What to do this week: Union Square Holiday Market, Christmas tree lighting and more

The Daybook is WSN’s weekly column listing in-person and online events at NYU and across New York City. This week: Dec. 4 – 10.


Bruna Horvath, Deputy News Editor


Indulge in some free cheesecake

Kimmel Center for University Life (on campus)

3 p.m.

Eat some holiday-themed cheesecakes with NYU’s Cheese Club, a group for cheese-lovers across the university. This meeting will be the club’s final event of the semester, and attendees will be able to relax and make friends while enjoying cheesecake. The event is free and open to the NYU community, but registration is required to attend.

Build delicious gingerbread houses

726 Broadway, Room 701 (on campus)

5:30 p.m.

Join PorColombia, a club at NYU that celebrates Colombian culture, in creating holiday-themed gingerbread houses. Attendees will also get the chance to enjoy free food provided by the club. This event is a great opportunity to destress before finals start piling up, so grab a friend and build a gingerbread house to de-stress. This event is free and open to the NYU community, but advance registration is required.


Learn about Emirati culture through food

19 Washington Square North (on campus)

4:30 p.m.

Embark on a culinary journey and learn about the origins of Emirati cuisine. Anthropology professor Jonathan H. Shannon will speak on how Emirati food has evolved over time, emphasizing its connection with trade across the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean. This event is open to the public, but attendees can also register in advance.

Paint a mug for the holidays

Pless Hall, Third Floor Lounge (on campus)

5:30 p.m.

As the semester comes to an end, celebrate the holidays and winter season by painting mugs and eating sugar cookies at this event. With finals around the corner, you will also have the chance to create care packages to help you get through your exams. Attendees can enjoy free pizza and watch a movie while they create their crafts. This event is free and open to the public, but make sure to secure your spot ahead of time by registering online.


Watch a documentary about animal welfare

285 Mercer St., 8th floor

5 p.m.

Join NYU’s Animal Welfare Collection at a screening of the 2013 documentary, “Blackfish,” a film about the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld. Following the screening, attendees will have the opportunity to chat with whale neuroscientist Lori Marino, founder and executive director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy and president of the Whale Sanctuary Project, which both aim to improve the relationship between people and animals. The event is free and open to the NYU community, but registration is required.

A tree lighting on campus

Washington Square Park

6 p.m.

Watch as Washington Square Park’s pine tree, framed by the iconic arch, lights up for the season. Enjoy a ceremony featuring carols by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet and vocalist Linseigh Green, with Santa Claus leading the countdown. Don’t miss the 45-foot tree’s glow, which will illuminate the park from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. throughout the holiday season.


A journey through women’s fashion

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

10 a.m.

Discover new female fashion designers at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Women Dressing Women.” The exhibit, which is a part of the Museum’s Costume Institute, will highlight the creativity and artistic impact of over 70 women fashion designers from the 1900s to today. The exhibit will remain open until March 3, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn about women designers’ contributions to fashion. Visitors who purchase regular museum tickets will be able to access the exhibit.

Take part in a Hanukkah tradition

5th Ave. and 59th St.

5:30 p.m.

Each evening of Hanukkah, witness the lighting of the “world’s largest menorah,” standing at 36 feet tall on Fifth Avenue. This tradition, originating in the mid-1970s, is meant to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness. You can also attend a menorah lighting across the river at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. The celebrations in both Manhattan and Brooklyn will also feature live music.


9:30 a.m.

Learn all about the Metropolitan Opera House’s intricate production design at a trip to the opera’s costume and wig shop. Hosted by NYU’s Future Fashion Group, this event will give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at how the Met Opera crafts costumes for performances by taking a tour of its principal workrooms, dressing rooms and of the opera house itself. Attendees will meet at the Kimmel Center for University Life before making their way to Lincoln Center. The event is free and open to the NYU community, but registration is required to attend.

Celebrate an ancient Persian holiday

Kimmel Center for University Life (on campus)

7 p.m.

Spend a night commemorating Shabe Yalda with NYU’s Persian Cultural Society. Shabe Yalda is an ancient Persian holiday celebrated in Iran and other countries with historical Persian influence like Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. At this event, participants will eat catered Persian food, dance, read poetry, learn about Persian culture and celebrate the winter solstice. The event is free and open to the NYU community, although advance registration is required.


Visit a flea market

125 W. 18th St.

11 a.m.

Explore jewelry, home decor, taxidermy items and more for sale at the Metropolitan Pavilion’s Oddities Flea Market. Besides browsing through curious items at this one-of-a-kind market, attendees can look through the booths of various vendors and participate in activities like tarot card readings and flash tattoos. The market is open to the public, with tickets starting at $31.30.

Listen to a Grammy-Award-winning quartet

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

7 p.m.

Watch the four members of the Grammy-Award-winning Catalyst Quartet — Karla Donehew Perez, Abi Fayette, Paul Laraia and Karlos Rodriguez — as they perform with string instruments from the late 19th century. Witness the current Quartet in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art perform string quartets spanning three different centuries. Tickets for the show start at $35.


Stop by the Holiday Market at Union Square, which has more than 150 vendors and dozens of award-winning restaurants and retailers. The lineup of restaurants and entertainment venues make the site the city’s largest Greenmarket, and a go-to stop for holiday shopping. The market will be open to the public through Dec. 24.

A car-free journey down Fifth Avenue

48th Street to 59th Street


Explore Fifth Avenue in December, free from the chaos of New York City traffic. Wander from 48th Street to 59th Street, and see iconic landmarks — including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Radio City Music Hall — without being interrupted by vehicles. You will also have the chance to indulge in the festive atmosphere with a variety of food vendors and musicians. The streets will once again transform into exclusive pedestrian-only zones on Dec. 17.