Published November 12, 2020
Christmas isn’t cancelled.
The city that never sleeps has worked tirelessly to provide the same iconic sights, activities, holiday markets and treats to get us all into the festive spirit—all updated with relevant pandemic ground rules to keep your mind on the fun!
Here’s a round-up of NYC’s holiday must-do’s to close out one hell of a year – 2020.
Note: To ensure safe and social distant exploring, please check with each venue to see if they are open before crossing off your bucket list. Updates to city-wide COVID guidelines and restrictions can be found here.
Tourists and locals alike can see the iconic Christmas totem, the gigantic Rockefeller Tree, return this holiday season! Details about this year’s lighting ceremony will be announced soon—pursuant to socially distant capabilities. Be first to know more by joining the Rock List.
Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York
Starting November 27th, Randall’s Island Park will transform once again into a magical wonderland of lights. LuminoCity’s holiday light festival returns with a brand new theme, NYC's favorite food trucks, a glistening Christmas tree, and plenty more. Plus: the LuminoCity team is prioritizing the health of guests with measures like designated time slots, mandatory masks, temperature checks, and single direction pathways.
Where: Randall's Island Park at 20 Randall's Island Park, New York, NY 10035
Use code BUCKET15 for 15% OFF at the link below.
’Tis the season – for drinking! 🥂🥃🍸 Seamore’s Brookfield Place welcomes you inside for an 8-week mixology series. In each class, Seamore’s master mixologist will take you through the steps for making three craft cocktails, differing in both flavor and spirits. Each week offers a new theme and three entirely different cocktails, allowing you to quite literally pick your poison – and come back more than once! The recipes & skills you’ll acquire in this class are particularly perfect for: Showing off at holiday gatherings, cozying up on cold winter nights, surviving family dinners & more. Along with cocktails, each ticket comes with the choice of an appetizer.
Where: Seamore’s Brookfield Place at 250 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281
This season at Bryant Park Winter Village, to prioritize guest and staff safety, The Lodge has transformed into “The Lodge Deck”: a completely outdoor experience. Grab a hot drink from their festive, full-service cocktail bar, and sit amongst the heaters and partitioned tables to enjoy a view of the skating rink and Christmas Tree—all with contactless ordering.
Fingers crossed our favorite chimney cakes from The Stakery will return this year 🤞
Where: 42 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10018
When: 11 AM - 10 PM Everyday
230 FIFTH, New York's largest outdoor Rooftop Garden, is rolling out its fully enclosed Penthouse Lounge. The rooftop has been outfitted with 17 heated, glittering igloo tents (for groups up to ten) to get you into the holiday spirit--all gorgeously transparent to allow for a spectacular view of the city. Plus, complimentary festive red robes to keep you warm!
Bucket Listers Special: $80 per person: Includes (1) drinks, appetizer and entree per guest | $175 per person: Includes (1) bottle of liquor to choose onsite for the table, (2) bottles for groups of 8 or 10, (1) appetizer, entree, and dessert per guest
👫 Igloos available for 4, 6, 8, 10 people
When: Wednesdays & Thursdays at 6PM or 9PM
Where: 230 Fifth Ave (Corner 27th) Manhattan, NY 10001
Tube and brews are the ultimate winter activity duo. Don’t believe us? Time to check out the NYC Snow Tubing & Brewery Bus. Getaway for an evening and spend your Saturday night (or afternoon!) on an adventure. Hop on the bus and enjoy a 2-hour night snow tubing session at Mountain Creek followed by a visit to a local brewery with dinner and round-trip transportation from NYC included. Mountain Creek snow tubing is one of the best ways to escape the city for an adventure-filled evening away from the hustle of bustle of NYC.
More is more when it comes to over-the-top holiday light decorations in Dyker Heights. Marvel at the abundance of life-size Santas, snowmen and sleighs throughout this Brooklyn neighborhood. Due to NYC restrictions tours are only booking groups of 20-25 guests that are traveling together. Each group will have their own bus allowing more distance between the driver, tour guide and guests. All passengers are required to wear face coverings while boarding, traveling and disembarking from the tour bus.
Where: Pick up/Drop off in Bryant Park Area; Destination: Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY
When: December 1st - December 30th
Turn your dreams of sugarplums and candy canes into a reality – "Pinkmas" is returning to the Museum of Ice Cream for the holiday season. Ever-changing with seasonal themes, this year's Pinkmas is a special winter-scape where guests can gather, connect, and feel the magic of the season. Explore a wonderland of holiday-themed spaces and installations. Enjoy special treats, festive surprises and visit the whimsical shop for exclusive holiday merch.
