Hanukkah runs from December 12-19 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, party and dance the Hora; take a break 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 Hanukkah events.


Candle Lighting at the World’s Largest Menorah
Is there such a thing as “Menorah Wars”? There are, in fact,  two “world’s largest” menorahs right here in New York, which means double the flaming fun.  Over a decade ago, Guinness World Records officially noted the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah as the one located at Grand Army Plaza Fifth Avenue and W. 59th Street in Manhattan. Shining of gold and standing 32 feet-tall, 28 feet-wide and weighing 4,000 pounds, the impressive steel menorah was designed by Yaacov Agam and has been lit each year since the late 1970s.

Another equally-grand menorah, also standing at 32 feet-tall, resides in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights. (Why both lightings have to be held at identically-named spots, we don’t know.)  The lightings here will include live music, hot latkes and gifts for the children attending; the first night features a special concert kicking things off

Note: Lighting times vary throughout the duration of the holiday.


Dates:  Dec. 12-19

Fifth Avenue and W. 59th Street location
Online: nycgovparks.org

Tues., 5:30 p.m.; Wed./Thurs., 6 p.m.; Fri., 3:30 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m., Mon/tues., 6 p.m.
Grand Army Plaza at Eastern Parkway

Prospect Heights
Online: chabadparkslope.com


photo: 92Y

Chanukah at the 92nd Street Y

Chanukah Festival: Bring in the Light
Celebrate Hanukkah early and join the 92nd Street Y as they kick off the festival of lights with this event on Sunday, December 10. Bursting with crafts, entertainment, make-your-own holiday treats, opportunities to give back and more. (Note: Later that day at 92Y, you can catch a performance of the musical Bagels from Benny.)

Tickets: $12-18
Sun., Dec 10, 11 a.m.
Online: 92y.org

Glow-in-the-Dark Chanukah Family Dinner
Put a fun twist on your family tradition at the 92Y Glow-in-the-Dark Chanukah Family Dinner on December 15 at 6 p.m. Bring your flashlight and enjoy a magical dinner of lights that includes glow sticks, latkes and music.

Tickets: $18-36
Fri., Dec. 15, 6 p.m.
Warburg Lounge
92nd St. Y
Upper East Side
Online: 92y.org

Hanukah Celebration for Toddlers at JCC Manhattan 
The JCC holds a gathering for the tiniest of celebrants, inviting caregivers and children ages four and under to explore the holiday through song, arts, and open play.

Dec. 12, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
JCC Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave.
Online: .jccmanhattan.org

photo: via Chanukah on Ice Facebook page 

Chanukah on Ice at the Wollman Rink in Central Park
A giant menorah that’s totally cool. Grab your skates and head outside to Wollman Rink and celebrate the first night of Hanukkah — on ice!  Presented by Chabad Centers of New York City, this event features skating, live music, Hanukkah treats, and a giant Ice Menorah that will be lit in the evening. The event sells out quick so snag tickets now — Hanukkah doesn’t get any cooler than this!

Dec. 12, 6 – 9 p.m.
Tickets: Online: $25/with skate rental; $18/without skate rental; free for children under 3
Wollman Rink
Online:  chanukahonicenyc.com

Let There Be Light! Menorahs from the Collection of the Lori and David Moore Family
Lori and David Moore started collecting menorahs as a way of creating a holiday tradition for their children similar to that of amassing Christmas ornaments. They acquired a lot. This display  features an array of menorahs from their collection, in with shapes and themes ranging from traditional to whimsical: dog menorah, shoe menorah, menorah made of mah jongg tiles, etc.)

Through Jan 2, 2018
12 Eldridge St.
Lower East Side
Online: eldridgestreet.org



photo: via Museum at Eldridge Street Facebook page 

Menorah Mania: Family Hanukkah Celebration at Museum at Eldridge Street
In addition to its impressive menorah exhibit, the Museum at Eldridge Street will also host this family-friendly event on December 10.  Enjoy a scavenger hunt highlighting menorahs of all shapes and sizes and learn the illuminating history behind the synagogue’s original candelabra and lighting. Enjoy a Chanukah sing-along, snack on edible dreidels and take home your own menorah creation.

