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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Vincent Desjardins

15 kick-ass things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht
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Friday 18

Gilmore Girls Party at Videology; 9:30pm; $5

Celebrate the TV show responsible for the greatest mother-and-daughter duo of all time at Videology. TV Hangover will show the best wintry episodes, paired with spiked coffee for Stars Hollow–related drinking games. Channel your Chilton smarts and study up on town troubadour bylaws and The Art of War if you want to win at trivia. But you better bring your Paris face. 

Babeland Naughty or Nice Customer Appreciation Party at Babeland; 7pm; Free

If you're looking for a cheap gift that your special someone is sure to love, Babeland's evening of oral sex tutorials and sexy holiday treats is sure to put you, er, ahead of the game. This evening of free quickie workshops (around 15 to 20 minutes each) offers a chance to get updated on going downtown. Plus, the first 15 people to come (phrasing, boom) will receive stocking stuffers—and one lucky visitor will even score $150 of adult playthings. 

The Xmas Pop Sing-Along at Union Hall; 9:30pm; $10

Drunkenly belt your way through Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and croon Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” without judgment (okay, no promises) at SecretFormula’s roaring Christmas celebration, where all the lyrics play onscreen along with your favorite pop holiday music videos. Gorge on free cookies (served with milk or booze); take a picture with Santa to send home to mom and dad; and don’t forget to enter the ugly holiday sweater contest. FYI: A special prize will be awarded to the naughtiest participant.

DTF Fridays at Atlas Social Club; 8pm; Free

The rest of the country can have TGI Fridays. NYC has DTF Fridays, a new party from Chris Ryan at this Hell's Kitchen hotspot that's more skins than potato skins. There are rotating DJs and a new theme every week.

Perfect Pussy + Big Ups + Guerilla Toss at Music Hall of Williamsburg; 8pm; $12

Three unique iterations of punk spirit turn out dense walls of distortion at this noisy Williamsburg show. Perfect Pussy, a Brooklyn-by-way-of-Syracuse noise-punk crew, headlines with its unforgettably frenetic stage presence. Connoisseurs of ’90s post-hardcore will then feel right at home with Big Ups, an equally ferocious band that embodies the tension and offbeat humor inherent to the style. And finally, don't miss spastic Bostonites Guerilla Toss who fill out the bill with their No Wave–y art punk.

Saturday 19

Santa Suit 5K at Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk; 11am; $50

If SantaCon sounds like a cool idea but you wish it involved more jogging, this is the holiday event for you. Throw on your best St. Nick suit (or some red-and-white running apparel) and hit the streets for 3.1 miles of running, walking, or at the very least shuffling alongside fellow Kringleophiles, with dancing and eating afterwards.

Santastical at The Celmente; 2pm; $20–$40

Put a little spice in your Yuletime with a trip through this zany holiday house, which offers up a very adult-themed twist on everyone's favorite Christmas traditions. There's an interactive nativity, a fake skating rink, a forest of mistletoe (now that you're old enough to not find kissing icky)—but the pièce de résistance comes at the end, when you have to choose which of the weird Santas you want to have your picture taken with. Sexy Mrs. Claus? Black Santa? Bernie Santas? Good luck deciding. 

The Yule Ball at The Bell House; 5pm; $20

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 the Potter Puppet Pals and Draco and the Malfoys. $5 of each ticket will benefit nonprofit the Harry Potter Alliance (thehpalliance.org).

Christmas Lights Tour meet at Union Square; 6pm; $50

The maxim “a little goes a long way” is not one Dyker Heights residents adhere to: Every year various homeowners in the south Brooklyn ’hood trick out their abodes with thousands of twinkly lights as well as oversize decorations (illuminated Nativity scenes, animatronic snowmen, giant nutcrackers). Get a peek at the festive homes on this bus tour, which ends with a stop at Bella Luna Pizza for hot cocoa. 

Jazz is Phish at Brooklyn Bowl; 8pm; $15–$20

Pay homage to iconic rock band Phish (without going to a muddy music festival) during this bumpin’ jive founded by brothers Adam and Matthew Chase. Jazz Is Phish (the name is a tribute to Grateful Dead cover band, Jazz Is Dead) features members from groups such as Dave Matthews Band (Jeff Coffin on sax), Pretty Lights (Scott Flynn on trombone), Victor Wooten Band (Anthony Wellington on bass) and more. You don’t have to be a born-and-bred Phish phan to enjoy this one— just somebody who loves to rock (band T-shirts optional).

Sunday 20

Shwick Holiday Market at House of Yes; 11am; Free

This Bushwick bazaar has returned with another special holiday market at House of Yes. Shop for goods from an incredible lineup of more than 40 vendors. The offerings include 3D–printed jewelry from Emaline Designs, illustrations by Jeremy Nguyen and hand-drawn graffiti stickers by GraffNames. And back by popular demand, there will be super festive photo booth, in which you and your relatives can take awkward family photos. Food will be provided by Queen of Falafel. 

Nutcracker Rouge at Minetta Lane Theatre; 8pm; $50–$175

Company XIV revives its acclaimed Nutcracker Rouge for a West Village run, injecting a little ribald into Tchaikovsky with a cast of opera singers and actors and adding some new sequences. Sixteen and over only. 

Winter Flea + Smorgasburg at Industry City; 10am; Free

When the weather gets really cold, this alfresco flea is held indoors for warmth. Don’t fret—apart from a new location in Sunset Park and an enclosed shopping space, not too much has changed. The market still hosts more than 100 vendors, including popular eateries from Smorgasburg. Remember, this is among the most visited fleas in the city, so arrive before noon to fulfill your vintage dreams.

It’s a Wonderful Life at IFC Center; Various times; $14

Sure it is, if some do-gooder guardian angel is trying to use your personal problems to earn his stupid wings. Go ahead, jump off that bridge—see what happens.

Rachel Whiteread, “Looking Out” at Luhring Augustine; Noon; Free

For more than 20 years, Whiteread has transformed the otherwise ephemeral cavities within and around objects—ranging from the undersides of chairs to the interior volumes of entire buildings—into sculptures. Using the traditional method of building a mold and filling it with plaster, cement or polyester resin, she casts voids into solid form. The results can range from ghostly to brooding, as in a series of concrete and resin windows that appear bricked up. 

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