When: Flex Tickets for Thursdays & Fridays through 2020 available below.
Where: 558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
This year has been difficult for all of us, but particularly for those experiencing unemployment or homelessness. Due to the pandemic economy, NYC’s largest soup kitchen increased their weekly average meals served from 840 per week in 2019, to a staggering 22,000 meals per week this year. Consider volunteering to distribute food, or make a donation if possible. Contributing $15 helps prepare a Thanksgiving meal for five, $28 feeds a guest every weekday for a month, and $65 provides a thanksgiving feast for 15 people.
When: Volunteers arrive at 9:30 for orientation. Serve from 10:30 -12:30, and most stay for lunch afterward, finishing up the day around 1:30 pm.
Where: 296 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001
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Lining the allées and terraces of Bryant Park, the open-air market featuring artisans from around the world is back with a newly designed, socially distant layout. Search custom-designed kiosks for local crafts, delicacies, and gifts from around the world.
When: October 30, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Where: View their map here.
Grab your board – and your buds – and head to Mountain Creek on the Sourced Adventures Ski & Board Bus. Departing from several points in the city, the bus transports snow savants to Mountain Creek for a day on the slopes.
Where culture, cuisine and Christmas collide – Hudson Yards is an emporium of shopping, dining and exploration. With more than 100 stores and dining experiences, elevate your holiday shopping – and grab a cocktail or two while you're at it. Starting November 22nd, holiday lights and decor will be lighting up Hudson Yards, with performances, a virtual Santa Clause and more!
Figure eight your way into the holiday season at one of NYC’s many ice rinks. One of our favorites is the iconic Wollman Rink, where you can skate amongst the epic views of the NYC skyline. (We also recommend checking out Pier 17’s rooftop ice skating rink once it’s able to open—for stellar views of the Brooklyn bridge!)
Mon-Tues: 10 AM - 2:30 PM
Wed-Thurs: 10 AM - 10 PM
Fri.-Sat: 10 AM- 11 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 9 PM
Where: 830 5th Ave, New York, NY 10065
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Hunker down and cozy up with loved ones—the yurts are up in The Garden, safely spread out, warm and welcoming. Come hungry and ready to share a pot of hot cider and cheese fondue with friends.
When: Open Daily 4 PM — 9 PM
Where: 25 Cooper Square, Bowery at East 5th Street, New York, NY 10003
Replace your carols by candlelight with catacombs by candlelight. For those of us not quite ready to let go of the spooky season, explore off-limits areas of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. I mean, St. Patrick, Old St. Nick – what’s the difference really? 🎅🏻
With lots of room to spread out, explore a glowing world of color and light at the brand-new and entirely outdoor experience; GLOW. The experience features NYBG’S landmark landscape and Haupt Conservatory’s iconic exterior as a glittering canvas. Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights, and picture-perfect installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections. Visitors can also enjoy artistic ice carving displays, roving dancers and musicians, plus grab-and-go food service. Tickets for the event go on sale Tuesday, November 10, at 10 a.m. EST.
When: November 27 & 28; December 5, 12, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30; and January 1, 2, & 9 | 5 PM–10 PM
Where: 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126
With upstate charm and downtown dining, The Greens return to the Pier17 rooftop on November 12th – this time with a seriously cozy makeover. Come and warm up in your own rooftop cabin with their new seasonal menu and signature cocktails by award-winning bar, Dante.
When: Monday-Wednesday 12PM-11PM | Thursday-Sunday 11am-11PM
Where: Pier17, 89 South Street
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Step into one of the largest toy stores in the world. Slip into the shoes of Josh Baskin and do a little dance on the keyboard! Make Tom Hanks proud.
At the crossroads of art, science and technology, the experimental Artechouse NYC has reopened with an awe-inspiring new exhibit: Celestial. This new installation creates an immersive experience of Pantone's color of the year, Classic Blue—leaving you feeling like you're walking through an icy winter wonderland.
When: Mon. - Thur. 1PM - 9PM ; Friday - Sunday 10AM - 10PM
Where: 439 W 15th St. New York, NY 10011
The Hoxton's panoramic rooftop bar and restaurant brings East Coast vacation vibes to the heart of Williamsburg. Think lobster rolls, cocktails and Dirty Fries thrown in for good measure. The same panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline is yours to enjoy in the comfort of an enclosed heated rooftop. (*Will have more info & photos in the coming days) Hudson Yards (I’ll email you when we have more information on this!)
When: Open daily 4 PM - 11 PM
Where: 97 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249