up to make The Nutcracker a magical performance for all ages.

When: Nov. 24 and runs through Dec. 31
Where: West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, New York City
Info: nycballet.com

Connecticut Summer Staycation Ideas

Summer vacations can get expensive, especially when you add up airfare, hotels and rental cars. So why not consider a Connecticut staycation this summer? Someplace close that you can drive to and then get home in a day. Here’s a list of some of Connecticut’s most popular day trip destinations.

Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park
Address: 161 Brownstone Ave, Portland, CT 06480

This is Connecticut’s first and only outdoor adventure park. You can go snorkeling, wakeboarding, zip lining, cliff jumping, and more. This is a great day trip for the whole family or active group of friends. You’ll get exercise and have fun outside at the same time.  Learn more about the park and upcoming special events on their website.

Connecticut’s Casinos: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Resort Casinos
Foxwoods address: 350 Trolley Line Blvd, Mashantucket, CT 06338
Mohegan Sun address: 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382

If you’re looking for a fun getaway with friends or a romantic partner, consider Connecticut’s two major casinos: Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. Mohegan Sun in the foothills of southeastern Connecticut is the larger of the two, with 364,000 square feet of gambling space. Both have restaurants, shops, theaters for shows and concerts, and other non-gambling areas. Check their websites (Foxwoods.com and MoheganSun.com) for upcoming events, and consider getting a room for the night for added fun and safety.

Connecticut Science Center
Address: 250 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103

The Connecticut Science Center is a nine-story museum located on the Connecticut River in Hartford. The building has a total 154,000 square feet including 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits consisting of videos, audios, visuals, tactile components, programs, and live demonstrations. Bring the kids as it’s both educational and fun. Learn more on their website.

Connecticut Wine Trail
Address: Throughout Connecticut

For a fun and relaxing adult day out, “taste the adventure” on the Connecticut Wine Trail, a unique collection of 24 vineyards statewide, all with tasting rooms where visitors can sample their portfolio of wines.  Connecticut’s wines have won dozens of awards, so you won’t be disappointed. Consider visiting in the fall for the added visual burst of colorful foliage.

Gillette Castle State Park
Address: 67 River Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423

If you’re a fan of visiting historic homes, Connecticut is a treasure trove, and Gillette Castle is one of the gems. Actually, it’s made largely of stone. Looking on the outside like a medieval fortress, the house was commissioned by American actor William Gillette, who was best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage. It receives 300,000 visitors a year, also for its hiking trails, a picnic area, and a museum, and several theatrical events throughout the year. Find out more on Gillette Castle State Park’s website.

Lake Compounce
Address: 186 Enterprise Dr, Bristol, CT 06010

Opened in 1846, Lake Compounce is the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in the United States. The park covers 332 acres and includes a beach and a waterpark which can be used by guests at no extra charge.

Lake Compounce has over 50 rides and attractions, including Boulder Dash, a wooden roller coaster ranked the #1 Wooden Roller Coaster in the World by the Golden Ticket Awards since 2013. Check out on the Lake Compounce website and then head over for some fun!

Lyman Orchards
Address: 700 Main St, Middletown, CT 06457

“A trip to Lyman Orchards is an outing you’ll never forget,” reads their website.  Lyman Orchards is the 12th oldest family-owned business in the United States, and it’s no wonder it’s been around for so long; the grounds are beautiful, stretching over 1,000 acres. There’s a huge golf course, and in the summer you can try your hand at the corn maze. Plan your visit soon, as “Pick Your Own Strawberries” season opens in June.

Mark Twain House
Address: 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut

The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) and his family from 1874 to 1891. Designed by Edward Tuckerman Potter and built in the American High Gothic style, Clemens biographer Justin Kaplan called it “part steamboat, part medieval fortress and part cuckoo clock.” Clemens wrote many of his best-known works while living there, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Take the guided tour through the house to learn how the Twain family lived and explore further into Twain’s life. Visit the website for details.

Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration
Address: 55 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT 06355

You and your family will have a “whale” of a time at Mystic Aquarium! It’s one of three U.S. facilities holding Steller sea lions and it has the only beluga whales in New England. Special exhibits include a ray and shark touch pool, an African penguin exhibit, a jelly gallery, and an “Exploration: Wild” ecosystems exhibit. Visit their website for details and a list of summertime events.

Sleeping Giant State Park
Address: 200 Mount Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT 06518

Attention hikers and mountain bikers, Sleeping Giant State Park is a must-do. Located in south-central Connecticut about 8 miles from New Haven, Sleeping Giant is two miles of mountaintop resembling a large man lying in repose, the “sleeping giant.” A 1-1/2 mile scenic trail leads to the stone observation tower on the peak of Mt. Carmel which provides an excellent view of Long Island Sound and the New Haven area. Take a day trip with the family, bring food for picnicking, then spend the rest of the day walking and exploring the wilderness. Wear comfortable, rugged shoes, and bring a camera—there are some great views. 

Source: JROInsurance.com

2016 New York City Holiday Events Calendar

New York City is the number one destination to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to Orbitz.com’s 2016 travel survey. For those of us living in the New York Tri-State area, we are lucky to be just a short car ride away from one of the most festive and exciting cities in the world. To help you plan your upcoming activities, here’s our 2016 New York City holiday events calendar.

90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Considered the official kickoff to the holiday season, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is watched by more than 3.5 million people on the streets of Manhattan and by more than 50 million people nationwide on TV.

This year’s parade will feature appearances and performances from Tony Bennett, Sarah McLachlan, De La Soul and the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street.

Guests from Broadway will include Christopher Jackson from Hamilton, the casts of Holiday Inn, the Broadway revival of Cats, NBC’s forthcoming Hairspray Live! and, the Radio City Rockettes, who begin performances of The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall on November 11.

A new balloon, named Bouncing Dog, will make her debut this year. Look for this 40-foot tall dog as she makes her way down the parade route.

Also, a new Macy’s Parade Emoji Keyboard is available now for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The 2016 parade starts at 9:00 am sharp at West 77th Street and Central Park West, then proceeding to Central Park South to 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), and ends at 12:00 noon at 34th Street in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

Recommended areas for watching the parade include the first leg along Central Park West, Time Warner Center, and along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street. Note the section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public.

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: 77th Street and Central Park West to 34th Street/Herald Square, Manhattan

Info: www.macys.com/parade

Holiday windows in NYC

One of the most cherished Manhattan holiday traditions is also a free one—enjoying the window displays of some of New York City’s finest and most iconic department stores, such as Macy’s, Barneys and others.

Here are some stores and addresses to put on your holiday look list:

  • Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets
  • Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue at 58th Streets
  • Bloomingdale’s, 59th Street and Lexington Avenue
  • Cartier, 653 Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street
  • Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue at 56th Street
  • Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue at 39th Street
  • Macys, 34th Street and Sixth Avenue
  • Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
  • Tiffany & Co., 727 Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets
  • Van Cleef & Arpels, 744 5th Ave, between 7th and 8th Avenue

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Another iconic Manhattan holiday moment is the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting! The 2016 tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, Nov. 30 with live music performances from 7:00 – 9:00pm. The Tree will remain lit and can be viewed until 9pm on January 7, 2017.

The giant tree is traditionally a Norway spruce, and is lit with 30,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights on five miles of wire. And to top it off: a Swarovski crystal star.

When: Tree lighting is Nov. 30. The tree stays lit and can be viewed until 9:00 pm on Jan. 7, 2015.

Where: Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Manhattan.

Info: www.rockefellercenter.com

The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

Since 1933, people of all ages have been enjoying the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show. This New York City holiday tradition  features 140 performers, spectacular sets and costumes, the world famous Rockettes, a living Nativity, and an appearance by Santa Claus!

From a unique take on “The Nutcracker” to the original “Here Comes Santa Claus,” the show features ice skaters, dancing teddy bears, dozens of Santa Clauses, and thanks to state-of-the-art technology, a 3D ride with Santa through the skies of New York City.

The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, will run from November 11, 2016 – January 2, 2017. Tickets for the 2016 Christmas Spectacular are on sale now at www.rockettes.com/christmas and the Radio City box office.

