Turkeys for Thanksgiving BAM Rose Cinemas; Nov 23–27, times vary; $14
Not that you needed an excuse to watch some of Hollywood's biggest failures, but if you catch them at BAM, you'll see them the way they were meant to be seen: by paying theatergoers. Hit the link to see which movies are playing when, but we have to recommend Southland Tales on Nov 23.
"Through the Eyes of the Homeless" Department of Homeless Services; 9am; free
By having their photographers collaborate with the city's homeless population, Heart Gallery NYC has helped create a remarkable look at the city through the eyes of the less fortunate. It's both incredible art, and a reminder of everything to be thankful for.
"Dear Christy: The Christy Brown Collection" American Irish Historical Society; Nov 23–24, noon–5pm; $10
No discredit to Daniel Day-Lewis, but My Left Foot memoirist Christy Brown's life was so incredible, it's worth looking at beyond the big-screen version. Catch this exhibition featuring never-before-seen work by the author and painter before it closes on Tuesday.
Swing Dancing and Lindy Hop Workshop Q.E.D., Queens; 6:30pm, 7:10pm; $13–$15
Start out the (short) week on a fun note at this definitely-for-beginners dance class, where you'll learn the basics of some of the Roaring Twenties' most popular dance moves. Hey, if it was good enough for Grandma, it's good enough for us.
Celebrity Autobiography Stage 72; 7pm; $40–$80 plus two-drink minimum
What's better than reading a famous person's autobiography? Seeing a comedic performer give those self-important stories the droll faux-gravitas they truly deserve. Among the funny people reading at this installment: Tony Danza, Alan Zweibel, and Tate Donovan.
Oh My Science! Videology Bar & Cinema, Brooklyn; 7pm; free
You'll laugh and learn at the same time at UCB comedian Dan Silver's lectures about all things science—from biology to ecology to psychology—accompanied by an appropriately ridiculous slide show.
Seinfeld Thanksgiving Trivia Slattery's Midtown Pub; 7pm; free with R.S.V.P.
You probably didn't get invited to Tim Whatley's pre-Thanksgiving party, so head to Midtown and see how well you and your friends fare in a battle of Seinfeldian knowledge. Bring your A-game, you hipster doofus.
Okkervil River Bowery Ballroom; 9pm; $25, at the door $30
It's your last chance (for the moment) to catch this indie-folk rock group in NYC, who—in spite of a pair of impressive recent albums—are mostly playing songs from their re-released 2005 LP, Black Sheep Boy.
Feeding NYC Pier 62; 6am–noon; free
Brighten up some of your fellow New Yorkers' Thanksgivings by helping package meals for some of the thousands of NYC families in need. It's a great way to give back—but if trekking to the West Side on a Tuesday morning doesn't work for you, you can also donate directly to the cause.
Ensemble Signal: Inventions Miller Theatre (at Columbia University); 6pm; free
Take a walk on the wild side of classical music at this UWS pop-up concert. "Percussion virtuoso" Doug Perkins will perform on objects ranging from drums to flower pots to a cello—using the latter as a percussion instrument, rather than as a stringed one. Bonus: You can drink during the show.
Maria Schneider Orchestra Jazz Standard; Nov 24–25, 7:30pm, 9:30pm; $40
Make the lead-up to Thanksgiving extra classy with a night of jazz from this Grammy Award-winning artist. Schneider's orchestra—one of the world's best jazz ensembles—brings out the nuance and beauty of her deep-yet-accessible music.
My Morning Jacket Beacon Theatre; Nov 24–25, 27–28, 8pm; $54–$65
The indie rock band comes to the Upper West Side for four nights to celebrate and promote their seventh album, The Waterfall. Joining them will be a series of guests, including Woods on Nov 24 and Cass McCombs on Nov 27.
