Hanukkah in NYC guide
One night of holiday celebration? Please. Hanukkah (or Chanukah or even Hanukah) means you have more than a week to drink at some of the best bars in NYC, boogie at one of the best concerts in December and party your face off. Speaking of your mug, you should also stuff your face with fried foods (or hit up some kosher restaurants). L’chaim!
RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Hanukkah in NYC
Best Hanukkah events in NYC by date
The annual soiree at Lower Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage draws about 500 millennials for an early Hanukkah party. Enticements include sweeping views of the New York harbor, a premium open bar, a dinner buffet packed with latkes, and a chance to mix and mingle with other members (and nonmembers!) of the tribe.
If you’re down for the old-school shul experience with a twist, head to Shabbat dinner at Congregation Beth Elohim. Holiday tunes from jazz flautist Hadar Noiberg and her band and the 12th Night Music Klezmer Band start the night off right, with shmaltzy favorites (think latkes and doughnuts), and an open bar and a dance floor that’ll be rockin’ till late. Make new connections in the Brooklyn community while singing along to swinging covers of “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.”
Hot, crunchy potato pancakes are the star of this friendly cooking competition, in which 20 restaurants serve up their renditions of Grandma’s classic. Modern Mexican eatery Toloache tops their latkes with duck confit tinga and chipotle, while East Village Ukrainian favorite Veselka smothers theirs in savory mushroom julienne. An open bar serving hard cider, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Shmaltz Brewing Company suds will have you dancing the hora in no time. Ticket sales will benefit the Sylvia Center, which promotes kids' healthy eating.
These are a few of our favorite things! Join 92nd Street Y at Gabriela’s for yummy concoctions that your bubbe never heard of—like guacamole latkes, spicy habanero latkes and, maybe your new fave, latkes con mole. There’s tequila at the bar if you need a little more spice—and the first drink is free!
Do you enjoy late ’70s and early ’80s pop hits? Do you find it impossible to resist a cheesy pun? Then you’ll love the Jewbadours, a high-energy trio that will belt out guilty pleasures like Toto’s “Africa” at the Highline Ballroom the week after Hanukkah. Hold on to your yarmulkes, because the dance floor’s going to get wild.
The annual Hanukkah Burlesque Show returns with sexy dreidels, suggestive latkes and scantily clad menorah dancers. Join the seductively festive Schlep Sisters (Minnie Tonka and Darlinda Just Darlinda) as they headline an evening full of music, laughs and holiday-themed clothing removal. Why shouldn't a holiday about burning oil be hot?
Go big on the first night of Hanukkah as the 4,000-pound, 32-foot-tall gold-colored lamp at the southeast corner of Central Park is lit. Israeli artist Yaacov Agam designed the structure, which holds the Guinness World Record for its superlative size and requires a crane to illuminate its candles.