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Holiday Family Fun in Manhattan

Here are four ways to have fun with your family in NYC this holiday season.

With so much to do during the holiday season–but so much that your family has already done–finding new holiday traditions to create with your family can be tricky. So we've done the heavy lifting to curate four fresh holiday fun options for you this year. From cool new events like Chanukah on Ice to classics like the Bryant Park Winter Village, here are four ways to celebrate the season with your family.

The Festival of Lights...On Ice!

Celebrate Hanukkah the cool way at the Lasker Rink in North Central Park. At Chanukah on Ice NYC, the Chabad Family Programs of the West Side invites families to enjoy Jewish music under the stars, traditional treats such as latkes and doughnuts, and of course, the lighting of the 6-foot ice menorah. Dec. 22, 5-8pm. In advance: $32 with skate rental, $24 without skate rental. At door: $35 with skate rental, $28 without skate rental. Use code NYMetro for 10-percent discount online. Ages 3 and older.


The Greatest Tree Lighting of All

Every year, New Yorkers look forward to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. The ceremony begins Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7pm and the lights come on at 9pm, but if you want a good view, we recommend you get there as early as possible (some people camp out starting early in the morning!). In addition to the illumination of the 77-foot tall Norway spruce, you’ll enjoy musical performances by Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Lea Michele, the Radio City Rockettes, and more! Free.


The Holidays at the Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo is a family favorite all year round. Enjoy the classics, like the sea lion feeding and penguin feeding, or get up close and personal with one of your favorite animals such as a cheetah, a giraffe, a penguin, or a sloth. Some exhibits are weather-dependent, so be sure to check which exhibits are open before visiting on the Bronx Zoo app.

Visit it: 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx; 718-220-5100; 

Can’t-miss event: Holiday Lights; Nov. 20-Dec. 31, Jan. 3-5 (excluding Dec. 24-25). $29.95 ages 13 and older; $22.95 ages 3-12. $28.95 seniors. Free for children 2 and younger. Use code HOLIDAY10 for a 10-percent discount.

Directions: Approximately a 40-minute drive from New City


Winter in Bryant Park 

This winter wonderland is home to NYC’s only free-admission ice rink, a bar and food hall, a variety of winter-themed activities, and so much more. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is Manhattan’s one-stop shop for holiday fun for the whole family. Browse unique gifts at the open-air market with artisans from NYC and beyond or cozy up with your loved ones at The Lodge for a snack and a warm drink. See website for schedule and admission pricing.

Directions: Approximately a 1-hour drive from New City

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes, a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, is the production editor for NYMetroParents. When she's not writing, she can be found playing the guitar or eating pasta. See More

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