When: November 11 through January 2

Where: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show

One of the lesser known, but equally festive and family-friendly New York City holiday events is the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show. Enter the Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory—a stunning Victorian-style glasshouse and a landmark itself—and watch the Garden-gauge trains loop a quarter-mile of track past 150 New York landmarks, including the original Yankee Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Trans World Airline Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport, and several bridges that remind that Manhattan is, indeed, an island.

This year’s exhibition features 3,000 square feet of additional exhibition space, making room for dozens of new trains, bridges, and tracks; a captivating short film of the show’s behind-the-scenes magic; and a stunning multisensory finale of light and sound.

When: November 19 – January 16

Where: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

Info: www.nybg.org

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

Another timeless New York City holiday classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is the holiday ballet of all ballets. From the moment the lights go down, you will be transported to a magical place inhabited by marching toy soldiers, a growing one-ton Christmas tree, adorable children, mischievous mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth. As in years past, 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands and about 100 students from the School of American Ballet team up to make The Nutcracker a magical performance for all ages.

When: November 25 – December 31

Where: West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, New York City

Info: nycballet.com

Fall 2016 New England Events

Ah, fall is in the air—the temperature is dropping, the leaves are changing, and pumpkin spice items are aplenty.  Whether you want to get out of the house, the office, or the city, here are some fun and festive events going on all over New England, courtesy of visitnewengland.com.

Twilight on the Connecticut River Cruises – Essex, CT
When: Now through October 14
Where: Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, One Railroad Avenue Essex, CT
Fridays through October 14, enjoy sunset cruises on the Connecticut River from the riverboat, Becky Thatcher, plus the spectacular natural phenomenon of hundreds of thousands of tree swallows swarming in choreographed flock over Goose Island.
Telephone: 860-767-0103

Taste of Haymarket – Boston, MA
When: October 14
Where: Tour departs from the corner of Congress and Hanover Streets Boston, MA
Enjoy a behind-the-scenes walking tour of this historic market as it opens for the day. Learn about its history and how it has changed over time.
Registration required, please call 617-994-5920 or buy online.
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Admission: $35
Telephone: 617-994-5920

Frightful Friday Ghost Stories and Tour at Gore Mansion
 2016 – Waltham, MA
When: October 14-28
Where: Gore Place, 52 Gore Street Waltham, MA
Get in the Halloween spirit with an evening of spooky tales and haunted activities at the 1806 Gore mansion. See the mansion at night. Tour lasts one hour.
Dates: October 14, 21 & 28, 7:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Admission: $15; children ages 5-12, $10

Nashua ArtWalk Weekend 2016 – Nashua, NH
When: October 15-16
Where: Various locations Nashua, NH
Take a leisurely stroll along the ArtWalk Route featuring participating artists, restaurants and performers. Browse the art, catch live music, enjoy craft demonstrations, tour the Abbot-Spalding House Museum, and more.
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: 603-883-8093

Newport Historical Society Tour of the Month: Photographing Stones and Souls in the Common Burying Ground – Newport, RI
When: October 15
Where: Tours meet at The Brick Market, 127 Thames Street Newport, RI
Calling all photographers: The material, craftsmanship and aging of the stones resting in Newport’s Common Burying Ground provides a wealth of images waiting to be photographed. For photographers of all skill levels; proper footwear recommended. Walking tours last approximately 75 minutes and depart weather permitting. Reservations recommended for all tours.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Admission: $15 per person
Telephone: 401-841-8770

Vortex – Rhode Island Horror Film Festival – Providence, Newport, and others
When: October 17-22
Where: Various locations Providence, Newport, and others
Love scary movies? This festival will showcase a wide array of Sci-Fi and Fantasy cinema, the annual H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour, a Date-Night of Horror with costume competition; two making films forums, and more. Most films intended for mature audiences; children under 14 not admitted without an adult unless otherwise noted. Parental discretion is advised.
See website for schedule and times.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” – Boston, MA
When: October 18-23
Where: Shubert Theatre, Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont Street Boston, MA
Charting the rise and fall of the social climbing Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) and his bizarre quest to off all who stand between him and the coveted D’Ysquith Earldom, this Edwardian caper is based on the classic Ealing studios hit Kind Hearts and Coronets, which starred Alec Guinness in the multi-character role.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website for times and admissions.

