Things to Do
Winter Wonderland Staten Island Richmond County Bank Ballpark; through Dec 23; $10 for admission, $35 for admission, 10 ride tickets and skate rental
A life-sized gingerbread house, ice rink, Santa’s workshop and a frosty snow tube slide await at Winter Wonderland Staten Island, the most immersive holiday experience in the five boroughs. Revelers of all ages will have a blast throwing snowballs, decorating cookies, watching the holiday light show and generally soaking up the festive atmosphere.
Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise Pier 62; through Dec 30; $64
Do the jingle bell rock aboard a festive holiday cruise of New York harbor. You’ll sing along to classic carols, sip hot cocoa (spiked or virgin), snack on Christmas cookies and admire the city’s sparkling skyline. ‘Tis the season!
Renegade Craft Fair Brooklyn Pop-ups Industry City; Dec 2 through Dec 17; free
Browse imaginative maker-designed goods from 150-plus creators, indulge in bites from purveyors like Yoosh's, Elements Truffles and Cryo Cream, groove to live DJ sets and attend workshops with crafty friends at this recurring market. You'll walk out with enough DIY crafts, knick-knacks and artisanal treats to take care of everyone on your shopping list, and keep a little something for yourself, too.
Double Dutch Holiday Classic Apollo Theater; Dec 3 at 1pm; tickets start at $33
The Super Bowl of the competitive jump rope world, the 26th annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic will pit teams from all over the world against each other in a quest for glory. Watch teenage competitors hop, flip and bounce over twirling ropes. Get your tickets soon: The tournament usually draws a standing-room-only crowd.
Generation Women Caveat; Dec 4; $25, VIP $70
The Regulars author Georgia Clark welcomes five women, whose ages range from their twenties to their sixties, to share personal stories. The "End of an Era" edition includes Taylor Shaw, Raeshem Nijhon, Pat Brown, Laurie Albanese, Sally Koslow and Hilma Wolitzer.
NPR’s Ask Me Another The Bell House; Dec 5; $20–$25
Put your brain to the test at this popular hour-long NPR show, in which host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge puzzle masters, audience members and special guests with brainteasers and trivia tidbits. The Mon 27 edition features special guest Jason Mraz.
Tim Burton’s live Nightmare Before Christmas Barclays Center; Dec 6, Dec 7; $35–$300
Fans of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas are in for a real treat—and it’s not leftover Halloween candy or Christmas cookies. Watch the cultish, bi-holiday film while listening to live performances from original cast members Catherine O’Hara (Sally), Ken Page (Oogie Boogie) and the Pumpkin King himself—Danny Elfman—at Barclays Center.
ORI Moonlight Market Lot 45; Dec 7; free
Peruse one-of-a-kind leather and fabric costumes, along with jewelry and art from some of Brooklyn’s most inventive creators at the winter edition of this inventive market. Shopping's not the only thing on the menu: catch mesmerizing aerial performances and enjoy musical entertainment from the Beat Kitty, Joro Boro and ILLexxandra.
New York Dog Film Festival SVA Theatre; Dec 10; $15
Finally, a film festival dedicated to the indescribable joy of seeing man's best friend on film. The fest features animated, documentary and narrative short films centered on pups, presented in two programs, "Every Dog Has His Day" and "Love Makes The World Go Round." If that doesn't make your tail wag, we don't know what will.
Santa Suit 5K Prospect Park; Dec 10; $15–$40
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, drinking and eating afterwards.
Time Out’s Ultimate Holiday Movie Series Houston Hall; Dec 10, Dec 17; $15
The holidays are coming, and so is Time Out’s first ever Ultimate Holiday Movie Series. Over three Sundays in December, we’re taking over Houston Hall in the West Village for these all-day celebrations of Christmas movies. There’ll be screenings, there’ll be drinks, and there’ll be no excuse not to round up your friends and join us at one of these fun movie parties designed to ring in the season in style.
Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; Dec 14, 15, 16; $40–$60
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.
The Xmas Pop Sing-Along Union Hall; Dec 15; $10
Wet your whistle with some complimentary milk and cookies and give the gift of your voice at this giant sing-along shindig. The big man in red himself hosts as he leads the crowds through their favorite hits by the likes of Bing Crosby, the Jackson 5 and Mariah Carey. Go all-out with your wardrobe choices: There’s a competition for both the best Santa costume and worst holiday sweater. Throw back a few Xmas cocktails like the Santa’s Sleigh, Egg Nog and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer—you’ll need the liquid courage to win the prize for being the most naughty.
Harry and the Potters: Yule Ball The Bell House; Dec 16; $20
Polish your wand and steam those dress robes: It’s time to party as if you just passed your OWLs. This themed bash, hosted by the wizard rockers Harry and the Potters, gives Muggles and nerds the chance to come together and get down. Get revved up for spilled Solo cups of Butterbeer and bespectacled Brooklynites shaking it to Potter-lovin’ bands like the Moaning Myrtles and Kwikspell.
Merry Tuba Christmas Rockefeller Plaza; Dec 17; free
Now in its 44th year, this massive musical gathering invites hundreds of tuba players to perform classic Christmas carols and crowd-pleasing songs on the ice. If you’re not a pro at circular breathing, join in on the fun by singing along to the deep horns. Though the event has spread to more than 200 cities worldwide, there’s nothing like seeing it at its home: 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Ugly Sweater Holiday Yacht Party Hornblower Cruises & Events Pier 15; Dec 19; $35
Shake the dust off your most atrocious winter attire and get ready to rock a holiday classic: the ugly sweater! Hop aboard Hornblower's luxury yacht to celebrate the wacky tradition to a backdrop of holiday tunes, winter cocktails, passed appetizers and stunning views of the NYC skyline. Round up your holiday squad, raid your grandma’s closet and join us on December 19 for the ugliest of soirées!
Hebro’s A Christmas Eve Jewbilee Slate; Dec 24; $15–$250
Not stuck at home with your parents? Then hit the dance floor with more than 1,000 gay Jews at this annual blowout. For more than a decade, Hebro’s annual ’twas-the-night-before blowout has rightfully earned its status as the place to be on Christmas Eve for the city’s Chosen dudes. Lose yourself to pop hits from DJ Nandi, and get pumped for performances by drag stars.
Christmas Eve Caroling at Washington Square Park; Dec 24; free
Croon “Silent Night” under the arch at Washington Square Park on the night before Christmas. The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will provide the melodies while you and revelers from all over the city sing in perfect (er, sort of) harmony. Don’t fret if you can’t remember all the words to “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”—there will be songbooks provided by the Washington Square Association.
New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Party Convene Conference Center; Dec 31 at 8pm; $899
Take in spectacular views of the ball drop from your perch high above in Times Square at this exclusive New Year’s Eve party at a nearby high rise. You’ll be able to see all the festivities from the 22nd floor of the glass-walled building as you enjoy the open bar, hors d'oeuvres, dinner buffet and dessert. The party also boasts a live DJ, roving magician and a photo booth complete with New Year’s props.
Purple Rain Dance Party Syndicated; Dec 31; $25
The Artist Formally known as Prince may have left the physical plane behind, but his music and influence will live on in 2018 and beyond. Throw on your three-eyed glasses and velour trenchcoat and get ready to dance the night away at this tribute, which will project 1984's Purple Rain on the wall while you get down to classics like "Raspberry Beret" and "Cream."
New Year’s Eve Luxury Dinner Cruise Chelsea Piers; Dec 31 at 8pm; $500 for a table for two
Unlike other fireworks cruises, the party onboard this luxury yacht is capped at 200 people to ensure it won’t feel crowded. Enjoy a three-course dinner, cocktails from the open bar and live DJs spinning tunes on two dance floors before the party really begins at midnight.
