Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cheap and Free New Year's Eve 2011-2012 NYC Events!

Spent all your spare cash on Christmas presents? Don't despair, the Cheap Chick is here! I've compiled a list of all the free, and cheap New Year's events and parties in the city! All of these New Year's Events are under $40! So Auld Lang Syne it into 2012!

Start Date Unknown?
New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall
From the Times Square Alliance, “Your wishes for 2012 will be added to the confetti that flutters down in the heart of Times Square on New Year's Eve! Each year people from around the globe write their wishes for the New Year on pieces of official Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti. Whether it’s a personal goal, a dream for the future or doing something for the very first time, these wishes will be posted on the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall located in the Times Square Visitor Center (7th Ave between 46th & 47th Sts). The wishes are collected at the end of the year, and added to the one ton of confetti that flutters down at midnight onto the crowd gathered in Times Square in celebration of the New Year, Free!

December 9 2011-February 5, 2012
Robert Burns and "Auld Lang Syne" Morgan Library Exhibit

From the Morgan library, “Every December 31, tens of millions of people raise their voices with friends and family in a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne," bidding farewell to the past year and looking forward to a promising new one. But how did a traditional Scots folk song—with lyrics that many people scarcely understand—emerge as one of the world's most enduring popular songs? With manuscripts and letters of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759–1796), rare printed editions, and multi-media features, this highly focused exhibition explores the origins of a song that began as an old Scots poem and air and evolved into a globally shared expression of friendship and longing.” Inc. w/ regular museum admission ($15 adults) Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: The museum is free on Friday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.!

December 28, 2011
Good Riddance Day
From the Times Square Alliance, “On December 28 from 12pm-1pm, the public is invited to the 5th Annual Good Riddance Day on the Broadway Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets. Say goodbye to your worst memory from 2011 once and for all on Good Riddance Day! Win a free trip for two to New York City to participate in this event compliments of Cintas.

December 30, 2011-January 1, 2012
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Celebrate the film's 30th anniversary w/a late-night screening of theclassic Harrison Ford blockbuster and its brand-new4K digital restoration! 12:15 a.m., IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue, at 3rd Street, $13, tkts can be purchased here: http://www.ifccenter.com/films/raiders-of-the-lost-ark/!

New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2011
Free/No Cover Events:
New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace
From the Cathedral, “The 2011 New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace is a celebration of African-American Music and the Spiritual as a place of sanctuary for all people. The centerpiece of the concert will be the oratorio A Child of our Time by the distinguished British composer Sir Michael Tippett.Featured artists will include:
UBUNTU-SHRUTI Orchestra Dessoff Symphonic Choir, Chris Shepard, Music Director Indra Thomas, Soprano Rachel Calloway, Mezzo-Soprano Sean Panikkar, Tenor Morris D. Robinson, Bass, George Mathew, Conductor and Artistic Director.” 7 p.m. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, one block east of Broadway, General Admission seats are free and open to the public!

Last Exit Bar
Celebrate New Year’s Eve, w/Miss Gemini*Ursa Major*Dolowhite! No cover, party favors and champagne toast at midnight, Last Exit Bar, 136 Atlantic Ave., free!

Ayala Champagne Tasting at Columbus Circle
Take an early sip of the bubbly to welcome in 2012! 3:00 p.m. – 6 p.m., Columbus Circle Wines & Spirits, 1802 Broadway, free!

Fireworks at Grand Army Plaza
Ring in the new year in Brooklyn with fireworks at Grand Army Plaza, just off Prospect Park! The fireworks begin at midnight, but get there early if you come by car; parking spots can be scarce. The best places for viewing are along Prospect Park's West Drive and between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street, free!

Times Square Ball Drop
Of course you can always brave the cold and stick with the tried-and-true NYC classic of watching the ball drop in Times Square with TV cameras and thousands of your best friends! Catch musical performances by Justin Bieber and Lady GaGaIt's best to get there as soon as possible; street closures start mid-afternoon, and the choicest spots are usually filled by 3pm or earlier, free! For a full schedule of events check here: http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/nye-schedule/index.aspx

Jivamuckti Yoga School 23rd Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration
Start the party off with kirtan dancing from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., and then from nine to midnight observe mauna, the practice of silence. All asana rooms will be open free to the public for individual reflection on this auspicious evening.

Times Up 12th Annual New Year’s Eve Bike Ride and After Party
Start 2012 off on wheels, two (a bike) or eight (roller skates) with a Time’s Up Bike Ride! Ride from the arch in Washington Square Park to Central Park’s Belvedere Castle. After the ride is over participants are welcome to watch the fireworks in Central Park and celebrate the New Year with music and dancing! Be sure to dress festively and bring along those noisemakers and party favors, as well as food and drinks to share! Meet at 10 p.m. under the Arch at Washington Square Park, or you can join in the ride around 10:20 p.m. at Madison Square Park, 23rd and Broadway, Flatiron side, if you’re starting out in Brooklyn, you can join the feeder ride in Williamsburg on the Brooklyn side entrance of the Wiliamsburg Bridge, and if you don’t want to ride at all, you can simply join the group at Belvedere Castleat 11:45 p.m., free!

Duke’s
Duke’s will welcome the New Year with drink specials, free Jell-O shots, and “NYC’s Best Wings,” and No Cover! Gramercy Park (99 E. 19th Street near Park Avenue South,) and Murray Hill (560 Third Avenue at 37th Street, free!

Sycamore Bar
Rock out the new year in this Ditmas Park bar w/ DJ music all night long (10 p.m. to 2 a.m., plus a late night dance party (2 a.m.-?)! No cover, and drink specials all night! 1118 Cortelyou Rd., free!

Free Concert to Usher in the New Year
"William K. Trafka, St. Bartholomew’s Director of Music and Organist will play festive works for this New Year’s celebration: A CONCERT TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR. Organ works of Bach, Howells and Planyavsky will be heard alongside transcriptions of orchestral works by Vivaldi and Walton." 11:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m., St. Bart's Church, Park Ave. at 51st St., free!

New Year's Celebration at Mug
A simple RSVP gets you into this shindig, with DJs spinning club music, a free buffet, and midnight champagne toast plus a 6 a.m. free continental breakfast! 9 p.m., Mug, 448 E 13th St, free w/RSVP (call 212-353-1011!)

Also check out this list of no-cover bars from my friends at at Time Out New York: http://newyork.timeout.com/things-to-do/641969/no-cover-bars?package=641973

$2 and up!
Need to stop and refuel in-between all your party-hopping? Then head on over to Bark Hot Dogs for their "Resolution Specials," which they'll be offering until 9:30 p.m. tonight! Specials include $2 French fries, $3 classic dogs, $5 Bark Burgers, and $4 pints of Sixpoint!

5/5/5 New Year's Eve Spectacular
Celebrating five years in business, Union Hall is keeping its New Year's Eve cover at $5! There will also be $5 drink specials, karaoke, and the chance to win an ipad2! 8 p.m., Union Hall, 702 Union Street, Park Slope, $5!

$10 and up!
New York Roadrunners Emerald Nuts Midnight Run
Get 2012 off with a running start with The New York Roadrunners Emerald Nuts Midnight Run! There will be DJ music and dancing at 10 p.m., a costume parade and contest at 11 p.m., plus fireworks and a four mile run in Central Park at midnight! Dancing and the costume contest will be held at the Central Park Bandshell, just south of the 72nd Street Transverse in Central Park, New York. The closest entrance is at Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street. For more info and registration details, go here: http://nyrr.org/races/2011/r1231x00.asp Cost: $10-$55!

Midnight showing of Jurassic Park
Nothing says New Year’s Eve like being eaten by rampaging dinosaurs! 11:59 p.m. IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave (at 3rd St) cost: $13, members: $8, seniors and children under 12: $9

Underground Rebel Bingo + Cheryl:
"The kids from the mixed-queer affair Cheryl are hosts at this sweaty year-end bacchanal, featuring feisty disco band Midnight Magic and the party people from the Underground Rebel Bingo Club. 9 p.m., $20-$25 (advance tkts are sold out, but go here to find out about secret tkts that are still available: http://eepurl.com/gGVCH or email hardcore@rebelbingo.com for special consideration. begging letters and photos of body parts welcome.

See New Year’s Eve the movie!
Why live the real New Year's Eve when you can watch an ensemble cast of pretty people celebrate for you? Check local movie listings for showtimes!

Museum of Natural History Kwanzaa celebration
From the museum website, “KWANZAA 2011! is a vibrant celebration that honors the seven principles of Kwanzaa with performances of song, dance, and spoken word and an international marketplace. This year’s event will feature storyteller Linda Humes as master of ceremonies, the dynamic African-Caribbean performing group Something Positive, Inc., and other exciting presenters.” 12:00 pm - 4:00 p.m. Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West, Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, First Floor, Free with museum admission (Suggested general admission: $19 adults, children ages two-12- $10.50)

$18
Victorian Christmas: Origins of Christmas Traditions
Discovery Walking Tours wants to take you along on a walk to learn about the local origins of Christmas! “Want to experience a new Christmas tradition in New York – something beyond the Rockettes and the Rockefeller Center tree? Go off the beaten path this holiday season by taking this walking tour through three Victorian areas--Gramercy Park, Ladies Mile, and Chelsea--exploring the Christmas traditions that emerged from each. Stops include where O. Henry wrote Gift of the Magi and where Clement Clarke Moore penned Twas the Night Before Christmas. The tour will also explore New York's role in the evolution of the modern Kris Kringle, from Washington Irvings St. Nicholas figure to Thomas Nasts jovial Santa.” 1 p.m. Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place. Cost: $18!

