If you’re in New York City the week of December 17-23, you likely know the iconic things to do: visit the Rockefeller Christmas tree, look at the holiday displays in shop windows, and ice skate at Wollman Rink or Rockefeller Center. What else can you do this week? Read on and we’ll tell you.
Holiday Things to Do This Week in NYC
Even if it doesn’t snow, the City That Never Sleeps is full of holiday fun and spirit. If you don’t sleep, you can try to see and do it all. Or maybe just some of it, because who doesn’t need a little bit of shut-eye? Here are our recommendations.
Walk Down Gingerbread Lane
Head to the New York Hall of Science out in Flushing Meadows, Queens, to stroll in the Guinness World Record’s largest gingerbread village. This completely edible town is created yearly by Queens native Jon Lovitch, and includes stores, houses, and more. There is no fee to see Gingerbread Lane, but you do have to purchase a ticket for entry into the museum.
See the Met’s Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Christmas tree may be famous, but it’s not the only game in town. When you visit NYC, you should always pay a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art no matter what time of year it is, but this week the museum also plays host to its famous 20-foot blue spruce Christmas tree. Typically, the Met holds daily tree lighting ceremonies, but this year they had to forgo the lights because of a skylight replacement project going on in the gallery. The tree is still worth visiting, especially to see 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene at its base.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice
The Paul Winter’s (no pun intended) Winter Solstice Celebration has taken place now for nearly four decades and it’s something to behold. Head to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on December 20th (7:30 p.m.), 21st (7:30 p.m.), or 22nd (2:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.) for music and dance performances that celebrate the longest night of the year. You can also tour the cathedral at other times, to see its beautiful architecture and the views from its roof.
Get Lit in Dyker Heights
What’s Christmas without Christmas lights? Even if you’re a tourist on vacation, you don’t have to miss out on the tradition of houses draped in lights. Head out to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, this week for its infamous Christmas light display, now in its 12th year. Neighbors compete for most “over the top” lighting displays, especially those between 83rd and 86th streets, and 11th and 13th avenues. Come after dark, but be ready to leave before 9 p.m., when the lights go out nightly.
Attend Holiday-Themed Trivia Events
Put those years of watching A Christmas Story to good use on December 17th at McGarry’s on 9th Avenue. The bar will host a trivia event featuring the iconic holiday movie, from 8-9:30 p.m. The prize? Could be a bunny suit, could be a Red Ryder Carbine Action air rifle. If you don’t understand those references, this trivia night is not for you. Perhaps The Office is more your style. If that’s the case, The Late Late at 159 East Houston Street is the place to go on December 18th at 8:00 p.m. This trivia night will focus on questions about every single The Office holiday episode, so brush up on all things Dunder Mifflin!