101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2011
Mark your calendar for classic holiday events, warming treats, cultural highlights and more!
Fri Dec 2 2011
Photograph: Museum of Modern Art New York
Piet Mondrian painting at MoMA
Photograph: Arielle Kaplan Photography
Sephardic Music Fest
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
Greenwich Country Club
College hoops at MSG
Photograph: Jack Mitchell
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Oscar viewing party at the Paley Center
Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher
Central Park Zoo's Tropic Zone
"Hero, Villain, Yeti" at the Rubin Museum
Photograph: Museum of Modern Art New York
Piet Mondrian painting at MoMA
71. Spend a day with Picasso, Matisse and other masters
Take refuge from the cold and hole up in the Museum of Modern Art for a day. There's plenty to keep you occupied: Start by checking out 20 of the best paintings on view, including Piet Mondrian's New York--inspired Broadway Boogie Woogie. In addition to its unparalleled holdings in 20th- and 21st-century art, the institution offers cool amenities like its plush movie theater, which presents multiple screenings throughout the day. And then, of course, there's the MoMA Design Store. Oh, did we mention that besides spending the day, you might be tempted to spend some serious money? 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400, moma.org). Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun 10:30am--5:30pm; Fri 10:30am--8pm. $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. Fri 4--8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free.
72. Celebrate Hanukkah at a global music festival
International performers will gather for this annual event celebrating the musical traditions of Sephardic Jewish culture. Beginning on the first night of Hanukkah, the fest kicks off with sets from folk-rockers Pharaoh's Daughter and Bronx-born solo artist Haale (Dec 20 at 7pm; $18). Later in the week, catch a performance from famed Israeli musician Miki Gavrielov (Dec 24 at 7pm; $25--$60). Location, time and price vary; visit sephardicfest.com for details. Dec 20--27.
73. Get in the Kwanzaa spirit at two events
The Apollo Theater celebrates the holiday with Regeneration Night (253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd [Seventh Ave] and Frederick Douglass Blvd [Eighth Ave]; 212-531-5300, apollotheater.org; Dec 30 at 7:30pm. $14--$16). Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will perform, as will trombone player Craig S. Harris. The American Museum of Natural History hosts its own Kwanzaa event (Central Park West at 79th St; 212-769-5100, amnh.org; Dec 31 noon--4pm; suggested donation $10.50--$19) with spoken-word and music performances, as well as a bazaar selling traditional crafts. Sample traditional Kwanzaa dishes, such as yassa, or roasted chicken with a citrus dressing, which will be available to buy in the food court.
74. Hunker down at a bar with games
Get your fix of Donkey Kong, Punch Out and Pac-Man at Barcade (388 Union Ave between Ainslie and Powers Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-6464, barcadebrooklyn.com), whose selection of old-school games is matched only by its impressive list of craft beers. At the pimped-out entertainment complex Greenwich Village Country Club (110 University Pl between E 12th and E 13th Sts; 212-255-8188, greenwichvillagecountryclub.com), you can play minigolf, bocce or shuffleboard while snacking on David Burke eats. For more watering holes with activities, consult our roundup of the best bars with games.
75. Grab a pair of skis and get out of town
If the freak October storm was any indication, this winter may be a snowy one. If you want to hit the slopes this season, several local sporting-goods shops organize day and weekend trips to skiing destinations. Paragon Sports ferries ski bums to New York's Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain Ski Resort (212-255-8889, paragonsports.com; dates vary; $TBA), while Emilio's Ski Shop in Queens heads to several locations in Vermont, including Okemo Mountain Resort and Stratton (718-544-0404, emiliosskishop.com; dates vary; $100). Social sports organization ZogSports also plans day trips to Belleayre in New York (Jan 21, Feb 11 at 6:15am; $130--$140) or Camelback in Pennsylvania (Feb 18 at 6:30am; $100--$175); visit zogsports.com for details on how to sign up.
76. See college hoops at MSG
NYC might not be a college-basketball town, but this season you can catch a doubleheader of bouts between NCAA titans at the Garden. As part of this year's Carquest Auto Parts Classic, the Washington Huskies take on the Duke Blue Devils, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys lineup against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave) between 31st and 33rd Sts (212-465-6741, thegarden.com). Dec 10 12pm. $35--$355.
77. Say farewell to a notable dance troupe
Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham passed away in 2009, and a year later, the company that he founded decided to disband in 2012, following a legacy tour that would take the troupe across the U.S. Its final performances in New York City happens in December: First, the company will perform a retrospective at BAM (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-636-4100, bam.org; Dec 7--10 at 7:30pm; $20--$95), including Cunningham's collaborations with Brian Eno and Radiohead. Then, the troupe moves to the Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts; 212-616-3930, armoryonpark.org; Dec 29--31 at 6:30, 9pm; $10) for six site-specific performances.
78. Don a snazzy outfit and attend an Oscar soiree
Instead of sitting on your couch and making cutting, witty comments about the disastrous fashions at the Academy Awards, do the same thing in a crowd of like-minded folks. Get the celebrity treatment at the Paley Center's viewing party (25 W 52 St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-621-6600, paleycenter.org; Feb 26 at 7pm; $20--$25), where you can pose with life-size cardboard cut-outs of celebs. Or channel your inner diva at the sixth annual Alt.Oscars (Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St between Thompson and Sullivan Sts; 212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com; Feb 26 6pm--2am; $15--$20), where, in addition to a screening of the show, you can win prizes for having the best Oscar-themed costume, or as "Best Celebrity" (throw a really massive temper tantrum during the judging, and you'll be a shoo-in).
79. Heat up (and see adorable animals) at city zoos
Take a cue from the animals—including lemurs and tamarins—who inhabit the Central Park Zoo's Tropic Zone (southeast corner of Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 64th St; 212-439-6500, centralparkzoo.com; daily 10am--4:30pm; $7--$12), a rainforest-like environment that's far warmer than the chilly outdoors. Or head to the Bronx Zoo's JungleWorld (Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx; 718-367-1010, bronxzoo.com; daily 10am--4:30pm; $14.35--$19.95), whose temperate climate mimics that of an Asian jungle.
80. Discover Tibet through comics at the Rubin Museum
Comic-book characters such as Lara Croft, Tintin and Mickey Mouse all share a similar bug for travel: Each has had a story line in Tibet. A new exhibit, "Hero, Villain, Yeti," explores the portrayal of the country through the pop-culture staple ever since a Buddhist caped crime-fighter, the Green Lama, crept onto pulp-mag pages in the 1940s. 150 W 17th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, theater-level (212-620-5000, rmanyc.org). Mon, Thu 11am--5pm; Wed 11am--7pm; Fri 11am--10pm; Sat, Sun 11am--6pm. Free. Dec 9--Jun 11.