New York in the New Year-Historic Lower Manhattan Big Onion Walking Tour
Join Big Onion for “a wide-ranging tour exploring the history, architecture, and people of Lower Manhattan – the birthplace of New Amsterdam and now the world’s financial center. Stops could include: Trinity Church, and sites associated with 18th-century slave uprisings, J.P. Morgan, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Abbie Hoffman, and others.” 1 p.m., meet at the Front steps of the U.S. Custom House, located at Bowling Green, Cost: $18!

$20+
Deity
DJ Vinnie Campisiwil be spinning the tunes as a live broadcast of the Tmes Square ball drop plays on the TV. Toast the new year w/a complimentary glass of champagne at midnight! 9 p.m. to 4 p.m. 368 Atlantic Ave, Cost: $20! To RSVP: Email deitynyc@gmail.com

New Year’s Eve with Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra “Ring in the New Year with an unstoppable line-up of funk, soul, good vibes, and complimentary champagne at midnight!” 9p.m doors, $, 92Y Tribeca, Mainstage, 200 Hudson Street, $20 advance / $25 day of show (midnight champagne toast included!)

$25+
Hedda Lettuce’s Xanadu Sing-along
Everyone’s favorite green-headed drag queen will be hosting a screening and sing-a-long of the camp classic Xanadu starring everyone’s favorite “Let’s Get Physical” Grease Girl Olivia Newton-John “as a Greek muse who inspires a feather-haired stud to build a roller rink.” The audience will sing-a-long with Hedda to the title tune and “Magic.” The screening will be followed by a champagne toast and the live Times Square countdown on the big screen.

Village Pourhouse Downtown
Calling all beer-lovers! Come on down to the Village Pour House where the price is right, and there are more than 100 beers on tap! 9:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m. Village Pourhouse, Locations here: http://villagepourhouse.com/ $25 - $110! 21+

Drum in the New Year at Bembe
$25 gets you in the door (reduced admission after midnight), an open bar from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and a champagne toast at midnight! Bembe, 81 South Sixth Street at Berry, Williamsburg!

$30+
Murray Hill's Annual NYE Extravaganza!
From Murray Hill, “Excited to roll out all the holiday entertainment for you! This year, the NYE blow-out show moves to Knitting Factory in Brooklyn! We are taking over the joint for the entire night with performances and a jamming dance party. Get your tickets early to this fiesta to wash down 2011 and bring in the New Year!! Doors: 9:30 p.m., Show: 10:30 p.m., Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Avenue, Tkts start at $25 and can be bought here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/73783?__utma=1.783363283.1321541603.1321541603.1321541603.1&__utmb=1.1.10.1321541603&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1321541603.1.1.utmcsr=nycgo.comutmccn=(referral)utmcmd=referralutmcct=/articles/new-years-eve-concerts-2012&__utmv=-&__utmk=140490163

Golden Dragon Acrobats
A special New Year’s Eve performance of the Golden Dragon Acrobats, including a champagne toast, begins at 7pm at Queens Theater, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park theater. This thrilling troupe of death-defying acrobats includes spellbinding jugglers and eye-popping contortionists. Tickets: $32; Family 4-Pack - 4 tickets for only $100! Ttkts can be bought here: https://www.choicesecure03.net/mainapp/SectionChart.aspx?qs=oUZmsMNWKg6A8okwJju25JRawKq%252fdRDvtCbBpny80MPlfj%252b7ywyYdMuW0uKsUjxPP9CVMofHt7pgul8WHYISw8Ey3oNlu7nS

BangOn! NYC presents: Hollywood New Year's Eve!
"Featuring two main stages (electro vs vintage), four rooms, a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast, live streaming of the Times Square countdown and...*Green-screen photobooth*Hollywood look-alikes*Massive inflatables*Stilt-walking barbie dolls*The Party Dolly *Free sunglasses for early (and late) arrivals*Professional coat check*Much, much, more..." 7 p.m. to late, Party location TBD w/RSVP, tkts are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Tkts can be bought here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/217532

$35+
Gemini and Scorpio All That Glitters NYE Party
This glittery soiree will feature “Four-trombone-led funk'n'rock ensemble Po' Boys Brass Band, Mind-boggling beatbox and horns funk duo, The Hornitz, Acro-burlesque by Kinetic Architecture, Throwback disco dancing by Solid Go Go, Glamorous magician hostess Tanya Solomon, Fabulous face & body painting by Painteresse Elysabeth, and Tarot and 2011 numerology divination by Marcy Currier!”Dress code [you MUST dress to the theme/no casual attire]: all that glitters, sparkles or shines; silver/gold; 9 p.m.-5 a.m., 21+ (25+ suggested) Irondale Center, 85 S Oxford, Fort Greene, Tkts are now: $40, $50 at the door if avail, $30 after 12 a.m., and $20 after 2 a.m. and can be bought here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/214453

Mister Saturday Night Does NYE
Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin are hosting The House of Yes New Year’s party and “promise an intimate party and no waiting on a long line to get your drink on, coat check or to get rid of all the excess liquor intake (bathroom).” Cash bar. 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. House of Yes, 342 Maujer Street; Brooklyn, NY 11206; United States Tkts must be purchased in advance, are $35 and can be bought here: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?316350

New Year’s Eve Spectacular @ Carolines on Broadway
“Laugh in the New Year with a great show in the heart of Times Square at the famous Caroline's on Broadway's New Years Eve Spectacular party!” 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Caroline’s on Broadway, Broadway bet. 49th and 50th Streets, cost: $38.25, 18+!

Millennium Dance Party Hosted by Lori Brizzi
Dance the New Year away with a dance party hosted by Lori Brizzi and her team of DJs. “Admission includes light hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening and complimentary champagne at midnight along with party hats, noisemakers and a balloon drop!” 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., 8-10 pm Mixed Ballroom, 10 pm-2 am Club Style Mix, 92Y Uptown, 92nd Street and Lexington Ave., Full cash bar until 1 a.m., $35 advance/$50 door! Tkts can be bought here: http://www.92y.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=77011

17th Annual Brooklyn Bridge New Year's Eve Walk
Start out the new year with a bang as you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and view seasonal fireworks! Walks begin between 10:15 PM and 11:15 PM ending at midnight. There are 10 guides which means 10 walks with the last walk leaving at 11:15 PM. NYC’s best tour guides will lead you around the City Hall area and the Brooklyn Bridge to learn little known facts about the 19th century’s greatest technical marvel. In-person processing at the site begins at 9:45 PM. Multiple walks will be launched between 10:15 PM and 11:15 PM. If enough people come early, we may even launch at 10 PM! Meeting place: Outside McDonald's Restaurant, 160 Broadway between Liberty and Courtlandt Streets,Tkts are $40 if you pay in advance online: http://www.newyorktalksandwalks.com/cgi-bin/calendar/calendar.cgi?d=31&m=12&y=2011

After –Hours New Year’s Eve Discounts!
Everyone knows the party doesn’t end after the ball drops! Check out these after-hours deals!
Revival, 129 E 15th St, After 12:30 Admission, $10!
Lexicon, 226 E 54th St, After 12:30 Admission, $ 15
Bounce, 55 W. 21st St., After 12:30 Admission, $20!
The Lott, 55 West 21st Street, After 12:30 Admission, $20!
Slate, 54 West 21st Street, After 12:30 Admission, $20!
Empire Room, @ The Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave., After 12:30 Admission, $25!
Forum, 127 4th Ave., After 12:30 Admission, $20!
SNAP, 248 W 14th St., After 12:30 Admission, $20!
Forum, 127 4th Ave., After 12:30 Admission, $20!
Swing46, 46th Street bet. 8th and 9th Avenues, After midnight, there is no cover, or poss. only $5-$10 cover with live swing band and festive decorations!

January 1, 2012, Happy New Year!
New Year’s Historic Times Square Walking Tour With Big Onion
“Join us as we explore the vast history, architecture, theater and underworld of legendary Times Square – the Crossroads of the World. Stops could include: The New-York Public Library, Astor Hotel, Palace Theater, Sardi’s and sites associated with the Shuberts, Flo Ziegfeld, Bob Hope, Fanny Brice, and Damon Runyon.” 1 p.m., Meet at the southeast corner of 42nd Street & Sixth Avenue, at Bryant Park.


Annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim
Chill out in 2012 with the Polar Bear Club as they take their yearly dip at Coney Island! Assemble on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island. Bring warm clothes, surf boots, or old sneakers, towels and a camera! The NYC Parks Department provides changing facilities on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Swim time: 1:00 p.m. SHARP, arrive early. Of course you can always have fun watching other people freeze their asses off! Free!

38th Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Poetry Reading
This event will feature 140 Poets and performers! 3 p.m., Poetry Project, St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th Street, cost: $20, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for Poetry Project members!

