With the winter COVID surge disrupting Broadway shows, holiday parties, sports leagues, and so much more, there's probably a decent chance you're thinking about shifting some of your own holiday plans. Maybe that big gingerbread/gingerbeer party you were planning to attend has been canceled. Maybe you're feeling unsure about flying out to meet your extremely large and only partially-vaccinated family. Either way, you now find yourself in a Kevin McCallister conundrum: stuck in the city with nothing to do and no one to supervise you, but without your father's credit card to check into the Plaza Hotel.

Fear not! This is New York Freakin' City, the city that never sleeps, because who has time to sleep when you're spending 3+ hours a day waiting on various lines to get tested and then spending the other 21 hours anxiously checking for results you know aren't coming in anytime soon. Aye! I'm walkin' and spiralin' out here!

So if you're a responsible vaxxed citizen of this fine city, and find yourself wanting to do something other than bingewatch Matrix movies with the extra time on your hands this week, here are a bunch of suggestions for fun outdoor activities you could engage in.

Governors Island in the snow

Governors Island in the snow!

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Governors Island in the snow!
Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island

Become The Unofficial Governor Of Governors Island

This year, Governors Island finally became a 365-days-a-year destination spot—it was previously only open to the public May through October. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the fact that not everyone knows about this yet. Just tell your loved ones you are "out of office," catch the ferry on South Street, and enjoy fire pits, ice skating, hot chocolate, food trucks, a sparkling display of holiday lights on the historic Colonels Row, and so much more! Check out more info here (and yes, they are even open on Christmas Day).

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Wollman Rink in Central Park

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Wollman Rink in Central Park
Scott Lynch / Gothamist

The 9 Day Ice Skating Rink Advent Calendar

Besides the one on Governors Island, the city has at least nine other outdoor ice skating rinks just sitting there, accumulating ice, waiting for you to cantilever your way to them. There's Wollman Rink in Central Park, the largest one in the city; The Rink at Rockefeller Plaza, the closest to the Christmas Tree; The Rink at the Winter Village in Bryant Park, which is most definitely open Christmas and New Years Day; Riverbank State Park in Harlem, The Rink behind the luxury mall at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, the somewhat dinky but totally delightful IC Ice Rink in Industry City, Lefrak Center in Prospect Park, WWII Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink at Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island, and the spacious Rink at Manhattan West. Phew! In theory, if you started today, you could visit one rink a day up until New Years, which is certainly something to do. Get more info on each rink here.

Have An Enchanting Time At Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Twinkling Lightscape Exhibit

Over at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there's the must-see after-dark experience "Lightscape," a one-mile journey through a twinkling maze of holiday lights that is sure to make you feel like you're in a Daft Punk music video, but with more s'mores. It's cool as hell, and a little bit cozy, too. The only day it's closed this week is the 25th. Get more info here.

There's No Such Thing As Too Many Holiday Lights In Dyker Heights

The locals in Dyker Heights have become renowned for their passion for holiday displays. If you want to see twinkling holiday lights ornately displayed around a psychotic-looking Santa that conjures up the image of a Lite Brite on a cocaine bender, this is the only place to go. And it's totally free! Clark Griswold eat your heart out. Check out more info here.

A photo of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree 2021

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree stands lit

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The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree stands lit
Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

Is It Really Christmas If You Haven't Visited The Tree At Rockefeller Center?

Look, the tree is really big and plump. The tree is nice. People travel to the city just to see the tree—they clearly love the tree and all the electricity it uses. If it were legally allowed and physically capable of doing so, I would wear the 900 pound Swarovski crystal star which sits atop of it. Now, would I personally choose to willingly lug my body through Midtown during the holiday season, surrounded by the eager tourists fresh off of airplanes from towns across the world, just to see a tree that is technically undead? No, of course not, but I'm Jewish, so none of this makes sense to me. Just go get Chinese takeout, some cliches are good! But I digress. If you're into Christmas trees, this is the one to see.

A photo of Saks Fifth Avenue's 2021 holiday window display

Saks Fifth Avenue's 2021 holiday window displays

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Saks Fifth Avenue's 2021 holiday window displays
Gretchen Robinette/Gothamist

Since I'm Already Committed To Seeing This Very Large Tree, Is There Anything Else I Should Do In Midtown While I'm Here?

I appreciate your question, disembodied voice. If you're the kind of person into seeing the tree, then you may also be the kind of person into seeing the ornate holiday windows at all the major department stores in Midtown. Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale's all have extremely positive holiday displays that are beaming good vibes out into the sidewalks. Find out more info here, and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

A photo of goats at the Tisch Children's Zoo in Central Park

Goats you could meet at the Tisch Children's Zoo in Central Park

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Goats you could meet at the Tisch Children's Zoo in Central Park
Shalom Stavsky

Don't Buy A Zoo, But Do Visit A Zoo

There are six zoos, aquariums and wildlife centers spread out throughout the city that are super fun and family-friendly destinations. The Bronx Zoo and Staten Island Zoo are both closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day, but the other four—Prospect Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Queens Zoo and Central Park Zoo—should be open all throughout the holidays.

Choo-Choo-Choose To Spend Your Time Playing With Trains In The Bronx

The New York Botanical Garden's 30th Holiday Train Show, which includes about 200 miniature versions of classic New York buildings and other iconography, is one of the gems of the holiday season. In addition to recreations of the Statue Of Liberty, Manhattan Bridge and more, there are also over two dozen G-scale model trains and trolleys running along a half-mile of track throughout the show. Get more info here. While you're there, you can also check out NYBG GLOW, which is the city's "longest entirely outdoor illuminated color spectacle." Get ticket info here.

A photo of Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian at a movie on SI

Be the Kim you want to see in the world

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Be the Kim you want to see in the world
Ben Yakas Studios (Background photo of Pete and Kim by MediaPunch/Shutterstock)

What To Do If You Live On Staten Island And/Or Have A Morbid Curiosity To Visit Staten Island

More power to you, adventurous soul! The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden has a winter lantern / light festival that will be open on December 24th through January 2nd. It also has some winter vendors participating, and it really does look pretty neat—get more info here.

My other suggestion: visit "Pete Davidson's Native NYC," and cosplay as Kim Kardashian by hitting up all of Davidson's favorite SI haunts, like Angelina’s Ristorante, Eltingville's Atrium Stadium Cinemas, and the rooftop at Campania. But do keep in mind this borough has the highest per-capita test positivity rates in NYC, so mask up.