Things to do in New York today

The day's best things to do in New York—including free and cheap activities, concerts, screenings, shows, parties and more. It's your social emergency savior.

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Free things to do today

Lemuria + Slothrust + Aspiga + The Young Leaves + Prince

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Buffalo outfit Lemuria offsets twee guy-girl vocal interplay with surprisingly tight, muscular guitar pop. Also on the bill is punky Brooklyn trio Slothrust, in which three jazz musicians celebrate loudness with furiously danceable tracks.

  1. Brooklyn Night Bazaar 165 Banker St, at Norman Ave, 11222
  2. Sat Dec 20
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Anthony Parasole + Kyle Geiger + Jon Hester + Ron Morelli + Boo Williams + A.Arias

  • Critics choice
  • Free

All the well-versed techno heads will tell you that this party is a no-brainer, and we have to agree. As the headliner, Anthony Parasole (Output, the Corner, Ostgut Ton) is enough to convince any fan of the deeper, underground sounds of electronic music. While born and raised in Brooklyn, he can easily be mistaken for a Berlin-bred Berghain resident, which really isn't too far from the truth, considering his releases under Ostgut Ton and regular bookings at Berghain/Panorama Bar. Kyle Geiger (Drumcode) and John Hester (Edec) join in the main room, while Ron Morelli (L.I.E.S.), Boo Williams (Strictly Jaz Unit) and A.Arias (Strobelight Network) play the Panther Room. Make sure to catch our favorite local party boys from FIXED—JDH & Dave P—in the Stilton House as well, as they play their last gig of the year. Oh, and did we mention that the party is free with RSVP? You're welcome.

  1. Output 74 Wythe Ave, at North 12th St, 11211
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 21
More info

El Ring

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Scenester and shutterbug Marco Ovando presides over this wrestling-themed party soundtracked by local and visiting DJs.

  1. Atlas Social Club 753 Ninth Ave, between 50th and 51st Sts, 10019
  2. Sat Dec 20
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Today's free and cheap concerts

The FlipBooKit Show

  • Free

Here at the FlipBooKit Show, the press of a button triggers a loop of charming and surreal animation—each painstakingly designed by more than 40 artists. Oh, and every book is available for purchase at Grumpy Bert’s shop and gallery.  

  1. Grumpy Bert 82 Bond St, between Atlantic Ave and State St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 28
More info

Lemuria + Slothrust + Aspiga + The Young Leaves + Prince

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Buffalo outfit Lemuria offsets twee guy-girl vocal interplay with surprisingly tight, muscular guitar pop. Also on the bill is punky Brooklyn trio Slothrust, in which three jazz musicians celebrate loudness with furiously danceable tracks.

  1. Brooklyn Night Bazaar 165 Banker St, at Norman Ave, 11222
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info

Peter Evans

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Peter Evans, a daredevil trumpet virtuoso who excels in settings ranging from chamber orchestras to gritty electroacoustic improv groups, closes out an Issue residency with a solo performance.

  1. Issue Project Room 110 Livingston St, at Boerum Pl
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info
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Today's best arts and culture

Holiday Under the Stars

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Take a break from Christmas shopping and check out Time Warner Center’s state-of-the-art holiday light display. The spectacle features a dozen 14-foot LED stars that do a colorful “dance,” flashing more than 16.7 million color mixes in time to classic yuletide tunes. You’ll be so moved, you won’t even care that you maxed out your MasterCard getting Aunt Judy that back massager she’s been wanting.

  1. Time Warner Center 10 Columbus Circle, at Broadway
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Jan 4
More info

Barneys New York holiday windows

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Walk by Barneys New York for a holiday view of fluffy woodland creatures and fantastical snow owls from the creative mind of writer and director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costume designer Catherine Martin.

  1. Barneys New York 660 Madison Ave, at 61st St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Henri Bendel holiday windows

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Henri Bendel window displays are inspired by vintage landscaping this year. In one window you'll find Louise the Elephant, a plush green fellow made of shrubbery and covered in oversize silver ornaments. Other windows will feature fountains, cobblestones, scattered camellias and all-around holiday whimsy.