New Year’s Day Open House at The Merchant’s House Museum
Come follow the centuries-old New York tradition of paying New Year’s Day calls, this year with a vintage-twist. Take a tour of the 1850s Merchant’s House Museum, retro-decked with 1950s ornaments and memorabilia, then enjoy a cup of holiday punch and canapés in the cozy period kitchen. 3 to 6 p.m., $30!

Victorian Christmas: Origins of Christmas Traditions
Discovery Walking Tours wants to take you along on a walk to learn about the local origins of Christmas! “Want to experience a new Christmas tradition in New York – something beyond the Rockettes and the Rockefeller Center tree? Go off the beaten path this holiday season by taking this walking tour through three Victorian areas--Gramercy Park, Ladies Mile, and Chelsea--exploring the Christmas traditions that emerged from each. Stops include where O. Henry wrote Gift of the Magi and where Clement Clarke Moore penned Twas the Night Before Christmas. The tour will also explore New York's role in the evolution of the modern Kris Kringle, from Washington Irving’s St. Nicholas figure to Thomas Nast’s jovial Santa.” 1 p.m. Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place Cost: $18!

Happy New Year's Day Hike
“Explore the north end of Manhattan along the Great Saunter Path. Visit Inwood Hill and Highbridge Parks. Welcome the New Year’s by walking the shores, parks of upper Manhattan. See hills, great wild parks, historical sites, shoreline on the Harlem River.” Meet at noon at the 178th St and Broadway entrance to the Port Authority Bus Terminal Information Booth. Free! For more information, call Cy A and friends, 212-663-2167, free!

Morning Bird Walk: Bring in the New Year with Birds
"Explore the Lullwater and Peninsula Nature Trails and discover the beautiful plumage and fascinating behavior of the Park’s wintering ducks as they ring in the New Year. Rain or shine. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club. 10 a.m., Prospect Park, Meet at the Audubon Center, free!

Plus MOMA, the Guggenheim, The New Museum, The Museum of Natural History, The New York Hall of of Science, The New Museum, The Museum of the Moving Image, The Times Square Discovery Exhibition Center, The Socrates Sculpture Park, and The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian are all open on New Year's Day!

Here are some ways to keep those New Year's Resolutions w/help from NYC Parks! http://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/places-to-go/new-years-resolutions?

Let me know if I've missed any cheap and free New Year's Eve events! CCintheC!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cheap Chick NYC Kwanzaa Cheap and Free Events Guide

December 15, 2011
Brooklyn
Youth Chorus Featuring Harolyn Blackwell
“The Brooklyn Youth Chorus is joined by soprano Harolyn Blackwell for a special holiday concert featuring the world premiere of a new composition based on a Langston Hughes poem.” Plus there will be several new holiday arrangements by long-time BYC friend and collaborator Joel Martin. 7:30 p.m., World Financial Center Winter Garden, 225 Liberty Street, free!

December 16, 2011
Central Park Kwanzaa Celebration
“Celebrate the harvest, family, community and culture by crafting a work inspired by nature and African art. This free public program is co-presented by the Central Park Conservancy and the Museum for African Art.” 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Central Park Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, free!

December 17, 2011
Jim Vagias Holiday Express

Take a magical train ride around the world to learn how different holidays are celebrated in different countries. Through a series of library books, children learn the celebrations behind Kwanzaa, Diwali, Solstice, Ramadan, Hanukkah and Christmas. All ages. 1 p.m. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave. Free!

December 26, 2011
Kwanzaa Crafts
Create Kwanzaa-inspired art projects inspired by the holiday! 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Central Park Chess and Checkers House Chess & Checkers House (Mid-Park at 65th), Free!

Meet the Holiday: Kwanzaa (Repeats on December 27, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.)
Kwanzaa is celebrated all around the world. Explore this African-inspire​d holiday by learning about the traditions, culture and meaning of this holiday. Create a Kwanzaa-inspire​d craft to take home. Appropriate for children ages five and under. 11:30 a.m. Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue, Free w/museum admission ($7.50)

December 27, 2011
Kinara-making
Make kinaras in the park with the Museum of African Art today! 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Central Park, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, free!

December 29, 2011
Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture
From the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, “Habari Gani? What’s the news? Celebrate Kwanzaa! Enjoy this fascinating cultural celebration and understand the principles of the Nguzo Saba. Join the millions of people around the world, who now enjoy this holiday and take home your own Kwanzaa inspired craft. Harambee! 2:30 p.m., Appropriate for children ages six and up. Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue -at St. Marks Avenue, Free w/museum admission ($7.50)

December 30, 2011
The Story of Kwanzaa
Hear how the story of how the holiday of Kwanzaa was created with The Museum of African Art. 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, free!

Kwanzaa Celebration Regeneration Night
From the Apollo Theater “The Apollo Theater celebrates Kwanzaa with the renowned and energetic New York-based dance company, Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, in an evening of dance and music honoring the principles of Kwanzaa – family, community and culture. Performers include Craig Harris and the Tailgaters Tale, Michael Wimberly, Yacuba Sissoko and members of the Harlem Children’s Zone/Forces of Nature’s Youth Academy. Hosted by WBLS personality Imhotep Gary Byrd.” 7:30 p.m., Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, tkts are $16 and can be purchased online here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/000047478B8C866B, in-person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, or by calling TicketMaster at (800) 745-3000!

December 31, 2011
Museum
of Natural History Kwanzaa Celebration
From the museum website, “KWANZAA 2011! is a vibrant celebration that honors the seven principles of Kwanzaa with performances of song, dance, and spoken word and an international marketplace. This year’s event will feature storyteller Linda Humes as master of ceremonies, the dynamic African-Caribbean performing group Something Positive, Inc., and other exciting presenters.” 12:00 pm - 4:00 p.m. Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West, Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, First Floor, Free with museum admission (Suggested general admission: $19 adults, children ages two-12- $10.50)

You can also take the opportunity to visit The African Burial Ground and The Museum of African Art!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cheap and Free NYC Hanukkah/Chanukah 2011 Events Guide!

November 22, 2011-January 16, 2012
Medieval Jewish Art in Context, Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The second in a series of installations that focus, one at a time, on masterworks of Hebrew manuscript illumination from a national or international collection. The display highlights Jewish artistic culture in the Middle Ages by presenting it alongside contemporary works of art, mostly created for Christians, from the Museum's own collection. This installment will feature the Cervera Bible, a designated National Treasure from the National Library of Portugal in Lisbon. The pages of this Hebrew Bible, one of the most splendid manuscripts of the Middle Ages, will be turned weekly, giving viewers the rare opportunity to see many of its beautiful illustrations.” Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Suggested donation of $20 a bit much? Simply tell the cashier you’d like to make a donation today and pay what you can afford!

November 25, 2011 - Jan 8 2012, " A New York Hanukkah," New York Historical Society exhibit
From the New York Historical Society, “Hanukkah lamps, or Hannukiot, are candelabra characterized by nine candle branches and used in the ritual candle-lighting associated with the celebration of Hanukkah, the festival that commemorates the 165 B.C.E. liberation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah lamps were made up of eight oil wells or candle-holders, separated from a ninth traditionally used as a shamash, or server, to light the others. These lamps remain distinct from menorahs, which generally have seven candle branches and are not associated with a specific use or holiday. Hanukkah lamps were present in European synagogues by about the 13th century, and often designed in the form of menorahs or as standing table lamps.” New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, cost: $15 for adults, kids seven-13 years old: $5, kids seven and under: Free!

Dec. 2, 2011-January 29, 2012-An Artist Remembers-Jewish Museum Exhibit
Children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak has chosen 33 Hanukkah lamps from the Jewish Museum’s collection to be displayed in the exhibit, Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, cost: adults: $12, children under 12: free! Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: The museum is free on Saturdays!

December 3-18, 2011
“The Flying
Latke”
Directed by four Flea resident Directors, Arthur Yorinks' “heart-warming tale of Chanukah celebrations, holiday dysfunction, and the miracle of a certain soaring potato pancakeis making a limited engagement run Saturday and Sunday mornings! 11 a.m. Flea Theater, TK addy, $12/ticket, Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: When you order tickets, use code BLOG5 and get $2 off your ticket!

Tuesday Dec 13, 2011
First Class Adult Education: Hanukkah
From the 92Y Uptown, “Hanukkah is one of the most popular holidays in the Jewish year, but what is its true meaning? Learn about the history, customs and philosophy of this fascinating Jewish holiday with Rabbi David Kalb.” 7:30 p.m. 92Y Uptown, Lexington Ave., at 92nd Street, tkts are $25 and can be bought here: http://www.92y.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=73833

December 14, 2011
Holiday Beer Tasting and Reading With Shmaltz Brewing Company
Join Jeremy Cowan, author of "Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah" for a reading and beer tasting! From the Strand, ”Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah is the story of how it took 13 years, extreme Jewish brewing, and circus sideshow freaks to make Shmaltz Brewing Company the international success it is today.” Schmaltz is known for its HE’BREW Coney Island Craft Lagers, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Strand Bookstore, B’way and 12th Street, buy the book or purchase a $10 Strand gift card to attend!

