A Solo Gal’s Christmas in NYC


Now is the season that’s designed for couples, because let’s face it: there’s nothing single-lady-friendly ‘til St. Patrick’s Day. On the other hand, if you’re going solo for Christmas, New York will take excellent care of you. Here’s a December 25th itinerary to make Manhattan yours:

Visit Max Brenner around mid-day for some of New York’s most delicious hot chocolate. They serve dark, milk, or white in a variety of styles, thick and sweet in mugs that you cradle with both hands. Or, if you can’t handle that much chocolate, try a nicely balanced white chocolate chai. You could order a savory lunch here, though their menu of chocolate-laced items is extensive. The fondue is exponentially better than your last at-home attempt and you can chase it with a chocolatey White Russian.

Duck into the Russian & Turkish Baths around late afternoon for the best antidote to winter malaise. This East Village institution has been around since 1892, and while it’s a bit worn and dingy inside, it’s a must if you love the vestiges of old New York. There’s a café on the ground floor serving Eastern European staples like herring, blini (crepes), borsch (beet soup), and pelmeni (dumplings). But down in the basement is the reason you came: an absolutely punishing Russian sauna, a drier Redwood sauna, an aromatherapy room, a steam room, and a chilling 46-degree pool that brings your heart rate down and gives you that rush of rejuvenation. Bring your bathing suit and they’ll provide towels, flip flops, and lockers. All-day admission is $35; services like a massage or platza are extra (check their website for specific men-only, women-only, and co-ed hours).

Grab dinner at Shanghai Café down in Chinatown. This affordable, colorfully-lit spot never disappoints, especially the pork-and-crab soup dumplings and fresh broccoli with tangy garlic sauce. For dessert, try a couple of petite, creamy egg tarts from Tai Pan Bakery nearby on Canal Street. Generally speaking, Christmas doesn’t exist in Chinatown, so have at it.

Have you spent a solo Christmas in New York?


About Author

Sarah is the North America Editor for Go! Girl Guides and she wrote the New York City guidebook. Raised in rural Texas on mesquite barbecue and barrel racing, Sarah lived in Indiana for two years before moving to New York by herself. Some of her favorite experiences in North America include snowmachining outside of Anchorage, exploring Caladesi Island off the coast of Florida, touring a Cold War bunker in West Virginia, watching the sun set over Chicago from Lake Michigan, and taking an overnight train from Montreal to Halifax.

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