7 Theatrical Ways to Spend Christmas Day in New York City

Holiday Coverage   7 Theatrical Ways to Spend Christmas Day in New York City
 
The top theatre-related activities in NYC to keep you and the family merry and bright on December 25.
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New York City is a fantastic place year-round, but the holidays are truly the most magical time to be in the big apple. Whether you live here or choose to visit, there’s lots to do on Christmas day.

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Katrina Lenk Matthew Murphy

1. See a Broadway (or Off-Broadway) Show

Broadway doesn’t take holidays off, though shows run on an altered schedule. Shows performing the evening of December 25 include The Band’s Visit, Beautiful, A Bronx Tale, Cats, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chicago, Come From Away, Home for the Holidays, Kinky Boots, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Waitress, and Wicked. Off-Broadway’s Avenue Q, The Gazillion Bubbles Show, Jersey Boys, Puff, and Stomp will perform, as well. For a theatre fan, there may be no better way to celebrate the season.

For the full Christmas week Broadway schedule, click here.

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2. Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular

This annual NYC tradition is a popular family favorite, featuring a host of Christmas carols, a visit from Santa Claus, a live nativity, and, of course, the high-kicking Radio City Rockettes. There are four performances on Christmas day, at 1, 4, 7, and 10PM.

For more information, click here.

Juliana Crawford
Juliana Crawford

3. Big Apple Circus

If high-kicking dancers aren’t your thing, maybe clowns and acrobats are! If so, the Big Apple Circus is for you. Performing in a circus tent erected at Lincoln Center, this year’s show features the Anastasini Brothers’ icarian act, Ammed Tuniziani of the Flying Tunizianis, professional juggler Jan Damm, contortionist Elayne Kramer, and more impressive sights.

For more information, click here.

Bryant Park Winter Village
Colin Miller

4. Bryant Park’s Winter Village

By the time Christmas day rolls around, you may feel shopped out, but the Winter Village holiday market at Bryant Park has more to offer than just shops. A 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink offers free ice skating if you bring your own skates, plus multiple booths of tasty treats.

For more information, click here.

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Vincent Gulizio Photography

5. Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights

Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood is world-renowned for its elaborate and over-the-top Christmas light displays. If you want to take in some impressive Christmas decorations this holiday season, this is the place to go. The bulk of the displays shine from 83rd to 86th Streets between Eleventh and Thirteenth Avenues in Brooklyn, a 15-minute walk from the 71st Street stop on the D subway line. Plan to hit the streets between sunset and 9PM, after which most houses turn their lights off for the night.

Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King

6. Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill

The Harlem Gospel Choir has earned world fame performing alongside artists such as Diana Ross, Bono, and Pharrell Williams. Made up of the finest singers and musicians from Harlem’s black churches and the tri-state area, the Harlem Gospel Choir presents a show to entertain and inspire. This Christmas, they play New York’s B.B. King Blues Club and Grill for two shows, at 2:30 and 7:30PM. In addition to a fantastic musical performance, the full B.B. King menu is available for a meal.

For more information, click here.

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Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski Joan Marcus

7. Stay In and Watch a Theatre-Related Movie

The city streets can be packed this time of year, so we won’t blame you if you don’t want to leave the house on Christmas. Get a good blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, and turn on the TV for some excellent offerings. If you enjoyed A Christmas Story Live!, you can check out the movie on which it’s based, which airs all day on TBS and TNT. (You can also catch A Christmas Story Live! via Fox On Demand.) Head to Turner Classic Movies at 6PM for The Shop Around the Corner, the 1940 James Stewart movie adapted from the same play that later became She Loves Me. Even if you’ve cut the cord, Netflix currently has holiday classics like the musical White Christmas, and BroadwayHD has Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn and She Loves Me.


If you venture out to the movies, check out original movie musical, The Greatest Showman, starring Tony winner Hugh Jackman, Broadway’s Keala Settle, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

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