Thursday December 15, 2011
Tablet Magazine's “Eight Days More, a Les Misérables tribute to Hanukkah!”
This is the “stirring musical story of the courageous and honorable Judah Maccabee, relentlessly hunted by the Hellenized high priest Jason.” 7:30 p.m., 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, $20 in advance, $25 at the door, buy tkts here: http://www.92y.org/tribeca/tickets/production.aspx?pid=79497

CHERYL Does Chanukah
From the Jewish Museum, “The cat-masked artist collective throws a holiday-themed soiree!” 8 p.m., The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave at 92nd Street, Open bar with beer and wine from 8-9 p.m., c ash bar after 9 pm, $12 in advance, $15 at the door, advance tkts can be bought here: http://www.museumtix.com/program/program.aspx?vid=813&pid=5322763&pvt=jew

Saturday December 17, 2011
Major League Dreidel Tournament

If your dreidel is dry and ready bring it on down to the Major League Dreidel Tournament! Doors 6 p.m. show at 6:30 p.m., Knitting Factory, 361 Metroplitan Avenue, tkts are $10-$15 and can be bought here: http://majorleaguedreidel.com/

Menorah Horah: Hanukah Burlesque Show
See the Schlep Sisters in their Fifth annual Hanukkah Burlesque Show! Doors open at 6 p.m., Show starts at 8 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, General admission seating: $15 in advance, $20 day of show, VIP seating: $20 in advance, $25 day of show! Buy tkts here: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3931425&REFID=hl

Jim Vagias Holiday Express
Take a magical train ride around the world to learn how different holidays are celebrated in different countries. Through a series of library books, children learn the celebrations behind Kwanzaa, Diwali, Solstice, Ramadan, Hanukkah and Christmas. All ages. 1 p.m. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave. Free!

Saturday December 17–Sunday December 18, 2011
Meet
the Holiday: Let’s Celebrate Hanukkah
Celebrate those eight crazy nights at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum with food, fun, and crafts! 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m., Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave at St. Marks Ave., Free with museum admission. This event is appropriate for children ages one to five.

Sunday December 18, 2011
My Yiddishe Chanukah: A Musical feast for New York
The National Yiddish Theatre- Folksbiene will present New York music and theater acts featuring Zalmen Mlotek, Annette Ezekiel, and Alicia Jo Rabins of the Klezmer group Golem, Daniella Rabbani, Dmitri "Zisl-Yeysef" Slepovitch, and other special guests. 12 p.m. World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street, free!

Chanukah Celebration at the JCC in Manhattan
Take your whole family to the JCC to celebrate Chanukah by playing dreidel, making art, and decorating cookies! Plus enjoy a story reading by The Runaway Latkes by author Leslie Kimmelman,and a performance by The Little Maestros! 10 a.m., JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave at 76th Street, free!

Chanukah Fever with Mama Doni Band
Billed as a “holiday show for the whole family! The 92nd Street Y says, “The award-winning Mama Doni Band will get everyone dancing and singing with this concert celebrating Hanukkah! Rock out to reggae, pop and disco with songs like "La Vida Dreidel," "Chanukah Fever," "The Funky Gold Menorah” and "Latke Man!" 3 p.m., 92ndY Uptown, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, tkts are $15 and can be bought here: http://www.92y.org/Uptown/Event/Chanukah-Fever.aspx

“Latkes and Applesauce”
The Poppy Seed Players will present a musical Hanukkah revue for the whole family! The show will include a Hanukkah version of A Christmas Carol, a mother and daughter making latkes together, a parody of "American Idol," the story of "Thomas, the Shammus" and the klezmer-inspired title tune. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, $20 general admission, Three-concert Poppy Seed Players series subscription: $48! Tkts can be bought here: http://www.classictic.com/en/Poppy-Seed-Players-Latkes-Applesauce/16123/120267

Hanukkah Shofar Olive Oil Workshop at CMOM
"The Children's Museum of Manhattan is holding an olive oil press workshop in honor of Hanukkah. Try your hand at making olive oil from fresh olives with a hand press and discover why oil is important to the celebration. A great hands-on learning experience for children ages 5 and up. 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m." Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd Street, Free with admission ($11 for adults!)

Hanukkah Family Day
From the Jewish Museum, “Construct a sculptural Hanukkah menorah with funky found objects – a Jewish Museum tradition. You can also create a colorfully patterned dreidel, design a scene inspired by Ezra Jack Keats, hear live music and explore the museum’s world-famous collection of Hanukkah lamps. 12 p.m. to 4p.m., Jewish Fifth Ave. at 92nd Street, free w/museum admission ($12 for adults, children under 12, free!) For more details go here: http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/specialfamilydays

Monday December 19, 2011
BAM Latke Festival and Cook-off
Defy the potato and invent an entirely new latke! Or just make your taste buds tingle by sampling all the revolutionary creation of the professional and amateur chefs who are participating in bake-off this year! If you think you can compete against New York’s best, enter your best latke recipe. You can email your recipe to the editors of Edible Brooklyn at info@ediblebrooklyn.com. You could also win a new Breville 5-quart stand mixer! 6:30 p.m., BAM, 30 Lafayette Avenue tkts are $30 (a little out of the normal cheap chick price range, but I figure all the yummy latke consumption makes up for it!), and can be bought here: http://www.greatperformances.com/latkefest

December 20-28, 2011
Lighting of the World's Largest Menorah

Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of the world's largest menorah, with the lighting of a 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel icon. Every night during the holiday, a candle will be lit. For the Sabbath, the lighting will be at 3:30pm on Friday and 8:30pm on Saturday (on all other days, a candle will be lit at 5:30pm). Grand Army Plaza (at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, across the street from The Plaza hotel), free!

December 20-28, 2011
Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting
Each night of the holiday, the menorah will be lit and revelers can enjoy hot latkes, gifts for the children and live music! Free!

Tuesday December 20, 2011
Chanukah on Ice
Skate around a giant ice menorah as it’s lit for sixth night of Hanukkah. A light dinner, donuts and hot beverages are included in the evening's festivities. All ages. 9 p.m., Wollman Ice skating rink, 830 Fifth Ave at East Dr. Central Park, $25, children ages 3–13 $20; in advance $22, children ages 3–13 $18.

Dec 20-23 and 26-27, 4:30 pm
Hanukkah Lights with Karina and Rebecca
From the 92nd St. Y, “Join our annual Hanukkah menorah lighting in the main lobby. Bring your dancing shoes, and sing and celebrate with Hanukkah chocolate gelt.” 92nd Y Uptown, Lexington Ave. at 92nd Street, free!

Thursday December 22, 2011
Beer+Latke Celebration 92nd Y Tribeca
From the 92ndY Tribeca, “Join us for an evening of beer tasting, latke sampling, candle lighting and dreidel spinning. Brooklyn Brewery’s beer expert Dan Moss will present delicious beer pairings to compliment 92YTribeca head chef Russell Moss’s innovative and daring latke creations. Rabbi-in-Residence Dan Ain will be available for all of your "December dilemma" questions and we'll top the night off with a fierce dreidel competition and a rousing game of Hanukkah trivia led by Jewish Life intern Allison Tick.” 7 p.m., Tribeca Art Gallery, 92nd Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, Tickets are $18 advance, and $22 at the door!

December 22, 23, 26, and 27
Holiday Tour, Jewish Museum

From the museum, “Join us for a Hanukkah themed tour of the permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity, 1:15 p.m., Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, Free with museum admission ($12)!

Friday December 23, 2011
Kinsey Sicks - Oy Vey in a Manger: Christmas Carols & Other
Jewish Music
A cappella group the Kinsey Sticks perform new classics such as The Truth About Chanukah, Macaroona, and What's So Funny About Yiddish? Doors open at 6 p.m., Concert starts at 8 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, tkts $30 in advance 9and can be bought here: http://www.highlineballroom.com/bio.php?id=1968 and $35 at the door, $10 minimum per table and the full dinner menu is available.

Hanukkah Dinner with Karina and Rebecca
From the 92Y, “Light the menorah and the Shabbat candles, and eat latkes and challah to celebrate Hanukkah and Shabbat at the same time!” 6 p.m., 9ndY Uptown, 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, $10 for children, $30 for adults, Free for children under one year.

Hanukah Open Mic Night
“A dinner of latkes and applesauce will be followed by a Shabbat Service at 7 pm, then music and traditional songs, led by Rabbi Jill Hausman. The open mic from 8:30-10 includes an accompanist for participants.” Actor’s Temple, 339 West 47th Street (bet. Eighth and Ninth Avenues)

Saturday December 24, 2011
"Jewmongous"

“Singer Sean Altman celebrates his culture...with songs like "Be My Little Shabbos Goy" and "They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)." Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7 p.m., Joe's Pub - 425 Lafayette St., $20 in advance, $25 day of show!

"A Delightfully Jewish Christmas"
Join NYC's Top Jewish Comedians Ray Ellin, Lenny Marcus, MODI, Dan Naturman as they take humorous shots at that “other” big December holiday!, Doors open at 6 p.m., Show starts at 8 p.m., BB King’s, 237 West 42nd Street, Tkts are $25 in advance, $30 day of show, and can be bought here

Hanukkomedy
From 92Y Tribeca, “This night of comedy will feature Sandy Marks (HBO’s Comedy in the Park), MC Mr. Napkins (Comedy Central Records, Montreal Comedy Festival), Todd Barry (Bored to Death, The Wrestler) and Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer, Criminal Minds) Join us for laughter, merriment and the occasional dreidel joke at this extra-festive comedy show hosted by Liam McEneaney (Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!). 8 p.m., 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, Tickets $13 adv / $15 door!

