The holiday season is upon us and New York City never has shortage of events, concerts, and parties. There are, of course, classics like the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, that tourists flock to every year, but if you're looking for something a little different in a holiday show, we've got some suggestions. Twelve is a popular number this time of year, so we've pared our list down to a dozen cool shows (or series of shows), ranging from indie rock to country, John Waters to GWAR. In other words, something for just about everyone, even those who hate the holidays! Check out our seasonal suggestions below.

Darlene Love

NOVEMBER 29 & DECEMBER 2: Darlene Love: "Love For The Holidays" @ Sony Hall

The incomparable Darlene Love, whose voice helped make A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector the classic that it is, returns to NYC for her annual run of holiday shows happening at Sony Hall. As far as holiday voices go, it doesn't get much better than this. Tickets are still on sale.

DECEMBER 6: She & Him @ Kings Theatre (GIVEAWAY!)

Elf co-star Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward‘s She & Him have two Christmas albums under their belt, and they'll bring those songs and probably more to Brooklyn's Kings Theatre for a night of jazzy yuletide songs. Tickets are on sale, and we're also giving away a pair! Enter for a chance to win below.

DECEMBER 8: The Fifth-Annual Landlady Holiday Spectacular @ The Bell House

The ever-busy and talented Adam Schatz has been throwing the "Landlady Holiday Spectacular" for five years now at The Bell House, always with an impressive roster of performers and collaborators. The 2019 edition features Rafiq Bhatia, Uni Ika Ai, Harlem Gospel Travelers, and others, and the night will also include a tribute to the late Dr. John. There'll also be holiday readings from BrooklynVegan contributor Dave Hill, Clare O'Kane, and "other various funny people." Tickets are on sale.

Harry and the Potters

DECEMBER 14: Yule Ball - Harry and the Potters/Kimya Dawson @ The Bell House

Wizard rock duo Harry and the Potters bring a little bit of Hogwarts magic to Brooklyn at their tenth-annual Yule Ball holiday show at The Bell House. Also on hand will be special guest singer-songwriter and ex-Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson, who made a cameo appearance as Hermione on their latest album Lumos. Additional guests include viral sensation Potter Puppet Pals, fellow wizard rocker Ashley Hamel, and The Dead Ringers. Will Dumbledore play Santa? (tickets).



DECEMBER 16: A John Waters Christmas @ Sony Hall

Cult filmmaker and trash connoisseur John Waters has been offering his twisted take on the holidays for years now with his one-of-a-kind, one-man show. This year's A John Waters Christmas tour is dubbed "Filthier and Merrier" and a "rapid-fire 'trigger warning' for holiday traditionalists." If you love to hate the holidays, you'll be in good company with John. Tickets here.

DECEMBER 18-21: Murray Hill's "A Murray Little Christmas" @ Joe's Pub

Drag great and comedian Murray Hill brings his annual holiday run "A Murray Little Christmas" back to Joe's Pub, with a great lineup of guests including Bridget Everett, Angie Potani, Carmine Covelli, and others. The shows promise "to get us in the holiday spirit and forget about the world’s collapse" with "hilarious and wacky skits with the cast, Hot Toddy burlesque, a sleigh full of cheesy holiday songs, plenty of nuts, feel-good vibes, fruits, and tree trimming." Tickets for all shows are on sale.

Mark Kozelek and Kevin Corrigan
Mark Kozelek and Kevin Corrigan

DECEMBER 19: Mark Kozelek w/ Kevin Corrigan @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Prefer your Christmases blue? Sun Kil Moon/Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek and actor Kevin Corrigan are playing their third-annual holiday show in Brooklyn, where they'll bring a mix of old holiday favorites (like on Mark's great 2014 Christmas album), original festive songs, and seasonal stories. Tickets are on sale.

DECEMBER 20: Puss N Boots "Christmas Extravaganza" @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Puss N Boots, the twangy, jazzy trio of Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson, and Catherine Popper, are unabashed fans of the holiday season, having thrown musical Christmas parties for a few years now, and they just released the Dear Santa EP. This year, their annual Christmas Extravaganza happens at Music Hall of Williamsburg and you can expect a cavalcade of special guests. Last year, Bill Murray showed up -- who'll be on hand this year? Tickets are on sale.


DECEMBER 21: The Fourth Annual Chanukahstravaganza @ Union Hall

Comedians and friends Lana Schwartz and Ilana Michelle Rubin are celebrating Hanukkah in NYC with, what else, "Chanukahstravaganza" for a fourth consecutive year. Special guests include Last Week Tonight writer Josh Gondelman, Alison Leiby, and Anna Roisman. Laughs, snacks, and surprises are promised, with proceeds going towards the Center For Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care (tickets).


Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom (more by Kate Hoos)

DECEMBER 22-29: Yo La Tengo Hanukkah Run @ Bowery Ballroom

Perhaps the greatest holiday tradition in NYC is Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah run which is back for a third year at Bowery Ballroom. Each night is different with unique sets and collaborators, surprise (and often incredible) openers and comedians, and more. Unsurprisingly, most of the run is sold out but you can still get tickets for the 12/24 and 12/25 shows.

DECEMBER 28: Kwanzaa Festival @ American Museum of Natural History

As it has done for over three decades, the American Museum of Natural History is putting on their annual Kwanzaa celebration, which is free with museum admission. There will be "live musical performances, a drum call procession, and a local artisan marketplace." More info HERE.

Riot Fest 2019 - Saturday
GWAR at Riot Fest 2019 (lmore by James Richards IV)

DECEMBER 28: GWAR @ Warsaw

Your sibling is in town for the holidays, and you need a night away from the parents together. GWAR is obviously the answer. Their “Use Your Collusion” holiday run hits Brooklyn's Warsaw with openers Unearth and Savage Master. Tickets and VIP packages are still available.

If you're looking for festive music, check out our holiday music tag.

What else? You can check out all upcoming shows at BV’s NYC shows calendar.

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