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: Jakob N. Layman

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

    21. Go guerilla caroling after the Xmas Pop Sing-Along

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

    22. Witness caroling at its finest

    Pictured: Saint Thomas Church

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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

    23. Melt over cheese at Fondue Night

  • 24. Mull the nature of time with Christian Marclay's masterpiece The Clock

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

    25. Wave goodbye to the world in the company of John Hodgman

  • Photograph: Shahar Azran

    26. Mark Kwanzaa at the Apollo

    Pictured: Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

  • Photograph: Rhonda Dorsett

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

    27. Lift your spirits before the longest night of the year at the Winter Solstice Concert

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

    28. Wrock out at the Harry Potter Yule Ball

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Joe’s Pub

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

    29. See Sandra Bernhard pillory your idols

  • Photograph: Bailey Photography

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

    30. Take a dip with the Polar Bears in Coney Island

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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

21. Go guerilla caroling after the Xmas Pop Sing-Along

21

Go guerilla caroling after the Xmas Pop Sing-Along

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Michael Austin embraces the holiday spirit with his raucous, full-throated group karaoke series. We recommend going easy on the eggnog; there's a full night ahead of you. The action begins with classic (and subtitled) Christmas music videos for you to bellow along to, interspersed with Santa photo ops and contests to find the worst holiday sweater and the person who can perform the naughtiest rendition of "Santa Baby" (pro tip: scandalous moves won't get you disqualified). After the show's over, follow St. Nick's by-now ruddy nose on a guerrilla caroling trip that will stop in locales like High Dive, 200 Fifth and the Rock Shop to serenade the patrons. Caroling books, including traditional hymns such as "Dick in a Box," will be provided.

  1. Union Hall 702 Union St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Until Fri Dec 13
More info
22

Witness caroling at its finest

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

That time of year is upon us, the time when you can't turn a corner without tripping over a performance of Handel's Messiah. But even with a glut of options at hand,  Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys's annual performances with Concert Royal and conductor John Scott are among the finest available.

  1. St. Thomas Church 1 W 53rd St, at Fifth Ave
  2. Until Thu Dec 13
More info
23

Melt over cheese at Fondue Night

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Escape the cold with a classic Swiss meal at Chelsea's cozy Trestle on Tenth. Every Sunday through the end of February, you can order a molten blend of Emmentaler, Gruyère and Vacherin cheeses, with a crusty baguette and savory nibbles like bündnerfleisch (dried meat), speck, steamed potatoes and cornichons for dipping. Spring for a bottle of vino—chef Ralf Kuettel used to manage the Chelsea Wine Vault and brought his expertise with him.

  1. Trestle on Tenth 242 Tenth Ave, at 24th St
  2. Until Sun Feb 24
More info
24

Mull the nature of time with Christian Marclay's masterpiece The Clock

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Masterpiece isn't a word to be casually tossed around, but it's hard not to ascribe it to Marclay's 24-hour video, in which movie-land snippets of clocks and watches chronologically depict the minutes of an entire day. A musician turned artist, Marclay has long been fascinated with time, but with The Clock, he transforms literalness into metaphorical transport, examining our fascination with cinema—which Jean-Luc Godard called truth at 24 frames a second—and its entwining with our lives. For the endurance junkie, the museum offers seven opportunities to watch the piece in its entirety, beginning—aptly—on New Year’s Eve and continuing over the following three weekends.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sun Jan 20 - Mon Jan 21
Buy tickets
25

Wave goodbye to the world in the company of John Hodgman

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

We can't think of anyone we would rather witness the destruction of our world with than deranged millionaire. Hodgman welcomes the apocalypse (or, as he calls it, Ragnarok) with two shows of comedy and music, featuring performance artist Cynthia Hopkins. We recommend saying goodbye to your loved ones, then making for the later performance, where Hodgman will count down to doom—er, we mean midnight.

  1. The Bell House 149 7th St, between Second and Third Aves
  2. Until Fri Dec 21
More info
26

Mark Kwanzaa at the Apollo

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

For the sixth year, Harlem’s main stage celebrates the weeklong festival with Kwanzaa  Celebration: Regeneration Night, a song-and-dance blowout. The name of the holiday may come from Swahili, but it—and the Apollo show—pulls from the whole of African-American history and experience. Forces of Nature Dance Theatre is joined by Songhai Djeli and Flute Visions, along with Queen GodIs and children’s choirs, to illustrate and explain Kwanzaa’s seven principles. No, there won’t be a test at the end—as long as you clap a lot for the singing kids.

  1. Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave)
  2. Until Fri Dec 27
More info
27

Lift your spirits before the longest night of the year at the Winter Solstice Concert

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Springsteen isn’t the only one dancing in the dark; the Paul Winter Consort’s 33rd annual show delivers a groove-filled extravaganza leading up to the longest night of the year. Winter joins forces with West African singer and guitarist Abdoulaye Diabaté, the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, vocalist Theresa Thomason and the reunited Paul Winter Sextet to put on a spectacular program sure to brighten the cavernous Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

  1. Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th St
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Dec 20
More info
28

Wrock out at the Harry Potter Yule Ball

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Revisit the saga of the Boy Who Lived at this annual bash thrown by wizard-rock band Harry and the Potters. Fancy-dress robes are the garb of choice and magical elixirs to induce euphoria await you, along with performances from Potter Puppet Pals, the Whomping Willows and the Home Alones. A portion of each ticket will benefit the nonprofit Harry Potter Alliance (thehpalliance.org).

  1. The Bell House 149 7th St, between Second and Third Aves
  2. Until Sat Dec 21
More info
29

See Sandra Bernhard pillory your idols

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Divine Sandra is a mouthy actor, comedian and singer whose best work gives pop culture a big, sloppy kiss, while simultaneously biting it on the lip. The acerbic actor-comedian-singer returns to Joe’s Pub with her band, the Rebellious Jezebels, to further intertwine sentimentality, caustic wit, wistfulness and sarcasm—and to belt out plenty of tongue-in-cheek (or are they?) rock songs. The run culminates in a pair of New Year's eve shows.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Until Tue Dec 31
More info
30

Take a dip with the Polar Bears in Coney Island

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Meet at the Boardwalk and Stillwell Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Would you believe us if we told you a dip in the Atlantic is great for a hangover? It isn't of course, but cheering those brave—or crazy—enough to do just that will stir you from your stupor. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club's annual New Year's Day swim welcomes hundreds of swimmers, without the benefit of blubber, underfur or guard hairs, to venture out into the ocean. There's no fee or need to register, but if you're planning on taking the plunge, help the organization to raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a charity that supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Visit crowdrise.com/coneyislandpolardip to get started.

  1. Coney Island Beach Surf Ave, between Ocean Pkwy and W 37th St
  2. Thu Jan 1
More info

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