NYC on Xmas Eve:
December 14, 2007 5:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in New York with my dad on Christmas Eve. What should I expect, crowd- and activity-wise?

The current plan is to bum around a bit, see the tree, see the windows, and maybe catch a show. What is New York like on Christmas Eve? I've read up on Christmas day here, here, here, and all through here (which led me to the somewhat helpful thread here), but I haven't been able to find out much about the day before, aside from places for dinner and where to go for midnight mass (we'll be leaving in the early evening, so that won't be an option, unfortunately). Is it one of the most insanely busy days to be there, or have people pretty much holed up and/or gone home by then? What's the mass transit scene like?

I know the theatres generally have only one afternoon performance (if at all) -- do these typically sell out well in advance, even if it's not one of the hotter shows available? More specifically, I was toying with trying to catch the matinee of Avenue Q, which regularly shows up on TKTS, but if the Christmas Eve show is more popular than another day's performance, should I bite the bullet and pay full price?

Any other can't-miss things I should put on the itinerary?
posted by shiu mai baby to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (5 answers total)
I can't say about the shows, as I was actually supposed to leave on Christmas Eve when I was last there several years ago, but the crowds were thin compared to September and even earlier in the week before Christmas, at least in midtown. Everyone seemed to be busy leaving on the 24th, rather than sightseeing or shopping or whatever.

I ended up spending half my Christmas Eve sitting in the Admiral's Club at LGA waiting for AA to decide the plane could take off, which it never did thanks to a snow storm. Even though I ended up having to forgo a cab ride back to my hotel since I was out of cash, hauling luggage back on the bus/subway combo wasn't too bad, and it was all worthwhile when I got to enjoy the snow from a corner room on southeast side of the 43rd floor of the Hilton Times Square. (They had been put me on 42 the last couple of times I had been there, in the northeast corner)

I'm sure you'll end up doing much more exciting things than sitting in an airport lounge and a hotel room, though!
posted by wierdo at 6:16 AM on December 14, 2007

Everyone seemed to be busy leaving on the 24th

The day to avoid in those neighborhoods is the 26th. Insane.
posted by Miko at 6:54 AM on December 14, 2007

Also, did you see this thread below? There is some good advice and holiday NYC tips in it.
posted by Miko at 6:57 AM on December 14, 2007

new york is a zoo during the holidays. seeing the tree, etc, is lovely, but you will move VERY slowly because of the crowds. give yourself a lot of time. i once went into macy's on the 23rd and it took me ten minutes to move about twenty yards.

if you are willing to miss the chance to see avenue q, try the tkts, but if you want a 100% chance of seeing it, pay full price (it's hilarious, btw).

mass transit will be working normally, although it will be very crowded. keep your money is very easy to pick pockets in crowded trains.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:35 AM on December 14, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies. Miko, I hadn't seen that thread, but I'll definitely read through it, thank you.

I've been in the city in the days leading up to the holiday (one time our visit accidentally coincided with the frigging tree lighting ceremony -- boy was that a ball of Not Fun), so I definitely know how zoo-like it can be. I just wasn't sure if the chaos receded a bit on Christmas Eve.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2007

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