Christmas Eve is less than two weeks away, and it’s time to start figuring out holiday plans. As the weather gets colder and the holiday season begins, COVID-19 cases have been on the rise. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) already urged families to only spend the upcoming winter holidays with their immediate family, meaning only people who live in their home. This drastic change from last year’s Christmas is unfortunate as it is a struggle to see extended family this year. But, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday season on Long Island while staying safe.
1) Magic of Lights at Jones Beach
The Jones Beach light show has been a holiday classic for years on Long Island. For $25-$35, your family can bring their car to the beach and drive through an array of festive lights while listening to holiday music. The beach provides a radio station for your family to tune into that syncs with the changing lights. You can also stop in The North Pole where there are refreshments that can be received contactlessly, kids can write letters to Santa and see gigantic lit trees.
2) Stop by local homes to see their holiday lights
Throughout Nassau and Suffolk County, there are homes that dec out thousands of colorful lights around their homes. They might do it for self joy, but also to make other families joyful this holiday season. There are homes in towns like Oceanside, Massepequa, Ronkonkoma, Selden and Calverton that draw in families. One house in Selden even has a radio station with music that syncs with the light show. To stay COVID-safe, you can watch the lights from your car, or wear a mask to go outside and take some holiday photos.
3) Drive-in Christmas movies at Bellport
Since COVID-19 has closed down entertainment centers that draw large crowds, like movie theaters, many places have formed drive-in movie theaters to compensate for loss of income. The Gateway Drive-In in Bellport is playing all different types of holiday movies. Some of these include “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. It is also a fundraiser for the Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County. The price is $40 per car, $15 per ticket and a $25 donation for the fundraiser.
4) Virtual Hanukkah Celebration
The first night of Hanukkah began this week. However, many local synagogues are celebrating throughout the weekend along with adapting to COVID-19 guidelines. On Sunday Dec. 13 at 4.p.m., the North Fork Reform Synagogue is having a virtual Haunukkah celebration. Families can zoom and share songs while spinning dreidels together in the comfort of their homes. You have to register on the website but it is totally free.
5) Stream the Norm Lewis Holiday Concert
Next Thursday, singer Norm Lewis will be live streaming his live performance holiday concert in Port Washington at the Jeanne Rimsky Theater. A $25 ticket includes the live stream with a chat room and on-demand viewing from Dec. 18-31, so your family can watch the show over again if they want. Lewis and his band will be performing holiday songs from prior shows and from their holiday album, “The Norm Lewis Christmas Album”. The show will also feature Broadway singer, Sierra Borges, and Lewis’s cousin, Pastor Bobby Lewis.
When celebrating the holiday season this year, please remember to stay safe and follow recommended precautions. Although the holidays are different this year, people can still celebrate safely and happily.