We know how difficult it can be to find someplace to go that is actually open on Christmas Day. So here’s a list of fun things to do in New York City whether you are a tourist or a local and whether you celebrate the holiday, or not.
Who doesn’t like Central Park!?
This year the weather is amazingly warm and it makes it even better to take a stroll in the park, rent a bike or take a spin on Wollman Rink, which is open for skating on December 25, from 10am – 11pm. This is the famous New York skating rink featured in the movies Love Story and Serendipity. You can skate and enjoy a spectacular view of the NYC skyline.
Winter can be also a great time to visit the Central Park Zoo, which is open 365 days a year, because the air is cooler and some of the animals are more active. Christmas Day hours are 10:00am – 4:30pm. General admission tickets include entry to the Main Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo.
You will definitely get hungry after all the activities so in that case we recommend you try these places near Central Park for a nice holiday treat:
Swing by Momofuku Milk Bar for some “Compost Cookie” made with ground coffee beans, potato chips, and graham cracker crust to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings (15 W 56th St).
Go to Serendipity 3 for the famous frozen hot chocolate (225 E 60th St).
In case you really get hungry Burger Joint always hits the spot. It is not very easy to find, because it’s tucked behind the velvet curtains in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien (119 W 56th St).
How about Rockefeller Center & Radio City Hall?
Nothing represents Christmas in NYC better than the Rockefeller Center with its beautiful Christmas Tree and ice skating rink.
Roll with the Rockettes. The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular is performed on Christmas Day. If you’ve already seen the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Show, or if you’re just not that interested in it, there are several Broadway theaters that aren’t closed on Christmas Day. Please check playbill.com to see what your options are this year.
For the iconic view of NYC that never gets old visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck (30 Rockefeller Plaza). On December 25, the deck is open from 8am – 12am. The 67th and 69th floors include outdoor terraces which feature fully transparent, safety glass. The 70th floor offers an amazing open air, unobstructed 360-degree city view.
Also at Rockefeller Center, the ice skating rink is open all day, straight through to midnight on Christmas Day.
If you want to splurge, consider making a reservation at the Rainbow Room. Yes, this is in Rockefeller Center, like the Rink and the Top of the Rock – this restaurant has a dress code, so please be dressed accordingly, if you are planning on wearing your ice skating gear the Rainbow Room may not be the smart choice for you.
If you are looking for a casual and budget friendly option Sapporo ramen shop is a great choice, it is the first Japanese Restaurant to bring ramen to New York City, that was established in 1975.
For a great Christmas drink and especially dry Martini we recommend Sardi’s and if you are lucky you might even spot some celebrities.
Another great place to enjoy the NYC skyline view is Empire State Building Observatory (open on Christmas Day from 8am – 2pm) offers an amazing 80-mile views from the 86th floor. The building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. In order to avoid the line tickets can be purchased in advance online.
Maybe a Museum?
Famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in New York City is open on all holidays, with extended hours during Christmas and New Year’s Day. Madame Tussards is located at 234 W 42 Street. Discount parking is available at IKON/Global Garage when you validate your parking ticket at Madame Tussauds admissions area.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium is open on December 25 from 9am – 1am. The place is located in the heart of Times Square and features more than twenty unbelievable galleries of interactive and archival exhibits.
It’s Christmas After All!
Let’s not forget it is Christmas Day and there are religious services in churches all over New York City. St. Patrick’s Cathedral Christmas Day Mass is celebrated nearly every hour on the hour until 1PM. and St. John the Divine hosts annual Christmas Day concert. The Trinity Church near Wall Street has a late morning Holy Eucharist on Christmas Day too, although St. Paul’s Chapel itself is closed on Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas and we hope you will enjoy your visit to NYC.