It’s December, and if finding tinsel in your hair and hearing carols everywhere aren’t your thing, then hibernation is a fair choice. For those who love the holiday season though, we rounded up the places that share your Christmas cheer.
Miracle on Ninth Street
Mace, 649 E. Ninth St., East Village
The bar’s transformation into a winter wonderland was such a hit last year that they’ve made it a tradition. Until Dec. 24, Miracle on Ninth will be your every tacky Christmas fantasy come true, with multicolor Christmas lights, candles, tinsel and ribbons covering every surface, and nothing but holiday tunes on the radio. Behind the bar, Nico de Soto swaps the usual menu for 12 holiday-themed boozy delights with names like Jingle Balls Nog and Muletide.
Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack
Through Dec. 24
Boilermaker, 13 First Ave.
The team behind Miracle on Ninth just had so much holiday cheer to share this year that they’ve expanded the Christmas bar concept to their other spot, Boilermaker. Sip tropical drinks in a “boisterous and frivolous” island paradise for a sense of how Aussies feel every year — Santa in board shorts and palm trees wrapped in twinkle lights. Mele Kalikimaka!
The Standard Plaza
848 Washington St., Meatpacking District
The Standard, High Line hotel’s ever-changing plaza has taken on a cozy Swiss chalet feel for the holiday season, with an expanded ice rink (sessions are $17 with skate rental) and a Skate Shack selling all of the woolly essentials to complete the apres ski vibe. After a few rounds on the ice, relax in the redesigned lounge’s red rocking chairs snuggled under blankets of plaid and faux fur, sipping seasonal cocktails like the Chamomile Hot Toddy and snacking on decadent Valhrona chocolate brownies.
Bouchon Bakery & Cafe
10 Columbus Circle, third floor
The Time Warner Center’s seasonal constellation of glowing blue stars and trees wrapped in twinkle lights always adds an extra sparkle to the holidays. There’s no better spot to enjoy them than the third floor bakery overlooking the atrium and their seasonal treats like peppermint bark and coffee-hazelnut buche de Noel, or stop by for a slow-braised pork shank with osso bucco for dinner. When the snow finally arrives to add its seasonal magic to Central Park, this will be the best place to enjoy it.
200 W. 44th St., Theater District
The holidays are all about family, and there’s nothing that brings people together like shared plates of hearty pasta in red sauce and some good wine. If the NYC institution is the closest you’ll get to your grandmother’s kitchen this winter, chow down on the homestyle food (don’t leave without trying the sinfully good chocolate bread pudding!) amid walls strung with lighted garlands, snow-flecked wreaths and chandeliers wrapped in red ribbons.
281 Third Ave., Gramercy
Nobody goes harder on festive cheer than this French-German restaurant, which feels like stepping inside of a Christmas tree. The ceiling is barely visible through the garlands woven through with ribbons of giant ornaments and enough icicle lights that you’ll forget how weird it is that it’s not yet freezing outside. The menu’s old world comfort fare, like schnitzel and Burgundy-style beef stew, is the perfect meal for a winter’s night.
107 Ave. C, East Village
If you like your holiday season with a biergarten ambiance, head to this German spot for the next two Sundays, when they’ll be breaking out the dulcimer and guitar for restaurant-wide caroling from 3-7 p.m. Service begins at 1 p.m. (there are no reservations, so get there before the music starts). In addition to the usual beer selection, they’ll be serving mulled wine and Mama Schneider’s Christmas stollen, along with holiday cookies. There’s no cover, and you’ll have songbooks to join in on everything from Santa Claus Is Coming to Town to Oh Tannenbaum.
13 E. 17th St., Union Square
For the holidays, this Victorian bar doubles down on its English charm with a train set in the window winding through a Christmas village complete with nutcrackers and gingerbread houses. Inside they’ve hung stockings, a giant wreath in pride of place behind the bar — decorated with copper Moscow Mule mugs! — and glittering ornaments everywhere. Make this your post-Union Square Holiday Market brunch stop ($17, including one drink).