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Christmas Tree at Bryant Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC

Don’t stay in on December 25—New York City has plenty going on this Christmas Day, from dinners to theater.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
&
Shaye Weaver
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Looking for something fun to do on Christmas Day? Whether you are staying in the city, determined to get out of the house or don't celebrate the holiday, there's much to take advantage of the city on December 25. Perhaps the quietest and least crowded day of the year in the city that never takes a break, pop into a late-night club, an ice-skating rink or get high up at one of the city's observation decks for some perspective.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in New York

What’s open on Christmas Day

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Midtown East

See the city sparkle from Summit One Vanderbilt. After a trip through a mirrored hallway with its own immersive elements, visitors take an elevator up to the 91st floor, where they're 1,000 feet over the streets and sidewalks of NYC. Kenzo Digital has created a totally mirrored infinity room called "Air" that reflects the sky and city views over and over, making you feel like you're walking in the sky or on another plane of existence. Looking above you and below you in this two-story space, you see your reflection repeating forever. 

Take in a night of jazz at Blue Note
  • Music
  • Greenwich Village

Jazz up your holiday by catching a performance at the lively Greenwich Village musical hotspot. There will be toe-tapping, head-bopping tunes from the Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti, who has recorded and performed with the likes of Sting, Yo-Yo Ma, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell and Michael Buble. Night owls can go to get lost in the soulful saxophone sounds from Peter Valera & The Jump Blues Band during a midnight show, too. 

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  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Midtown West
  • price 4 of 4

A favorite among tourists and young, culture-obsessed visitors, this famous wax museum is open on Christmas Day. Without the obscene crowds of tourists, see the 200-plus wax figures, which include various movie stars, singers, athletes and politicians. Each model is painstakingly made by teams of artists through the use of precise measurements, photographs, casts and oil paints and costs a staggering $300,000 to create.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Why not celebrate the holiday or make your weekend sweet at this cheery, kitschy East Side family spot, where sandwiches, salads and burgers merely set you up for the main course: dessert. The trademarked Frrrozen Hot Chocolate—a brain-freezing chocolate slushie—deserves its reputation; the massive beast should be shared. Given the size of the Coward’s Portion of the Outrageous Banana Split, we’re guessing the full-size version comes in a trough.

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  • Attractions
  • Midtown West

Get the highest view of NYC from the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere at Hudson Yards. The bird's-eye attraction dubbed Edge is well worth a visit—that is, if you’re not afraid of heights. The building’s outdoor terrace takes you 65-feet into the sky making it the highest public balcony in NYC. The deck not only features panoramic views of our city’s skyline, but a killer vantage point below. Brave souls can stand on a large, see-through glass floor and wave to passerby 1,100 feet beneath. Much like the Top of the Rock concept at Rockefeller Center, there’s a 10,000-square-foot bar, restaurant called Peak and event space on the 101th floor.

  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Bushwick
  • price 2 of 4

Get down on the dance floor on Christmas Day night at House of Yes, which is throwing a "Merry Funkin Christmas" party. Work off your holiday sluggishness alongside a panoply of aerialists, magicians and dancers starting at 10pm.

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