The Light Stuff: NYC’s Best Hanukkah Events for Families

A Hanukkah menorah fully lit with NYC's Brooklyn Bridge in background iStock

The first night of Hanukkah begins on Dec. 18, but we’ve got a jam-packed list of how families can celebrate in New York City all week long

Hanukkah runs from Dec. 18 through Dec. 26 this year, and (logically) there is no better place to celebrate the festival of lights than the city that doesn’t sleep. Rally the family to come light the menorah, dance the Hora, and indulge in Hanukkah’s signature feast of latkes, donuts and an endless supply of chocolate gelt. Get your dreidel on and spin over to these fantastically festive NYC Hanukkah events for kids and families, which are here to light the way to the new year this holiday season! Plus, there’s plenty to do for every night of the eight-day celebration, including many opportunities to celebrate the lighting of the first menorah candle, and beyond.

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Hanukkah for Kids ft. The Macaroons at Brooklyn Bowl
The Rock and Roll Playhouse has an extra-special Hanukkah performance for visitors. Stop by for a popping concert for kids featuring themed Hanukkah songs by The Macaroons. This concert is led b Tkiya, a nonprofit organization that uses interactive music experiences tha that help families get more in touch with their Jewish roots. Kids and adults alike can rock along to fun songs like “Hurry Up And Light The Candle” and “Dreidel Bird,” and maybe learn a bit about the culture and holiday while you’re at it!

Price:  $20.91 per ticket
Date: Dec. 17 at 12 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.)

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Ave.

Celebrate First Light of Hanukkah at 52 Walker
Celebrate the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle with a sermon by Rabbi Friedman, followed by a delicious meal and a live game show. The meal, desert, and drinks are included in the price, featuring traditional dishes like brisket beef, potato latkes, and more.

Price: $54.98 per person
Date: Dec. 18 at 6-10 p.m.

52 Walker St., 4th Floor
Lower Manhattan

Hanukkah Wonderland at The Chelsea Shul
Hanukkah goes high-tech at the Chelsea Shul, where the menorah lighting this year will be done by a giant robot! Before the main event, check out the Hanukkah Wonderland event, where activities will keep every member of the family entertained. Decorate donuts, check out a Clay Bar and Diorama At provided by The Giant Room, try Moon Bouncing, participate in giveaways, take pics in photo booths, and more. Then, head outdoor to watch the Shul’s “Mega Robot” mark the first night of the holiday by lighting the first candle in the menorah.

Price: $54.98 per ticket
Date: Dec. 18 at 3-5 p.m.

The Chelsea Shul
236 West 23rd St.

Hanukkah Children’s Carnival and Parrot Show
Come one, come all to the spectacular Hanukkah children’s carnival! Held specifically with kids in mind, you’ll find themed activity booths, arts and crafts workshops—which includes the creation of an edible treat—cotton candy, face painting, and more. Plus, stick around for the main event: A parrot show from Parrot Rebbe. The price includes access to all these activities, and even signs you up to win some prizes.

Price: $10 per ticket
Date: Dec. 18 at 1-3:30 p.m.

Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin
2913 Ave. L

Hanukkah Family Show at the Staten Island JCC
Embark on a Hanukkah adventure with this charming children’s interactive performance. In “Maya’s Metaverse,” kids will help Maya as she journeys through time as she meets different characters and learns the story of Hanukkah. The theater performance will feature puppets, music, and games. There’s plenty more to do after the 45-minute show, like decorating donuts, playing with dreidels, Hanukkah games and crafts, and more.

Price: $12 per child, adults and kids 2 and under are free
Date: Dec. 18 at 1-2:30 p.m.

Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC
1466 Manor Rd
Staten Island

Hanukkah Festival at the 92Y
Light the first candle of Hanukkah with 92Y in this cozy community event. Test your dreidel spinning skills in a contest, get limber with Hebrew letter yoga, and more activities from dancing to face painting. Join coaches from the ATiD Afterschool and Camp Yomi in a family morning that culminates with the menorah lighting.

Price: Free
Date: Dec. 18 at 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

1395 Lexington Ave.
Upper East Side

Hanukkah Community Celebration at JCC Clinton Hill
Bring your little ones to this small-child-oriented celebration! This event is best for kids ages 0 through 5 and includes lively music by Yonatan, delicious latkes, dreidel spinning, themed arts and crafts, readalongs, and more.

Price: Free
Date: Dec. 18 at 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

JCC Clinton Hill
309 Grand Ave.
Clinton Hill

Klezmer Hanukkah Celebration with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Enjoy Hanukkah with a special performance by the Comminity Klezmer Band, led by Ira Temple. Do you or the kids play an instrument? Bring it and join right in with the band! Visitors are welcome to participate. The music will pause from 3:15 to 3:30 for the lighting of the nearby Fifth Avenue menorah, then resume the festivities until 4:30.

Price: Free
Date: Dec. 18 at 3-4:30 p.m.