Mayhem + Watain + Rotting Christ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 8pm; $30
Norway heavy-metal band Mayhem has been rocking hard for three decades, through some serious trials and tribulations—suicide and intra-band murder among them. Nonetheless, the current lineup—touring in support of their 2014 release, Esoteric Warfare—will get your head banging like few groups can.
Stevie Wonder Madison Square Garden; 8pm; $49.50–$165
The man, the myth, the living legend, Stevie Wonder ascends to the MSG stage for a one-night-only trip through his greatest hits—which means you'll probably be hoarse from singing along by the end of the show.
Thanksgiving Dinner Peoples Improv Theater; 8pm; $5
Instead of dreading the awkward conversations and uncomfortable silences that await you Thursday, get your pre-family reunion worries out of your system at this improv show, where PIT performers act out a horrible Turkey Day dinner based completely on suggestions from the audience.
Jason Moran and the Bandwagon Village Vanguard; Nov 24–29, 8:30pm, 10:30pm; $30 plus one-drink minimum
Moran is a piano prodigy; his bandmates Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits are masters of the bass and drums, respectively. Expect modernist musical magic during their week-long stay in the West Village.
Bridget Everett and the Tender Moments Joe's Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $25
Living at the intersection of singer and comedienne, Everett has opened for the likes of Amy Schumer in recent years. Watch her belt out her hilarious, TMI-laden songs now, so you can say you saw her before your friends did.
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation W 79th St at Columbus Ave; 3–10pm; free
A longtime New York City tradition, watching the great balloons come to life is now a tourist attraction as well. Pop by after dark for the best experience—the crowds have usually died down a bit, and the characters look really cool beneath the street lights.
David Morales: Lorca Madly in Love Carnegie Hall; 8pm; $38.90–$90
Flamenco-fusion master Morales and his company pay tribute (in dance, of course) to Spain and its revered poet Federico García Lorca in this one-night performance at the Manhattan institution.
Phunksgiving The Capitol Theatre, Portchester; 8pm; $30, at the door $45
Before you chow down on stuffing and mashed potatoes, give up the funk with a night of jamming out. Ska, hip-hop and, yes, funk music all collide for a night of music and dancing so exciting, you'd never normally check it out on a Wednesday...except, hey, there's no work tomorrow!
Thanksgiving Eve Party Webster Hall; 10pm; $15
We New Yorkers need no excuse to party, but we'll take any one we can get—and "Thanksgiving Eve" is as good as any. Come for the free drinks before 11:30pm (with canned food donation); stay for the tasty tunes of DJs Lady D, Doowyah and Dre Black.
ReSolute Thanksgiving Eve Baby's All Right, Brooklyn; 11pm; $20–$25
The hearty partiers behind ReSolute bring their hard-charging ways to Williamsburg for a pre-Thanksgiving night of house, dance and disco music from the talented Pachanga Boys. It will be loud; it will be fun.
NYC Pilgrim Pedal City Hall Park; 8am; $27–$35
Take advantage of the day off by hitting the pedals for this 10-mile ride through Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, complete with a pancake breakfast at a diner halfway through (hey, it's Turkey Day, eating's the name of the game). Prizes will be given out for best costume and best theme bike, so bring your creativity, too.
Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot Prospect Park, Brooklyn; 9am; free
Toss on your most breathable turkey costume or Pilgrim suit (we know you have more than one) and hit Brooklyn's backyard for this 5K challenge. If you're quick enough to win, you'll score a free pie...and a great story on how you got it when you bring it to dinner.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Through Manhattan; 9am–noon; free
The nation's most iconic Turkey Day event (Football? What's that?) passes right through your neighborhood—you really ought to go check it out. It can be tough dealing with the huddled masses crowding the route, but it's worth it to see that giant Snoopy fly by in person.
Nervous Records Presents Thanksgiving with Special Guest DJs Cielo; 10pm; $20–$25
The nice thing about eating dinner at 4pm? It leaves you even more time to party in the evening. So while most of the city lies at home on the couch, head down to MePa and burn off all those calories by dancing the night away.