Get ready, New Yorkers: SantaCon is about to flood streets (and bars) of New York once again. If you live under a rock and haven’t seen or heard of SantaCon, it’s that one time of year where flocks of Santa and elf impersonators embark on a festive bar crawl, making a booze-fueled scene through the city that you’ll find either amusing or annoying to watch. It all goes down this Saturday, December 9.
Update: The SantaCon organizers have announced the locations for this year’s event, and as predicted, it’ll be concentrated in Manhattan—namely in Midtown and down to the East Village. The festivities will kick off at the James A. Farley Post Office across from Penn Station (of course) at 10 a.m., and things will continue on from there.
But if you want to avoid the whole thing (and something tells us that if you’re reading this, you do), we have a few tips along with some alternatives that don’t involve being around a swarm of drunken Santas gallivanting around.
Stay in the outer boroughs. There’s less of a risk of running into any hordes of Santas in the outer boroughs. Though we do recommend staying away from neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick, since they’re a little to close to Manhattan for comfort.
Avoid going through Midtown if at all possible. Bars on the SantaCon route tend to span much of Midtown, so if you had plans in the area, maybe save it for Sunday. This includes riding the subway through the area. Nowhere is safe from Santas.
Get the heck out of town. There are likely to be some bridge-and-tunnel Santas coming in on the LIRR or Metro-North—both of which have imposed alcohol bans on Saturday, along with the New Jersey Transit, who is imposing a ban on all liquid beverages. If you’re going in the opposite direction of Manhattan, you should be safe.
And 5 fun things to do that are far away from SantaCon:
Check out local artwork in the Bronx. The Poe Park Visitor Center will be hosting its fifth annual Whimsical Winter Wonder… Exhibition, where you can catch artwork from over a dozen established and upcoming local artists.
Head on over to a Winter Wonderland. Enjoy an afternoon filled with crafts, hot chocolate, and a trackless train as part of Winter Wonderland, happening at Brookville Park in Queens.
Go dancing on a vintage train. The New York Transit Museum will invite revelers onto the vintage subway cars for a swing-themed dance party. The Nostalgia Swing Train will travel from Second Avenue to the museum’s Downtown Brooklyn location, where the party will continue. Costumes—of the non-Santa, ’40s-inspired variety—are encouraged.
Learn how to make a holiday wreath. Have an itch to learn how to make your own holiday wreaths? If so, here is your chance. Horticulturist and landscape designer Wambui Ippolito will be conducting a workshop at Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Admission is $75 and includes all materials.
Embark on an adventure at the Bronx Zoo. If you really want to do something out of the ordinary, make your way to the Bronx Zoo and check out their Treetop Adventure center where you can climb across various obstacle courses and enjoy two zipline adventures.