Food and drink
The Chocolate Expo Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island; Dec 10, $10-$20
If life is like a box of chocolates, then the self-proclaimed "largest chocolate event" in the country would be the whole damn factory. The Long Island location is worth traveling for to taste sweet morsels of cocoa in truffles, home-made fudge, slathered bacon and even chocolate-infused Brussels sprouts.
SantaCon Various locations; Dec 9, Free to participate
Love it or hate it (and if you're over the age of 24, you most certainly hate it), SantaCon is back and boozier than ever. Hide in your apartment or go out and celebrate with hoards of sloshed twenty-somethings definitely on the naughty list. The majority of the bar hopping occurs in Midtown and East Village (official route isn't released until nights before), and if you want VIP access, all donations for priority entry go to charity.
Brooklyn Cranksgiving Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Dec 2, Free to participate
Thanksgiving might be over, but that doesn't mean your charitable streak has to run dry. Bring your personal bike or a Citibike, to ride around Brooklyn gathering goods at local grocery stores for this two-wheeled food drive. The scavenger hunts culminates into a big afterparty at Starr Barr in Bushwick at 6pm.
Latke Festival Brooklyn Museum; Dec 18, $70 general admission, VIP $120
You've lighted the menorah, played dreidel and handed out gifts. Now, you've just got to scarf down some latkes. The Brooklyn Museum has you covered. Sample inventive takes on the potato pancake from NYC vendors like Veselka and Orwashers (last year's winner was Benchmark's cranberry and juniper latke with duck leg confit and spicy pickled cucumber), al while benefiting the Sylvia Center, which promotes healthy eating for children.
Food Porn Fest Shwick; Dec 16-17, $3
A lot tamer than most porn fests, this one is focused on the dining delights of NYC. Munch on food that is almost too pretty to eat (but make sure you take a pic, first) at the millennial-driven event in— where else?—a Bushwick warehouse.
Lesbo-a-GoGo The Stonewall Inn; Dec 1 through Dec 29; free
Gay ladies pack the upstairs dance floor at Stonewall for this Friday night party featuring cheap drinks with visiting guests rotating on the decks.
Yas Mama C’mon Everybody; Dec 2; $5
Hannah Lou and Horrorchata spin a delicious night of Latina bangers, featuring your favorite pop songs from Selena, Paulina Rubio and beyond. Jenn D'Role performs.
Queer/Art/Film IFC Center; Dec 4; $15
This fall's Queer/Art/Film series features monthly showings of films, followed by post-screening discussions. For the September edition, check out Rupert Everett and Colin Firth as boarding school Brits in the ’30s in the sumptuous Another Country, with an introduction by Alexander Chee.
Jackie Beat: A Gay in the Manger Laurie Beechman Theatre; Dec 8, 9, 10; $22 plus $20 minimum
Meatier, wronger and more delicious than a turducken, this comedy queen's holiday show is the one to beat. Jackie's classic carol parodies like "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Syphilis" and "Santa's Baby" are hilarious, and her powerhouse vocals are impressive. But it's her improvisations and crowd work that demonstrate what a natural-born entertainer looks like in the spotlight.
Christmas Queens Stage 48; Dec 17; $39–$69
Your season just got a lot more fabulous, thanks to the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Judge Michelle Visage hosts this live performance by some of our favorite girls from the show in support of their new album, Christmas Queens 3. Sing along to some of your favorite Christmas songs with the TV series’ veteran performers: Ginger Minj, Jinkx Monsoon, Manila Luzon, Peppermint, Phi Phi O’Hara, Sharon Needles and Thorgy Thor. There’s almost a queen for all 12 days of Christmas!
Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera Caveat; Dec 1; $15
If you think about it, history is a bit like a word in a Rick Ross rhyme: It tends to repeat itself. That’s not the only thing history and rap have in common at this hilarious show, inspired by that other hip-hop musical. Hip-hop improv group North Coast invites audience members to suggest a favorite historical figure—be it Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bea Arthur or beyond—then performs a fully improvised and factually accurate musical based on that person’s life.
