Advent of Christmas, Kwanzaa & Hannukah

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, center, kicks his leg as he poses with members of the Radio City Rockettes, Jessica Davison, far left, Lauren Renck, second from left, Christine Sienicki, second from right, and Christine Walsh-Warren, far right, after he blessed camels, sheep and a donkey, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2016, in New York. The animals, arriving for their first day of rehearsal, will appear in the nativity scene of the “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes.”
Associated Press / Bebeto Matthews

The last month of the year arrived with the advent of Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hannuka. Truly, it is the season for everything festive. And almost 12 days into the month, doubts of a gift from “my true love” handing over 12 Drummers Drumming, 11 Pipers Piping, 10 Lords a Leaping, 9 Ladies Dancing, 8 Maids a Milking, 7 Swans a Swimming, 6 Geese a Laying, 5 Golden Rings, 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves or a Partridge in a Pear Tree may be may be wishful thinking.

Far more tangible are many outstanding holiday treats in and around New York City.

Among them, the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular which runs at the landmark showplace until Jan. 2, 2017.

Once again, the Rockettes will daily kick up excitement for entire families, tourists and fans that are guaranteed holiday feasts. Santa arrives with his reindeers in visual 3-D reality, and digital, floating snowflakes and the NYC tour through Central Park provide ogling stares of amazement when ice-skating and a menagerie of animals parade the stage during the nativity to make this the very best gift of the season.

For more information, log onto

“Oh what Fun It is To Ride…”

Individuals and families who have taken The Ride around the theater district already know the exhilarating experience of touring with a talking bus that stops at intervals to allow sidewalk, street performers to act-out surprise treats.

Celebrating the celestial lights of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza the holiday Ride will run until Jan. 8. 2017.

Already rolling, The Ride’s Holiday Edition is transforming the streets of Manhattan into a virtual stage for superlative surprises that has marked its unique reputation since it began five years ago.

Guided by two hosts while adding its own award-winning actors, singers and dancers to the crowded mix on the street, the huge motor coaches deliver a show worthy of the standing ovations and group euphoria that result at the end of each trip.

The motor coaches are events in their own right.

According to spokesperson Judy Jacksina “The Ride Holiday Edition wraps New York in a big bow for you, your family and your friends to open together.”

For more information, log onto www.

On Broadway – Two must see musicals during the season will add up to all the 12 days of goodies the musical heralded by promises in a holiday Christmas song.

“The Color Purple” and “A Bronx Tale” delightfully entrance gift-seekers to a time and place only the Great White way could recreate with such believability.

Starring Cynthia Errivo and Jennifer Holiday (only a name with coincidence), the revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Alice Walker that starred Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover in the Stephen Spielberg film version in 1985 will end its run at the Jacob’s Theater, 242 West 45th St. on Jan. 8. For more information, check

At the Longacre Theater, 220 West 48th St. the uptown story about residents of the Belmont section of the Bronx, once the reputed safest neighborhood in New York – “A Bronx Tale” features a cast of 30 thespians and is co-directed by Robert DeNiro who made his directorial film debut in 1933 casting the writer and stage actor Chazz Palminteri whose concept first introduced the telling Italian storyline.

Based on the critically acclaimed play that inspired the classic film, the streetwise musical nostalgically returns to the stoops of the Bronx in the late 60s where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he would love to be. Featuring a doo-wop score, this is a tale about respect, loyalty, love and above all else …family.”For more information, log on to

From Dec. 10-18, Uptown at the Apollo Theater at 125th St., “The First Noel” returns after a successful collaboration with the Classical Theater of Harlem last holiday season. The Harlem-based holiday musical features music that crosses genres — from pop to jazz to gospel — to tell a universal story of love and belonging. The presentation follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by the tragic loss of a loved one. Time is slow to heal this family’s wounds until an unexpected visit from Grandma reveals some long-absent Christmas joy. The story is also about how a community is healed, one family at a time, as everyday people challenge extraordinary things to help one another receive the gift of love during the holiday season.

Also later in the month at the same landmark location, The Apollo Theater celebrates its 10th annual Kwanzaa Celebration, on New Year’s Eve.

Featuring the renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and guest performances, the Apollo has established an annual show to celebrate this holiday tradition on one day of the Kwanzaa holiday. The Apollo’s celebration is a joyful evening of dance and music honoring the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community, and culture. Hosted by radio personality Imhotep Gary Byrd this event will also celebrate the 35th anniversary of Forces of Nature. For more information, log on to

On the first day of the month, Brooklyn brightened even more with the 27th annual tree lighting at MetroTech Commons. Eric Adams, the borough’s president and Rev. Herbert Daughtry were in attendance to see Santa Claus and his live reindeer. Not even the Rockefeller Center spectacular showcased animals of such ilk. A performance by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, dance routines by Brooklyn based Dancewave and holiday treats from Starbucks and La Defense also enlightened guests.

On Dec. 11 Braata Productions will celebrate its fourth annual Ole Time Grand Market at the Holy Family Church Auditorium, 9719 Flatlands Ave. Gates open at 4:30 pm and the concert will begin at 5 pm. Showcasing the best of Jamaican folk culture and the wider Caribbean, this year’s concert will include the award winning Braata Folk Singers, powerhouse songstress Ophelia Carter from Jamaica, Smax Music representing Haiti, GAMAE Garifuna Performing Arts Company representing St. Vincent & the Grenadines by way of Belize, Kizzy’s Playhouse with traditions from Trinidad and Tobago plus balladeer Andrew Clarke.

Catch You On The Inside!

More from Around NYC