© NY Daily News

It’s that time of year, when everyone you know heads to the suburbs to hang out with their parents and open lots of presents and reminisce about simpler childhood times. Either that or they’re headed to Miami to make us all jealous with Instagram pictures of the beach.

But while they’re getting tan and cozy, we have the city all to ourselves– from the born and bred New Yorkers to the ones who couldn’t afford an overpriced flight home, we make up the rag tag band of stragglers left to fend for ourselves in the metropolis over Christmas.

But, it’s really not half-bad.  If you avoid the tourist top spots and head to some off-the-beaten-path activities, your NYC Christmas Staycation can be truly magical. Get ready for the NYC Christmas that makes Home Alone 2 look like a snore.

1. Go Ice Skating at McCarren Park Pool Rink. The pool has it’s issues (loud, crowded, way more security guards than you’d like to encounter before taking a swim), but the rink is pure winter joy. It’s so popular (5,000 people visited in the first week) that next year, plans are in the works to install a sledding chute! Until then, skate your little hearts out to classic 90’s love hip hop ballads and soul jams. Admission is $8 and skate rentals are $5. It’s also one of the few places OPEN on Christmas Eve and Day.  2.  Check out the Mike Kelley show at PS1 if you haven’t already. You will find yourself in a delightfully disturbing world of floating stuffed animals parts, outer-space glowing dystopias, and completely bizarre videos where everyone is yelling. It’s like revisiting childhood on acid. You won’t regret it. (Closed Christmas Day)

© Cass Daubenspeck

3. Pumpkin Ginger Cream Pie at The Blue Stove (415 Graham Ave). I don’t think I have to elaborate further on anything that has CREAM and PIE in the same title. Pair it with a frothy chai latte and bring a good book to truly indulge. Apple is always an equally delicious option. 4. If you’re looking for a day trip to fulfill your desire for snow-covered trees and a touch of adrenaline pumping in your cold, frail body, head to Marcy and Meeker Ave at 8am sharp to hitch a ride on the NYC Snow Bus. It’s like Beach Bus, but instead of ending up in the Rockaways,  you get to spend the day at Mountain Creek in New Jersey, where you’ll slide around for hours on the slopes doing real physical activity!  Or if you want to make a weekend of it,  you can find a cabin to stay in town and ride the bus back the next day. Bus rides are $35 or $97 (with lift pass + rental).  Afterwards the folks who run Snow Bus will buy you some pitchers of beer, just because they’re nice and want to see you have a good time.


5. HIBERNATE.  Tis’ the season to wear nothing but sweatpants and watch repeatsof Dawson’s Creek, Love Actually, and When Harry Met Sally, while simultaneously stuffing your face with chocolate. No one can judge you.  Savor it.

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