The Best Non-Christmas-y Things to Do on Christmas Day
Opening presents and sitting under the tree aren’t the only things to do on Christmas. Here’s a list of our favorite fun things to do on the big day.
Time for a new tradition?
Maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas and don’t think you should spend the holiday sitting at home all day. Or you’d just like to shake things up this year! There’s nothing “humbug” about doing non-Christmas-related things, like these, on December 25. By the way, this is why we celebrate Christmas on that day in the first place.
Hit the ice
Among the surprisingly long list of things to do on Christmas day is the popular winter pastime—skating! From New York’s famed Rockefeller Center skating rink to all three of San Francisco’s skating rinks (Yerba Buena Gardens, the Embarcadero Center, and Union Square), Christmas is the perfect time to lace up those skates and try out your fanciest skater moves. Triple salchow, anyone? Steal these 15 Christmas traditions from around the world for next year!
Go out to eat
A lot of restaurants around the country are open and have special holiday menus. From your local IHOP to a super fancy spot, why deal with dirty dishes when you don’t have to? Here are some choice picks for restaurants open on Christmas.
Why not enjoy the great outdoors this holiday season? Throw on those hiking boots or sneakers and hit the trails to experience the beauty of nature this Christmas Day. What’s a better gift than relaxing in the great outdoors? If you like to travel on Christmas, consider a wintry walk in one of these cheap, last-minute winter destinations to book for 2020.
Catch a flick
Movie buffs, you better add a cinema date to your list of favorite things to do on Christmas Day! Christmas has become a big day for blockbuster movies to open. Take advantage of having the day off from work and catch a double feature with all the popcorn you can eat. If your cinema is in a mall, you can also see if you can find one of these 28 stores that will be open on Christmas Day.
While a lot of major museums are closed on Christmas Day, Jewish museums, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Jewish Museum in New York City, plus smaller ones, such as Madame Tussauds and the Museum of Mathematics in New York City, are open for visitors to feed their mind on the holiday. Speaking of culture, you can also brush up on these fun trivia facts about the holiday season.
Hang out with some monkeys
Some people spend the holiday with family, but why not spend it with your favorite furry friends at the zoo? Several major zoos, including the Santa Barbara Zoo, the San Diego Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo, the Central Park Zoo, and more are open to visitors so that even the animals can get in on the Christmas cheer. See if the best zoo in your state is an option. If you do decide to celebrate the traditional way, these are the best advent calendars for everyone on your list.
Have a Netflix marathon
Brrrr, baby it’s cold outside. Stock up on your favorite snack food, stay in your pajamas, and start Netflix to binge-watch Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. Or if you’re in the mood for a little Christmas, watch one of our all-time favorite Christmas flicks that you haven’t seen yet.
Take a stroll and enjoy the stunning holiday window displays. Big city stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s are known for their fabulous and whimsical Christmas displays and smaller town centers often have fun displays, too. Learn a thing or two from these bargain shoppers who share their 40 tips for saving money on holiday shopping.
Lend a hand
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank on Christmas Day to help bring some holiday cheer to those less fortunate. Bringing smiles and joy to those who really need it is truly embodying the spirit of the holiday season. Try one of these 50 random acts of kindness that don’t cost a cent.