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6 Better Options than Chinese Food and a Movie: What’s Open in NYC on Xmas

NYC Christmas

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s a good chance you fall back on the time-honored Chinese food and a movie formula, two options that are always open when it feels like most everything else is closed for the holiday. And although we love a good dim sum lunch and movieplex marathon, it turns out there’s lots to do in the City That Never Sleeps on Christmas for families beyond the movies.

Here are 6 great options to entertain yourself in New York City on December 25 if you don’t celebrate Christmas (or even if you do):


1. Strap on some skates! Both the Rink at Rockefeller Center and the Bryant Park Winter Village are open December 24–25 for you and the kids to take a spin on outdoor ice rinks.

NYC Christmas

2. Get a bird’s eye city view: Admire the City from up high all weekend long in midtown at either the iconic Empire State Building (open 8am–2am) or above the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and Ice Rink at the Top of the Rock (open 8am–11pm on December 24 and 8am–midnight December 25) or in Lower Manhattan at One World Observatory (open 9am–5pm on Christmas Eve and 9am–10pm on Christmas Day).

3. Play tourist on non-crowded 42nd Street: With crowds at a minimum this might be the perfect time to try two kid-pleasing Times Square attractions: the wax works of Madame Tussauds New York, which has extended hours on December 25, from 9am–10pm, and the more than 500 oddities that comprise Ripley’s Believe it or Not which is open 365 days a year (believe it or not!).<

4. See a Broadway show:  A dozen Broadway shows are offering Christmas Day performances, including a few of Playground’s favorites such as School of Rock; The Illusionists: Turn of the Century; Waitress; and Wicked (visit for details).

jewish museum 6 Better Options than Chinese Food and a Movie: What’s Open in NYC on Xmas

5. Museum food and fun: Head to the Upper East Side’s Jewish Museum on December 25 to check out the new exhibits, enjoy a family concert with Oran Etkin (pictured), try out some arts and crafts, and get some bagels and lox at the museum’s recently opened post of the Lower East Side’s much loved Russ & Daughters café.

6. Say Hi to Wildlife: Three of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s zoos—Central Park ZooProspect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo—are open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Say hi to the polar bears from us!

Happy holidays!
Melissa and Georgette

Photo credit: Pixabay

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