The Old Stone House
336 3rd St.
Park Slope

Annual Hanukkah Celebration at Kings Bay Y
Kings Bay Y is bringing a whole carnival indoors for its annual Hanukkah bash. Watch live performances, take part in raffles, play carnival games, make art, hop onto inflatable rides, and more—plus a few spectacular surprises. Visitors are encouraged to bring the whole family, including, of course, yourself!

Price: Free
Date: Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

3495 Nostrand Ave.
Sheepshead Bay

Hanukkah Art Mix at The Jewish Museum
Join the Jewish Museum for an all-day celebration that will engage visitors of all ages. Explore the Hanukkah menorahs in the Jewish Museum’s galleries, make art and Hanukkah greeting cards, and sculpt a special holiday creation inspired by Jewish art from the 1960s. Plus, between 11:30 and 1:30, museum visitors will be able to participate in The Giant Room’s “illuminated city” installation.

Price: Free with museum admission, free for visitors 18 and under
Date: Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Scheuer Auditorium & Exhibition Galleries
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St.
Carnegie Hill

“Brooklyn’s Largest Menorah” Lighting at the Grand Army Plaza
What could be better than watching Brooklyn’s largest menorah light a new candle on each day of Hanukkah? Doing so while enjoying some hot latkes and live music. Visit on December 18 at 4 p.m. to catch the kick-off concert with Zusha, or stop by on any day of Hanukkah for more festivities. Candles will be lit by Rabbi Shimon Hecht and special guests using a 60-foot boom lift, and all kids in attendance on any day will receive a gift, making this one memorable night for all.

Price: Free
Date: Dec. 18-25

Grand Army Plaza
Flatbush Ave.
Prospect Park

Menorah Lighting Celebration at Abingdon Square
Look up! This community menorah lighting celebration is known for its parachute gelt drop, provided by the FDNY. Parachuting party favors aside, stick around for the lighting of the menorah, live music by the jazz band Sammy Miller and the Congregation, as well as entertainment for the kids. Plus, nom on donuts, latkes, hot soup, and other traditional Hanukkah treats. If you want to participate at home but don’t have a menorah of your own, Chabad West Village has an online form you can fill out to request one.

Price: Free
Date: Dec. 18-26

Abingdon Square Park
Hudson St. and West 12th St.
West Village

Hanukkah on Ice in Central Park
Skate around Wollman Rink to lively Hanukkah music and guest musical performances, accompanied by a skating dreidel mascot. Everyone in attendance will receive complimentary beverages and treats, including kosher hot dogs, vegetable soup, and donuts. Don’t miss the lighting of the giant hand-carved ice menorah!

Price: $28 (online) or $35 (in-person) plus skate rental, free for kids under 3
Date: Dec. 19 at 6-9 p.m.

Wollman Rink
830 5th Ave.
Central Park

Chanukah at Jane’s Carousel
The Chabad of DUMBO and DUMBO Gan preschool are hosting this festive Hanukkah party by the water, for an evening of treats and crafts. An ice menorah will be lit at 4:30, with plenty of food, entertainment, and activities during the rest of the event. Plus, free rides all night!

Price: Free, suggested donation per family $20
Date: Dec. 20 at 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Jane’s Carousel
New Dock St.

Chanukah Teen Bash at the Chabad Neshama Center
Here’s one for the older kids in the family! This event is geared toward Jewish teens, and is a great place to make new friends as you participate in everything from chocolate carving and dreidel spinning competitions to wrapping gifts for sick kids. A gourmet Chinese buffet will be served, as well as a mocktail bar and a dessert bar.

Price: $10-$18 per ticket
Date: Dec. 22 at 6:30-9 p.m.

Chabad Neshama Center
311 Sea Breeze Ave.
Coney Island

Music at the Museum: Celebrate Chanukah at Eldridge
The historic Eldridge Street Museum will be full of music and festivities for the holiday, featuring Klezmer music for your enjoyment. The performance will be led by Zisl Slepovitch and the Livakus Collective, accompanied by Broadway and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene actor and singer Maya Jacobson. The evening will conclude with the lighting of the last candle on one of the spectacular menorahs from the museum’s exhibit, “Lighting the World: Menorahs Around the Globe.”

Price: $27.28 per adult, $22.03 per student or senior, $11.53 per child, free for kids under 5
Date: Dec. 25 at 2-3:30 p.m.

Museum at Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge St.

Hanukkah Cookie and Gingerbread Making Classes at Taste Buds Kitchen
Build and decorate Hanukkah-themed gingerbread houses and cookies with Taste Buds Kitchen at this workshop for kids and their caretakers. Add blue and white icing, coconut snow, gummy polka dots, or anything else your heart desires! Sip hot cocoa as you work together to bring your imagination to life together. If you prefer to work on your candy creations at home, you can purchase a Hanukkah gingerbread kit to complete at your own leisure.

Price: Starting at $75 per child
Date: Dates and times vary

109 W 27th St. 10th Floor

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