Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 22, for eight days, celebrated all over NYC with daily Menorah lighting ceremonies, including the world’s largest Menorah, FREE Marvelous Mrs Maisel giveaways, the annual Chanukah on Ice skating party, and more FREE and family-friendly events.
Whether you spell it Hanukkah or Chanukah, it’s a festival of lights, commemorating the victory of the Macabees over their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the second century BC.
You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it, just as you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy the word-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or other NYC holiday decorations.
Menorah Lighting Ceremonies
The world’s largest Hanukkah menorah will be lit every evening for eight nights on Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, starting Sunday, Dec. 22nd
A slightly smaller one also is being lit nightly in Brooklyn, celebrated each evening with live music, latkes, and gifts for children with a live kickoff concert on the first night.
Both menorahs are at their respective Grand Army Plaza locations, at Central Park and at Prospect Park.
The Manhattan menorah is 32 feet high and weighs 4,000 pounds, and is certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest menorah.
A cherry picker hoists the official who lights the oil lamps. It stands at Grand Army Plaza, in between the Plaza Hotel and the Apple Store, at the edge of Central Park.
Lighting is 5:30pm, except on Friday, when the lighting is at 3:30pm, before Sabbath begins, and Saturday, at 8pm, after Sabbath ends.
The lighting schedule is essentially the same for the menorah at the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, at the foot of Prospect Park
- 1st Night of Chanukah, Sun., Dec 22 – live kickoff concert starts at 4pm Event ends at 6:30pm.
- 2nd Night of Chanukah, Mon., Dec. 23 – 6pm to 7pm.
- 3rd Night Of Chanukah, Tues., Dec. 24 – 6pm to 7pm.
- 4th Night Of Chanukah, Wed., Dec. 25 – 6pm to 7pm.
- 5th Night Of Chanukah, Thurs., Dec. 26 – 6pm to 7pm.
- 6th Night Of Chanukah, Fri., Dec. 27 – 3:30pm to 4:30pm.
- 7th Night Of Chanukah, Sat., Dec. 28 – 7pm to 8pm.
- 8th Night Of Chanukah, Sun., Dec. 29 – 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
The Manhattan menorah is sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization.
The Brooklyn menorah is sponsored by Chabad of Park Slope.
This is the largest Chanukah party in the city, celebrated annually on ice skates, at Lasker Rink in the northern part of Central Park.
Chanukah on Ice incudes the lighting of a giant ice sculpture Menorah, skating to Jewish music, and complimentary Kosher food.
This is a ticketed event – tickets are $22 purchased online, $30 with skate rentals. Or, $28/$35 if purchased at the door – and since this event often sells out, we encourage you to buy tickets online in advance to guarantee admission.
- 5pm to 8pm, Sunday, Dec. 22
- Lasker Rink, Central Park at 110th St.
This is the newest Chanukah on Ice event, at the city’s newest rooftop rink.
In addition to the traditional Menorah lighting, there are crafts and activities for the kids.
- $18 admission includes skate rental and complimentary snacks.
- 3pm to 5:30pm, Sunday, Dec. 22
- Pier 17, at 89 South St. at the South St. Seaport.
More Menorah Lighting Ceremonies
Chanukah Menorah in Gramercy Park
- 4:30pm Sunday, Irving Place and 20th St
Hanukkah Candle Lighting on the Park Ave Mall
- 5pm Sunday, 35th Street at the Park Avenue Mall
Chanukah Menorah in Gramercy Park
- 5:30pm Sunday, Irving Place and 20th St
Menorah Lighting at Holocaust Memorial Park
- 6:30pm Sunday, Holocaust Memorial Park, Shore Blvd and West End Ave in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn
The Actor’s Temple – in the Theater District, of course – is celebrating Chanukah with a special potluck dinner, Latke Party and entertainment by its members, who are Broadway and film actors, dancers, musicians, writers and directors.
6pm: The Shabat Service and Sing Along with Aron Bederson, Judy Buchman, Rabbi Jill, and pianist James Besser, and potluck dinner
8;30m; Open Mic with more than a dozen comedians, and musicians.
Please bring a veggie/dairy dish to share.
- Friday, Dec. 27 at The Actor’s Temple is at 337 West 47th St.
This outpost in Soho is a restaurant featuring rotating international guest chefs, bar and art exhibit space, not auto showroom, although there is usually one single Lexus model on display.
For Hanukkah, Intersect is collaborating with Amazon Prime Video and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for special events each night , including giveaways, food demonstrations, tastings and workshops.
Food-related events are centered around the current culinary residency of Buenos Aires’ modern Jewish phenomena Mishiguene, by Executive Chef Nickolas Martinez.
Here’s the daily schedule:
- Beginning at sundown (4:30 p.m.*), menorah lighting with a special demonstration and tasting of the special Intersect-created Manischewitz cocktail “Friday Night Lights” (6 p.m.).
- Special giveaways include mini pink The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel menorahs.
- Latke demonstration led by INTERSECT Executive Chef Nickolas Martinez (starting at 12 p.m.) with a present wrapping workshop and tutorial (12-5 p.m.).
- Special giveaways include pink Hanukkah gelt.
- During holiday Café hours (8 a.m.-1 p.m.),
- Special giveaways include pink The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel glass ball ornaments.
- INTERSECT and Amazon Prime Video will contribute a joint donation to Covenant House, where The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan serves on its board.
- Warm up with a complimentary Marvelous hot chocolate.
- Special giveaways include pink The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel dreidels.
- Marvelous happy hour (4-6 p.m.) at Intersect’s Bar and Lounge.
- Special giveaways include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel carry-on cocktail kits.
- Wish lantern making (12-2 p.m.) for the New Year with recycled wrapping paper.
- Special giveaways include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel pink journals for New Year’s resolutions.
- Warm up with a complimentary Marvelous hot chocolate.**
- Special giveaways include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel luggage tags.
- Special giveaways include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 2020 calendars.
Evelyn Kanter also the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.