Christmas in New York
October 3, 2018 11:51 AM   Subscribe

My mother (70s) and my sister (40s) from North Carolina, are visiting me in Brooklyn for Christmas. I'm only going to have them for Christmas Eve and Christmas day but I need to figure out a) what to do with them and b) where to have a Christmas dinner.

My mother (70s) and my sister (40s) from North Carolina, are visiting me in Brooklyn for Christmas. I'm only going to have them for Christmas Eve and Christmas day but I need to figure out A) what to do with them and B) where to have a Christmas dinner.

A)

Both Mom and Sis have visited me multiple times over the nine years I've lived here and have been here during the holiday season so have seen the Rockefeller tree and the department store windows and the other usual touristy stuff (museums, Staten ferry, etc). We have already scheduled this Harbor Line Cocoa and Carols Cruise
for Christmas Eve 6:30-8pm and we'll probably go see the new Mary Poppins movie on Christmas Day at some point, but what else should we do?

Was thinking about checking out the Dyker Heights lights, but would probably want to Uber there and back. I haven't been in New York during Christmas since the invention of Uber, so are Ubers/Lyfts readily available on Christmas Eve and day in Dyker Heights? Neither my mom nor sister are big walkers so I'll need to guarantee transportation since the walk from the subway is a stretch.

Also perhaps thinking of popping into Rolf's, but can't tell if they are open on Christmas Eve or Day, what their hours may be on those days (would maybe want to try to get a midday meal), or if I will need a reservation. Their website isn't very helpful. Any tips?

B)

Also we aren't a big cooking family, nor do I have the capability in my apartment to fix a big spread, but would love to have a traditional holiday dinner out somewhere. What places have special Christmas prix fix menus on either Eve or Day? Definitely happy to look at places in Brooklyn as well, but my mom LOVES a view, so if you have recommendations for Christmas Dinner's With A View, that would be rad.

Can one expect hotel bar or restaurants to be open on the holidays in case we want to pop in for a cocktail or snack somewhere?

Basically open to any recommendations about how to keep my family entertained, when I can't rely on my go-to's to be open or transportation to be reliable. If we just sit in my apartment we will kill each other.

Trying to get a headstart on ideas in case I need to make reservations, so thanks for any help!
posted by greta simone to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you want a view, I would call Manahatta to see if they're doing a Christmas thing. They're definitely this year's Big View restaurant.

Assuming it's not actually repugnant to your beliefs, the 4 pm Nine Lessons and Carols service at St. Thomas in midtown is beautiful. The boys' choir is world-class.
posted by praemunire at 12:19 PM on October 3


A thought about the Dyker Heights lights - you might want to consider one of the bus tours that visits the lights, since that not only would shuttle you to the neighborhood and back, but would also lead you around the lights themselves (that may be an attractive option if your family aren't that keen on walking). Some of the bus tours start and end in Little Italy, and everyone gets a cannoli or something as well before you set out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:43 PM on October 3


came in to recommend (now second) second Manhatta (praemunire added an extra "a"). the early reviews of the fod arent stellar but solid (considering its a place primarily about the view - also the non-holiday prices seem gentle for certain values of NYC gentle)

dyker heights isnt great for folks who arent walkers (especially if youre taking an uber - seconding the suggestion to look at a bus tour).

The brooklyn museum appears to be open christmas eve but not christmas day.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:17 PM on October 3


You know, I see the name all the time, but my brain just refuses to accept the spelling!

The prices will be gentle for about the first six-month period, for initial reviews, then will jump at least $40 in the new year, so now's definitely the time to go.
posted by praemunire at 1:28 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Peter Lugers is open on Christmas Day and is wonderful but reservations may be hard to get.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:47 PM on October 3


Manhatta will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Would love suggestions of places that will actually be open and serving a traditional Christmas meal (think ham/turkey/home cooking type stuff, even if it's an upscale twist on home cooking) thanks! :)
posted by greta simone at 1:52 PM on October 3


I don't think they have posted their menu yet, but I'm pretty sure The River Cafe is open Christmas Eve and/or Day, and they certainly have the view...
posted by CiaoMela at 2:10 PM on October 3


Most places won't have their holiday schedule posted yet. Manhatta literally opened a couple of months ago, so there was no history available to inform the suggestion to call and ask. Wallse on W. 11th usually does a Christmas goose--but, again, that's based on past seasons, as it won't be very common for restaurants to have posted that information for this year yet.
posted by praemunire at 2:25 PM on October 3


Rolf's is madness. Really crowded. Worth seeing but a hassle. Don't eat there.
posted by JPD at 4:33 PM on October 3


maybe some place in redhook or brighton beach? I used to love going to redhook fairway and getting takeout and eating on heated back porch area wih a view of the statue of liberty .. but fairway is probably closed on christmas day : /

Do they like showtunes ? You could take them to Maries Crisis .. Its not especially xmas-y, but it is very new york!

These are sort or lower budget campy options so .. Your mileage may very.

If they like chinese that's usually a solid christmas day dining option.

Also no view but for a mind blowing array of japanese cuisine on an all you can eat buffet i can recommend ichi umi in midtown
posted by elgee at 7:10 PM on October 3


I mostly came for the answers, I'm hosting Christmas for the first time this year. But I thought I'd mention that if you're at all tempted to do Christmas dinner in your apartment, you can definitely assemble a pre-made Christmas dinner from Trader Joe's and then then problem is reduced to "get everything heated and on the table before something goes cold". (We're going to cook, but I have the largest kitchen NYC has ever seen due to a weirdly shaped apartment.)

Can one expect hotel bar or restaurants to be open on the holidays in case we want to pop in for a cocktail or snack somewhere?

Yes. I expect some of them will be doing Christmas dinner, too.
posted by hoyland at 2:50 AM on October 4


But I thought I'd mention that if you're at all tempted to do Christmas dinner in your apartment, you can definitely assemble a pre-made Christmas dinner from Trader Joe's and then then problem is reduced to "get everything heated and on the table before something goes cold".

Oh! Fresh Direct does this too - some friends did this for Thanksgiving a couple years back and liked it. It gives you a couple menus to pick from and asks you how many people will be there, and then it ships you this Blue Apron-type thing where you have specific portions of everything and it walks you through when to put things in the oven and at what temperature and stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on October 4


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