The best things to do in NYC this week

Check out the very best things to do in NYC this week including cultural events, fun trivia nights, concerts and more
New York skyline
Photograph: Shutterstock New York skyline
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There are many incredible things to do in NYC this week, some of which are the best things to do in winter. There are plenty of cool things to do, so check out our roundup of excellent concerts art shows and hilarious comedy shows happening this week too.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in New York

Best things to do in NYC this week

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Winter Jam
Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Avila/NYC Parks and Recreation
Things to do

Central Park Winter Jam

We don’t know about you, but our inner child always appreciates a snow day. Since you can't always rely on mother nature, that’s where Central Park Winter Jam comes in. We’ve eagerly marked our calendars for the annual winter sport event located at one of the best NYC parks: Central Park. If you want to learn more about the action-packed, snow-covered affair (yes, they actually bring in a snow machine), we have all the details you need below. The NYC Parks and Recreation event includes ice-skating, sledding, snowboarding, grub and more, so get ready to join New Yorkers of all ages for one of the best things to do in winter. 

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Things to do

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

icon-location-pin The Morgan Library & Museum, Murray Hill
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All ye lovers of hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards, rejoice! The Morgan Library & Museum transforms into Middle-earth during an exhibit that showcases the work of author J.R.R. Tolkien, the creative behind beloved fantasies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The collection of artifacts are secured from the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library, Marquette University Libraries, the Morgan as well as private lenders, and includes family photographs, memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, map, manuscripts and designs covering some of the professors best work.

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Processed with VSCO with h3 preset
Photograph: Courtesy Moxy Times Square
Things to do

#TalkatMoxy: Keeping Your Sh*T Together

icon-location-pin Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square, Midtown West
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How are your 2019 resolutions coming along? Don't sweat it. If you're anything like us, you broke "Dry January" more than a week ago and have only been to the gym twice since January 1. Adversity is part of the process. To help motivate you to stick to your goals, Magic Hour at Moxy Times Square invites you to a panel led by moderator Raven Ishak (freelnace writer) and three other women who understand the struggle. Get some much-needed advice on how to keep chugging along from panelists Chrissy Rutherford (fashion editor and mental health advocate), Bianca Valle (wellness advocate, painter and real-girl model) and Alice Belle (astrologer). 

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Only Yesterday, 1991 Hotaru Okamoto - Yuko Tone
Things to do

FIAF Animation First Festival

icon-location-pin French Institute Alliance Française, Upper East Side
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The French Institute Alliance Française goes all out for its second annual animation festival, with premieres, retrospectives, workshops and more. This year's edition boasts a 20th anniversary celebration of Kirikou and the Sorceress with director Michel Ocelot and an homage screening of Only Yesterday, honoring Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata, who passed away last year. More than seventeen movies will premiere stateside, including Denis Do's Funan, along with award-winning short films from the Annecy festival, erotic shorts and thrillers. Head to exhibitions, panels and tours focusing on France's animation and virtual reality industries, particularly centered in the city of Bordeaux. Other films on the slate include White Fang, Robinson et Compagnie and a work-in-progress screening of The Swallows of Kabul. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooke Treadwell
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Vogue Knitting LIVE!

icon-location-pin New York Marriott Marquis, Midtown West
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Take your hobby to the next level at this high-fashion, high-intensity convention for thread fanatics. Attend classes on stitches, color patterns and mosaic knitting; catch runway shows; and buy yarns from around the world at the marketplace.

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Hilma af Klint The Ten Largest, No. 7., Adulthood, Group IV, 1907
Photograph: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet
Art, Contemporary art

Hilma af Klint

icon-location-pin Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side
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Art-historical reputations exist within an ocean of time, drifting along on currents of taste or rising above them like islands on the horizon. Then there are the rare cases where a career seems to wash up like a message in a bottle, precipitating a moment of wonder from the viewer. Such is the case with Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), whose work is now on view at the Guggenheim. To call this show a revelation would be selling it short: Here is a major painter who, with the exception of a 1986 group exhibition and a 2013 survey in her native Sweden, has been largely omitted from the annals of early Modernism, despite the fact that she broke through to abstraction years before the canonical names—Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich—credited with the achievement. Much of this is due to Klint being female, obviously, and in that respect, the exhibit should elevate her to the ranks of iconic role models such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama. The daughter of a Swedish naval officer, Klint began her studies at Stockholm’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1882, when very few women were admitted. There, she painted portraits and landscapes in the Impressionistic mode that was favored in fin de siècle academic circles. She continued to exhibit such work throughout her life, but behind closed doors, something extraordinary was brewing—something she kept hidden. During the late 19th century, spiritualism was in vogue, with the most fashionable teachings be

Time Out says
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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/nwclassicyacht
Things to do, Exhibitions

New York Boat Show

icon-location-pin Javits Center, Hell's Kitchen
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If your life, your love and your lady is the sea, then you'll be more than satisfied by this five-day nautical convention, which features a vast variety of yachts, sailboats and more. Plus, you'll have an opportunity to sharpen your boating skills with interactive workshops. Little ones can build their own miniature wooden vessels at the Create-a-Boat station. And for the first time, the Icon A5 Aircraft (a sports plane with wings that fold back) makes its NY Boat Show review. 

