Happy Hanukkah: Where to Celebrate in New York this December
November 06 2023
If you’re in New York City over the Hanukkah period, there are endless things to do, see, and enjoy. From traditional festivities to modern approaches, Hanukkah is celebrated in many of NYC’s diverse neighborhoods.
Judaism is the second largest religion practiced within the Big Apple and with 1.6 million practicing Jewish residents in the city – it’s the largest religious Jewish community in any city in the world. In fact, the Jewish community in New York City is bigger than the combined totals of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – making New York City is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Hanukkah.
But where are the best spots in the city?
Brooklyn is home to the biggest community of Jewish residents in New York, so it’s no surprise that some of the best Hanukkah celebrations occur in the borough. At the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, the lighting of the world’s largest menorah takes place every evening throughout Hanukkah. Enjoy the nightly ceremony, live music, and traditional foods as the menorah glows against the city skyline.
If you’re hoping to celebrate Hanukkah with your kids in tow, the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn is a great day out for the whole family. From candle-making workshops to storytelling sessions, it’s a fun way to become immersed in the activities while educating your children about the history and customs of the celebration.
The Lower East Side is a historic hub of Jewish culture and home to the Tenement Museum. Throughout the eight-day holiday, the museum offers a variety of special tours. The tours highlight the holiday’s significance both now and historically and what the celebration means for Jewish people who have immigrated to the city over the years.
If your favorite way to celebrate Hanukkah is by over-indulging in your favorite treats and snacks, don’t miss Russ & Daughters, also on the Lower East Side, for some of the best traditional Hanukkah dishes in the city – including latkes and sufganiyot, as well as all your other favorites.
Finally, the Museum of Jewish Heritage hosts eight days of events, including cultural performances, art exhibitions, and live music. Everyone is welcome to the events – whether you celebrate or not – and it’s a great way to learn more about Hanukkah and why it’s such an important holiday for the Jewish population.
If you’re in New York for Hanukkah this December, the Hotel Beacon is located on the Upper West Side and in the heart of all the action.