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: Paul Kolnik

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

    61. See the gold standard of Nutcrackers...

    Pictured: New York City Ballet George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

  • Photograph: Gene Schiavone

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

    62. ...and the new Nutcracker on the block

    Pictured: American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker

  • Photograph: Joel Meyerowitz

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

    63. Admire a legendary New York photographer's work

    Pictured: "Joel Meyerowitz: 50 Years of Photography"

     

  • Photograph: Christian Zaino/Dyker Heights Historical Society

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

    64. See the holiday lights in Dyker Heights on a Christmas Lights and Cannoli Tour

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

    65. Get into the spirit of the holiday season—volunteer!

     

  • Photograph: Hollis King

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

    66. Be cooler than cool (ice cold!) at the NYC Winter Jazzfest

  • Photograph: Great Performances

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

    67. Fry alongside the big boys at the Fourth Annual Latke Festival

  • Photograph: Michael Mallard

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

    68. Check out the reopened Cutting Room at Robin Byrd Show Live!

  • Photograph: Paula Court

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

    69. Explore the avant-garde at the 2013 Coil Festival

    Pictured: Inflatable Frankenstein!

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

    70. See the queen of pop hold court

    Pictured: Lady Gaga: The Born This Way Ball

Photograph: Paul Kolnik

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

61. See the gold standard of Nutcrackers...

Pictured: New York City Ballet George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

61

See the gold standard of Nutcrackers...

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

New York City Ballet continues with performances of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, with scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, costumes by Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley, after Ronald Bates. The production is a magical occasion: Along with a one-ton Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet, there's a snowstorm of blizzard proportions and a nine-foot-wide Mother Ginger (her skirt, that is). The ballet, from 1954, never grows old. Visit nycballet.com for casting.

  1. David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center) 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 63rd St
  2. Sat Dec 1 - Sun Dec 30
More info
62

...and the new Nutcracker on the block

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

American Ballet Theatre returns to BAM with Alexei Ratmansky's inventive version of The Nutcracker, in which Clara and the Nutcracker Prince grow up before our eyes—braving an ominous snowstorm—and a little mouse nearly steals the show. It's tender, witty and wise, just like Ratmansky.

  1. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Until Sun Dec 22
More info
63

Admire a legendary New York photographer's work

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Howard Greenberg Gallery mounts a two-part, career-spanning retrospective of Joel Meyerowitz, one of America’s greatest photographers. The first features the Bronx-born Meyerowitz’s witty, candid New York street shots from the ’60s and ’70s. The second focuses on his landscapes, including his seminal depictions of Cape Cod, published in Cape Light and Bay/Sky.

  1. 41 E 57th St, (between Madison and Park Aves)
  2. Part I through Dec 1; Part II Dec 7–Jan 5
More info
64

See the holiday lights in Dyker Heights

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

More than 100,000 visitors make the pilgrimage to this south Brooklyn nabe every December to see larger-than-life Christmas displays, which in past years have included massive nutcrackers, silicone Santas, and hundreds of thousands of sparkling holiday lights. For the optimum twinkly experience, sign up for Tony Muia’s Christmas Lights and Cannoli tour. The three-and-half-hour bus jaunt takes you through the ’hood’s best spectacles and ends with cannoli and hot cocoa for everyone.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Until Tue Dec 31
More info
65

Get into the spirit of the holiday season—volunteer!

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Over the past month, the outpouring of support for NYC after Hurricane Sandy has been truly heartwarming. But there’s still a lot of work to do. And if there’s a season for bolstering the well-being of your fellow New Yorkers, this is it. Check out our guide to holiday volunteering opportunities in NYC.

66

Be cooler than cool (ice cold!) at the NYC Winter Jazzfest

  • Critics choice

Stay warm in some of the Village’s coziest caverns during this annual jazztravaganza that brings more than 70 of the genre’s finest acts onstage. Catch saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and clarinetist Don Byron for lively sets, while crooners like Gregory Porter and Catherine Russell will make you want to sit back and sip another cognac. If dancing’s your game, don’t miss the James Carter Organ Trio or the genre-bending Kneebody, whose urban-inspired sounds will have more than a few pairs of feet moving. Visit winterjazzfest.com for more information.

  1. Various venues
  2. Fri Jan 10 - Sat Jan 11
More info
67

Fry alongside the big boys at the Fourth Annual Latke Festival

  • Critics choice

Indulge your craving for the ultimate Jewish comfort food at this ode to the potato pancake. Chefs from 17 local restaurants, including the Farm on Adderley, Fatty ’Cue and Veselka Bowery, descend on BAM to vie for the Ultimate Latke award, judged by a panel that includes WNYC’s Leonard Lopate and Saveur senior editor (and former TONY Food & Drink editor) Gabriella Gershenson. Wash down samples of the entries with free He’brew beer and Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee. Think you’ve got what it takes to throw down? Enter your recipe at info@ediblebrooklyn.com for a chance to compete.

  1. BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Mon Dec 15
More info
68

Check out the reopened Cutting Room at Robin Byrd Show Live!

  • Critics choice

Lie back and get comfortable as Robin Byrd, New York’s perpetually sunny cable-access bawd, lets it all hang out as the host of a weekly variety sextravaganza. In addition to Byrd’s usual complement of strippers, the show at the recently reopened Cutting Room will include comedians, musicians, burlesquers and celebrity guests. Smut with a smile and a crocheted bra? Sounds like a blue ball to us. For tickets, visit spincyclenyc.com.

  1. The Cutting Room 44 E 32nd St, between Madison Ave and Park Ave South , 10016
  2. Sat May 4 - Sat Jun 29
More info
69

Explore the avant-garde at the 2013 Coil Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The curators of P.S. 122’s eighth annual avant-garde fest aren’t afraid to take theater and dance to a weird place. January is all the richer for it, with happenings sprouting up at alt-performance venues all over the city. Highlights include Inflatable Frankenstein!, a piece inspired by Mary Shelley’s messed-up life, created by anarchic Brooklyn company Radiohole by way of English horror maven James Whale; Ruff, a new one-woman piece from Split Britches maverick Peggy Shaw; and a pair of radical Chekhov reinterpretations—Kristen Kosmas’s There There and Half Straddle’s Seagull (Thinking of you). Locations, times and prices vary; visit ps122.org for more information.

  1. 150 First Ave, (at 9th St)
  2. Thu Jan 3 - Sat Jan 19
More info
70

See the queen of pop hold court

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

It’s no secret that Gaga is a very busy pop star. She battles critics about her weight gain, feuds with Madonna and Calvin Harris, and writes songs tied to timely news events (see “No Floods,” dedicated to post-Sandy NYC)…and she tours! The Mother Monster is hitting NYC’s biggest arenas for a four-night last hurrah in support of Born This Way. The real question is, will the pop-music dominatrix go pantless or indulge us with a meat dress? Either way, expect supreme, sexed-up entertainment. Also at Madison Square Garden.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Until Thu Mar 7
More info

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