Occupy Chanukah
Occupy Chanukah is a community gathering of music in the celebration of the Festival of Lights. The Hebrew word “Chanukah” translates to “"Establishing" or "Dedication". There is a tremendous uprising of a sub culture of both Jewish and Israeli influenced music in various genres including, Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Hip Hop, Pop, and Soul, that have been emerging onto the American music scene. This “Neo Jewish Rock” scene will be celebrated with the gathering of the tribes for a night of music this Chanukah on Dec 24, 2011. Two concerts will be held coast to coast as Knitting Factory-Brooklyn and The Federal in North Hollywood celebrate the season with the top music artists on the "Neo Jewish" music scene. A community-wide Menorah lighting will kick off the night at 8pm at both venues.

Saturday December 24, and Sunday December 25, 2011
The Matzo Ball

Mix and mingle at the nation’s biggest party for Jewish singles! 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., $30-$55, Various Venues, For more info and to buy tkts go here: http://nyc.letmypeoplego.com/events/ages-21-42/880-nation-s-biggest-jewish-singles-event-16-years-in-a-row-the-ball-2011-in-nyc

Sunday December 25, 2011
Christmas Day Jewish Greenwich Village Walking Tour
Join Discovery Walking Tours this Chanukah, and “discover sites of Jewish heritage and biography in the East and West Village, including the homes of Emma Lazarus, who wrote the inscription to the Statue of Liberty, and activist Emma Goldman; the Yiddish Rialto theatre district; the Hebrew Technical School, which served as an early place of apprenticeship for many Jews; the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Building; the homes of Bob Dylan and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the place where Barbra Streisand got her start; and sites associated with David Sarnoff, Billy Crystal and Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor whose anti-Semitism almost prevented Jews from remaining in Manhattan.” 12:15 p.m., Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place, $18!

I Lift My Lamp: A Statue-esque Hanukkah
Go to The Museum of Jewish Heritage for a day of homage to Emma Lazarus and the Lady of the Harbor featuring Statue-inspired crafts, tours, and films.
11 a.m. An American Tail (1986, 86 min.)
1 p.m. Saboteur (1942, 109 min.)
3 p.m. Ghostbusters II (1989, 105 min.)
12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. craft activities for ages three to ten.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Free with Museum admission ($12 for adults, $8 students and seniors)!

Klez for Kids Concert
“Clarinetist Greg Wall and his band Klezmerfest play right in the heart of the landmark Museum at Eldridge Street, encouraging kids to sing, dance and learn Yiddish. The festivities conclude with an audience-participatory shtetl wedding. 1 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street, Cost: $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $6 for children under 12!”

Macaroons Performance
The Macaroons will perform three Hanukkah concerts for families at The Jewish Museum. Families can enjoy a guitar-based sound that recalls everything from the Kinks to Queen to the Shins. The Macaroons will perform such songs as “Hurry Up and Light The Candle” and “Mezuzah.” Shows will be at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m., The Jewish Museum, Avenue at 92nd Street, $20 Adults; $15 Children, JM Family Member Prices: $17 Adults; $13 Children. Tkts can be purchased here: http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/familyconcerts. The concert is appropriate for children ages five and up.

Jewish Christmas Day LES Walking Tour
Spend the day with Big Onion on their original tour – created by them in 1991! “Stroll through more than 150 years of Jewish history on the East Side. Our tour combines historic and religious sites, politics and people of what was once the largest Jewish community in the world. Stops could include: the founding site of the B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Daily Forward building, the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue, and sites associated with Rabbi Jacob Joseph, Abraham Cahan, and Lillian Wald. 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Meet at the SW corner of Essex and Delancey Streets, in front of the American Choice Deli/Chase Bank, $18 for adults! Pay at tour.

Chinese and a Movie: "Raiders" and "Jurassic Park"
Ditch that "Christmas Story" marathon and chow down on an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet as you watch Spielberg-directed action-packed flicks! Booze will be available at the bar!(Food from 2pm until it is all gone.) Doors open at 2 p.m., 2:30pm – Raiders of the Lost Ark, 4:30pm – Jurassic Park, 92Y Tribecs, 200 Hudson Street, tkts are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and can be bought here: http://www.92y.org/Tribeca/Event/Chinese-And-A-Movie.aspx

Chanukah Party
Observe the festival of lights in Queens! Families can enjoy face painting, crafts, musical performances, and dancing. Bring your menorah for a candle lighting ceremony with other Jewish families! Apple cider and warm latkes will also be provided! 3 p.m., Astoria Center of Israel, 27-35 Crescent St between Newton and 28th Aves, Astoria, Adults: $12, children ages 6–12: $5, children under six free!

West End Synagogue Chanukah Celebration
The West End Synagogue will be hosting its own Chnukah celebration today featuring a performance by singer-songwriter Michelle Citrin (star of YouTube videos "Rosh Hashanah Girl" and "20 Things to Do with Matzah").There will also be Chanukah crafts and latkes, and chocolate gelt. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. West End Synagogue, 190 Amsterdam Ave (at 69th St.), $5 suggested donation, $18 per family. Appropriate for all ages.

From Delancey to Doughnuts: A Chanukah Walking Tour
The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy is presenting its From Delancey to Doughnuts: A Chanukah Walking Tour today! The tour starts at the LESJC Kling and Niman Family Visitor Center where the photo exhibit “If You Live in New York, displays the works of photojournalist Julian Voloj, and focuses on NYC LES Jewish community, The second stop is Congregation Kehila Kedosha Janina, a little-known host to a congregation of Romaniote Jews, and a presentation by resident scholar and museum director, Marcia Haddad Ikolomopolis. The last stop is Congregation Bnai Jacob Anshe Brzezan (Stanton Street Shul), which contains one of the few remaining examples of Mazalot (a sacred Jewish art form featuring zodiac symbols usually depicted in mural form.) The program concludes with lighting the menorah, soufganiot (doughnuts), and coffee.11 a.m. Meet at the LES JC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, 400 Grand Street between Clinton and Suffolk, Adults: $16; seniors and students: $14, $2 more the day of tour, buy tkts in advance here: http://www.nycjewishtours.org/events_calendar.htm#122511

December 27, 2011
Hanukkah Crafts
Create Hanukkah crafts in Central Park,12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Central Park, Chess & Checkers House (Mid-Park at 65th Street), free!

You can also take the opportunity to visit the Children's Galleries for Jewish Culture (http://www.cgjc.org/) and the Jewish Children's Museum (http://www.jcm.museum/!)

Ny Mag’s Hannukah Dessert Guide!
http://nymag.com/guides/holidays/hanukkah-desserts/

Hanukkah Food Guide
http://www.alwayshungryny.com/thought-for-food/entry/alwaysholidays-eight-crazy-deep-fried-nights/

Check out this latke recipe!
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/turmeric_latkes_with_applesauce.html

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cheap and Free NYC Winter Holiday Activities and Events 2011

September 09, 2011 - January 29, 2012
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, Jewish Museum Exhibit
This exhibit pays homage to children’s author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, who wrote and illustrated The Snowy Day, the first modern full-color picture book to feature an African-American protagonist that was published in 1962. “The exhibition features over 80 original works by the artist, from preliminary sketches and dummies or preparatory books, to final paintings and collages, including examples of Keats’s most introspective but less-known output inspired by Asian art and poetry. One of the spaces in the galleries will be transformed into a reading room for visitors of all ages inspired by Keats's art and stories.” Jewish Museum, Fifth Ave. at 92nd Street, adults: $12!

November 19, 2011-January 1, 2012
Holiday Film Festival at NY Botanical Garden (Fridays-Sundays)
Enjoy holiday classics and cartoon favorites. Plus, get a behind-the- scenes look at the creation of the Holiday Train Show in a PBS documentary narrated by David Hartman and featuring exclusive interviews with designer Paul Busse. For a full schedule of films go here: http://www.nybg.org/exhibitions/holiday-train-show-2011/film-festival.php

Friday, November 25, 2011 to Saturday, December 31, 2011
Miracle on 52nd Street: Holiday Highlights from Holiday Variety Specials at the Paley Center!
After seeing Miracle on 34th Street, head uptown to the Paley Center for “miracle on 52nd Street, and see clips from holiday variety shows! Rare clips include The Annie Christmas Show, with the cast of the 1977 Broadway hit; Dolly … A Down Home Country Christmas, from Dolly Parton’s short-lived series; Dinah Shore singing a Christmas song written by Judy Holliday; a tribute to Macy’s by Bob Hope; Leslie Uggams on Holiday Sing Along with Mitch; a number with Robert Morse and the cast of the 1960s musical sitcom That’s Life; and Gene Kelly hoofing with the Carpenters. Paley Center for Media, 25 West 52 Street, bet Fifth and Sixth Avenues, included with museum admission, $10 for adults! Please note that the museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For the full line-up of screenings go here: http://www.paleycenter.org/2011-fall-holiday-highlights-from-variety-specials

Monday November 28, 2011-Monday December 26, 2011
Ride a vintage holiday train! Travel back in time with the MTA!
For more info go here: http://www.mta.info/news/stories/?story=152

Gingerbread Adventure at the NY Botanical Garden
Children explore the spices that make up a classic gingerbread recipe. Kids can step inside a child-sized gingerbread playhouse and also decorate a gingersnap cookie with frosting and candies. All ages will enjoy viewing a display of gingerbread houses made by New York City-area bakers.

