Christmas Day Activities For Jews

While some people may have their annual Christmas Day routine, others of us may be looking for a fun way to spend a day off! There are many activities to choose from right here on the UWS, and if you are open to traveling, many of the Jewish museums around the city have fun filled programing for the whole family to enjoy. Or if you feel like making it a lazy day, check out our guide to the best Chinese delivery options for Christmas!

Big Apple Circus

60 Lincoln Center Plaza

Want to be dazzled? The Big Apple Circus has two performances at 12:00pm and 4:00pm on Christmas! Storm Marrero, the ringmaster, will guide you through a variety show like none other. Some of the acts include the Wheel of Death, Acrobatic Horse Riding, Cat Acrobats, a High Wire act, and Inventive Juggling. This is a great option for anyone looking to do something close to home right here on the UWS.

Comedy Show at Stand Up NY

236 West 78th Street

There are not too many details available yet, but there is a Christmas Show slated for Christmas Day. Much like any comedy club, you never know who is going to show up, especially on a holiday! Stand Up NY has been around since 1986, and has hosted all the big names in comedy including Jerry Seinfeld, to Chris Rock. They are proud to be located on the UWS serving up fresh acts every night. Make sure to reserve you spot in advance for the 7:30pm show.

Take a class at the JCC

334 Amsterdam Ave

Is your gym closed on Christmas? The JCC is open for classes, including working out.  Make sure to book in advance because space is limited and must be booked in advance.


Go to the Movies

There is no shortage of good movies to see this holiday season. The UWS has great theater options open on Christmas, including AMC Lincoln Square and AMC 84th Street. Below are a few suggested movies that will be in theaters, some opening on Christmas Day:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, brings back Rey, Poe, Finn and the rest of the group, for an exciting next step in the trilogy. This is a hit for any Star Wars lover.

Bombshell, with a cast including Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman. Nothing says holidays like a good scandal!

Cats, based on the Broadway show, looks interesting. There have been a lot of jokes going around about the way the human/cats look. I will try to see this on Christmas Day, hopefully it’s good.

Frozen 2, if you have kids and you’ve made it this long without seeing it, now is your chance. If you don’t have kids, I recommend it anyway. It’s a fun movie with great music.

Go to Zoo

Want to celebrate with your favorite animals? The Central Park Zoo is open. Just to note, the Bronx Zoo is closed.  The Central Park zoo features sea lions, penguins, grizzly bears, and even a snow leopard. Many of them love the cold weather, so get ready to see them in action!

Go Ice Skating

Want to partake in an iconic holiday activity? Go ice skating! Wollman Rink in Central Park, The Pond at Bryant Park, and Rockefeller Center are open! Wollman Rink (which is no longer publicly affiliated with Trump’s name) first opened in 1950 for New Yorkers to lace up and enjoy the holiday season.

See a Broadway Show

Broadway is open! If you haven’t already seen Wicked, take your family and enjoy a wonderful, feel-good show. Moulin Rouge will also have performances. Check out our recent reviews of new shows and decide which one you want to see on Christmas.


Other options around NYC open on Christmas Day:

Klezmerfest! Klez for Kids at the Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street, 12-2:30pm

The whole family will be singing and dancing to Yiddish music. There will be two shows, one at 12:00pm and the other at 2:30pm. At the end of each show there will be a special Hanukkah celebration with menorah lightings. The exhibition, Lighting the World: Menorahs from Around the Globe will be featured. Make sure to get your tickets in advance.

Jewish Museum

1109 5th Ave at 92nd Street

The Jewish Museum is open for families to come for a full day of programming, including the Picture This! Gallery Tour, art workshops and concerts. The concerts will feature Nefesh Mountain band, who performs a blend of Bluegrass and Appalachian tunes with a Jewish soul. A fun Hanukkah show for all ages.

Museum of Jewish Heritage

36 Battery Place

Open all day on Christmas, you can come see the acclaimed, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away exhibit. There will be family friendly walking tours of Ordinary Treasures: Highlights from the Museum of Jewish Heritage Collection. There will be performances by The Sorceress at 2:00pm and 6:00pm, and also a Chinese buffet. Please note you will need a separate ticket required at


A few activities starting just before Christmas Day:

A Very Jewish Christmas: Old World Jewish Christmas Traditions at the Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

Monday, Dec. 23rd at 7pm

Itzik Gottesman will speak about the “December Dilemma” and the Jewish beliefs and traditions on Christmas day in the Old World. There will be a Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony and a kosher Chinese food dinner following the presentation.

Ticket Info: $15 general; $10 YIVO members, students at or 917-606-8290


Capitale, 130 Bowery

Tuesday, Dec. 24th

Calling all Jewish singles ready to party. Please note this party starts on Christmas eve and goes into the early morning hours of Christmas day. One highlight is an open Vodka bar at the start of the party. 33 years going strong, this is a great option for those who want to get out and party. Must be 21 years or older and tickets are required.

With so many options, Christmas Day might quickly become your new favorite holiday!

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