From the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, New York City is filled with massive holiday events that draw tens of thousands of visitors to our fair city each year. But, if you're in the mood for something a bit more low-key, risqué or raucous, we've rounded up a great list of holiday events that are decidedly off the beaten path.
Enjoy Over-the-Top Christmas Décor at Rolf's — 281 Third Ave. at 22nd Street, Gramercy (Photo via elanalyn.com)
For holiday decoration like you've never seen before, head directly to Rolf's in Gramercy where you'll feel like you've stepped inside the most beautiful Christmas kaleidoscope imaginable. Nearly every surface, rafter and alcove is jam-packed with a delightful assortment of lights, bulbs and greenery with angels, Santas and elves galore. You might come for the decorations, but you'll stay for the food thanks to a delectable assortment of German favorites. Enjoy classic potato pancakes and a heaping plate of schnitzel along with a steaming, must-have mug of Rolf's Famous Warm Gluhwein. At Rolf's, the decorations typically stay up through spring, and no matter when you visit, we guarantee you'll leave filled with the joy of Christmas.
Celebrate the Season Like a Wizard at the 2017 Yule Ball — The Bell House, 149 7th St. between Avenue A and B, East Village (Photo via travelandleisure.com)
Nothing says happy holidays like Harry Potter, and the Yule Ball is an annual tradition taken straight out of the Triwizard Tournament. In its East Village iteration, the night will include a slew of Harry-themed entertainment, including musical acts Harry and the Potters, The Moaning Myrtles and Kwikspell, plus puppetry from The Potter Puppet Pals. Don't miss this spellbinding time, Saturday, Dec. 16.
Head Straight to the Naughty List with Nutcracker Rouge — 383 Troutman Theater Space, 383 Troutman St., Bushwick (Photo via theculturenews.com)
From director/choreographer Austin McCormick, Nutcracker Rouge is a wicked retelling of the classic ballet, merging elements of theatre, dance, music, circus, opera and fashion. The critically acclaimed show has been called "opulently burlesque and deliciously Freudian" by the New York Times, while Time Out New York names it "the perfect hot date." Brought to you by the nonprofit Theatre Development Fund, this bawdy, adults-only confection runs through Jan. 14, 2018.
Beat the Crowds at The Amazing Holiday Scavenger Hunt — Slattery's Midtown Pub, 8 East 36th St. between Madison and Fifth avenues, Midtown (Photo via eventbrite.com)
So maybe you didn't get quite enough of running through Midtown throngs in search of bargains during your holiday shopping. If so, this three-hour scavenger hunt through the wilds of Manhattan should do the trick. Assemble your team and come prepared to perform feats of strength and mental agility on your way to collecting a New York City-themed gift bag, or honorable mention. The hunt begins Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Belt out a Boozy Tune at UCB — UCB Theater, 555 W. 42nd St. at 11th Avenue, Hell's Kitchen
(Photo via hellskitchen.ucbtheatre.com)
If you love cocktails and Christmas carols, have we got the night for you! Head directly to UCB's new Hell's Kitchen digs for a "spirited" sing-a-long on Tuesday, Dec. 19. The show starts late — maybe 11 p.m., maybe later — so there's plenty of time to fill up on Christmas spirits and say goodbye to bah humbug before this free night of holiday good cheer.