House of Yes Xmas Spectacular: Home for the Holidays House of Yes; 7pm; $35, VIP $50
Ah, nothing like the feeling of going back to the comforts and traditions of home, especially if your home was an intergalactic, sci-fi rager. Go to the House of Yes for this space-themed spectacular where the entertainment is just as likely to be dressed as rockets as they are the Rockettes, and the true meaning of Christmas is much more likely to be about aliens and trippy lights than a baby and manger. Here, it’d be best to match your ugly holiday sweater with glow-in-the-dark pants and a tinfoil Santa hat.
Muhammad Ali Exhibitions at New-York Historical Society; various times; free with museum admission
Remember the boxing icon at this pair of exhibits featuring works from two of his longtime friends. “I Am King of the World”: Photographs of Muhammad Ali by George Kalinsky features 45 intimate images taken by Madison Square Garden house photographer Kalinsky. “Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing” includes painted portraits, sketches of matches like the “Thrilla in Manila” and even works that Ali created.
Paul Winter’s 37th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration Cathedral School of St. John the Divine; 8pm; $35–$90
Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in New York City and one of the loveliest; entering its elegant confines could cheer up even the grinchiest among us. At this nonreligious celebration of the season, watch dancers and musicians reenact ancient solstice rituals for a modern audience. And rock & roll devotees, take heed: This year’s celebration also includes a tribute to Beatles producer George Martin and features the vocals of Gary Brooker, lead singer of Procol Harum.
A Reckless Christmas Carol Reckless Theatre; 7:30pm; $10
The up-and-coming improv-comedy destination Reckless Theatre presents its take on the omnipresent holiday parable. (If you think you’ve seen enough interpretations of the ghosts-change-a-grinch tale, think again.) Here’s how it works: For each of the three performances, a different improviser plays the role of Scrooge, and while the rest of the cast knows their lines, Scrooge doesn’t. If that sounds like a recurring nightmare from your drama-club days, well, meet the Ghost of Christmas Past, my friend.
Housequake: Prince Party Union Hall; 10pm; $5
Send up 2016 with a joyous tribute to the angel of pop at this party featuring nonstop Prince jams from Party Like It’s 1999’s DJ Steve Reynolds. Strap on your faux fur and puffy shirt, and get ready to scream the lyrics to “Raspberry Beret, “Cream” and songs written by the Purple One but made famous by other artists, like the Bangles’ “Manic Monday.”
Kramfust: Bushwick’s Anti-Christmas party Catland; 9pm; $15
If you get more jollies from Satan than from Santa, join these revelers who will gladly add an extra dash of spice (and liquor) to that holiday eggnog. Hosted by metaphysical boutique and spiritual specialty store Catland Books, the event kicks off with a ritual and includes live music from Espejismo, the Coven of Mima Good and more. Between sets, get your photo taken on Krampus’ lap, grab a glass of hexed cider and enjoy the bonfire.
Brooklyn Jews pre-Hanukkah Party Congregation Beth Elohim; 8pm; $15
If you’re down for the old-school shul experience with a twist, head to Shabbat dinner at Congregation Beth Elohim. Holiday tunes from jazz flautist Hadar Noiberg and her band and the 12th Night Music Klezmer Band start the night off right, with shmaltzy favorites (think latkes and doughnuts), and an open bar and a dance floor that’ll be rockin’ till late. Make new connections in the Brooklyn community while singing along to swinging covers of “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.”
Disco Duke Out Church Street Boxing; 9pm; $15, at the door $20
Rocky meets Studio 54 at this epic ’70s dance party in a boxing gym from the immersive party crew Dances of Vice. Watch stage fighters and badass burlesque titans like Essence Revealed, Jenny Rocha and Daddy Dashing Cool go at it in the ring, and boogie to disco jams courtesy of DJ Ronnie Magri. Wear your sexiest lamé, and get ready to rumble.
