101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

The coldest months are a time for comfort food, warm drinks and indoor pursuits. Find these and more with our rundown of the best things to do in the winter.

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  • Photograph: Alexandra Strada

    101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    11. Pet the potential Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

  • Photograph: Austin Kennedy

    101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    12. Go on a pop art pseudo–scavenger hunt on the High Line.

    Pictured: Richard Artschwager, blps

  • Photograph: Taylor Davidson

    101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    13. Join a roving sound sculpture at Phil Kline's Unsilent Night

  • 101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    14. Make for a winter wonderland at Bryant Park

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    101 things to do in New York City in the winter 2012

    15. Sip creative cocoas at City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival

  • 101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    16. Run in a new direction during the Empire State Building Run-Up

     

     

  • 101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    17. Dine out for less during Restaurant Week Winter

  • Photograph: Shawn Brackbill

    101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    18. See John Cale at BAM

  • Photograph: Francine Daveeta

    101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    19. Dress to the nines and attend the Winter Ball

  • Photograph: Spencer Ritenour

    101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

    20. Laugh at the first New York City Podfest

    Pictured: Dave Hill of Dave Hill's Pocasting Incident

Photograph: Alexandra Strada

101 things to do in the winter in New York City 2012

11. Pet the potential Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

11

Pet the potential Best in Show

  • Critics choice

As fun as they are, puppy cams and viral videos can’t compare with real-life specimens as a cuteness delivery system. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing 187 breeds and varieties at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). Seek out two breeds making their debuts this year: the floppy-eared Treeing Walker coonhound and the diminutive, scrappy Russell terrier. If you can’t score a ticket, you can still get your fix via online streaming during the day and TV coverage of the evening competitions. Visit westminsterkennelclub.org for more information.

  1. Pier 92 Hudson River, at 52nd St
  2. Until Tue Feb 12
More info
12

Go on a pop art pseudo–scavenger hunt on the High Line

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Go on a leisurely walk along the High Line and see something new. In conjunction with the Whitney’s full-scale retrospective “Richard Artschwager!”, this grandee of the art world installed blps, nine pill-shaped works along and around the elevated park. Artschwager began posting the shape in public spaces in New York in the late '60s, intending them to draw the viewer’s attention to unnoticed spaces.

  1. The High Line Washington St, at Gansevoort St
  2. Until Sun Feb 3
More info
13

Join a roving sound sculpture at Phil Kline's Unsilent Night

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The loveliest of New York parades, this annual boom-box procession has trod from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park since 1992. Bring a sound-emitting device such as a tape player (composer and founder Phil Kline will distribute a limited number of cassettes), MP3 player with speakers or iPhone (sound files and an app are available to download for free), or just show up for a gentle, holiday-stress-busting stroll immersed in Kline’s ethereal piece. The participants are wrapped in a cocoon of delicate chimes that merge with and reappear from the city’s soundscape.

  1. Washington Square Park W 4th St to Waverly Pl, between MacDougal St and University Pl
  2. Until Sat Dec 15
More info
14

Make for a winter wonderland at Bryant Park

  • Free

The holidays are everywhere, but there's a potent concentration in midtown. At its center is Citi Pond a 17,000-square-foot outdoor that's free (skate rental $14 or BYO) and open late. A 55-foot-tall Norway spruce, adorned with 30,000 LED lights and 3,000 custom-made ornaments, illuminates skaters and admirers in this magical setting. After your skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius, or browse the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park.

  1. Sixth Ave, (between 40th and 42nd Sts)
More info
15

Sip creative cocoas at City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Regress to childhood with skillfully concocted mugs of hot chocolate courtesy of this downtown canteen. Owner-mastermind Maury Rubin will serve a different flavor of his intoxicating cocoa every day during February. The lineup won’t be announced until Jan 18, but previous year’s highlights included Earl Grey Tea hot chocolate, a delicate blend with notes of bergamot, and Sunken Treasure, an indulgent cup with submerged caramel coins and chocolate truffles. Be sure to show up on Jan 31 for the opening-night party.

  1. City Bakery 3 W 18th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10003
  2. Sun Feb 1 - Sat Feb 28
More info
16

Run in a new direction during the Empire State Building Run-Up

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Horizontal movement is so last season. You want to run vertically. Fly up 86 stories in this annual (since 1978) New York Road Runners race to the top of the ESB. Competitors leave from the lobby at ten-second intervals and tread on 1,576 stairs on their way to the skyscraper's observation deck. There are two ways to nab a spot: guarantee your place by raising money for charity (visit themmrf.org for more information) or take your chances in a public lottery (register at nyrr.org before 11:59pm on Dec 17).

  1. Empire State Building 350 Fifth Ave, between 33rd and 34th Sts
  2. Until Wed Feb 5
More info
17
Le Cirque

Dine out for less during Restaurant Week Winter

  • Critics choice

Gotham’s most popular food week (which, perplexingly, can last upward of ten days—2011’s edition ran for 14 days from mid-January) continues to grow with buzzy new additions, making for one of the most delicious bargains in town. Sample more than 300 eateries’ cut-price, prix-fixe, three-course lunches and dinners—just remember to tip generously; gratuities are not included. Sign up online to be notified when reservations begin—the hottest tables fill up fast. Visit nycgo.com/restaurantweek for more information.

  1. TBA
  2. TBA
18

See John Cale at BAM

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

John Cale—cofounder of the iconic downtown band, the Velvet Underground—takes his talents to Brooklyn for a trio of shows at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House. First up is “Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico” (Jan 16), in which Cale and yet-to-be-announced artists perform songs from the late singer and muse’s catalog. (Cale collaborated with Nico on the first Velvets record and on her solo LPs, including her chilling, subdued debut, 1967’s Chelsea Girl.) After that, Cale joins the Wordless Music Orchestra for a complete performance of his sprawling, textured 1973 pop opus, Paris 1919, and tracks from his back catalog (Jan 18, 19).

  1. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Sat Jan 25
More info
19

Dress to the nines and attend the Winter Ball

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Formal attire is encouraged, but not required, at this sophisticated wingding thrown by Michael Arenella. But why would you want to go casual to a night that starts with free bubbly (well, prosecco) and includes performances by the snappy host and his Jazz Age–inspired Dreamland Orchestra, a French cabaret accordionist, and vaudevillian duo and flapper-scene fixtures Gelber & Manning? When not being entertained, nibble on hors d’oeuvres, quaff holiday cocktails, soak in the views of Central Park, sit on Santa’s knee for a vintage portrait or try to keep your top hat from falling off while doing the jitterbug on the wooden dance floor.

  1. Stone Rose Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, at Eighth Ave
  2. Sat Dec 14 - Sun Dec 15
More info
20

Laugh at the first New York City Podfest

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Capitalizing on the ongoing podcast boom, the PIT brings together some of the city's popular shows and hosts for a weekend marathon of recordings. Among those participating: Kevin Allison's RISK!, Dave Hill's Pocasting Incident, Myq Kaplan's Hang Out with Me and many, many more to be announced.

  1. Peoples Improv Theater 123 E 24th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Sat Jan 11 - Sun Jan 12
More info

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