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It’s not the holiday season in New York City until the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been lit. This year, the Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Wednesday, November 28, with musical performances from Trace Adkins, Mariah Carey, Ceelo Green, Victoria Justice, Chris Mann, Rod Stewart and Il Volo, as well as the Radio City Rockettes. And while you’re visiting the tree, make sure to lace up your skates and get on the ice at that world-famous Rink at Rockefeller Center (Fifth Ave. btw. 49th & 50th Sts., 212-332-7654), still magical after all these years.
There are several other skating options around town. In Central Park alone there are two: Wollman Rink (enter the park at Central Park South/59th St. & Sixth Ave., 212-439-6900) and Trump-LaskerRink (near 110th St. & Lenox Ave., 917-492-3857; ice fee, $2.25 to $6; skate rental, $5.25). CitiPond at Bryant Park is free (skate rental is $14), and part of a larger complex that includes shops and a lounge (Sixth Ave. btw. 40th & 42nd Sts., 212-661-6640).
If seeing the holiday lights is the reason you’re spending your vacation in New York City, then make sure to book OnBoard Tours’ Christmas Lights in New York City Tour. From Nov. 30 through Jan. 5, 2013, On Board will show you the holidays the way New York City does it: From Grand Central Terminal, to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, from the world-famous window displays along Fifth Avenue, to the lights of Times Square.
And no holiday vacation to NYC is complete without a viewing of the 85th annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. This season, expect to be awed vis a vis digital projections coupled with the world's largest flown indoor LED screen. Fan-favorites including "New York at Christmas," where the Rockettes board a real double-decker bus and the high-energy tap number, "Twelve Days of Christmas." Of course, beloved classics like "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and "The Living Nativity" will also be back.
If the kids want some time with Santa to whisper their special wishes, Spirit Cruises has a special Lunch with Santa Cruise that sets sail at noon on Saturday, Dec. 8! For details, click here. Last chance to dine with Santa is with Circle Line Downtown's Breakfast with Santa aboard the Zephyr on Sat., Dec. 15. For more information on reservations, click here.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises will be offering a Santa Concert Cruise on December 15 with a free photo with Santa, live concert from the Princess Katie and Racer Steve 4-piece band, milk and cookies, and more. Click here for more info.
Here are some other great NYC holiday events to make sure not to miss.
New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show - Through January 13, 2013
New York City Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker - Through December 30, 2012
Jackie Hoffman's A Chanukah Carol - Dec. 8-29, 2012
Handel's Messiah at Lincoln Center -Dec. 18-22, 2012
A Very Jewish Christmas at Gotham Comedy Club - December 24, 2012
New Year's Eve with Pete Correale at Gotham Comedy Club - December 31, 2012
New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise - Circle Line Downtown - December 31, 2012
Union Square Holiday Market -Now through Dec. 24, 2012
Columbus Circle Holiday Market -Nov. 28-Dec. 24, 2012
Grand Central Holiday Fair -Now through Dec. 24, 2012
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