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Dianna Agron
Photograph: Courtesy Café Carlyle
Music, Cabaret and standards

Dianna Agron

icon-location-pin Café Carlyle (at the Carlyle Hotel), Lenox Hill
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Best known for playing mean-girl cheerleader and teen mom Quinn on TV's Glee, Agron returns to the Carlyle with a set of songs made famous by female singers or female-fronted bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

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Vijay Iyer Trio - Stephan Crump, Vijay Iyer, Marcus Gilmore
Photograph: Bart Babinski
Music, Jazz

Vijay Iyer

icon-location-pin Jazz Standard, Flatiron
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Trailblazing pianist Vijay Iyer, one of his generation's brightest jazz luminaries, explores jazz, pop and electronica vanguards with equal curiosity. You can hear the eclecticism throughout his impressively prolific portfolio the past few years: chamber works, a multimedia collaboration, a curatorial position as Musical Director of the Ojai Music Festival… Here he settles into a roomy residency with the fiery sextet featured on his 2017 album Far From Over (save for new additions bassist Nick Dunston bass and acclaimed drummer Tyshawn Sorey) on Jan 24–26, as well as in a smaller trio format Jan 22 and 23.

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Things to do

Shake Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos

icon-location-pin Rattle N Hum West, Hell's Kitchen
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Two piano men battle it out to prove who is truly the master of all 88 keys, with a playlist decided entirely by the audience. Whether you’re in the mood for Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera or current chart toppers, these pianists are up for the challenge. But they expect you to do your part by singing along.  And for New Year's Eve, count on a wild throwdown at Gran Morsi's Cellar, featuring a four-hour open bar. 

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Phillip Henry
Comedy

The Tea Party

icon-location-pin Vodka Soda and Bottom's Up, Hell's Kitchen
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Philip Henry invites you to get lit with a rotating cast of wild surprise guests at his bonkers variety show, which features shady reports of current events, stand-up and games with drag queens, porn stars and Broadway actors.

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Say Something Bunny!
Photograph: Courtesy Henry Chan Jr.
Theater

Say Something Bunny!

icon-location-pin UNDO Project Space, Chelsea
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Theater review by Helen Shaw When you walk into Say Something Bunny!, you enter another time. You might not notice that at first, because the brick office space where it takes place is so determinedly ordinary-looking. The small audience sits around a doughnut-shaped conference table, and as Alison S.M. Kobayashi begins her multimedia docuplay, some spectators are already paging through the scripts that have been placed in front of each chair. The text turns out to be the full transcript of a real, unlabeled 65-year-old recording that Kobayashi found hidden in an antique wire recorder: the audio relic of a teenage boy in Woodmere, Queens, enthusiastically taping two dozen family members and neighbors. Kobayashi has listened to the recording hundreds of times and has a seemingly boundless interest in the people whose voices it preserves, including amateur recordist David, mother Juliette and neighbor Bunny. She conducts us through a pair of after-dinner conversations, the first in 1952—she deduced the date from song lyrics mentioned on the wire—and the second in 1954. Aided by coauthor Christopher Allen, she pursues hints and half-heard jokes to determine who these people were and what befell them; she shows us the census records she used to find their old houses. The play unspools unhurriedly, leaving space for Kobayashi to make jokes, play short films and highlight points of historical interest. It takes a while for it to sink in that—of course—many of these vibrant people

Time Out says
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Club Cumming
Photograph: Courtesy koitz
LGBT

MARY: A Variety Show from an Unexpected Variety

icon-location-pin Club Cumming, East Village
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Once a month, Club Cumming becomes a Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli cabaret fantasia with a live band, outrageous performers and endless surprises. Leave it to hosts Frankie Sharp, Tim Young and Tyler Ashley to escort you to a queer stage paradise you never dreamed of. 