Morbid Anatomy Annual Krampus Party The Bell House; 8pm; $20
The Morbid Anatomy Museum and Ghoul a Go-Go return with their annual holiday soiree celebrating St. Nicholas' cloven-hooved, kid-punishing counterpart, Krampus. While all the good boys and girls wait around for a visit from ol' St. Nick, the naughty among us can sip themed drinks, compete in a costume contest, sing-along with Night of the Krampus author Matt Lake and cut loose to tunes from DJ Friese Undine. Being bad never felt so good.
Le Femme Noir Saturdays Highline Ballroom; 11pm; Free–$30
Never mind that the name of the show is hopeless, as far as French gender agreement goes. This mix of acrobatics and burlesque is aimed at those in the mood for racy entertainment. To reserve a table, call 718-916-3690.
Mama’s Bazaar Holiday Market House of Yes; 11am; free
Grab a brunch cocktail and cruise a merry holiday market that could only go down at House of Yes. While you browse textiles, fetish wear, costumes, jewelry and crafts, you can groove to beats from DJs Dropkat, Space Toast and Cindy Kim, check out multimedia installations by Annika Moller and even get your tarot read by Jezmina von Thiele.
A Roll Back, Say That Pioneer Works; 7pm; $22
Artists, writers and fans gather for a panel discussion on the influence of Lauryn Hill’s 2002 album Unplugged No. 2.0, followed by a Fugees-inspired “wine and grind” after-party.
New Wave Xmas Dance Party Rough Trade NYC; 11pm; $5
Paint that eyeliner on heavy, fry your hair, and lace up those platform boots for this New Wave rager at Rough Trade’s dance space. Go wild listening to legendary jams by Duran Duran, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure and other futurists of the ’80s and ’90s. You’re in for one hell of a morning-after selfie.
Pierce & Pierce 11th Annual All-Night 80s Holiday Dance Party The Paper Box; 9pm; $10
Couldn’t get a reservation at Dorsia? Drown your sorrows at this celebration of Huey Lewis and the News, Whitney Houston and the ’80s greats that define American Psycho. Try not to sweat through your three-piece suit, and keep those ears open for news of an after-party at Tunnel.
Jackson Heights Winter Holiday Sing-Along various locations; 7pm; free
This eighth annual, outdoor caroling procession is for those who aren’t afraid to battle the earth’s elements. That’s right—if it snows, the show still goes on, so dress accordingly! Meet at the corner of 31st Avenue and 75th St in Brooklyn before embarking on a magical night of song and peeping at holiday lights. Carolers are encouraged to bring flashlights and well-protected candles as well as any small, acoustic instruments—that is, if you can keep up with the beat!
Brooklyn Cookie Takedown The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club; noon; $20
Drown your sorrows in dough at this amateur bakeoff, where you'll be partaking in confections with oddball flavors like blue cheese and bacon—past prizes have gone to a saltine covered in fudge and caramel. “People aren’t trying to be weird as much as they’re trying to be yummy,” says Takedown founder Matt Timms. If you've got your own cookie creation to show off, you can still register on the Takedowns site.
Sunday Night Sex Talks Le Poisson Rouge; 8pm; $15
Jessie Rosen brings her L.A. series back to NYC for a night of frank storytelling, with all proceeds benefiting Planned Parenthood. At this edition, Bachelorette director Leslye Headland, The New Rules for Blondes author Selena Coppock and Yum’s the Word host Robin Gelfenbien take the mic to share tales under the theme of “Best laid plans.”
Puppies n’ Pints Howliday Bazaar Bat Haus; 11am; $10
Puppies n' Pints, the organization that throws laid-back adoption parties at bars and breweries, assembles this annual market for pet gifts. Buy accessories and goodies for your doggy companion from vendors like Doggy Chef, Malz Palz, SHED Brooklyn, Dogstr and more. And if you haven't met your four-legged soulmate yet, Sugar Mutts Rescue will be on hand with several new buddies looking for homes.
Sigd: Ethiopian Jewish Celebration Center for Jewish History/Yeshiva University Museum; 5pm; $25
Enjoy live music, try delicacies like engotcha bread with honey, and learn about the rich history of Ethiopia’s Jewish communities at this commemoration of the holiday of Sigd.