Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What to Do on Christmas in NY - If You Don't Celebrate Christmas

Macy's Holiday store windows: open on Christmas (the displays, not the store)
How to spend the day on Christmas is a question that bedevils Jews every year, along with Scrooge, anti-holiday types and non-Christians. In New York, it's actually pretty easy to fill your day.

The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum, on the Upper East Side, offers a full day of programming (unless the holiday happens to fall on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath). There's a little bonus this year: on Christmas Eve, when many cultural institutions are also closed, the museum is free. It's always open, for free, on Saturdays, but no special programming is planned, and the restaurant and gift shop are closed.

See the Rockettes on Christmas
Go to the top
One World Observatory, in lower Manhattan, and Top of the Rock, in midtown, are both open Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Eat Chinese food
This is what we did on Long Island when I was younger; everyone in my mostly Jewish town went to the movies and ate Chinese food.

Go to a movie
See above.

Most Chinatown restaurants are open on Christmas
See a Broadway show
Yes, several shows have Christmas performances including both Jersey Boys and The Color Purple, both of which close in January. Catch them while you can!

Kick up your feet
If you are a Christmas hater or agnostic, this may not be for you, but the Rockettes perform their Christmas Spectacular multiple times at Radio City Music Hall.

Most animals don't celebrate the holiday
Get wild
The Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo are all open on Christmas Day. If your kids have opened all their presents, eaten all the goodies and are starting to turn on you, take them to the zoo where they can at least forget about inside voices.

Visit the store windows
No jockeying for space in front of the most popular store window displays. You can see Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales and Macy's, and even check out the tree at Rockefeller Center.

Take a ride
Drive or hop on the subway and see the holiday lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. These free displays are lit as soon as the sun sets.

Find more suggestions on how to spend Christmas (and Christmas Eve) at NYC.com.

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