Off-the-Radar Holiday Season Fun in NYC

The usual NYC holiday activities are well advertised, but there are some exciting adventures reserved only for the well informed. The fantastical window displays, especially at Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s, and Tiffany, are a must. Then try some more hidden alternatives for a celebratory outing in NYC during the holiday season.

Adventsingen/Christmas Caroling at Zum Schneider

This cozy east village German beer bar/restaurant hosts a friendly and raucous sing-along accompanied by a guitarist and the owner on a hammered dulcimer. Highlights include a set of German carols (they have song books, so you can just belt your heart out with words you don’t understand), Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and a competitive round of 12 Days Of Christmas.

Adventsingen happens on Sundays in December. This can be a full day activity, or you can show up around 4:30pm when the crowd thins a bit and join in then. To get a seat and enjoy the delicious German fare in this tiny space, a line starts around 9:00am, doors open at 1:00, and singing starts at 3:00. Only one person need stand on line for your group, but everyone needs to be there by 1:00.

Industry City

This industrial-cool complex in Brooklyn is so much fun to explore and hosts a barrage of holiday activities including Renegade Craft Holiday Fair, Pop Up Holiday Market, Holiday Family Maker Workshop. It’s also the winter home of Brooklyn Flea. Thrillest is hosting a weekend-long Holiday Hideaway December 15-17 with special offerings from many of Industry City’s famous food vendors, live music, holiday movies, and more. While you’re there, find the Industry City Distillery, open Fridays and Saturdays 4:00-10:00.

230 5th Avenue Rooftop Bar

What better way to top off a long day of taking in the season than inside an igloo-shaped tent on a rooftop overlooking the city! All this can be had at New York City’s largest rooftop garden, as well as delicious spiked ciders and winter martinis. Try to go on off hours for the best chance of snagging an igloo.


Whatever you do, we wish you a wonder-filled holiday!