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

Scissor Sundays

  • Critics choice
  • Free

JD Samson's beloved weekly tea dance features a friendly, mixed crowd grooving to tunes by a rotating cast of local and visiting DJs, plus deliciously strong drinks and gorgeous sunsets over the Hudson.

  1. Rusty Knot 425 West St, at 11th St
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 28
More info

Comedy at the Knitting Factory

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The smooth and delightfully understated Hannibal Buress introduces fellow stand-ups.

  1. Knitting Factory 361 Metropolitan Ave, at Havemeyer St
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 27
More info

Make Music Winter

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Make Music New York, which inundates public spaces with live music every June 21, now brings its magic to the winter solstice, as well. Look out for participatory musical parades on Sun 21 everywhere from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to the High Line and the West 4th Street basketball courts (where Terry Riley's In C will get a group performance). Check out makemusicny.org/winter-2014 to find out how you can play along.

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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. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 28
More info

Low Budget Sketch Show

  • Free

The New York–based Web series brings the festivities to Videology, and considers the true meaning of Christmas. Is it a huge gift budget? No! It’s some damn funny prerecorded and live sketches.

  1. Videology 308 Bedford Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11211
  2. Sun Dec 21
More info

Xi.me.na Borges-Joyful Noise

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This Venezuelan-born experimental musician doesn't use any instruments other than her own voice to create some of the strangest sounds you won't believe are from just one person. Now listen to her make seemingly normal Christmas classics sound like quirky original pieces.

  1. Pete's Candy Store 709 Lorimer St, between Frost and Richardson Sts, 11211
  2. Sun Dec 21
More info
See more of today's top concerts

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. Sun Dec 21 - 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. Sun Dec 21 - 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. Sun Dec 21 - Thu Jan 1
More info
See more of today's best arts and culture

Tonight's best comedy show

Comedy at the Knitting Factory

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The smooth and delightfully understated Hannibal Buress introduces fellow stand-ups.

  1. Knitting Factory 361 Metropolitan Ave, at Havemeyer St
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 27
More info
See more of tonight's best comedy

Tonight's best nightlife

Scissor Sundays

  • Critics choice
  • Free

JD Samson's beloved weekly tea dance features a friendly, mixed crowd grooving to tunes by a rotating cast of local and visiting DJs, plus deliciously strong drinks and gorgeous sunsets over the Hudson.

  1. Rusty Knot 425 West St, at 11th St
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 28
More info
See more of tonight's best nightlife



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

Benoit

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 60 W 55th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
Make reservation

Le Bernardin

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

Cookshop

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 156 Tenth Ave, at 20th St
Make reservation

Tipsy Parson

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