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta being greeted by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (left) and labor leader A. Philip Randolph (right) at the Pan American World Airways terminal, in New York City
Photograph: Courtesy Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Things to do, Exhibitions

"Crusader: Martin Luther King Jr."

icon-location-pin Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem
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This exhibition at the Schomburg Center features intimate, lesser-known photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including photos of his pilgrimage to India, his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance in Norway and other moments of travel, rest and celebration throughout his life. The exhibit marks the 60th anniversary of the first biography of King, Dr. L.D. Reddick's Crusader Without Violence.

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Switch N' Play
Photograph: Courtesy Elisabeth Fuchsia
LGBT

Switch N' Play

icon-location-pin National Sawdust, Williamsburg
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Brooklyn's most subversive ensemble brings their outrageous brand of drag and burlesque to National Sawdust for their annual VAMP blowout. Witness gender-obliterating, hyper-inclusive comedy and stunts from the mischievous minds of Divina GranSparkle, K.James, Miss Malice, Nyx Nocturne, Pearl Harbor, Vigor Mortis, and Zoe Ziegfeld,alongside guest artists Vander Von Odd and Miscallaneous Dom Top. 

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Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise
Photograph: Courtesy Viator
Things to do

Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise

icon-location-pin Chelsea Piers, Chelsea
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Savor a gourmet three-course meal complete with live jazz and breathtaking views of the Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey skylines on this dinner cruise.

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Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
Photograph: Courtesy Hunter Canning
Theater, Comedy

Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

icon-location-pin New World Stages, Hell's Kitchen
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Open run

Theater review by Diane Snyder For seven Harry Potter novels, the mediocrities of the Hogwarts house Hufflepuff lived in the shadow of their overachieving schoolmates. Matt Cox’s Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic gives them their due. In this funny and affectionate homage to J.K. Rowling’s world of wiz kids, Harry, Hermione and Ron take a back seat to average American wizard Wayne (Zac Moon), goth gal Megan (Julie Ann Earls) and math genius Oliver (Langston Belton), who is stuck at a school that doesn’t even teach his subject. They may not be at the top of the class, and they’re not wild about Harry, but they persevere through adversity and find power in friendship. A press release asks that the word parody be avoided in describing Puffs, but much of the show’s comedy is clearly aimed at Potterphiles. The 11 cast members play an assortment of characters, from a mumbling potions master to a squeaky house elf, and some of the jokes will be lost on those with no knowledge of the films or books. But even Potter virgins will enjoy the show’s witty wordplay and well-executed physical comedy. At times, the pacing is so frenetic that jokes can’t find a place to land, but there’s heart as well as humor here. In the past two years, Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker have shepherded their silly, subversive show from the People’s Improv Theater to Off Broadway’s New World Stages. Like its main characters, Puffs illustrates the heigh

Time Out says
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Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Photograph: Courtesy Jim Kay, Bloomsbury Publishing
Things to do

"Harry Potter: A History of Magic"

icon-location-pin New-York Historical Society | Manhattan, NY, Upper West Side
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Dive into the ancestors of the world’s most-beloved magical saga at this spectacular exhibition, which collects artifacts from the British Library, the New-York Historical Society and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. You’ll learn about the history of dragons, griffins and other essentials of Hogwarts lore, peer at rare notes and art from Rowling and illustrator Mary GrandPré, and view costumes from the current production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Brace yourself for a museum gift shop more packed than Honeydukes.

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Ikechukwu Ufomadu presents: An Evening with Ikechukwu Ufomadu
Photograph: Courtesy Marielle Solan
Theater, Experimental

The Exponential Festival 2019

icon-location-pin Various locations,
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Brooklyn's very own January theater fest returns for a fourth year at locations throughout the borough, including the Brick, Chez Bushwick, CPR, The Glove, Jack, Target Margin Theater, Triskelion and Vital Joint. Among the featured artists are Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Built for Collapse, David Perez, Title: Point, Meta-Phys Ed., Gracie Gardner, Woof Nova and Hannah Kallenbach. RECOMMENDED: An inside guide to the January theater festivals in 2019

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David Robilliard, I Asked for Adonis, Not a Doughnut, 1987
Photograph: Courtesy Ortuzar Projects
Art, Contemporary art

“David Robilliard: Works 1984-1988”

icon-location-pin Ortuzar Projects, Tribeca
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A poet and an artist, Robilliard (1952–1988) was a fixture on the London art scene of the ’70s and ’80s, and had a close association with Gilbert and George, for whom he modeled. His own art featured simple, childlike line drawings of figures accompanied by sharp-witted texts that were, by turns, sardonic and plaintive. Both attitudinally and otherwise, his work had a significant impact on the YBAs. The works here are drawn from the four-year period before his death from AIDS.

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NYC events calendar

Find the best things to do all year with our NYC events calendar of the coolest events, including parades, concerts, films and art exhibits

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