Dec 4–Jan 17, 2012
See the Park Avenue trees
The illumination of the Park Avenue Douglas Firs began 66 years ago, in memory of fallen soldiers, who died in World War II. Park Ave between 54th and 96th Streets. fundforparkavenue.org.

December 5-through holiday season
See Brooklyn Borough Hall tree
This tree is strung with 2,500 multicolored bulbs and placed in front of the 163-year-old Greek Revival Borough Hall. The lack of Rock Center–sized crowds makes the scene even more appealing. Borough Hall Plaza, Court St between Montague and Remsen Sts, Downtown Brooklyn (brooklyn-usa.org).

South Sea Seaport Chorus Tree
See these Performance Groups in the upcoming weeks!
December 9th, 10th and 11th New York City Gay Men’s Chorus
December 16th, 17th and 18th Cantori New York
December 23rd and 24th Big Apple Chorus

December 11, 2011
"If You Really Love Polar Bears"
Presented in conjuction with Making Books Sing this 45-minute interactive play follows the story of Patchy, a boy obsessed with polar bears. Through time travel Patchy discovers how his wasteful habits impact planet Earth. Recommended for chidren ages six-ten.Space is limited and free tickets will be passed out on a first-come-first-served basis. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directions are here: http://www.nysci.org/visit/1428642/directions, free w/ admission ($11)!

December 14, 2011-January 12, 2012
Wreath Interpretations
More than 29 wreath interpretations will be on display at this annual exhibit. There will be wreaths created by fine artists, and horticulturists, as well as artist Cara Enteles, artist/taxidermist Takeshi Yamada, and the Parks’ blacksmith Larry Hagberg. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, Arsenal at Central Park, 64th Street and Fifth Avenue, free!

December 16, 2011
Winter Solstice Party
This annual bash benefitting local Bklyn nonprofit, EcoStation NY, and features a silent auction, live bands, a silent auction, and tons of locavore-inspired food! 7 p.m. to midnight, Brooklyn Fire Proof'sThe Nut Roaster Studio120 Ingraham St, $20 suggested donation, RSVP here: http://bushwickfarmersmarket.org/solstice/

December 17, 10 a.m. – Noon
Children's Workshop: A Season of Lights: A Winter Solstice Celebration
In this special workshop, children and their families brighten up their winter with a reading of Nancy Luenn’s Celebrations of Light, learning about winter festivities from around the world. After exploring the many sources of light in the Cathedral, including stained glass windows, families are then off to the workshop. Activities include rolling beeswax candles; cutting Chinese and Taiwanese paper lanterns; sculpting clay candelabras inspired by Hindu floating lamps, Jewish menorahs, and Kwanzaa kinaras; and more! Recommended for ages 4 and up. $8 per child, with accompanying adults.

KidsLIVE presents The Mad Science Holiday Spectacular
View indoor fireworks that create a "festival of lights," and share the top secret of "special ice" shipped straight from the North Pole, which all comes together with magical no-melt snow! For ages four and up! NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 42nd Street Branch, South Court Auditorium (Map and directions), free!

Jim Vagias Holiday Express
Take a magical train ride around the world to learn how different holidays are celebrated in different countries. Through a series of library books, children learn the celebrations behind Kwanzaa, Diwali, Solstice, Ramadan, Hanukkah and Christmas. All ages. 1 p.m. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave. Free!

Vintage Subway Car Swing Dance Party
Jump, jive, and wail as you jam to live bands and enjoy a tea party! (Free drinks and cookies, but byo your own chinaware, sugar, and cream!) 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., 2nd Avenue Subway Station, Uptown track, Just $2.25 for subway fare!

M. Wells Winter Carnival at MOMA/PS1
"M. Wells will host a Winter Carnival in the MoMA PS1 courtyard, complete with a wood-oven duck cassoulet, meat pie, and maple pie (both will be available for pre-order and for pick up that afternoon), and maple taffy. In addition, Manducatis Rustica will set up a pyramid of panettone and a Ciocaria-style grill for skewers of meats. Snow, ice sculptures, a gingerbread house, and live music are also part of the festivities." There will also be the opportunity to purchase gifts at the ArtBook @ MoMA PS1 Special Winter Store, which will offer discounts of up to 30% off your purchase through December 31, 2011. MOMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave, $10 suggested admission! Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: LIC residents get in for free!

December 19, 2011
The Moon’s Multidenominational Year-End Celebration
The event will feature a live house band, videos, cartoons, musical numbers, good cheer, exclusive prizes and a thrilling storyline to tie it all together. 8p.m., 92ndY Tribeca, 200Hudson Street, tkts are $12 and can be bought here: http://www.92y.org/Tribeca/Event/The-Moon-s-Year-End-Celebratio.aspx

December 19 and December 20, 2011
Legendary KASPAROV VS. IBM DEEP BLUE Chess Match Recreated in Ice
Live ice carving of giant chess pieces reproducing the legendary 1996 chess match in which chess master Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue computer. Monday, December 19th
- Live ice carving of four chess pieces: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 20th
- Exhibit of all 14 ice sculpture/chess pieces: 8:00 a.m. until ice melts
- Live music & winter treats: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Grace Plaza, 1114 Avenue of the Americas (behind Grace Building at West 43rd Street), free!

December 21, 2011
Princes of Persuasion Indoor Winter Picnic
The Princes of Persuasion, a NYC indie-dance band, invite you to their first-ever indoor winter picnic to sing songs about romantic confusion, chilled imagination and winter life. 7 p.m., 92ndY Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, cost: $12!

Make Music New York Presents Winterfest Musical Parades
Bell choirs, Midevial music, and mobile electric guitars provide a musical soundtrack to the city! There are 12 different parades you can participate in! Various locations and times, For more information go here: http://makemusicny.org/winter-parades/, free!

Star Gazing With the Amateur Astronomers Association
Observe the shortest day and longest night of the year by gazing at the night sky with this "starry-eyed" group! 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Central Park, Belvedere Castle, Mid-park about 79th Street, free!

Remember the “Reason for the Season!” Volunteer or give to a local charity!
NY Cares Coat Drive

http://www.newyorkcares.org/volunteer/holiday_volunteering/coat_drive/

Answer a "Dear Santa” letter from a child at Henry Sreet Settlement
http://www.henrystreet.org/news/latest-news/joy-drive 2011.html

Toys for Tots Toy Drive
http://www.toysfortotsnyc.org/about.html

Saturday December 10, 2011 and Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
High Line Toy Drive
From The High Line, “Friends of the High Line is teaming up with Hudson Guild, Fulton Youth of the Future, Chelsea Market, Posman Books, and Chelsea Market Baskets to bring toys to over 300 Chelsea kids.” On the High Line at 15th Street and inside Chelsea Market in Main Concourse. Please bring new, UNWRAPPED toys for ages four to 14 to one of the two locations above. Or, stop by Posman Books or Chelsea Market Baskets to buy a toy or donate money toward the drive!

Ice Skating
Break the ice with friends or out-of-town guests by going ice skating at one of NYC’s many ice skating rinks! Many offer inexpensive admission; in the case of Citi Pond at Bryant Park, it's free (tho if you don’t own a pair of skates, you have to shell out some $ for skate rental.) Rinks that are currently open include the World Ice Arena , The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center, Citi Pond at Bryant Park, The Ice Rink at Riverbank State Park, Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers (open year-round), City Ice Pavilion (open year-round) and Aviator Sports & Events Center (open year-round). Standard Hotel ice rink at the High Line.

Hot Chocolate Crawl
After ice skating go on a hot chocolate Crawl, Courtesy of Mommy Poppins! http://mommypoppins.com/newyorkcitykids/ultimate-nyc-hot-chocolate-crawl

See the Polar Express 4D Experience and Planet Earth: Ice Worlds at The Central Park Zoo
Take a magical journey with a doubting young boy on a trip to the North Pole during the 4D Polar Express! “As the Polar Express arrives at the North Pole, it actually begins to snow inside the 4-D Special FX Theater; when the conductor sings "Hot Chocolate" and the dancing waiters begin to pour, the audience can smell the delightful aroma of every cocoa cup.” From the Central Park Zoo, “Explore the mysterious frozen worlds of the Arctic and Antarctic in this exciting 4-D adventure from BBC Earth. Planet Earth: Ice Worlds transports viewers to the danger-filled world of the Polar Regions and depicts the effects of the ice on the animals that live there. Learn how the seasonal advance and retreat of the ice shapes the lives of polar bears at the North Pole and emperor penguins at the South Pole.” Through January 31, 2012, Included with Total Experience tkt or tkts are $7 per person per film

Stroll the Holiday Windows
See the various department stores outdo one another with their outlandish holiday displays!

