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What Is Open in NYC on Christmas Day?

What Is Open in NYC on Christmas Day?

These are the 10 best things to do with kids that are open in NYC on Christmas day!

Christmas day is a wonderful time to explore the attractions of the New York City area. While some places close for the holiday, lots of spots are open to enjoy and are great for kids of all ages.

10 Best Things to Do with Kids on Christmas Day in NYC

1. See NYC from above at an observation deck.

Check out some of NYC's most famous attractions on Christmas Day: the observation decks. Chances are the lines won’t be too long and you and your family can play tourists for the day. The Empire State Building is open 11am-10pm. Top of the Rock is also open from 10am-10pm. The Edge, the Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor observation deck, is open 10am-10pm. And NYC’s newest observation deck experience, Summit One Vanderbilt, is open Thursday, 3-10:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-12am; and Sunday, 10am-7pm. 



A post shared by Edge (@edgenyc)

2. Snap a pic at the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree before it goes away!

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a 12-ton Norway spruce from Elkton, MD has been lit for the holiday season. You can admire it in person on Christmas Day, when it will be lit for a full 24 hours (at other times the tree shines from 6-12am daily). 

3. Take in the local holiday lights.

Check out the holiday lights clustered around New York City neighborhoods. The most famous of the bunch are the lights in Dyker Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood that goes all out with its front yard displays. And check out our comprehensive rundown of holiday lights throughout the entire metropolitan area. And don't forget to see the dazzling holiday window displays this season—your kids will definitely be amazed by the Saks Fifth Avenue light show!

4. Glide across the ice on one of NYC’s iconic ice-skating rinks.

The world's most famous patch of ice, the Rockefeller Center ice rink, is welcoming skaters for spectacular sessions right beneath the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Limited capacities and skate times help ensure social distancing safety. (The experience is mostly outdoors, which helps as well.) Other iconic ice rinks in NYC that are open on Dec. 25 include the Rink at Brookfield Place, Wollman Rink in Central Park, and the Rink at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. 


A post shared by Wollman Rink (@wollmanrinknyc)

5. Spend the afternoon at Bryant Park’s Winter Village.

Once you’ve taken a spin on The Rink in the Bank of America Winter Village, spend some time browsing the shops—some will be open on Christmas day (talk about last-minute shopping!). Then enjoy a 90-minute curling session (includes a private, heated dome; family food and drink; and iceless curling lane) or stop by the Lodge to refuel before going on to your next Christmas day activity.


A post shared by Bryant Park (@bryantparknyc)

6. See your favorite celebrities in wax at Madame Tussauds.

Places like Madame Tussauds Wax Museum will be open on Christmas Day. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the area with minimal crowds. Madame Tussauds will be open 11am-8pm.

7. Wander through fields of lights at NYC Lantern Festival.

Back again this year to bring joy and light to the holiday season, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival has 2 locations in NYC: Snug Harbor on Staten Island and Queens County Farm Museum. Both locations are open on Christmas day, and you can reserve tickets now. 

8. Indulge in Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity3!

If you haven’t had Serendipity3’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate yet, you’re missing out! Sure, you may be thinking, isn’t frozen hot cocoa just a chocolate milkshake? But you’d be wrong. It’s a delightful hot cocoa treat, just cold. Trust us, this is one thing your kids need to experience at least once in their lives. Plus the whimsical decor is sure to make you smile. Book a reservation for Christmas day right now to ensure you get a table.


A post shared by Serendipity 3 (@serendipity3nyc)

9. Take the family to see a show!

Broadway isn’t completely dark on Christmas day! A handful of shows will have evening performances on Dec. 25, including Waitress, Wicked, Mrs. Doubtfire, Moulin Rouge, and Phantom of the Opera. Or really lean into the holiday spirit on Christmas day and see the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. After all, giving tickets to a show is a great gift for the family!

10. Explore the Jewish Museum.

Since it’s Christmas day, you’re likely to have the museum to yourself (well, almost…). Learn about art and Jewish culture at the Jewish Museum, which is open 10am-6pm. 

Main image by Taiga/

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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the former editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. To unplug in her free time, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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