By Jessica Allen

New York offers some truly interesting, excitedly offbeat ways to celebrate the holidays. Here are our five favorites.

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Rockaway Santa Suit and Pub Crawl
Boardwalk at the Beach
102nd St.
Rockaway Park, NY 11694
(917) 287-7280

Missed SantaCon this year? No matter. You can still dress like Saint Nick and head out for mayhem and madness. At the Rockapulco Run, you’ll run along the beach in the Rockaways, then head for a pub crawl nearby. As the tagline goes, “Walking, Running, Eating, Drinking, Dancing . . . Ho Ho Ho!” Santa suits will be provided for anyone who doesn’t happen to have one kicking around. It’s going to be fun! Saturday, December 16, run starts at 11 am, tickets and registration required.

2017 Yule Ball
The Bell House
149 7th St.
Brooklyn, New York, 11215
(718) 643-6510

Featuring Harry and the Potters, a band that “plays songs about books,” the annual Yule Ball brings a spirit of intellectual curiosity to the holiday season. Other performers include the Moaning Myrtles, who play “wizard rock.” Sensing a theme? If so, you’ll totally want to don your Hogwarts colors, scarves, and glasses. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Harry Potter Alliance, which marries stories and activism. Saturday, December 16, 5:30 to 9:30 pm, tickets required.

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Unsilent Night
The Arch at Washington Square Park
1 Washington Square East
New York, NY 10012

One night in 1992, sound artist, musician, and composer Phil Kline went to Washington Square Park and handed out tapes of an original electronic composition. Armed with a boom box, each person hit play at the same time, and Unsilent Night was born. Fast forward several decades, and the event takes place around the world, bringing peace and joy to all who participate. Download the music to your smartphone ahead of time. Sunday, December 17, 6 pm, free.  

Latke Festival
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 638-5000

The ninth annual Latke Festival does more than elevate the humble potato pancake. Your ticket gets you as many latkes as you care to eat, as well as other treats and delicious goodies, wine, beer, and nonalcoholic cocktails. Celebrity judges will be on hand, waiting to crown the best latke in NYC. The event benefits The Sylvia Center, which combats childhood obesity and fosters healthy, mindful eating. Live music too! Monday, December 18, 6 to 8:30 pm, tickets required.

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Chinese Christmas
Quality Eats
19 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 337-9988

Once upon a time, if you didn’t celebrate Christmas, you had few options for what to do on December 25. So many folks headed out to the movies, to eat Chinese food, or both. In honor of this tradition, Quality Eats is hosting a very special Chinese Christmas dinner, featuring such yummy courses as cocktail shrimp toast, crab cake fried rice, patty melt spring rolls, and cold peanut butter noodles with bacon and jalapeno. Monday, December 25, 4 to 9 pm, reservations required.