New York already has a reputation as the city that never sleeps, so you would be hard pressed to ever find yourself bored with nothing to do. However, on Christmas Eve, it’s near impossible to wander around and find nothing to do. And to make it even easier for you, we’ve already thought ahead and made a list. So this year, here are a few things to do on Christmas Eve in New York.
1.) Hit up Rockefeller Center. Not only is the ice-skating rink one of the most magical rinks in the world during the holiday season, but since Christmas Eve falls on a weekday this year (happy Monday!) it will stay open until midnight, allowing you to celebrate the first moments of Christmas morning surrounded by lights in a winter wonderland. And if you look right opposite of Rockefeller Center…
2.) Attend the midnight mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This church actually attracts more than 3 million visitors every year, so attending Christmas mass at midnight is typically a bucket-list item for most church goers. However, the popularity of the church is so great that you actually need tickets to the event, so send a self-addressed, stamped envelope requesting no more than 4 tickets to:
New York, NY 10022
Attention: Midnight Mass
Tickets are usually sold out by this time of year, but you might get lucky. And hey, if they are sold out, feel free to attend the children’s 5:30 mass on Christmas Eve, which doesn’t require tickets.
3.) See the Botanical Garden Train Show. Every year, for roughly the entire month of December (something a bit of November and January), the New York Botanical Garden’s Haupt Conservatory puts on their annual holiday train show. You’ll get to see 14 electric trains zip around a complete replica of downtown Manhattan. Get in line early though, as thousands of people flock to the exhibit every year and Christmas Eve is likely to be the busiest day of all.
4.) Attend the Christmas Spectacular at the Radio Music Hall. This long standing New York tradition (it’s been in production since the 1930’s) is sure to get you in the holiday mood. It plays four times on Christmas Eve and features the famous Rockettes. The last show starts at 8:00!
5.) Go for a walk. Seem like a bit of a downer to close the list with? Please, we did it on purpose. If you, like many people, are strapped for cash during the holiday season (and who isn’t, with Christmas shopping and such) or would prefer to avoid bumping shoulders with large crowds of people, consider taking a walk through the town. New York is beautifully decorated this time of year, and a simple stroll with a bit of window shopping will let you soak up all the magic of the holiday season without feeling overwhelmed.