101 things to do in New York City in the winter 2010
Wed Nov 24 2010
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41. See the ultimate caroling group
Based on 16th-century texts, Benjamin Britten's enchanting nine-song sequence, A Ceremony of Carols, sounds especially mystical when performed by the renowned St. Thomas choristers. John Rutter's more familiar Dancing Day cycle, including lively medieval dance tunes, rounds out the program. [node:120560 link=St. Thomas Church;], 1 W 53rd St at Fifth Ave (212-757-7013, saintthomaschurch.org). Dec 16 at 5:30pm; $40.
42. Celebrate the winter solstice at an epic concert
To commemorate the longest night of the year, the Paul Winter Consort stages an elaborate show of world music and dance, encompassing dance and music suites, a 28-foot solstice tree with gongs and chimes and a seven-foot-wide sun gong that ascends 12 stories above the audience. Enriching the usual array of soprano sax, cello, keyboard, bass, percussion and pipe organ will be vocals from Armenian musician Arto Tunboyaciyan and gospel singer Theresa Thomason, as well as a performance from Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. [node:118808 link=The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine;], 1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St (866-811-4111, stjohndivine.org). Dec 16, 17 at 8pm, Dec 18 at 2pm and 7:30pm; $35--$80.
43. Go sledding
Flying saucers slide even faster than you remember, so as soon as it starts to snow, go sledding! Some of our favorite spots: Central Park's famous Pilgrim Hill (near 72nd St and Fifth Ave), Riverside Park's Hippo Playground (91st St at Riverside Dr) and Cloves Lake Park, where rangers have been known to organize races (Clove Rd at Victory Blvd, Staten Island). For more info, go to nyc.gov/parks.
[node:610691 override=cck:field_caption:; override=cck:field_credits:; noterms imagecache=field_image:timeout_156x95:image:0; cck=field_caption; cck=field_credits;]44. See all the best department-store window displays
The extravagant ground-floor scenes are all worth a gander, so start at [node:119892 link=Macy's;] (151 W 34th St at Broadway; 212-695-4400, macys.com) and work your way north to [node:119866 link=Lord and Taylor;] (424 Fifth Ave between 38th and 39th Sts; 212-391-3344, lordandtaylor.com), [node:120568 link=Saks Fifth Avenue;] (611 Fifth Ave between 49th and 50th Sts; 212-753-4000, saks.com), [node:121153 link=Bergdorf Goodman;] (754 Fifth Ave between 57th and 58th Sts; 212-753-7300, bergdorfgoodman.com) and [node:118619 link=Bloomingdale's;] (1000 Third Ave at 59th St; 212-705-2000, bloomingdales.com) before wrapping up at [node:118547 link=Barneys New York;] (660 Madison Ave between 60th and 61st Sts; 212-826-8900, barneys.com).
45. Tuck into one of the city's finest cassoulets
Try this classic winter dish—a rich stew of pork belly, pork shank, dug leg confit, gizzards, Toulouse sausage, white beans and mirepoix ($29)—with a side of perfectly salted pommes frites ($7) at Alain Ducasse's French bistro [node:124652 link=Benoit;]. 60 W 55th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (646-943-7373, benoitny.com)
[node:609875 noterms imagecache=field_image:timeout_156x95:image:0; cck=field_caption; cck=field_credits;]46. Sign up for ice broomball
Winter doldrums disappear when you're sliding around ridiculously on ice, wearing sneakers and trying to push a ball with a rubber broom—so join the NYC Social Sports Club. Because you won't be the only one new to this quirky Canadian game, play is amateur and relaxed—in fact, there are two levels, "social" and "super social." Not surprisingly, drinking after the match is encouraged. (nycsocialsportsclub.com). Register by Dec 21 for the season beginning Jan 6; by Feb 17 for the season beginning Feb 24. Sign up as a team or as a solo player; five weeks $125 per person, ten weeks $250 per person.
47. Take in the "Scattered Light" installation
New media artist Jim Campbell's mesmerizing piece consists of 2,000 flickering LED bulbs that create the illusion of figures and shadows. Walk the perimeter of the park to see it glimmering from every angle, or just ogle it from the endless Shake Shack line. [node:119901 link=Madison Square Park;], Fifth Ave at 23rd St, madisonsquarepark.org. Through Feb 28; free.
48. Experience a jazz marathon
If you missed CMJ, fear not: You can hear up to 60 bands for $35 during the Winter Jazzfest. This year's lineup promises the same rock-concert energy of last year's sold-old shows, featuring Nels Cline, Charlie Hunter, Chico Hamilton, Don Byron, Dafnis Prieto, and John Medeski, among many other greats. winterjazzfest.com. Jan 7 and 8; day pass $25, weekend pass $35.
49. Take in the holiday lights
Plastic angels, a three-story Santa and mechanical reindeer are the sort of over-the-top delights that glow every year in Brooklyn. Tour the Dyker Heights Christmas lights on your own or with a group: Times Up! leads a free nighttime bike ride on December 19 (times-up.org; meet at 4:30pm in Manhattan, 5:15pm in Brooklyn), while A Slice of Brooklyn's bus tour includes a stop at the Mona Lisa Pastry Shop for cannoli (asliceofbrooklyn.com; dates and times vary; $55, children $45).
[node:609865 noterms imagecache=field_image:timeout_156x95:image:0; cck=field_caption; cck=field_credits;]50. See Elf on Broadway
While we would've been thrilled to see Will Ferrell or Zooey Deschanel bring their comedic and musical skillz to the new Broadway rendition of Elf, we realize they might be kinda busy these days. So give Sebastian Arcelus and Amy Spanger a shot, as they step into the lead roles of this festive musical adaptation of the 2003 film, directed and choreographed by The Drowsy Chaperone's Casey Nicholaw. [node:118353 link=Al Hirschfeld Theatre;], 302 45th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-239-6200, elfmusical.com). Through Jan 2. Tue 7pm; Wed 2pm; Thu 7pm; Fri 8pm; Sat 2, 8pm; Sun 3, 8pm; $39--$137.