Christmas is this weekend (oh, you haven't heard?), and for many, that means traveling out of town to visit family. But for those who don't celebrate the holiday or aren't going anywhere, this weekend is full of entertainment options. So instead of ordering Chinese takeout and sitting at home in your sweatpants, take advantage of some of these Christmas Eve and Day offerings. Happy Festivus!
"A Night of Dirty Songs" at Joe's Pub: Ditch the treacly Christmas carols in exchange for Jessica Delfino's bawdy, funny, borderline-offensive little ditties, as seen on Comedy Central and Conan O'Brien.
December 24 // 9:30 p.m. // $15 // 425 Lafayette Street
Hanukkomedy at 92YTribeca: The comedy extravaganza, hosted by Liam McEneaney, promises merriment and "the occasional dreidel joke," plus appearances from friend of Gothamist Todd Barry, Janeane Garafalo, MC Mr. Napkins (Comedy Central Records) and Sandy Marks (HBO’s Comedy in the Park).
December 24 // 8 p.m. // $13 advance, $15 door // 200 Hudson Street
New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall: Dirty songs and stand-up not your style? Get classy at Carnegie instead, for the annual Christmas eve concert, led by conductor Jaime Laredo, featuring showpieces by Saint-Saëns and Dvorák and favorites by Bach and Mozart.
December 24 // 7 p.m. // $9.50-$52 // 881 7th Avenue
Pina in 3-D at BAM: Catch the opening-weekend screening of this mesmerizing documentary from Wim Wenders about the legendary dance artist Pina Bausch and her avant-garde troupe Tanztheater Wuppertal. Put on the 3-d glasses and be amazed.
December 24 and 25 // various times // $10-15 // 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
Scroll of the Ten Commandments at the Discovery Museum: This scroll is the most complete and best preserved ancient example of the Ten Commandments in the world, and the fragile papers are only on display for two weeks, from December 16 to January 2. The holiday weekend is the perfect time to catch what might be your only glimpse of biblical history.
December 24 and 25 // 24th: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (last admission at 3pm); 25th: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (last admission at 5pm) // $19-27 // 226 West 44th Street
The Coney Island Polar Bears (John Del Signore/ Gothamist)
Coney Island Polar Bear Club Swim: Sure, they're better known for their New Year's Day swim, but every single Sunday from November through April, including Christmas Day, the intrepid swimmers set forth into the frigid Atlantic. Join them if you dare.
December 25 // 1 p.m. // Free // Near the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue
Big Apple Circus: Dream Big Grab the kiddos for a trip to the big top for the classic circus institution's 34th season, featuring acrobats, magicians, trapeze flyers, a mirthful grandma, jugglers, and more.
December 25 // 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. // $15-95 // Lincoln Center Plaza in Damrosch Park, West 62nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue
Chinese and a Movie at 92YTribeca: Kick it old-school traditional style at 92YTribeca, who's screening a kick-ass double feature of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park
paired with an all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffet.
December 25 // 2 p.m. // $25 in advance, $30 door // 200 Hudson Street
Ghost Walk: Jewish Ghosts and Other Spirits of the Lower East Side: Meet in front of Economy Candy store and set off on a 90-minute multicultural ghost walk that will introduce you to the spirits of the many immigrants who lived and died in the LES.
December 25 // 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. // $20-25 // Meet at 108 Rivington Street
Additional reporting by Meryl Cates