STEVIE Our Wicked Lady; Dec 5; free
Is there any more appropriate venue for a Stevie Nicks-inspired show than Our Wicked Lady? Watch hosts Drew Anderson, Sam Taggart and Marcia Belsky brew bitchy comedy magic at this monthly stand-up showcase, with guests Joel Kim Booster, Farah Brook, Sonia Denis, Michael Foulk, Mitra Jouhari, Aparna Nancherla and Eudora Peterson taking the stage. Worship your new dark overlords!
Dad Jokes Only Legion; Dec 6, Dec 13; free
The dashing and droll Steven Markow invites some of the city's wittiest comics to dig into therapy, Demi Lovato lyrics, past age-inappropriate relationships and bad zingers from the family dinner table at this healing and hysterical stand-up night dedicated to dads of all forms. On Wed 6, he's joined by Mary Martin, Luke Mones, Kelly Cooper, Daniel Simonsen, Kevin Bauer, Joe Castle Baker and Please Don't Destroy. Wed 13 boasts Drew Anderson, Guy Montgomery, Drennen Quinn, Brad Howe, Julia Shiplett, Becca Kauffman, Lucas Gardner and Simple Town.
Postmen: An Hour of Sketch Comedy Union Hall; Dec 6; $6–$8
Your favorite goons are back! The guys who brought you the Holy Fuck Comedy Hour—Matt Barats, Carmen Christopher and Anthony Oberbeck—return with hilariously off-putting sketches at their delightful hour-long show. Salty diva Liza Treyger opens the show with stand-up. Count on nonstop laughs from these seasoned comics.
Comedy at Rockwood Music Hall; Dec 9; $15–$20
No topic is off-limits at this bawdy night of laughs held in a classy downtown joint. Buddies and comedic fireballs Abby Feldman and Camille Theobald and darling pianist Henry Koperski welcome a stellar lineup of stand-ups to share sets, which they then convert into totally bonkers improvised songs. This time, they invite Joyelle Johnson, Drew Michael, Nore Davis, Lance Weiss and Kenny Garcia to give them some inspiration.
Young, Hot, Sluts: A Matchmaking Show for Single People Vital Joint; Dec 9; $8
Single Blonde Failure webseries star and powerhouse performer Carly Ann Filbin hosts her own take on the dating the game, in which Brooklynites must answer audience questions IRL—and survive Filbin's peanut gallery commentary—to win and meet their match onstage.
It’s a Guy Thing Littlefield; Dec 10; $8–$10
Though each is an untouchable stage presence in her own right, the live combination of Mitra Jouhari, Patti Harrison and Catherine Cohen makes for a performance trio only rivaled by the First Wives Club—or the Sanderson Sisters. At this wicked game of silly subversion, they welcome some of their funniest male buddies to mansplain "deep" concepts to them. Proceeds benefit RAINN. Beware and behold...the original gorgons of comedy have arrived.
Cartoon Monsoon Union Hall; Dec 11; $10
We can't get enough of this silly, sweet comedy institution, which invites local comics to bring puppets, cartoons, and sketches to a Pee-Wee's Playhouse-like variety wonderland. Hosts Mary Houlihan, Joe Rumrill, Puppet (the adorable Tim Platt) and Steve DeSiena welcome Julio Torres, Mitra Jouhari and Clare O'Kane to get in on the holiday shenanigans.
Breakout Artist Comedy Series: Rosebud Baker Carolines on Broadway; Dec 12; $18
After hitting nearly every stand-up joint, festival and podcast you've heard of, pixie powerhouse Baker takes over Broadway for a night of ferocious stand-up. To open her big night, she welcomes buddies Corinne Fisher, Rob Haze and Mike Cannon. Better see her now, before she takes her act global.
