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17 ideas for how to spend your Christmas vacation

Christmas vacation is coming up, with a whole week to do nothing — or everything you haven't had a chance to enjoy. We've got some ideas for what to do.

Congratulations, you’ve (very nearly) made it through 2017. For persistence in the face of impossible odds, your reward is a whole week — if you’re very lucky — or at least a few days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day to do whatever you want. We’ve got some ideas.

A free treat with your museum visit

Get to know your city better at the Museum of the City of New York, where the first 100 visitors each day from Dec. 26-31 get a free hot chocolate from Amy’s Bread (one of the best in the city, if we do say so). While you’re there, check out how New Yorkers fell in love with ice skating, the most influential public art in the city’s history, a ‘60s fashion retrospective and a century of political activism by women. 1220 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side

See the newly revamped Puffs

Off-Broadway’s smash hit play about the kinda-talented but hard-working wizards living in Harry Potter’s shadow has now been going for over a year! Even if you’ve seen Puffs or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic before, the show got a revamp this summer with new sets and creatures for its move to a bigger home at New World Stages. They’ve added several additional showtimes for the holiday week, with family-friendly weekend matinees. You’ll love their take on the misfits caught up in Harry Potter’s drama. 340 W. 50th St., Theater District

Hide out in a rooftop rum shack

Not into the cold weather, holiday cheer or just life right now? Appease your inner Grinch with a tropical escape on the third floor of the massive new Bar Gonzo, now open on the west side. Don’t you feel better already, picturing yourself with a tiki cocktail in hand on a beach far away from reality? The bar channels the vibes of a ‘70 party spot with California-meets-Mediterranean food by chef R.L. King, who previous set the mood at the McKittrick Hotel. Look out for the launch of brunch on Christmas Day with an all-inclusive buffet from noon to 6 p.m. 511 Ninth Ave., Hell’s Kitchen

Catch up on the internet’s new obsession

Netflix’s original movie A Christmas Prince has taken over the internet’s hearts while also making us doubt our sanity. The story of a plucky American journalist who goes to the fictional country of Aldovia to spy on its playboy prince should be terrible, and it very much is, but we also can’t help but love it. It’s the television equivalent of not being able to stop eating an entire bag of chips. So if you’ve been as busy as the rest of us, get some wine and enjoy the most unexpected new holiday classic. netflix.com

Become more crafty

Rebel against the consumerism of the season by turning trash into treasure at the New York Hall of Science’s annual holiday ReMake the Holidays event, going on Dec. 27-30. You’ll work with various materials each day — Dec. 27 (textiles), Dec. 28 (paper) Dec. 29 (plastic), Dec. 30 (wood) — to create handmade keepsakes from stuff that otherwise would’ve gone to the landfill. All activities are free with museum admission. 47-01 111th St., Corona, Queens

 

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Go night skating

Bryant Park’s Winter Village ice rink is one of the city’s largest and most popular, but it’s sure to be less crowded for one special night. On Wednesday, Dec. 27, the first-ever Late Skate starts at 10:30 p.m. (so even though the event is all-ages, you’re less likely to be dodging kids) and goes until midnight with a DJ and photo ops. While skating is normally free (with a $20 skate rental), Late Skate costs $49 (including rental, bag check and one cup of hot chocolate) and must be bought in advance. In case of rain, the event will take place Dec. 28. 

Get the squad together for a field trip

How often are you all off on the same day? Gather your friends for one of the city’s fun new group activities, from throwing axes between chugging beers at Kick Axe in Gowanus to taking on group challenges like a laser maze in a race against a paint explosion at Beat the Bomb, or take in a trippy show at the new largest planetarium in the U.S. before an adults-only ugly sweater party at Liberty Science Center on Dec. 21. The Star Wars-themed Dark Side Bar is open through Jan. 17, too!

If you’re not done with Christmas…

Then Christmas doesn’t have to be over! Many of the city’s Christmas-themed bars (there are 20 of them this year!) will remain open, holiday train shows will keep chugging for a few weeks, eat some Christmas tree soft serve, the elaborate department store holiday windows are always a treat, and, if you’ve got little ones, visit the new Winter Wonderland holiday carnival on Staten Island.

Take a trip without leaving town

Lower Manhattan’s free exhibit of Louis Vuitton luggage has rightly been a hit, commanding lines down the block on weekends. Volez, Voguez, Voyagez is less about ogling merchandise and more a glimpse into how people traveled through the luggage they carried, going from ships and carriages to railroads, cars and airplanes. And once bags became less about being practical than fashionable, a whole new weird world of design opened up. Through Jan. 7, 2018, Old American Stock Exchange, 86 Trinity Place

A summer favorite gets cozy for winter

Industry City’s revamp as the beachfront destination within Brooklyn made it an essential part of our summer. For winter, they’ve kept the good vibes with Hygge Haus, a tent packed with all the cozy essentials, an art installation called Emotional Holidays where you can write a message to tuck inside an ornament on one of its technicolor trees, fondue bread bowls and even a curling course. Prepare to get cozy AF. 220 36th St., Sunset Park

See a new take on Frankenstein

People forget that one of the original monster stories, Frankenstein, was written by a woman. Romantic Century’s new production rights that wrong my weaving in Mary Shelley’s letters and diaries from the time — when she became a mother — to create a parallel narrative about a man creating a monster. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein stars Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) and features music from the 19th century by Liszt, Schubert and Bach. Dec. 21-Jan. 7, 2018, Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., $40-$140, romanticcentury.org