Dec. 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tickets: $12/ adults; $6/kids
12 Eldridge St.
Lower East Side
Online:  eldridgestreet.org

photo: Jewish Museum

Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum
On Sunday, December 10 from Noon to 4 p.m., The Jewish Museum will present its annual Hanukkah Family Day. The day includes art activities and music geared towards children ages 3 and up, such as a drop-in art workshop where kids can create Hanukkah lamps, holiday cards, and metallic ink prints. Attendees will also be able to collaborate with other families on a giant light collage.

The day also features indie kid rockers Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., performing original and traditional Hanukkah songs as well as songs from their award-winning albums. Other activities include a retelling of the Hanukkah story through a drawing performance and a tour of the Museum’s world-famous collection of Hanukkah lamps. Sound good? RVSP here (recommended).

Sun., Dec. 10, Noon- 4 p.m.
Tickets: free, with museum admission; $15/adults; $12/senior citizens; $7.50/students, free/18 and under
1109 5th Ave. at 92nd St.
Upper East Side
Online: thejewishmuseum.org

Family Hanukkah Bowl at Brooklyn Bowl
On December 17, Brooklyn Bowl will host a Family Hanukkah Bowl, with performances from Rabbi Dan Ain and The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, Soulfarm and Lost & Found. The night will include latkes, dreidles, menorah lighting and more!

Sun., Dec 17
Tickets: $15/person
61 Wythe Ave.
Online: brooklynbowl.com

photo: The Jewish Museum

Mister G Hanukkah Concert at the Jewish Museum 
The Jewish Museum will also host a high-energy Hanukkah concert for kids ages 3 to 8,  with Latin Grammy-winning children’s musician Mister G. The show will feature multilingual songs for Hanukkah from his album, The Mitzvah Bus. Prior to the concert, families can also participate in Picture This!, a combination of a tour of the Museum’s Hanukkah lamps, an art activity, and a storybook reading for the holiday.

Tickets for Mister G convert: $16/person; combined tickets for Picture This! and Mister G are $25/person
Sun., Dec. 17, 11:30 a.m.
1109 5th Ave. at 92nd St.
Upper East Side
Online: thejewishmuseum.org



photo: via Jewish Children’s Museum Facebook page 

Hanukkah Art Festival at the Jewish Children’s Museum
The Jewish Children’s Museum has a mission to celebrate all of Jewish life: “its history, culture, and traditions.”  That mission comes to life at its annual Hanukkah Family Festival.  Get greased up at their Olive Oil Workshop, where you can pick, press, pour and explore the art of olive oil making, or hit the beading studio to make some jewelry or a keychain. Get sticky with it and top your own donut with icing and sprinkles,  or enter a sounds-and-lights-filled game show setting and participate in a game show, during which players will be quizzed on aspects of Jewish life. Visitors can also join a grand menorah lighting featuring singing, chocolate gelt and a souvenir of the day. Recommended for ages two and up.

Dec. 13 & 14, 17 – 20
Tickets: $13/ages two & up; $10/ seniors
792 Eastern Parkway
Crown Heights
Online: jcm.museum

Chabad of Tribeca: Chanukah Luau
Chabad of Tribeca warms things up with a Chanukah Luau celebration. Expect arts and crafts, games, donuts, latkes, gelt, glitter tattoos and more!  Advance RSVP by Dec. 11.

Tickets: $60/family with advance RSVP; $80/family at dor
Dec. 17, 3-5 p.m.

100 Barclay St.
Online: chabadoftribeca.com


What’s your favorite Hanukkah event in the city? Let us know in the comments below!

— Meredith Levine