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: Mark Jordan

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

    71. Keep off the chill with warming bowls of goodness at the NY Chili Fest

  • © The Cleveland Museum of Art

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

    72. Be knocked out by heavyweight realist George Bellows' works

    Pictured: George Bellows, Stag at Sharkey’s

  • Photograph: Thomas Donley

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

    73. Give to excess at the Two Boots Mardi Gras Benefit Ball

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Le Parker Meridien

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

    74. Peep elaborate creations at the Gingerbread Extravaganza

     

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

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

    75. Be spellbound by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond

     

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    76. Go nuts for this season's cocktail trend

    Pictured: The Counting Room's Two Men & the Ocean cocktail, nut liqueur, nux alpina walnut liqueur

  • Photograph: courtesy of the Broo

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

    77. Visit the Brooklyn Brainery's new space

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

    79. Take a visit to Bedford Falls

    Pictured: It's a Wonderful Life

  • Photograph: Ted Roeder

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

    79. Start 2013 with a marathon

    Pictured: Annual New Year's Day Marathon Benefit Reading

  • Photograph: Chiara Marinai

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

    80. Snack on a bag of roasted chestnuts

Photograph: Mark Jordan

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

71. Keep off the chill with warming bowls of goodness at the NY Chili Fest

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Keep off the chill with warming bowls of goodness at the NY Chili Fest

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Arm yourself with plenty of antacids before digging into the fiery bowls at this January throwdown. Competitors from nearly two dozen local restaurants battle each other to deliver the perfect meat-based chili (using dry-aged, locally raised beef supplied by Dickson’s Farmstand Meats). Wash down the grub with gratis Sam Adams beers and let your stomach rest as you listen to live country music. Session times have yet to be announced.

  1. Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave, at 16th St
  2. Sun Jan 27
More info
72

Be knocked out by heavyweight realist George Bellows' works

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

George Bellows (1882–1925) is generally considered the greatest 20th-century American realist after Edward Hopper, but this career retrospective reveals that the comparison between the two has always been an apples-to-oranges affair. While Hopper's métier was a kind of stillness that captured the anomie of urban America, Bellows's work was all about the country's rawboned dynamism—especially in his boxing scenes. This survey provides a much-needed reappraisal of one of American art's giants.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St
  2. Mon Feb 18
More info
73

Give to excess at the Two Boots Mardi Gras Benefit Ball

  • Critics choice

This jubilant mid-February bash harnesses the debaucherous atmosphere of the yearly N’awlins fete to raise money for the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Details have yet to be announced, but we’re banking on elaborate costumes, a celebrity king and queen, live tunes and a dance party, plus Dixie-style edibles and plenty of booze. Visit girlsclub.org for more information.

  1. TBA
  2. TBA
74

Peep elaborate creations at the Gingerbread Extravaganza

  • Critics choice
  • Free

You may not be allowed to nibble on the confections featured in Le Parker Meridien’s annual display, but you can gawk at the sugary sculptures created by local bakeries and restaurants to benefit City Harvest. Buy a $1 ballot at the concierge desk to cast a vote for your top pick (it will also enter you in a contest for a five-night vacay).

  1. Le Parker Meridien 119 W 56th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
  2. Thu Jan 9
More info
75

Be spellbound by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond

  • Critics choice

JVB’s latest yuletide cabaret show, Snow Angel, wouldn’t sit well with either Jesus or Santa Claus, but the transgender performance icon radiates a unique brand of holiday magic. At Bond’s December residency at 54 Below, expect radically reinterpreted Christmas classics and tunes from recent records Silver Wells and Dendrophile. There’ll also be plenty of the loving-yet-barbed banter (and, reportedly, “spell casting”) that has helped cement Bond’s status as a downtown legend.

  1. 54 Below 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave, 10019
  2. Until Sun Dec 30
More info
76

Go nuts for this season's cocktail trend

  • Critics choice

Chestnuts may be roasting on open fires, but walnuts, peanuts and almonds are finding their way onto cold-weather bar menus across town. Long written off as saccharine and unsubtle, nut-based spirits are making a comeback, lending depth and complexity to new cocktails. We profiled six tipples that feature a range of specialty liqueurs—from a traditional amaretto to a centrifuge-spun pistachio orgeat—and their unique uses. Check out 2012's cold-weather drink trend: Nutty winter cocktails.

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Brooklyn Brainery

Visit the Brooklyn Brainery's new space

  • Critics choice

Nearly three years after Jen Messier and Jonathan Soma began what they call a “book club on steroids,” the learning center will move from its current Carroll Gardens storefront to a new space in Prospect Heights. Supplementing its usual roster of classes (which range from NYC history to crafting sessions), the school will operate during the day as a coworking space where freelancers can mingle.  brooklynbrainery.com

  1. 190 Underhill Ave at St. Johns Pl, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
  2. Opening mid-January
78

Take a visit to Bedford Falls

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

During the long, cold winter nights, no film raises our spirits quite like Frank Capra's 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, sets a high standard for honest bankers everywhere, and the "Pottersville" scenario practically prefigures the entire plot of Back to the Future Part II. It'll be on television more times than you can count in December, but this is one movie that needs to be seen writ large on the big screen.

  1. 323 Sixth Ave, (at 3rd St)
More info
79

Start 2013 with a marathon

  • Critics choice

You’ll probably be too hungover to count this high, but this is the 39th edition of Poetry Project’s Annual New Year's Day Marathon Benefit Reading. More than 140 writers, musicians and dancers read and perform to a standing-room-only crowd at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Proceeds from admission, and book and food stalls, fund the group’s mission to inject some classy art into the city.

  1. The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church 131 E 10th St, at Second Ave
  2. Until Thu Jan 2
More info
80

Snack on a bag of roasted chestnuts

  • Critics choice

There are just a few spots in the city where the quintessential holiday treat can be found: You'll see a couple of street carts in tourist-packed midtown (Fifth Avenue between 53rd and 55th Streets and 34th Street near Herald Square are reliable spots). We also recommend heading to Main Street near 40th Street in Flushing, Queens, where you'll find carts peddling a Chinese variety that's cooked over hot pebbles. Find a complete rundown with our guide to where to find roasted chestnuts in NYC.


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