The December Calendar: Events for Each Day This Month

By Troy Segal

Complement your calendar with this cornucopia of things to do in New York City—a guide to the top talks, tastings, tours and screenings in December.

 Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) - Flickr

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – Flickr

December 1. Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with reliable info about the Ebola epidemic, at this discussion hosted by the CUNY School of Public Health.

David James -- Universal Pictures

David James — Universal Pictures

December 2. Quiz Angelina Jolie about her new movie Unbroken, her third directorial effort, after a viewing of the based-on-a-true-story flick at the Museum of Modern Art.

Edsel Little -- Flickr

Edsel Little — Flickr

December 3. Learn the art of mixing the perfect cocktail from Dave Arnold, owner of Booker & Dax, the cozy Lower East Side lounge, at the 92nd Street Y.

December 4. Get a close look at all the paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s considerable El Greco collection in this lecture commemorating the 400th anniversary of the artist’s death.

December 5 (& 6). Party like it’s 1839 at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, whose holiday candlelight tours feature period music, baked treats and costumes to don (and snap a 21st-century selfie in).

Photo: David McSpadden -- Flickr

Photo: David McSpadden — Flickr

December 6. Take a figurative walk through the great Syrah and Riesling grape-growing regions of the world, tasting as you go, led by the wine director of the Blue Ribbon restaurants.

December 7. Embark on an Annual Holiday Historic House Tour offered by the Queens Historical Society, hitting such sites as Flushing Town Hall, Kingsland Homestead and the Louis Armstrong House Museum.


December 8. Mingle with some ladies (and gents) making their debuts—literary debuts, that is—at the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Fête, which includes cocktails and readings by the talented newcomers.

December 9. Cheer the heroes and hiss the villains in this lecture on the melodramas that flourished in New York theatre around the turn of the 20th century.

eating delancey

December 10. Lick your lips over kreplach, kasha, knishes and other heartwarming (and occasionally heartburning) examples of Jewish cuisine, at this book discussion and signing at the Tenement Museum.

December 11. Feel yourself growing more erudite by the minute while attending a literary lecture about the importance of fiction with Anita Diamant (The Boston Girl and The Red Tent) at The Jewish Museum.

December 12. Try your hand at drawing live models (clothed) at the Bard Graduate Center’s Sketch Night; instruction is provided, though not materials, so BYOP (Bring Your Own Pencil).

Photo: Flavio~ --Flickr

Photo: Flavio~ –Flickr

December 13. Stomp your feat as a renowned flamenco troupe performs Navidad Flamenca, a fiesta of Hispanic holiday music and dance at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

December 14. Shiver in sympathy at this screening of The Epic of Everest, a restored 1924 film about an early, and ultimately fatal, effort to scale the infamous mountain, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Image: NYPL

Image: NYPL

December 15. Eavesdrop as Jamaican author Marlon James—whose latest, A Brief History of Seven Killings, has been burning up the bookshelves—chats with one of his idols, novelist Salman Rushdie, at this Live from the New York Public Library series conversation.

December 16. Amuse yourself at a Victorian holiday party, complete with music, punch, and readings from A Christmas Carol, within the period-decorated confines of the Merchant’s House Museum.

December 17. Ponder the question: Should artists campaign against social ills and evils, or save their hears and minds for creative matters? A panel discusses, at the 92nd Street Y.

Clara Schumann

December 18. Lend an ear as pianist Daniel Gortler performs an evening of works by mid-19th century German composers, featuring two obscure pieces by Clara Schumann that hint at her tumultuous love life, at The Jewish Museum.

December 19. Be the first to hear some world premieres by contemporary composer Robert Sirota—including one based on his family’s audio Christmas cards—at a Songs of the Season concert, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

December 20. Indulge in a little sex on Fifth Avenue—no, it’s not what you’re thinking, it’s a 90s-club themed party, complete with disco-meets-deep-house music, pulsating lights, and exhibits from the Museum of Sex, your host.


December 21. Explore the relationship between Music, Comedy, & the Urgency of Justice, as a philosophically minded theatre troupe performs, and comments on, popular carols and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

December 22. Celebrate the Festival of Lights with a Chanukkah Concert, featuring cantors singing Jewish sounds from all over the world, at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

Photo: Rian Castillo -- Flickr

Photo: Rian Castillo — Flickr

December 23. Practice that triple lutz or Salchow on the free ice rink that forms the centerpiece of the Winter Village at Bryant Park.

December 24. Pick up some last-minute stockings stuffers amid the candy cane-colored booths filled with crafts at the Union Square Holiday Market.

December 25. See if you can spot Santa’s sleigh from the observatory of the Empire State Building, which is open 365 days a year.

Photo: happyskrappy -- Flickr

Photo: happyskrappy — Flickr

December 26. Cheer on a miniature choo-choo as it zips around foliage replicas of NYC sites, attractions and monuments, while staying comfy and warm within conservatory confines at the New York Botanical Garden.

December 27. Enrich your understanding of the New-York Historical Society exhibit of Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion via a docent-led tour.

December 28. Delve into some Art Deco history during a tour of Rockefeller Center, aka Holiday Central (for natives and visitors alike), with an architectural historian under the auspices of the Municipal Art Society.

December 29. Take a curated look at painter Cy Twombly’s Treatise on the Veil—and at 33 feet long, there’s a lot of painting to see—at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Photo: Chelsea Nesvig  -- Flickr

Photo: Chelsea Nesvig
— Flickr

December 30. Master the art of origami folding as you admire a tree decorated with hundreds of paper ornaments at this workshop at the American Museum of Natural History.

Boston Public Library -- Flickr

Boston Public Library — Flickr

December 31. Ring in the New Year with a dose of serenity at a candlit Concert for Peace at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; Judy Collins and Jason Robert Brown are among this year’s musical guests.