Harvest on the Harbor 2016 – Portland, ME
When: October 20-23
Where: Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland Company Complex, Merrill Auditorium Portland
The three-day event will feature seminars, tastings, and exquisite dinners crafted by renowned chefs from Maine and afar. Learn from food experts, sip fine wines, beer and spirits. Maine chefs compete for the title of Maine’s Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant, and much more. Consult event website for times.
Telephone: 207-772-4994

Fall Orchid Sale – Waltham, MA
When: October 21-23
Where: Lyman Estate Greenhouses, 185 Lyman Street Waltham, MA
Celebrate orchid-blooming season with hundreds of orchid plants for sale, including many hard-to-find varieties. Visit the greenhouses and enjoy gorgeous floral colors, shapes, and scents: Staff available to offer expert advice. 9:30 a.m.  – 4:00 p.m.
Telephone: 617-994-5913

Fall Harvest Celebration 2016 at Patriot Place – Foxborough, MA
When: October 22
Where: Patriot Place,2 Patriot Place Foxborough, MA
Enjoy fall activities for all ages, including bog harvesting with Ocean Spray, pumpkin and spray painting, hayrides, live music, appearances by Pat Patriot and the New England Patriots Cheerleaders, sidewalk sales, and more. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Pumpkin Train with Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. – Portland, ME
When: October 22-30
Where: Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum, 58 Fore Street, Portland
Ride aboard the Pumpkin Train for family fun! All visitors treated to complimentary hot cider and cookies as they travel along Portland’s waterfront. Children can explore the museum and paint a miniature pumpkin to bring home as a souvenir of the day.
Dates: October 22-23 and October 29-30. Trains run on the hour from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Museum is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $9; children at 3 to 12, $6.
Telephone: 207-828-0814

The Essex Fall Craft Show 2016 – Essex, VT
When: October 28-30
Where: Champlain Valley Exposition, 105 Pearl Street Essex, VT
See and purchase fine woodworking, baskets, candles, pottery, photography, paintings, birdhouses, stained glass, calligraphy, gourmet specialties, and more.
Time: Friday, noon – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission: $8; free parking.

Washington Green Cemetery Tour 2016 – Washington, CT
When: October 28
Where: Gunn Museum, 5 Wykeham Road Washington, CT
Tour groups follow a magical path of 1,000 luminarias spanning a quarter-mile through the shadowy cemetery and hear the lively and dramatic stories of Washington’s past residents. The cemetery is dark and everyone is encouraged to bring a flashlight. Event is free, donations are appreciated. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Rain date is October 30.

Mysterium, the Eternal Masquerade – Providence, RI
When: October 28
Where: Providence Public Library, 225 Washington Street Providence, RI
Through the puppetry of TEN31 Productions, the story is presented with a mesmerizing combination of living art installations, theatrical and dance performances. Event will culminate with desserts and dancing. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.; performance is 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and dancing followed until midnight.
Admission: $100, includes food all night, open bar and performance.

The Haunting at Witch Hill – Topsfield, MA
When: October 30
Where: Peirce Farm at Witch Hill, 116 Boston Street Topsfield, MA
Travel back to Victorian times at the gentleman farm of railroad tycoon T.W. Peirce, where you’ll hear eerie ghost stories in the manor house, enjoy game and music in the barn, and savor a complimentary signature cocktail. Cash bar. Victorian attire encouraged. Event is a fundraiser for Essex Heritage. 6:30 p.m. Admission: $50 per person before October 1 and $65 thereafter.

Historic Craft Classes at Old Sturbridge Village – Sturbridge, MA
When: November 5-6
Where: Country Bank Museum Education Center at Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road Sturbridge, MA
At these adult workshops, learn a historical craft, from blacksmithing to textiles, coopering, and more. All class registrations close three days before the event. See website for times and admission or call 508-347-0290.

