Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas & Hanukkah in New York City: The Weird, the Wacky, the Wild

All throughout December, crowds of tourists flock to New York City to take in holiday extravaganzas. But for every standard NYC Christmas tradition-the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, and the luminous window displays at high end department stores-there are a number of, shall we say, more quintessentially quirky New York City events that contribute to this city's twisted seasonal appeal. So if you are tired of the same old Christmas stocking shindigs, check out:
World's Largest Snowglobe: Yep, right here in NYC's Bryant Park will be this big, bad bubble. With live models inside (and hopefully some fresh air) the globe is over two stories tall and 20 ft. wide. Wowwee!
Winter Solstice Celebration at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine: Music to celebrate the return of the sun after the longest night of the year. Amen to that!
Nutcracker: Rated R: This ballet is performed a tad bit differently, and shows alot more skin, than anything at Lincoln Center. Check it out if you dare.
Holiday Wonders: No, it isn't Chinese New Year, it is this heavily-promoted-by-costumed-dancers (and if you use the 72nd St. subway you know what I'm talkin' about) show that incorporates ballet and Asian dancing.
Matzo Ball Party: On Christmas Eve, join cool, hip Jewish singles for a night on the town.
SantaCon: Thousands upon thousands of people dress up like Santa and then run around the city delighting tourists and confusing children. You haven't lived until you've seen a dozen Santas on a New York City subway.
Holiday Shopping Fairs: So shopping in NYC is nothing new, but doing it at an outdoor craft fair in the freezing cold is!
Menorah Horah: This campy cabaret at the Slipper Room offers a very festive and frisky way to celebrate Hanukkah.
Sephardic Music Festival: I don't know what it is, it just sounds cool.

Alright, native New Yorkers, I know I've left out other underground NYC holiday festivities, so add your favorites in the comments section. Happy holidays everyone!


David F. Slone, Esq. said...

As one of the producers of Nutcracker: Rated R, and a life-long New Yorker, I'd like to thank you for including us in this list, and for steering new New Yorkers toward a side of the city that it might take them a long time to find without you.

yogaann said...

Gramercy Park opens its ever so private gates only once a year, now that the park association has banned the unwashed masses from its annual spring Clean and Green. Go caroling on Christmas Eve around Edwin Booth and the beautiful little Gramercy Park tree. It's a wonderful little small-town experience in the big-bad-city.

Ming the Merciless said...

Yeap! Only in NYC! :-)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year.

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é . Um abraço.

Billy said...

I've lived here all my life and didn't know about any of these... that's cool! I have to bookmark this for this coming season.
Christmas rules in NY. :-D

Chumie said...

LoVer East Side, New York’s hottest tour enterprise, has scheduled a cornucopia of events for the upcoming Holiday Season.

On Sunday, December 21, they are offering "A Taste of Jewish New York" with a unique Hanukah Tour of Borough Park.
This famous Jewish enclave situated in the heart of Brooklyn has so much to offer in celebration of the Hanukah Festival.
Discover a rich and vibrant Hassidic culture, traditional food and an abundance of shopping on the legendary Thirteenth Avenue. You'll even get to tour a matzo bakery that has Passover on its mind in middle of the winter. This tour will entice all ages, so pack up your family for a memorable adventure in the Borough Park Shtetel!
Tour meets at New Utrecht and Ft. Hamilton Ave, Time: 1:00- 3:30

A special Kids' Tour of the Jewish Lower East Side
is scheduled for Thursday, December 25. A captivating tour guide will treat your children to an unforgettable excursion that will open their eyes to the rich Jewish Life, past and present, that has left its mark on this historic neighborhood.
Tour meets at 137 East Houston Street, Time: 1:00- 3:00

To cap the season, a Hanukah Tour of the Lower East Side will take place on Sunday, December 28. What better way to pack a good time than with a tour of NYC's original Jewish neighborhood! So kick up your heels and take the subway straight to Essex and Canal Streets where you’ll discover the city’s rich heritage and gastronomical delights. From tenements and pushcarts to condominiums and stockbrokers, our tour covers it all!
Tour meets at 137 East Houston Street, Time: 1:00- 3:00

For tour reservations, visit