Story: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/guide/guide-2011-nyc-department-store-holiday-windows/

Map: http://gonyc.about.com/od/christmassights/l/bl_xmaswindows.htm

See Shooting Stars Downtown
See more than 208 shooting stars in Lower Manhattan! The Alliance for Downtown New York is installing 167 shooting stars and 41 star clusters to brighten up the neighborhood for the holidays. The lights will stay up until January!

See the UNICEF Snowflake
“The enormous, 3,000-pound crystal snowflake was first lit for the season last week on the eve of Universal Children's Day. But you can marvel at it throughout the holiday season.” Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, free!

Here's a list of holiday happenings at the Bronx Zoo!
http://www.bronxzoo.com/plan-your-trip/events-calendar/ice-sculpting-weekends.aspx

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cheap and Free NYC Holiday Markets, Christmas Shopping, and Event Guide!

NYC Holiday Shopping Guide

Pearl River Mart: This Chinatown Institution sells Asian-inspired gifts. 477 Broadway bet. Grand and Broome Streets (http://www.pearlrivermart.com/)

Uncommongoods.com: This quirky website sells unique gifts and other handmade items such as wooden neckties, bowls made from records, Scrabble cufflinks, and apple tree to be kits. (http://www.uncommongoods.com)

Urban Outfitters: This retailer is famed for weird items like mustache band-aids, bacon-flavored dental floss, pizza Christmas ornaments, and Spam-flavored mints as well as nostalgic items like Atari game systems, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and Polaroid cameras. (http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/)
(Link to UO NYC locations: http://www.bing.com/local/default.aspx?what=Urban+Outfitters++locations&where=New+York%2c+New+York&s_cid=ansPhBkYp01&mkt=en-us&ac=false&q=Urban+Outfitters+nyc+locations&qpvt=Urban+Outfitters+nyc+locations&FORM=LARE)
Our Name is Mud: This online retailer focuses on ceramic accessories for the home and garden. They carry Christmas ornaments, figurines, plates, picture frames, and office accessories, most with cute sayings like, “The Best Part of Cooking is Getting Marinated,” and “Are you going to eat that? The dog wants to know.” http://www.ournameismud.com/

Evolution: If you’re looking for creepy, crawly, gift ideas like fossils, scorpion or worm lollipops, or anatomical models, then you can “skulk” over to this Soho store. They also carry jewelry and framed butterflies. Lost a beloved pet? Take advantage of their taxidermy services! 120 Spring bet. Greene and Mercer, http://theevolutionstore.com/

Scholastic Store: Need something for the kid in your life? Look no further than this store attached to the publishing company’s SoHo headquarters. Still not sure what to get? The store is divided by age group-hint baby items are toward the back-but if you’re still not sure about what to purchase, simply ask one of the affable sales clerks in the red aprons, and they’ll be happy to recommend this season’s most popular items! In addition to books, the store also carries puzzles, science kits, stuffed animals, puppets, and arts-and-crafts items.

Spafinder.com: Give the gift of relaxation with one of Spafinder’s gift certificates that can be redeemed at spas around the world! The perfect gift for your mom, sister, grandma, niece, cousin, aunt, mom-to-be, new mom and girlfriend in your life! Or consider giving it one of the men in your life such as your boyfriend, husband, or brother for a sports massage, some “manscaping,” or a men’s manicure!

The Library Shop: Tucked away at the main branch of the NY Public Library (that’s the one with the lions), the Library Shop carries items such as books, vintage toys and stuffed animals, unique NYC gift items like Empire State Building and Chrysler Building salt and pepper shakers, a Brooklyn Bridge shower curtain, and an Icons of NYC cupcake kit, bookmarks, calendars, and stationary.

Kate’s Paperie: This local stationery store has elevated itself to new heights by carrying gift wrap, journals, scrapbooks, calendars, greeting cards, books, Christmas ornaments, business card holders, toys and arts and crafts kits. (locations http://www.katespaperie.com/about_kates/category/our_stores)

Shopping for a jock, triathlete, or granola-head? Look no further TriSports.com and Eastern Mountain Sports (611 Broadway (@ Houston St.) for all of your athletic gift needs like socks, shoes, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Housing Works Bookstore: Have a bibliophile on your shopping list? Then head over Housing Works Bookstore STAT! This non-profit bookstore donates all of its profits to assist homeless people with HIV and AIDS living in NYC, and is almost entirely staffed by volunteers. In addition to books, the store also carries DVDs, gift sets, journals, CDs, records, and games. Almost everything is marked at 50 percent off the cover price, so you have the bonus of getting your holiday shopping done, saving money, and giving to a good cause. Need a break from shopping? Unwind with a drink or snack from the store’s café. Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: Save 1o percent off everything during the month of December.

Economy Candy: “Treat” (pun intended!) the sweet tooth in your life to candy from this LES mainstay. Take your pick from nostalgic items such as Chuckles, bubble gum cigarettes and Fun Dip or classics like Jelly Bellys, licorice, and M&M’s, as well as special Christmas and Kosher items.

Strand Bookstore: Famous for its “eight miles of books,” like Housing Works, the Strand offers books at discounted rates (not always 50% off tho and you don’t get that warm, fuzzy feeling of helping out a good cause) but by sheer size alone they have a bit more variety than Housing Works, and so are still worth a stop on the holiday shopping rounds! Check out this holiday gift guide from the Strand for gift ideas! http://www.strandbooks.com/holiday-gift-guide-2011

krrb.com: (pronounced curb…) is a website that hooks you up locally with your neighbors to trade, buy, or sell items through the site.

Porto Rico Tea Importing Company: For the caffeine addict in your life! Go to their little store in the West Village and scoop up teas in flavors like blackberry and apricot and coffees such as Pumpkin Spice, 201 Bleecker Street!

Thinkgeek.com: Everything you need for the nerd in your life including a Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutter, Zombie magnetic poetry, and canned unicorn meat.

October 27–January 8, 2012
Holiday Markets
I’ve always been able to find great gifts at the holiday gift markets! Check out the outdoor holiday markets at Columbus Circle, Union Square, and Bryant Park! For indoor shopping, head to Grand Central! All of the markets carry special gifts, including clothing, accessories, ornaments, food and crafts.

November 18-December 24,2011
Wired magazine Pop-up Store
The tech magazine hosts their own holiday outpost in midtown. Times Square, 42nd and Broadway, Wed.-Sun. Noon-7 p.m.

December 1, 2011 - January 2, 2012
Historic Shopping Days at the Mount Vernon House Museum
From Mount Vernon, "Stocking stuffers, jewelry, wooden toys, home items and more! 25%off select items (excluding books) in the museum store during Historic Shopping Days only. Museum Members receive an additional 10% off with their membership card," Mount Vernon House Museum, 421 East 61st Street between First and York Avenues.

December 7-11, 2011
NY Creates Holiday Craft Festival
Weekdays 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Weekend 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Brooklyn Historical Society is hosting the NY Creates Holiday Craft Festival! This event is free and open to the public. There will be a variety of items such as ceramics, jewelry, apparel, plush toys, organic cosmetics, glass works, photo art and home goods at affordable prices. Many of these items were created by Brooklyn artists. BHS’s museum is open with free admission during craft festival hours. For more information visit http://www.nycreates.com/. Weekdays 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Weekend 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or later. This event will take place in BHS’s Othmer Library. Refreshments will be served. RSVP required. All events are held at BHS and are free with museum admission ($6 adults, $4 students/teachers/seniors, free for children under 12) unless otherwise noted.

December 10, 2011
Holiday Book Bazaar
Aperture Books is hosting their first holiday book bazaar. In addition to Aperture, the following publishers will host booths during this daylong event:ARTBOOK DAP, Capricious Conveyor Arts, The Ice Plant, Je Suis une Bande de Jeunes, Magnum, and Pau Wau Publications

There will be special programming throughout the day, including: books signings with Kathy Ryan, photo editor of the New York Times Magazine, and photographer Alex Webb; a book raffle; a book donation 'giving tree'; and much more! Holiday refreshments will also be available. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 547 West 27th Street, 4th floor, free!

3rd Ward Homemade Holiday Craft Fair
This craft fair spans two floors with gift items including jewelry, bags, housewares, paper goods, toys, clothing, winter essentials, culinary treats, and much more! The Jazz band, Chia’s Dance Party will provide festive tunes, and Mieka Pauley will sing! Plus you can sip on cheap seasonal cocktails from Red Jacket Orchards! 12p.m. to 6 p.m., 195 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn, free! RSVP at 3rdward.com/rsvp. The first 300 guests will receive limited-edition 3rd Ward tote bags filled with swag from our vendors. Come early and get one!

December 10 and 11, 2011
Bust magazine Holiday Craftacular and Food Fair
This indie female power magazine is sponsoring its annual craft and food fair! More than 200 vendors will be on-hand selling handmade jewelry, specialty foods, cards, handbags, posters, toys, clothing, and more! Plus there will be food, demos, DJs, and more! Saturday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., 82 Mercer St. between Broome and Spring. Cost: $3, plus there will be will be free goody bags for the first 300 arrivals each day and a special appearance by Jay McCarroll, first season winner of Project Runway, who will be selling items such as handcrafted bags and scarves on Saturday!

