2020 has been tough on all of us, so celebrate the end of a rough year with a jaunt through New York City during the holiday season.
Sure, the most wonderful time of year has gotten a pandemic proof makeover, but there are still plenty of enticing ways to have fun and take advantage of living in the greatest city in the world and stay safe.
December may have looked bleak at the start, but add these attractions and events to your calendar, and it will be 2021 before you know it!
View Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights
This 100% outdoor activity was practically designed for a Pandemic Christmas. Okay, it’s been a tradition for decades, which is even better. As recently seen in Hulu’s Happiest Season, the Dyker Heights Christmas lights illuminate the South Brooklyn neighborhood in unique and festive ways. After dusk and preferably before 9pm, when some lights dim, walk past houses illuminated with thousands of colorful strands and outstanding decor down Dyker Heights Boulevard, from 83rd to 86th Streets.
Shop Black-made gifts at CarribBeing Holiday Market
This popular pop-up holiday market celebrates the riches and flavors of the Caribbean at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park. Held on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 12-6 pm through December 31, the market features fifteen beauty, culinary, clothing, jewelry and wellness goods from local and international artisans in CaribBeing’s mobile solar-powered shipping container, CaribBeing House. After shopping, you can walk around Prospect Park and enjoy the winter ambiance, hopefully with a warm drink in hand.
Ice Skate on a Brooklyn Rooftop
To avoid crowds and skate with an incredible city view, book tickets at the Vale Rink, on the 23rd floor of the William Vale’s outdoor terrace. The rink is made with Glice’s sustainable synthetic ice, meaning you can skate in any weather. To ensure proper social distancing, the rink operates at reduced capacity, guests are required to make reservations for a 50-minute session in advance, and will be asked to wear masks at all times during their visit. The rink is open from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. on weekends. 50 minute reservations costs $20 for adults and include skate rental and locker use.
Unwind in a Winter Forest
The Standard High Line has transformed their outdoor Plaza into The Forest at The Standard, a lush, coniferous woodland pop-up, that will satisfy though with dreams of hopping a train upstate, just steps from the High Line Park. The Forest offers spacious seating for all-day outdoor dining and a new, warming menu for the holiday season. Dishes like cheese Fondue for two, beef bourguignon, will warm you up, as will cocktails like hot mulled cider and “haute” chocolate. Heaters will help with the warmth, especially during movie nights (Sundays- Thursdays), which will stream the holiday classics all month long.
Pick Up a Luxe Dinner from a Locker
Socially distant dining has a new take with Restaurant Unlocked, a special food locker to serve pre-ordered bento boxes. The menu is crafted by Chef Johan Svensson, formerly of Michelin-starred Aquavit. The meal is paired with a complimentary sake bottle, with a QR code attached to the bottle for a virtual brewery tour. Seafood-focused bento boxes (dishes will include shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce and a crab roll infused with mayo, lemon, and old bay seasoning wrapped in green apple shavings, plus more) are $20, and can be pre-ordered online through December 13. Instructions to unlock the meal and bottle will be texted after purchase.
Eat Korean Food in a Covered Wagon
Koreatown’s Osamil (5 West 31st Street) is running an outdoor winter po-pup, Osamil Pojangmacha, which means covered wagon. This street food inspired throwback to the vibrant life in Korea in the late 1980’s, right before the 1988 Korean Olympics of, Osamil Pojangmacha is in a giant, open red house, newly built by hand and hand-painted in “Millionaire Red”, as a symbol of fortune, protection and social cohesion. Something we could all use right now. The walls are lined with newspapers covered with vintage Korean ads, movie posters, and books as a symbol of how Korean culture has come so far to influence American cuisine and entertainment. The space is ventilated by open windows and doors, with electric heat lamps above each table, and the menu features street-style Korean BBQ dishes and sides, plus plenty of soju. https://www.instagram.com/p/CIG8gzMlYxF/