December is a magical month in New York City. Twinkling lights, holiday markets, the promise of time off—you get the picture. To streamline your celebratory efforts, we’ve put together a list of festive activities to help you usher in the winter (you know, before it gets too cold).

By Michaela Rollings

Ice Skating in Prospect Park

A stroll through wooded Prospect Park is the perfect yin to Central Park’s yang. Far from tourists and horse-drawn carriages, walk to the newly refurbished ice skating rink in the Southeast corner of the park to skate in the midst of this urban oasis.

LeFrak Center opening ceremony. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center was held today in the Prospect Bark Brooklyn. On hand were NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, Richard LeFrak and the LeFrak family, Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica White, president of Prospect Park Alliance Emily Lloyd and others. After the ceremony about 100 kids from NYC public school 161 and Base High School enjoy their time on ice, some skating for the very first time. The LeFrak Center which consist of two ice skating rings, pavilion with beautiful landscaped viewing terraces, cafe, restrooms and other amenities is a part of Lakeside, $74 million project on 26 acres in Prospect Park Brooklyn operated by Prospect Park Alliance. The LeFrak Center will open its door to public this upcoming Friday, December 20th 2013.

Union Square Holiday Market 

From November 19th to December 24th, Union Square transforms into a swirling maze of stalls and holiday euphoria. The largest holiday market in the city, there are over 100 booths selling everything from artisan truffle products (whatever those are) to paintings and handmade jewelry.

Photo via The Cultureist
Photo via The Cultureist

Friend of a Friend’s Holiday Pop Up

Come say hello to the Friend of a Friend team! We’re hosting our own pop-up in celebration of our Gift Guide where you can shop our curated selects IRL. Refreshments on us. Opening up on December 12th—one weekend only.

For the friend who’s like a sister (or for your actual sister): @livvperez explains why @morgan_lane pajama sets make the best gifts in today’s Gift Guide  [link in bio]

The Museum of Feelings 

This pop-up museum, located at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, is the first of its kind. The interactive exhibit contains various installations focused on the five senses, and its exterior changes color based on the city’s “mood data” gathered through social media. It’s only open until December 14th, so hurry!

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Food52 Pop-Up Market 

Food52, the online recipe hub and authority on all things culinary, has launched a food-centric holiday market at 17th and Broadway. From December 3rd to the 20th they’ll be selling vintage cookware, home goods, and hosting cookbook signings with some of their favorite chefs, including Parisian pastry master David Lebovitz.


Brooklyn Lights Tour 

Brooklyn is home to some of the most over-the-top holiday light spectacles in the country. On this tour, Brooklyn locals will take you on an expedition to witness some of the most extravagant light displays you’ve ever seen. How’s that for holiday spirit?




Not done shopping yet? We’ve got you—peep the Friend of a Friend Gift Guide here.