Giggles N’ Cream XXI Village Lantern; Dec 12; free
Jesse Eigner returns with the twenty-first edition of his sweet free night of comedy, which combines two of our favorite things: jokes and ice cream. For this edition, he welcomes Will Watkins, Brad Stoll, Mia Faith Hammond, Connor Creagan, Sydnee Washington, Gary Vider and Ester Steinberg to the stage.
Does Annie Clark ever disappoint? (If you're wondering, the answer is not really). She hits town behind MASSEDUCTION, her fifth solo studio album as St. Vincent. According to the artist, love is "literally the only point" of the record—so expect an impassioned set.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center; through Dec 31; $29–$159
Returning to City Center for its 47th season, the beloved troupe offers a diverse selection of more than two dozen works, in different programs each night. Alvin Ailey's 1960 classic Revelations is performed on both Christmas and New Year's Eves.
Keely Garfield Dance: Perfect Piranha at the Chocolate Factory; through Dec 9; $20
British-American Garfield brings her droll, idiosyncratic spiritualism back to the Chocolate Factory in this premiere, which ranges from "ineffable strands of shady movement" to "fully articulated declarative dancing."
Ballet Hispánico at the Apollo Theater; Dec 1, 2; $10–$65
The dance company visits the Apollo with three works: Michelle Manzanales's Con Brazos Abiertos, a look at Mexican iconography; Ronald K. Brown's Espiritu Vivo, which explores the African and Latino diasporas; and Ramón Oller's Bury Me Standing, inspired by Roma history and culture.
Dances Patrelle: The Yorkville Nutcracker at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College; Dec 7–10; $65
The company offers its annual version of the holiday classic, set in 1895 New York. This year once again features guests Abi Stafford and Steven Hanna as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier; Maximilien Baud and Therese Wendler perform the Snow Pas de Deux.
Dorrance Dance at the Joyce Theatre; Dec 19–31; $26–$81
The captivating Michelle Dorrance, who won a 2015 MacArthur "genius" grant for her innovative tap work, brings her company back to the Joyce with a program that includes a world premiere and a newly extended version of her 2015 piece Myelination.
The Children at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre; through Feb 4; $60–$140
The British invasion of Broadway continues as MTC imports the Royal Court Theatre production of Lucy Kirkwood's 2016 drama, in which retired nuclear engineers in a remote cottage receive a disturbing visit from an old friend. James Macdonald directs the original London cast.
Farinelli and the King at the Belasco Theatre; Dec 5–Mar 25; $32–$167
The astounding Mark Rylance, who has been on Broadway in three previous seasons and has won a Tony Award each time, returns to star in this historical drama by Claire van Kampen. Rylance plays 18th-century Spanish king Philippe V, who seeks to cure his insomnia with help from a famous castrato.
A Room in India (Une chambre en Inde) at Park Avenue Armory; Dec 5–20; $45–$150
One of the great theater companies of the world, Ariane Mnouchkine's Paris-based Théâtre du Soleil, visits New York with an epic work that draws on Eastern and Western traditions and is performed by a multinational cast of 35. The story centers on a French troupe stranded in India after a terrorist attack.
Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation at Performing Garage; Dec 7–17; $35–$50
Wooster Group director Kate Valk offers little interpretation of the eponymous Shaker recording in this supremely gentle, austere piece. Frances McDormand, Elizabeth LeCompte, Cynthia Hedstrom, Bebe Miller and Suzzy Roche use earbuds to resing the 1976 LP, false starts and all.
Mankind at Playwrights Horizons; Dec 15–Jan 28; $39–$89
Writer-director Robert O'Hara, whose Bootycandy was a highlight of the 2014 season, returns to Playwrights Horizons with a commissioned play that imagines a future in which women have gone extinct. Anson Mount and Bobby Moreno play a couple facing an unexpected pregnancy.
The Disaster Artist
If you’re obsessed with 2003’s hypnotically inept romantic drama The Room—and its mysterious, lank-haired auteur Tommy Wiseau—go ahead and line up immediately for this loving recreation of its uneasy genesis. And if the cult of The Room eludes you? There’s still a fun time to be had here, especially for James Franco’s take on Wiseau: an eerily accurate impression based on an inscrutable guy. The Disaster Artist opens Dec 1.
