December may bring chilly weather and snowfall, but the Big Apple truly comes to life over the holiday season. From pop-up markets to arthouse films and ballet, here are the December events you won’t want to miss.
Staten Island Ferry
Open 24 hours every day
Whitehall Ferry Terminal, 4 South Street, New York City, 10004
The Staten Island Ferry is first and foremost a commuter vessel, and there is no on-board commentary. For extra insight, context, and information about the surrounding sights, join a guided tour of NYC or Lower Manhattan that includes a round-trip on the ferry. To maximize your experience, take the trip out to Staten Island during the day and return after dark to see the NYC skyline all lit up. The voyage to Staten Island takes around 25 minutes each way. Boats depart at least every 30 minutes, with more frequent departures during commuter rush hours. No ticket is required.
Things to Know Before You Go
For the best views of Lady Liberty, sit on the right side of a Staten Island–bound ferry.
Some, though not all, ferries in the fleet have large outdoor side decks, which afford the best views.
The ferry is accessible to wheelchair users.
Refreshments, including beer and hot dogs, are available on board.
All passengers must disembark at St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.
How to Get There
The Staten Island Ferry runs between Whitehall, near Battery Park in Manhattan, and St. George on Staten Island. To get to the Whitehall Terminal, take the subway (1 train) to South Ferry. Other nearby subway stations include Bowling Green (4 and 5), Broad Street (J and Z), and Whitehall Street (1, R, and W).
When to Get There
The best time of year to ride the ferry is during summer, or on warm spring or fall days when you can comfortably soak up the view from the open-air decks. If you don’t like crowds, avoid rush hours (6–9am for boats departing from Staten Island, and 4–7pm for boats departing from Manhattan).
Exploring One of New York’s Lesser-Known Boroughs
Most visitors to NYC never venture outside Manhattan and Brooklyn, though Staten Island—New York’s least-populated borough—has several fascinating sites. Within easy reach of St. George Terminal is the Lighthouse Museum, St George’s Historical District, and the waterfront Richmond County Bank Ballpark, where the minor league Staten Island Yankees (not to be confused with the major league New York Yankees) play. Also of note is the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, home to the Noble Maritime Collection and Staten Island Children's Museum.
- Things to do in New York
- Things to do in Brooklyn
- Things to do in Long Island
- Things to do in Philadelphia
- Things to do in Boston
- Things to do in Salem
- Things to do in Washington DC
- Things to do in Williamsburg
- Things to do in Buffalo
- Things to do in Niagara Falls
- Things to do in Niagara Falls & Around
- Things to do in Montreal
- Things to do in Toronto
- Things to do in Pennsylvania
- Things to do in Massachusetts
- Bowling Green
- Fraunces Tavern Museum
- National Museum of the American Indian–New York
- Ellis Island
- Alexander Hamilton US Custom House
- Battery Park
- Stone Street Historic District
- New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
- Wall Street
- Castle Clinton National Monument
- Museum of Jewish Heritage
- Trinity Church Wall Street
- 9/11 Tribute Museum
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York