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Photograph: Courtesy Sperone Westwater GalleryWolfgang Laib, Pollen from Hazelnut
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Photograph: Laure123Deerhoof
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Photograph: Lindsey ByrnesFun.
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Photographer: Eric Harvey BrownChinatown Lunar New Year Parade

Winter events to lift you out of the doldrums

These spirit-lifting winter events will get you out of your apartment and into a cheerier state of mind.

By Rebecca Fishbein

Languishing on your couch in an old sweatshirt? Stop it! These fun winter events offer ways to warm up and keep the depressive chill at bay. Check out a sunlight-colored art installation at the Museum of Modern Art, fete the Chinese Lunar New Year, try your hand at winter sports and more.

RECOMMENDED: 50 ways to warm up in NYC

Winter Comedy Jam

Comedy Stand-up

Belly laughs are the perfect tonic for the cold-weather blues, and you’ll get plenty at this stand-up show featuring Original King of Comedy D.L. Hughley, who will churn out his trademark biting social commentary. Earthquake, Bruce Bruce, Smokey Suarez and Joe Torry also perform. 

Wolfgang Laib, Pollen from Hazelnut

Break up all that gray-sky gloom with a visit to this massive installation. The German artist will fill the floor of MoMA’s Marron Atrium with an 18-by-21-foot rectangle of hazelnut pollen—which Laib himself gathered over several decades—injecting the white room with an invigorating blast of bright yellow. Stop by to get a jolt of spring—just be sure to take a Claritin first.


Ecstatic Music Festival

You’ll hear some truly transcendent tunes at this third annual series presented by the Kaufman Music Center, which pairs classical and indie-rock musicians. My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden kicks things off with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus on Jan 25; turntable whiz DJ /rupture and avant-garde collective Zs play on Feb 2; and offbeat rock outfit Deerhoof joins Ensemble Dal Niente on Feb 20. 212-501-3330, $15–$25, festival pass $150.

Winter Jam 2013

Things to do Festivals

Last year’s celebration of all things snow-sporty was canceled due to overly warm temperatures. But this year, Gore Mountain Ski Resort will be using a snow machine to pump out the fluffy white stuff if nature doesn’t comply. Strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes, or take a complimentary snowboard lesson; if you like your sports so alt they’re fictional, you can even try your hand at Quidditch. Dog owners can bring their mutts for an off-leash run in the snow. Afterward, sample cider, apples and cheese at the Pride of New York farmers’ market.


21st Annual Hot Chocolate Festival


City Bakery is feting the season by rolling out a new hot cocoa flavor every day in February. The varieties, selected by proprietor Maury Rubin, include infusions like ginger, bourbon and “Ode to the Polar Bear.” Visit the bakery’s website for the schedule. 

Chinatown Lunar New Year

Ring in the Year of the Snake in fiery style with the Better Chinatown Society’s fest. During the first weekend (Feb 8–10), you can buy peonies, narcissi, chrysanthemums and other colorful blooms at a flower market in Sara D. Roosevelt Park (Chrystie St between Forsyth and Grand Sts). Be sure to come on Feb 10, the actual date of New Year’s, to see thousands of pyrotechnic wonders during the Firecracker Ceremony. On Feb 17, hit the streets of Chinatown once more to catch the annual parade, a smorgasbord of performance and artistry. Visit for info. Free.


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