Play tourist Times Square's Madame Tussauds, Ripley's Believe it or Not! Odditorium and Discovery Times Square with the cool Harry Potter exhibit are all open on Christmas. Other tourist spots that have December 25 hours are The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, which gives you a great, crowd-free view of the Rockefeller tree.
Enjoy Chinese and a movie Families of all ethnic backgrounds can experience this Jewish tradition at 92YTribeca, which is offering an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet followed by a double feature of Back to the Future Parts I and II. Best for tweens and up.
Or just see a movie Cinemas are open on Christmas Day and there are plenty of great family films playing.
Hang with the animals Although the Bronx Zoo is closed for the holiday, the Prospect Park, Queens and Central Park Zoos are all open. You can even watch the animals open their edible presents.
Take a stroll Walk up Fifth Avenue to see the stunning department store holiday windows before they're gone. Assuming it's not too chilly (or rainy or snowy), Christmas is also a great day to take a quiet stroll through one of our city's lovely green spaces. Central, Prospect, Flushing Meadows Corona and Van Cortlandt Parks are all open. Central Park is even hosting a free cross-park promenade tour at 12:30pm.
Celebrate at a Jewish museum Many of NYC's Jewish cultural institutions are open today and offering special family activities. Catch a Klez for Kids concert at the Museum at Eldridge Street and The Macaroons at The Jewish Museum; watch chef George Wong of Chopstix Restaurants carves incredible fruit sculptures at Brooklyn's Jewish Children's Museum; and enjoy a family celebration with crafts, live music and a movie at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Hit the ice
- Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center – Midtown East
Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
- Wollman Rink – Midtown West
Central Park, enter at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue
- Citi Pond at Bryant Park – Midtown West
Bryant Park, 40th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
- Lasker Rink – Harlem
Central Park, enter at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues
- Riverbank State Park – Harlem
145th Street and Riverside Drive
- The Standard Ice Rink – Meatpacking District
848 Washington Street at 13th Street
- Liberty View Ice Rink – Battery Park City
Wagner Park in Battery Park City, north of Historic Battery Park off Battery Place
- WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink – Staten Island
Clove Lakes Park, Victory Boulevard west of Clove Road
- Van Cortlandt Park Ice Skating Rink – the Bronx
Broadway at 242nd Street
Wollman Rink in Prospect Park is closed for construction for the second year in a row. The new rinks are supposed to open next year.
More bad news for Brooklyn: The new McCarren Park Pool will not be turned into an ice-skating rink this season, according to the New York Daily News. Maybe next year.