2015 New York City Holiday Events Calendar

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and for those of us living in the New York Tri-State area, we are lucky to be just a short car ride away from one of the most festive and exciting cities in the world. To help you plan your upcoming activities, here’s our annual New York City holiday events calendar.

89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The lineup for the 89th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was recently announced, and this year’s event promises to be as fun and festive as ever.

Considered the official kickoff to the holiday season, this year’s parade will feature appearances and performances from Mariah Carey, Trey Songz, Cirque du Soleil, Andy Grammer, Miss America Betty Cantrel, the cast of Sesame Street and many others.

Four new giant characters will join the parade procession including Angry Birds’ Red, DINO the mascot for Sinclair Oil, Ice Age’s Scrat and his Acorn, and a new version of Ronald McDonald. There will also be 12 marching bands performing along the parade route and performances from casts of Broadway shows such as “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “The King & I.”

The 2015 parade starts at 9:00 am sharp at West 77th Street and Central Park West, then proceeding to Central Park South to 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), and ending at 12:00 noon at 34th Street in front of Macy’s Herald Square

There are three recommended areas on the route for watching the parade: the first leg along Central Park West, Time Warner Center and, finally, along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street. Note the section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public.

When: Thursday, Nov. 26, 2014, 9:00 am — 12:00 pm
Where: 77th Street and Central Park West to 34th Street/Herald Square, Manhattan
Info: www.macys.com/parade For more information, call the parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.

Holiday windows in NYC

One of the most cherished Manhattan holiday traditions is also a free one — enjoying the department store window displays of some of New York City’s finest and most iconic department stores, such as Macy’s, Barneys and others.

Here are some stores and addresses to put on your holiday look list:

  • Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets
  • Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue at 58th Streets
  • Bloomingdale’s, 59th Street and Lexington Avenue
  • Cartier, 653 Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street
  • Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue at 56th Street
  • Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue at 39th Street
  • Macys, 34th Street and Sixth Avenue
  • Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
  • Tiffany & Co., 727 Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets
  • Van Cleef & Arpels, 744 5th Ave, between 7th and 8th Avenue

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

‘Tis the season for the 83rd annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting! The 2015 tree has been chosen and will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, Dec. 3 with live music performances from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

The giant tree is traditionally a Norway Spruce, and is lit with 30,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights on five miles of wire. And to top it off: a Swarovski crystal star.

When: Tree lighting is Dec. 3. The tree stays lit and can be viewed until 8:00 pm on Jan. 6, 2015.
Where: Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Manhattan.
Info: rockefellercenter.com http://www.rockefellercenter.com/

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Since 1933, people of all ages have been enjoying the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show. This New York City holiday tradition features 140 performers, spectacular sets and costumes, the world famous Rockettes, and an appearance by Santa Claus!

From a unique take on “The Nutcracker” to the original “Here Comes Santa Claus,” the show features ice skaters, dancing teddy bears, dozens of Santa Clauses, and thanks to state-of-the-art technology, a 3D ride with Santa through the skies of New York City.

When: Nov. 13 through Jan. 3
Where: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City
Info: radiocitychristmas.com

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show

One of the lesser known, but equally festive and family friendly New York City holiday events is the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show. Enter the Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory — a stunning Victorian-style glasshouse and a landmark itself — and watch the Garden-gauge trains loop a quarter-mile of track past 150 New York landmarks, including the original Yankee Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Trans World Airline Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport, and several bridges that remind us that Manhattan is, indeed, an island.

This year’s exhibition features 3,000 square feet of additional exhibition space, making room for dozens of new trains, bridges, and tracks; a captivating short film of the show’s behind-the-scenes magic; and a stunning multisensory finale of light and sound.

When: Nov. 21 – Jan. 18
Where: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
Info: www.nybg.org/hts

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

Another timeless New York City holiday classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is the holiday ballet of all ballets. From the moment the lights go down, you will be transported to a magical place inhabited by marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree, adorable children, mischievous mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth. As in years past, 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands and about 100 students from the School of American Ballet team up to make The Nutcracker a magical performance for all ages.

When: Nov. 27 and runs through Jan. 3
Where: West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, New York City
Info: nycballet.com