Things to Do in New York in December: Events for Each Day This Month

By Alison Durkee

As 2017 draws to a close, New Yorkers can spend its final days enjoying the city’s seasonal offerings, staying warm in its museumsand enjoying some fascinating talks and events. End this year on the right note with these upcoming talks and events that span everything from Chinese cuisine to comedy to consciousness.

Friday, December 1. Transport yourself back to 1830 at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden’s Holiday Candlelight Tours, featuring seasonal music and refreshments, both Friday and Saturday the 2nd.

Saturday, December 2. Stroll through history at Chinatown: A Walk Through History, a walking tour exploring the neighborhood’s rich past. Museum of Chinese in America.

Sunday, December 3. Educate yourself as the Museum at FIT hosts a full day of One Day University, broken down into four intriguing talks: Four Books that Changed the World, Exporting America: Foreign Policy From George Washington to Donald Trump, The Psychology of Humor, and Four Films that Changed America.

Monday, December 4. Delve into the problems with our current immigration policy at Deportation World: The Challenges of a New Global Phenomenon, a talk with immigration law professor Daniel Kantstroom. The New School.

Tuesday, December 5. Seeing may not be believing at this event on the neuroscience of illusion and how our mind plays tricks on what we perceive. American Museum of Natural History.

Wednesday, December 6. Indulge your sweet tooth with some unfamiliar treats at this session on the desserts of Nepal and Lebanon, which will include a demo, tastings and first-hand information about the countries’ culinary and holiday customs. Museum of Food and Drink.

Thursday, December 7. Catch two paleoanthropologists and a paleontologist as they question whether evolution always leads to greater complexity, or if human consciousness is more a product of dumb luckNew York Academy of Sciences.

John Leech (1817–1864), Scrooge’s Third Visitor, 1843, drawing for an illustration used in the first edition of A Christmas Carol, watercolor over pencil, The Morgan Library & Museum, 2006.21, purchased in 1941.

Friday, December 8. You won’t be saying “Bah, Humbug” at this session on Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas, which is presented in conjunction with the Morgan Library’s current exhibition on the holiday classic. Morgan Library & Museum.

Saturday, December 9. Cram a year of architectural information into a single day at In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day, a symposium on the most engaging and relevant architecture of 2017. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sunday, December 10. Get into politics and the issues of the day at this conversation with Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes. 92nd Street Y.

Monday, December 11. Learn more about the most powerful female politician in the world at this talk on Angela Merkel and the Transformation of United Germany. Deutsches Haus at NYU.

Tuesday, December 12. Have a laugh at this conversation with comedy producer Judd Apatow about his upcoming Netflix stand-up special, The Return. 92nd Street Y.

Wednesday, December 13. “Toon” into this event on the history of the illustrators and cartoonists from the Connecticut School with Vanity Fair editor-at-large Cullen Murphy. New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Thursday, December 14. Design a way to attend this lecture on the Art Deco movement that defines many of the city’s most iconic buildings. Roosevelt Island Library.

Friday, December, 15. Achieve inner peace at this session based on the Buddhist Wheel of Life, which describes the process of karma, complete with meditation instruction and practice. New York Open Center.

Saturday, December 16. Head uptown for Harlem for the Holidays, an artistic showcase featuring artisans and artists of the African Diaspora within Harlem’s rich cultural landscape.

Sunday, December 17. Scandalize your museum-going with this tour of the “Shady Ladies” whose portraits line The Met’s walls. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Monday, December 18. Hear from award-winning journalist and author Masha Gessen as she delivers the annual Robert B. Silvers lecture “The Stories of a Life.” New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Tuesday, December 19. Delve into the convergences of art and architecture as they manifest around museums inside one of the grandest examples of all. Guggenheim Museum.

Wednesday, December 20. Find your zen at this screening of Walk With Me, an immersive film on Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh that’s narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. Rubin Museum of Art.

Thursday, December 21. Skip the takeout and make your own Chinese dishes at this introductory cooking workshop on Sichuan Cuisine. Prospect Heights Brainery.

Friday, December 22. Get a little too into the holiday spirit with a visit to the Christmas light overload of Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights. New York Adventure Club.

Saturday, December 23. Swipe your MetroCard and explore some of New York’s oldest subway stations on this tour with New York Adventure Club. New York Adventure Club.

Sunday, December 24. Spend your Christmas Eve with “Israel’s Bruce Springsteen” at this annual concert with singer-songwriter David Broza. 92nd Street Y.

Monday, December 25. If you’re not celebrating Christmas, skip the movies and head to the Museum of Jewish Heritage for December 25 at the Museum, featuring free exhibition tours. Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Tuesday, December 26. Get ready for 2018 with this session on the highlights of next year’s Astronomical Calendar. American Museum of Natural History.

Wednesday, December 27. Discover how immigrants survived hard times with looks at families in the Panic of 1873 and Great Depression, among many other daily tours, at the Tenement Museum.

Thursday, December 28. Go behind the scenes of New York’s Academy of Arts & Letters, a prestigious society founded by no less than Mark Twain. New York Adventure Club.

Friday, December 29. Combine the Indian musical technique of “raga” with the rhythms of Cuba at Raga Cubana, a performance featuring Brooklyn Raga Massive and Afro-Cuban “maestro” Román Díaz. Rubin Museum of Art.

Saturday, December 30. “Come play with us” at this special midnight screening of Kubrick’s classic genocide metaphor, The Shining. Nitehawk Cinema.

Sunday, December 31. End 2017 on a peaceful note at the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace, an annual choral performance that was first founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984. Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

For a printable PDF of the December calendar, click here.

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