Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins on Dec. 24th, which is also Christmas Eve. Whether you are lighting a Menorah or waiting for Santa, put these these Hanukkah events, family-friendly and for grownups only, including FREE Menorah lighting ceremonies.
Everything on our NYC on the Cheap list is free or up to $25, so you can celebrate Hanukkah on the cheap.
Every Evening, Sat., Dec. 24th to Sat., Dec. 31st
World’s Largest Menorah – Join the FREE nightly lighting ceremonies at the 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon, at the Grand Army Plaza of Central Park, better known as the area between the front of the The Plaza hotel and the Apple store on the other side of Fifth Avenue. Lightings are at sunset, around 5:30pm, although it’s earlier on Friday (3:30pm) before the Sabbath, and later on Saturday (after the Sabbath). ifth Ave., at 59th St.
- Tip – Because of the increased security around Trump Tower, arrive via any route that avoids Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, two blocks away.
Largest Menorah – Also 32 feet tall, and equally impressive, but not in the Guiness World Records, so it is just called “largest” not “world’s largest”. Lighting times are the same. In addition to singing and dancing, on the first night there will be free hot latkes. At Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Sponsored by Chabad Park Slope and also FREE
Saturday, Dec. 24th
Menorah Horah – This is the tenth annual Menorah Horah burlesque show, with sexy dreidls, suggestive latkes and scantily clad menorah dancers. The seductively festive Schlep Sisters (Minnie Tonka and Darlinda Just Darlinda) headline a risque evening of music, laughs and holiday-themed clothing removal, to prove that a holiday about burning oil is really hot. For adults only, at the Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St.. Doors open at 6pm, showtime is at 8pm. Get $20 General Admission tickets for $12.50
- Tip – Pay with an American Express card to get $40 reserved seating for $25.
Jewbilee – This annual Hanukkah party is sponsored by the gay group Hebro, with a DJ spining American and Israeli pop hits and drag performaces by Miz Cracker and Ritzy Bitch. Tickets are $20 online, $25 at the door. 9pm to 4am at Stage 48, 605 W. 48th St.
Jewess Eve – This party is for LGBT and trans Jewish women, and includes burlesque star Sweet Pea and an appearance by the Schlep Sisters after their performance at Menorah Horah. Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door. 10pm to 2am at Cantina Rooftop, 605 W. 48th St.
SEE ALSO Article by NYCONTHECHEAP editor Evelyn Kanter for Orbitz about what to do in NYC on Christmas Day and where to eat nearby.
Sunday, Dec. 25th
Gene Wilder Movie Marathon – We lost the beloved funnyman this year, but his brilliance lives on. See one or all three Gene Wilder favorites, Blazing Saddles,Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the Frisco Kid, on the Upper West Side.
A Rocking Chanukah Celebration with Naomi Less and Her Band – Celebrate Hanukkah like a rock star, with the “Any Way You Light It” concert by a half-Israeli, half-American band. This is a family-friendly, interactive, sing-out-loud brunch show that includes storytelling, crafts, games and other activities in additon to the music. Kids are encouraged to come dressed as a rock star. 11am to 2pm at City Winery, 155 Varick St.at Canal St. Tickets are $18. Purchase online.
Kids and Yiddish – This popular family show is described as SNL meets Sesame Street. Music and dance for families with children ages 4 and up. 11am at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan. Tickets are $10 for kids, $20 for adults .
Hanukkah Holiday Celebration – Take a tour of the historic Eldridge Street Museum, participate in a scavenger hunt, create crafts inspired by Chanukah cards featured in the Blavatnik Archive. Then watch His People, a 1925 silent flick about the Lower East Side immigrant experience accompanied with live music by saxophonist Paul Shapiro and his sextet. The Hanukkah celebration ends with a traditional Menorah lighting ceremony. Noon to 5pm at the Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street. Get tickets online directly from the museum, with no service charge. Tickets: $14/ adults; $10/students & seniors, $6/kids
Bright Lights Big Menorah – A family-friendly street party with face-painting and balloon art for the kids and music and dancing for everybody. 4pm to 5pm at Sutton Place Park, 57th St. at Sutton Place.
Grand Menorah Lighting – Ceremony in Carl Schurz Park, with latkes, donuts, hot chocolate, music. 5:30pm. Sponsored by Upper East Side Chabad.
Tuesday, Dec. 27th
Hanukkah on Ice – Skating plus live music, Hanukkah treats and a giant Ice Menorah. 4pm to 7pm at the Lasker Rink n Central Park, 110th St. and Lenox Ave. (the 2 and 3 subway stops across the street from the entrance. This annual event often sells out, so get tickets now. Tickets: Online: $25/with skate rental; $18/without skate rental; free for children under 3; at door: $28 with skate rental/$20 without
Jewbilee photo courtesy Next Magazine