Eight Days Of Family Fun: Hanukkah Events & Parties In NYC

With eight nights of celebrating coming up, it’s time to get into the Hanukkah spirit! Here’s our guide to unique ways to spend time with loved ones each night as each candle of the Menorah is lit.

December 6: Chanukah Festival at 92Y
In the generous spirit of the holiday, bring an unopened, unwrapped gift for the Chanukah gift drive, then join in on a fun-filled day of holiday card, dreidel,and menorah-making, and participate in special games and activities. Recommended for the entire family. $18, 11am.  Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street

December 6-13: World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn
Celebrate the festival of lights by gathering the family for a nightly lightning of the world’s largest menorah at Grand Army Plaza near Prospect Park in Brooklyn. At each evening’s lighting, enjoy hot latkes,  live music and a gift for each child. Recommended for all ages. Free; 6pm 12/6-10 & 12/13, 3:30pm on 12/11, 7pm on 12/12. Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

December 6-13: Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting in Manhattan
Celebrate the start of Hanukkah this Sunday evening by viewing the lighting of the giant menorah at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan near Central Park! The golden steel structure stands at 32-feet and weighs 4,000 pounds. Recommended for all ages. Free, 5:30pm. Grand Army Plaza, Manhattan (Fifth Avenue between West 58th and West 59th Streets).

Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum. (Photo via thejewishmuseum.org)
Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum. (Photo via thejewishmuseum.org)

December 6: Downtown Lights with the Jewish Community Project
Light the first candle of Hanukkah with family and friends in Washington Market Park. Rabbi Jason will lead  the community with Hanukkah songs and a live performance from Jacob Stein. Recommended for the entire family. Free, 4:30pm. Washington Market Park, at Chambers and Greenwich Streets. 

December 6: Play me a Story: “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Go on a musical journey at the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s staging “Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins!”  Find out if Herschel will be able to outwit goblins haunting an old synagogue and save Hanukkah! In conjunction with this live performance, a mini-tour will be available for every family to view the museum’s collection of menorahs, and participate in an art activity. Recommended for ages 4-8. $8, free for children and grandchildren of members; 10:30 am.  Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place.

December 6: Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum
Gather the whole family and head over to the Jewish Museum for a festive celebration, featuring a reading by actress (and past NYF cover mom) Amanda Peet and Andrea Toyer from their new Hanukkah-themed children’s book, Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein; performances by storyteller and illustrator Jeff Hopkins and musician ShirLaLa; and lots of arts and crafts! Recommended for kids ages 3 and up.  Free with museum admission, 12-4pm. 1109 5th Avenue at 92nd Street.

December 6-13: Eight Nights of Light at the JCC Manhattan
Join the JCC every night of Hanukkah for a different event filled with music, food, holiday gift drives, jewelry making, culinary demonstrations, and of course, candle lighting. Recommended for the entire family. Free, 5:15pm & 4pm on Friday 12/11.  The JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue and 76th Street. 

December 7: Chanukah on Ice at the Trump Wollman Rink
Gather the whole family for a spin on the ice, a delicious spread of kosher delights and the sounds of the Ta Shma orchestra while a giant ice menorah is lit. Recommended for all ages. Online registration-Admission $18, Children 0-3 free, Admission with skate rental is $25;  6-9pm. Trump Wollman Rink, Central Park.

December 7-14: Chanukah Art Festival at the Jewish Children’s Museum
Ensure every child has a fun-filled Hanukkah week at the Jewish Children’s Museum. Throughout the week, kids can explore three floors of hands-on interactive exhibits, live game shows, take a stained glass class, make customized donuts, attend an interactive olive oil pressing workshop and a grand menorah lightning. On December 10, 13, and 14, visitors can take part in live game shows and the museum’s Grand Menorah lighting, where they’ll have the chance to meet the ancient hero Judah Macabee! Recommended for the entire family. $13 for adults and children, $10 for seniors 65 and older; workshop times vary. Jewish Children’s Museum, 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. 

December 12-13: Hanukkah Celebrations at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is hosting a fun weekend-long celebration of Hanukkah, full of festivities that honor the holiday. Families can decorate a banner with pockets to store eight Hanukkah treasures, and the 92Y will be on-hand to help children make dreidels out of clay and to teach them about the history and rules of the game. There will also be performances by jazz ensemble the Roy Assaf Trio, and TADA!’s Resident Youth Ensemble. Recommended for all ages. Free with museum admission, 10am-4pm. Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd Street.

December 13: “When Mindy Saved Hanukkah” Treasure Hunt at the Museum at Eldridge Street
Experience what it’s like to be a hero, when you stop by the Museum at Eldridge Street. Explore the synagogue’s nooks and crannies as the popular children’s book, When Mindy Saved Hanukkah, comes to life in a real life treasure hunt! In addition to the hunt, kids can make holiday art and munch on sweet treats. Recommended for the entire family. $15 per family; 11am-1pm. Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street. 

December 13: Delancey to Doughnuts: A Chanukah Walking Tour at the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy
Celebrate the NYC’s Jewish heritage with a historical walking tour! Participants will learn the history of  Congregation Bnai Jacob Anshe Brzezan,  the Essex Street Market and lastly a stop at the world’s only remaining and active Romaniote tradition synagogue, Kehila Kedosha Janina. Coffee and soufganiot (jelly doughnuts) will be served. Recommended for all ages. Adults: $23; Seniors and students: $21; Tour starts at 10:45 am. Meeting at the Stanton Street Synagogue, 180 Stanton Street (between Clinton & Attorney Streets).

December 13: Dress Up, Dreidel Down Hanukkah Disco at the Jewish Museum
Join the Jewish Museum for their first-ever Hanukkah family disco party! Walk the red carpet, get down on the dance floor, and spend the last night of Hanukkah enjoying art, latkes, mocktails, and more! Family packages begin at $218, individual tickets $48 each (children under 2 are free); 3-5pm. Scheuer Auditorium at the Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue at 92nd Street.