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  1. Cocoa and Carols Cruise on the Manhattan

  2. Carols extravaganza at Kettle of Fish

  3. Kettle of Fish

  4. Kettle of Fish

Best holiday dates

Get in the mood-holiday or otherwise-on these seasonal excursions.


Sledding and hot chocolate
Take your honey by the mitten-clad hand and head to Central Park for spills, thrills and frolicking in the snow. Both Pilgrim Hill (enter at 72nd St and Fifth Ave) and Cedar Hill (enter at 79th St and Fifth Ave) are popular slopes for busting out the garbage-can lid. Aprs sledding, warm up over hot cocoa at the elegant La Maison du Chocolat (1018 Madison Ave between 78th and 79th Sts; 212-744-7117,; choose between the robust Caracas or the Guayaquil, a lighter but thicker option ($8 each).

Spin the Dreidel Tournament and bagels wih lox
Score major points by bringing your bubeleh to Major League Dreidel’s Spin the Dreidel Tournament at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn (361 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-529-6696,; Dec 12 at 7pm; $15, advance $10), where you can watch the “pros” engage in some serious top twirling—whoever spins longest wins. There’ll also be a spread of traditional Hanukkah foods such as jelly doughnuts and butter cookies, plus live music from metal group Gods of Fire and air band Category Sixx, led by 2009 U.S. Air Guitar Champion William Ocean. To further honor your Jewish heritage, grab a freshly made bagel topped with lox and cream cheese ($3.25) from 24-hour spot Bagelsmith (189 Bedford Ave between North 6th and 7th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-7414). We dare you to try to pay in chocolate gelt.

Christmas carols and live jazz
Tell your date to warm up those vocal cords in preparation for the 23rd annual Christmas carols extravaganza at Kettle of Fish (59 Christopher St between Waverly Pl and W 4th St; 212-414-2278,; Dec 13 at 9pm, free). Grab a booklet and some liquid courage from the bar and spread good cheer by singing along to classic holiday jingles like “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.” Once your voices have succumbed to laryngitis, head to Fat Cat (75 Christopher St at Seventh Ave South; 212-675-6056, and let someone else do the crooning: There’s live music every night of the week, and jam sessions last until the 5am closing time.

Cocoa and Carols and schnitzel and beer
Nosh unabashedly on Christmas cookies aboard Classic Harbor Line’s Cocoa and Carols Cruise (departs from Pier 62, near 22nd St at the Hudson River; 212-627-1825,; $50). The 90-minute excursion takes place on the Manhattan, a 1920s-style yacht that will be decked out for the holidays. Sip a complimentary beer or glass of wine or champagne, while you listen to Christmas carols sung by members of the Chelsea Opera (Saturday night cruises) or holiday tunes performed by a jazz trio. Once you and your sweetie are back on dry land, make a pit stop at the tinsel- and holly-strewn Rolf’s Bar and Restaurant (281 Third Ave at 22nd St, 212-477-4750) for a festive German meal of potato pancakes ($8), Wiener schnitzel ($19.95) and Hofbrau Lager (small $3, large $9).

Holiday lights tour and Superdive holiday party
If you really want to dazzle your date, book two spots on the Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour (meet at Fourth Ave between 13th and 14th Sts;; Fri--Sun 7pm; through Dec 27; $55). The three-and-a-half-hour jaunt passes through Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, where homeowners compete for the biggest and brightest holiday displays using inflatable, motorized and animatronic decorations. Prove you’re not a total square and finish off the night with a wild, sloppy jamboree at the always-rowdy Superdive (200 Ave A between 12th and 13th Sts; 646-448-4854,; Mon--Wed, Sun $40; Thu--Sat $60). The bar is hosting an unorthodox holiday party every night for the month of December, which includes a seven-hour open bar, a midget Santa and a Christmas tree fashioned from stacked minikegs. Hit the Jger ice luge before strolling down the mistletoe hallway to find out whether your date’s naughty or nice.

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