What's Open on Christmas Day in NYC 2013: 10 Things to Do with Kids After Opening Gifts
The gifts have been ripped open, the insane plastic packaging dismantled and the batteries installed. Dinner won't be ready for hours and the kids are totally stir crazy. What else can you do on Christmas Day in New York City?
Jews have been asking that question for centuries and their answer is often Chinese food and a movie. But there are other options, whether or not you celebrate Christmas. Here are ten fun things to do on December 25 in NYC. You can find even more seasonal activities in our Holiday Fun Guide.
1. Catch a festive show A handful of Broadway shows play on Christmas Day, including family faves Cinderella, Matilda and Wicked. But you can really get into the spirit of the season by catching a performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Holiday Circus in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Vital Children's Theatre's Angelina Ballerina the Very Merry Holiday Musical and the Big Apple Circus: Luminocity.
2. Play tourist Times Square's Madame Tussauds, Ripley's Believe it or Not! Odditorium and Discovery Times Square (featuring two cool exhibits, Shipwrecked and Art of the Brick) are all open on Christmas Day. If you'd rather play games, arcade/restaurant Dave & Buster's is open, too. Other tourist spots with December 25 hours include The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock.
3. See a movie Cinemas are open on Christmas Day and there are plenty of great family films playing like Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks, Walking with Dinosaurs and the latest installments of The Hobbit, The Hunger Games and Thor. Even better: The IFC Film Center is running its An Animated World film fest with screenings of three international animated flicks: Welcome to the Space Show, Eleanor's Secret and Hayao Miyazaki's new classic My Neighbor Totoro. Or if you have cable, you can stay home and watch A Christmas Story, which airs throughout the day on TBS. Whichever movie you choose, don't forget to follow it with a Chinese meal.
5. Hit the ice The rinks at Winter Village at Bryant Park, Wollman and Lasker in Central Park, Riverbank State Park, Rockefeller Center and Van Cortlandt Park are all open for skating on Christmas Day (weather permitting), along with new rinks in Brooklyn's McCarren and Prospect Parks, and Manhattan's South Street Seaport and Battery Park City. If you head to Bryant Park, you can also do some really last-minute holiday shopping at its fantastic outdoor holiday market or take a ride on the carousel. And if it's too cold to glide outside, indoor rinks Chelsea Piers, Brooklyn's Aviator Sports, and Queens' City Ice Pavilion and World Ice Arena also have public skating hours on December 25.
6. Take a stroll Walk up Fifth Avenue to see the stunning department store holiday windows. Assuming it's not too chilly (or rainy or snowy), Christmas is also a great day to take a quiet stroll through one of our city's lovely green spaces. Central, Prospect, Flushing Meadows Corona, Van Cortlandt, Brooklyn Bridge and all other NYC parks are open as is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Central Park is even hosting a FREE mid-park welcome tour at 2pm.
7. Party at a Jewish museum Many of NYC's Jewish cultural institutions are open today and hosting special family activities. Hit the Museum at Eldridge Street to groove to Klez for Kids, go on scavenger hunts and learn Yiddish. Catch bands The Macaroons at the Jewish Museum and Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Choir at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. And enjoy crafty fun at the Jewish Children's Museum's Art Week.
8. Explore the Museum of Mathematics Although almost all NYC museums are closed on Christmas Day, the interactive MoMath is open on the holiday.
9. Pamper yourself If all that shopping and reveling has you wiped out, take a dip in the rejuvenating waters of the family-friendly Spa Castle, which welcomes visitors on Christmas Day.
10. Attend a religious service If you weren't able to go on Christmas Eve, churches are open on Christmas, too. The five spots we mentioned for midnight mass all welcome families on December 25 as well.
Find more seasonal fun in our Holiday Fun Guide.