  1. Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Ave, at 56th St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Thu Jan 1
More info
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Tonight's best comedy show

Me, My Mouth and I

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Me, My Mouth & I. Cherry Lane Theatre (see Off Broadway). By Joy Behar. With Behar. Running time: 1hr 40mins. No intermission. Me, My Mouth & I: In brief Comedian, actor, talk-show host and The View stalwart Joy Behar is widely and justly beloved for her good-natured, plain-talking style. Now she hits the stage with a solo account of her life and times thus far. Me, My Mouth & I: Theater review by Raven Snook Talk about punch-lining to the converted: Joy Behar’s new autobiographical solo comedy is attracting the Medicare crowd, but her insightful stories are hilarious enough to make disaffected hipsters plotz. More than a glorified stand-up routine, the show traces the septuagenarian’s entertainment aspirations from the Italian tenements of Williamsburg to ABC’s The View, with a few detours to Long Island and Hollywood. Though at times Behar strays from her theme and indulges in easy if satisfying trash talk (suck it, Elisabeth Hasselbeck), the focus is clear and the funny consistent. In addition to crack timing and smartly skewed viewpoints, Behar paints sidesplitting verbal pictures (wait until you hear about the little person on an end table) and shares fantastic behind-the-scenes tales (note: do not piss off Barbara Walters). Though Behar may not win new fans with Me, My Mouth & I—if you always thought she was a loudmouth, liberal rhymes-with-witch, she still is—acolytes should experience rapture, and hopefully won’t rupture anything from belly laughs.—Theater review by R

  1. 38 Commerce St, at Seventh Ave South
  2. $50–$60
  3. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 21
More info
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Tonight's best nightlife

Nutcracker Rouge

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

[Note: The review below is from a previous run of Nutcracker Rouge. The revived production is at XIV, Company XIV's new home in the East Village, and the current cast does not include Marisol Cabrera and Jeff Takacs.) Nutcracker Rouge. Minetta Lane Theatre (see Off Broadway). Directed and choreographed by Austin McCormick. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 50mins. One intermission. Nutcracker Rouge: In brief Austin McCormick and his risqué neobaroque dance theater Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of a classic holiday tale (adapted by Jeff Takacs), complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity. Nutcracker Rouge: Theater review by David Cote Around this time of year, the word nutcracker conjures so much innocent wonder: Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the dance of the sugarplum fairy, glitter pasties, stripper poles, comically large stuffed penises.… Oh, did I lose you there? Director-choreographer Austin McCormick has taken the Christmas staple and given it a NSFW spin. Nutcracker Rouge is the perfect hot date: a rated-R riff on the tale of Clara and an enchanted appliance—which may require batteries. Our wide-eyed heroine is now an adult named Marie Claire (Laura Careless, agog and breathing heavily), and the world she discovers is a wintry realm of half-naked dancers and acrobats, gyrating and performing physical stunts that send her into ecstasies of arousal. They get the audience riled up, too. Decked out in Zane Pihlstrom’s eye-po

  1. 428 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $65–$175
  3. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Jan 31
Buy tickets

The Slipper Room Show

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Burlesque and variety headquarters the Slipper Room provides plenty of entertainment on the weekends, attracting the cream of the city's scene for plenty of bump-and-grind fun. Shows are at 10pm and midnight; check the club's website for the (generally awesome) lineup.

  1. Slipper Room 167 Orchard St, at Stanton St
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Dec 27
More info

Le Scandal Cabaret

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Bonnie Dunn, the MC-chanteuse behind this burlesque-circuit stalwart, presides over a lively mix of stand-up, magic, acrobatics and high-concept strip. The city’s longest-running girlie revue, Le Scandal is still looking young, hot and ready to party.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs, 10036
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Dec 27
More info
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Users say

3 comments
Kerry A
Kerry A

I have a complaint: I'm an avid reader of the "Undateable" section in Time Out, where Time Out sets up two strangers on a date. Well, last week's article featured a boy who wrote extremely cruel things about his date. I understand you want people to be honest, but I can hardly support someone ripping their date to shreds publicly.

Melodie D
Melodie D

Calle 13 is doing a signing today at 6pm at El Barrio Music Center in Harlem!

Arlene
Arlene

So many different kinds of events. Not your usual touristy stuff , and free. Love this site.

Make a restaurant reservation

Tipsy Parson

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 156 Ninth Ave, between 19th and 20th Sts
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Le Bernardin

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 155 W 51st St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 10019
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Cookshop

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 156 Tenth Ave, at 20th St
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L'Apicio

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 13 E 1st St, between Bowery and Second Ave, 10003
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