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The Best Holiday Art in NYC

No matter what holiday you celebrateChristmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkahyou'll find incredible art in New York City. From museums to street art, here are some great picks for holiday art in the Big Apple.

Christmas Tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Christmas Tree at the Met

The Met showcases a gorgeous, 20-foot spruce in its Medieval Art section every year. Angel ornaments fly across the boughs, and a wide nativity scene is spread at the base of the tree. Come during the afternoon to see the tree-lighting at 4:30. While you’re here, see the celebrated Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman & Designer exhibit, where you can view drawings by one of history’s most important creators of religious art. 1000 Fifth Ave., 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall in Times Square

New Year's Eve Wishing Wall Times Square

For this exhibition, the artists are from around the world, they don’t know each other, and they work only in the medium of sticky notes. Until New Year’s Eve, anyone in Times Square can visit the Wishing Wall and write a wish on a sticky note in anticipation of 2018. The wall is already covered with scales of tiny colored paper. Add yours, and on the night of New Year’s Eve, it will be included with the confetti dropped on Times Square at midnight! Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets, timessquarenyc.org

Winter ONEderland at One World Observatory

The sky-high experience at the top of One World Observatory gets a magical twist this season. The floor is decorated like a snowy paradise, and an animated owl named Ollie will take you through a winter story as you walk. And on weekends, Santa will be there to field gift requests and take photos! 285 Fulton St., 212-602-4000, oneworldobservatory.com  Here's a coupon!

Let There Be Light! at the Museum at Eldridge Street

Let There Be Light

Come see dozens of menorahs lighting up the Museum at Eldridge Street, a historic synagogue in Chinatown. Culled from the massive collection of Lori and David Moore, these beautiful and strange menorahs—one of them is made with mah jongg tiles; another looks like a dog—provide a joyful celebration of this Hanukkah season. 12 Eldridge St., 212-219-0302, eldridgestreet.org

Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden 

With a track half a mile long, the trains at New York Botanical Garden'Holiday Train Show are sure to delight the whole family. With a centerpiece depicting New York landmarks like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, the exhibition celebrates the city it has called home every season for 26 years. Come with the family for a show about Thomas the Tank Engine or a ballet performance excerpted from The Nutcracker. Adults can enjoy live music and drinks at Bar Car Nights. 2900 Southern Boulevard, 718 817-8700, nybg.org

Kuumba Kwanzaa at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Studio Museum of Harlem

Bring your family to a Kwanzaa-themed art party this December at the Studio Museum of Harlem. There will be a scavenger hunt and creative activities for kids to explore their artistic side. As a bonus, the event is part of Target’s Free Sundays program! December 31, 2017, 2-4 p.m. 144 W 125th St., 212-864-4500, studiomuseum.org

New York On Ice at the Museum of the City of New York

Consider New York through its long, iconic history of ice-skating, and you’ll realize how important skating is to the fabric of city life (especially during the cold months). The Museum of the City of New York has compiled material from a variety of media, from lithographs to clothing, to explore this winter activity throughout New York’s history. You’ll take a more thoughtful—but just as fun!—spin around the rink after this exhibit. 1200 Fifth Ave., 212-534-1672, mcny.org/exhibition

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. The recipient of a BA in English and an MFA in Writing, Merrill Lee teaches English to college students and lives in Brooklyn.

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