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    What to do this weekend: Dec 12-13 event picks

    Fri Dec 11

    With Hanukkah beginning tonight and Christmas less than two weeks away, there are all kinds of holiday happenings around the city. Bonus: Many of them are free or super cheap. Kick off the Festival of Lights this weekend at the 14th St Y's celebration or the JCC's Open House , both free, or browse our roundup of all Hanukkah events . If it's Christmas fun you're looking for, head to the Village to make cheerful noise on Saturday at the Unsilent Night Parade , where locals tote boom boxes from Washington Square to Tomkins Square Park to create a "sound sculpture." If you're looking for something quieter, catch The Colonial Nutcracker on Sunday or bring your brood to Riverside Church for an afternoon of crafts, eats and more at Saturday's indoor winter festival . Our favorite holiday pick this weekend has to be the FDNY's annual Santa Rescue on Sunday, where members of New York's Bravest will rescue Saint Nick from the roof of the Fire...

    Enter for a chance to win the entire Putumayo Kids Collection

    Fri Dec 11

    We adore those viral videos of babes shaking their diaper-clad booties to Beyonc, so this Putumayo Kids contest is right up our alley. Through December 30th, the world music brand is hosting a dance-off for their little fans. Send in a video of your kid getting down to any Putumayo Kids song, and you could win the entire collection of discs, including the brand-new A Family Christmas . Get ready to be creative: categories include silliest, best costume, best choreography, best use of song and most global. See website for details on how to enter.

    See a funky lighting ceremony in McCarren Park on Sunday

    Fri Dec 11

    Looking for something more offbeat than the usual Christmas tree illuminations ? Then head to Greenpoint's McCarren Park this Sunday at 6pm when the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition lights up artist Jason Krugman's Living Objects , which consists of three surreal sculptures of humanoid figures. From the preview image, it looks like something that will genuinely instill cheer in viewers of all ages. Don't forget to bundle up!

    Keep the kids busy over break at a holiday mini-camp

    Fri Dec 11

    Stressing about what to do with the kids over winter break? A holiday mini-camp may be the answer (especially if you have to work!) Whatever your kid's into—art, theater or sports—there are programs for most interests. Although they're admittedly pricey, many of the camps offer pay-per-day options, so you can pick the dates that work for your schedule and budget. Be sure to register soon, as many camps fill up quickly.

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