1. For those brave enough to weather the outdoors on a potentially very cold Christmas, most of the city’s wildlife centers are open, including the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. Craving something other than mammals and reptiles? The New York Aquarium is open as well.
2. For those looking to stay indoors, why not take a stroll through Madame Tussauds? You may not know Justin Bieber, Rachael Ray, or Anderson Cooper, but you can still spend the holiday with their wax likenesses.
3. Or you can join the Museum of Jewish Heritage for I Lift My Lamp: A Statue-esque Hanukkah, a celebration of New York–born poet Emma Lazarus, who wrote the sonnet that appears inside the base of the Statue of Liberty. Take in a day of statue-inspired activities and films (such as An American Tail, Saboteur, and Ghostbusters II). See mjhnyc.org for more details.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., nr. First Pl., 646-437-4202
4. Just because it’s Christmas Day doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Broadway musical. Most of the season’s bigger productions, including Sister Act, Memphis, and Rock of Ages, will be open for an evening showing.
5. And, of course, there’s always that old standard: Chinese food and a movie. Wherever you are, there’s sure to be an open theater—where you can catch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Adventures of Tintin, or any of the holiday's other movies—and restaurant close by. Check out our Chinese-and-a-Movie guide to find a pairing near you.