The tale of notorious ice-skating flameout Tonya Harding gets a dazzlingly complex treatment—one she perhaps doesn’t deserve, but hypnotizing regardless. Anchoring the movie with spunkiness and fragility, Margot Robbie plays the disgraced athlete like a Scorsesian antihero, sharpened into a champion by an abusive upbringing, especially at the hands of the fierce Allison Janney as her take-no-shit mom. It’s a rare movie about American class warfare. I, Tonya opens Dec 8.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Will Luke train Rey as a Jedi? Will Chewie get over Han's death? Will Kylo Ren succeed in his quest to have the galaxy's most luxurious hair? All of these questions—and more—will be answered as the Star Wars saga continues with Episode VIII. The sequel couldn't be in safer hands than Looper director Rian Johnson. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens Dec 15.
Steven Spielberg’s prestige drama looks like an All the President’s Men for 2018. The director brings the story of the Pentagon Papers’ 1971 leak to life with a glorious cast (Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep) and plenty of newsroom atmosphere. And if you were waiting for Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk to step up to the dramatic big leagues—Big Screen Division—your moment has arrived. The Post opens Dec 22.
When Paul Thomas Anderson makes a new movie, you go. No other filmmaker working today packs so much thought, grandeur and sheer weirdness into the frame. And when PTA decides to reteam with his There Will Be Blood star, Daniel Day-Lewis (here playing a controlling London fashion designer in what’s rumored to be his final performance before a self-imposed “retirement”), the stakes couldn’t be higher. Phantom Thread opens Dec 25.
“Max Ernst: Beyond Painting” Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); through Jan 1, $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. For discounts, order tickets in advance at moma.org. Fri 4–8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free
One of the giants of modern art, Ernst (1891–1976) was a pioneer of both Dadaism and Surrealism. His work, distinguished by its dark, dreamlike imagery, reflected the cataclysmic changes in Europe resulting from World War I. This survey focuses on his restless experimentation with unorthodox materials.
“Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” New Museum of Contemporary Art; through Jan 21; $16, seniors $14, students $10, children under 18 free. Thu 7–9pm pay as you wish with a suggested minimum of $2
As the 2016 election demonstrated, the United States’ culture wars, and the battle over identity politics, is far from finished. With developments like the ban on transgender people in the military hanging in the air, New Museum has assembled an intergenerational roster of more than 40 contemporary artists whose works explore the perennially contested issue of gender fluidity.
“Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; through Jan 7, $25, seniors (65+) and students with valid ID $18, children under 12 free. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish. $25, seniors and students with ID $18, members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult free
The years between Beijing's Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 and the 2008 financial crises saw the rise of China as a global superpower whose emergence on the world stage was mirrored by the explosive growth of its contemporary art scene. This exhibit, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind to date, takes the measure of this period with a roundup of 150 works by more than 70 artists and art collectives from China.
“Edvard Munch: Between The Clock and The Bed” Metropolitan Museum of Art; through Feb 17, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
You scream, I scream, we all scream for The Scream, but that iconic painting was only a small part of Edvard Munch’s prodigious output, which spanned 60 years and produced many other masterpieces besides the ur image of high anxiety. You’ll find many of them among the 45 works assembled here—including seven that have never been shown in the United States.
David Hockney Metropolitan Museum of Art; through Feb 25, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
The lodestones of Hockney’s work make for unlikely pairs of opposites: London and Los Angeles; Picasso and Old Master painting. Though Hockney came up through the School of London scene during the Swinging Sixties, many of his most famous works are set in the City of Angels, where he keeps two homes. And though his compositions abound with references to the great names of Renaissance art, many of his stylistic clues are taken from Picasso. Somehow, Hockney has juggled these disparate influences, forging an aesthetic that’s all his own.