Word Bookstore's Holiday Open House
Authors will recommend their favorite books and help with the holiday gift wrapping! Peter Pan donuts and cider will be provided, plus there will be raffles for priza packages, and donations for gift wrapping will benefit the Greenpoint Food Pantry, and you can purchase $10 gift cards for local readers in need! The full line-up of authors is here: http://www.wordbrooklyn.com/event/3rd-annual-holiday-open-house

December 10th and 11th and December 17th and 18th
First-ever Loreley Holiday Market
Sip mulled wine and other hot drinks as you shop! 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Loreley Restaurant and Biergarten, 7 Rivington Street, free!

December 10th and 17th, 2011
Scandavian Christmas Market
The Scandavian East Coast Museum is sponsoring a Christmas Market this year! Holiday music will be performed by Brass Trio on the 10th, and the Christ Church After School Center will present Santa Lucia, and holiday music on the 17th! Scandinavian Christmas gifts and other items will be on sale as well. 10 a.m to 3 p.m., Nordic Delicacies, 6909 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, free!

December 11, 2011
Green Holiday Fesyival
At his environmentally-friendly holiday festival there will be green-minded food and gift vendors, information about non-profit groups, and live entertainment! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Altman Building, 135 W. 18th Street, tkts are $20 and can be bought here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/addtocart.html

December 15-17, 2011
Brooklyn Night Bazaar Holiday Edition
Liked the Brooklyn Night Bazaar shopping back in October? Here’s your chance to hit it for your holiday shopping wants and needs! Plus performances by live bands! Dekalb Market, 149 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, free admission f, $10-$22 for bands!

December 15-31st, 2011
Artists and Fleas Market
Williamsburg mainstay Artists and Fleas comes to the Chelsea Market for last-minute shoppers! 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16th Streets), free!

December 17, 2011
Greenpointers Holiday Market
Check out local crafts and gift ideas! 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell Street, Brooklyn.

December 17-18, 2011
Brooklyn Lyceum Holiday Marketplace
There will be more than 60 vendors peddling unique crafts and gifts at this third annual event. Be sure to sip a cherry lime ricky or an egg Cream as you shop! 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 4th Ave and President St.

Yelp's Giftacular Holiday Market
“To encourage NYers to shop local for the holidays, Yelp has organized their FIRST EVER handpicked Holiday market chock full of pop-up shops curated by top-rated retailers, crafters, local designers and more. If shopping ain't enough, enjoy some holiday spirit with hot cocoa and cider, performances, gift-wrapping, live bands, photo booths, an array of non-alcoholic bevvies, snacks, samples, spa treatments, DJs, and more. For more information, visit: www.yelp.com/events/new-york-yelps-giftacular-holiday-market.”

Brooklyn Craft Central Holiday Market
More than 65+ designers will showcase their wares, plus treats from local food trucks, and booze to help the shopping along! Littlefield, 622 DeGraw Street, Brooklyn, Free!

Museum gift shops Holiday Shopping Guide:
http://www.nycgo.com/articles/exhibitions-mark-the-spot-museum-stores

NYC Holiday Shopping Guide:
http://www.nycgo.com/slideshows/holiday-shopping-in-nyc-2011/?a=1&b=1&cid=tw_shopping

Eco-friendly Gift Ideas
http://offmanhattan.com/2011/11/27/eco-friendly-gift-ideas/

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NYC Cheap and Free Christmas 2011 Events Guide!

September 23, 2011 through February 12, 2012
See the original Christmas Carol Manuscipt
The manuscript is on display at the Morgan Library and Museum as part of its Charles Dickens at 200 exhibit. Morgan Libary and Museum, 225 Madison Ave. at 36th Street, cost: $15 for adults! Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: The museum is free on Friday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

September 23, 2011 through February 12, 2012
Vintage Christmas Cards Exhibit
"The exhibition presents twenty of the most prominent classes of Christmas card imagery and introduces the viewer to a few other categories of cards determined by form or purpose. These classes include everything from candles and poinsettias to coaching and travel, the three kings, and visiting for the holidays." Tues, Wed, Fri – Sun: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thurs: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Bard Graduate Center, 18 W. 86th Street bet. between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, cost: $5 seniors/students, $7 general admission!

November 19, 2011- January 16, 2012
Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal
From the museum website, “Lionel trains journey through a miniature New York City from Grand Central to the North Pole! A companion exhibit of holiday covers from more than 80 years of The New Yorker sets the stage.”

November 20, 2011-January 9, 2012
New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden features model trains and more than 140 replicas of New York City landmarks, The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Cost: $20!

November 21, 2011-January 2, 2012
Origami Tree at the Museum of Natural History
This year’s origami tree is inspired by the blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, The World’s Largest Dinosaurs Exhibit, and other animals and inanimate objects found in the museum.

November 22, 2011-January 6, 2012
Holiday Creche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met’s annual Christmas Creche in the Medieval Sculpture Hall features 18th century holiday decorations as well as a detailed Neapolitan Nativity scene. The special holiday exhibit will also include seasonal music and tree-lighting ceremonies! Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Cost: Suggested donation of $20 (Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: The suggested donation is very loose, simply tell a cashier that you'd like to make a donation and hand over a $1-or less-whatever you want to pay!)

November 25-December 4, 2011
Nutcracker in the Lower
Abrons Art Center along with the Urban Ballet Theater presents this re-imagining of the classic holiday tale for the tenth year in a row. “Abrons Nutcracker in the Lower explodes with daring and delight, twisting the classic story of Clara and her magical adventures to reflect Manhattan's cultural diversity. The party scene, traditionally depicted as an opulent 19th-century ball, becomes a holiday salsa fiesta. The battle scene can easily be imagined in a crumbling subway station as gigantic mice and crisp toy soldiers wage war over the heroine's fate.” Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street). Tkts are $25 and can be bought here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/870655

November 25, 2011-January 8, 2012
Santa Claus at The New York Historical Society Museum & Library
Discover Gotham’s role in the evolution of Santa Claus at the newly renovated New York Historical Society in their new exhibit, "It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus." “The transition from third century St. Nicholas of Myra to holly jolly Santa Claus was jump-started by Clement Clarke Moore in his famous poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas." The Santa segue was also helped by New Yorkers Washington Irving and Thomas Nast.”

Tuesday November 29, 2011
Tree Lighting and Nutcracker Performance at World Financial Center Winter Garden
From Mommy Poppins, “The lovely glass atrium is decorated with 100,000 lights, transforming it into a twinkling snow globe. Afterward, the New York Theatre Ballet performs its kid-friendly one-hour rendition of The Nutcracker. 6 p.m., World financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street, free!

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Bryant Park
The 2011 Citi Pond at Bryant Park tree lighting features Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Joining McLachlan are performances from Broadway musicals, and routines from Olympic skaters! The 50-foot tree has more than 3,000 ornaments and tens of thousands of lights. 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Bryant Park,

Wednesday November 30, 2011
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
A NYC tradition! Brave the crowds to see the tree being lit with more than 30,000 environmentally-friendly lights! 7 p.m.to 9 p.m., Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, free!

Thursday December 1-Sunday December 18, 2011
Reid Farrington’s A Christmas Carol
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8 pm Sunday 4 pm
This multimedia event incorporates live performers and projections as well as film clips from 35 versions of the holiday classic! From Abrons Art Center, “Through complex staging and choreography, the show mashes together over 100 years of film history. Performers slip in and out of characters from the Alastair Sim, George C. Scott, and Bill Murray versions, as well as The Muppets and Mr. Magoo variations (and many more) to create an imaginative and new interpretation of the beloved Dickens story.” Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand Street, tkts are $20, $10/students and seniors and can be bought here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/870505

Thursday December 1, 2011-Mid-January 2012
Le Parker Meridien Gingerbread House Display
See artistic gingerbread creations at the famed hotel! Le Parker Meridien, 119 West 56th Street, Just $1, and all proceeds benefit City Harvest!

December 1, 2011 through January 9, 2012
From Candlelight to Bubble Light: a 1950s Christmas in a 1850s House
The Merchant’s House Museum is sponsoring this exhibit! From the website, “The halls of the 1850s Merchant’s House will be retro-decked with vintage trees, over-the-tinsel-top decorations, and memorabilia from the golden age of Christmas, while strains of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” drift through the House. Indulge in the nostalgia of Christmas past and see how the holiday innovations of the 1850s became the traditions of the 1950s — and today. From the Collection of Deb O’Nair. Included with regular admission.” Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East Fourth Street, Cost: $10!

Thursday December 1, 2011
Shape Up NYC: Nutrition Seminar - Healthy Eating During the Holidays
Learn strategies to eat healthier this holiday season! 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center, 93-29 Queens Boulevard, Queens, free!

Thursday December 1, and Friday December 2, 2011
Musical Mad Men Parody The Mad World of Miss Hathaway gives Christmas a shot with 'Misogyny and Mistletoe,' 8 p.m., Wild Project. 195 East 3rd Street, $20!

December 1, and December 8, 2011
Create Unique Holiday Gifts at the Folk Art Museum
Make an origami star book (December 1) or a stuffed Yeti (December 8) at the museum's "Make it Thursdays" program! 6p.m. Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street), $10 admission includes workshop and glass of wine! RSVP required here: http://www.folkartmuseum.org/calendar

Friday December 2, 2011
Holiday Candlelight First Friday! + Bronx Seaside Trolley
From the Museum, “Experience the magic of the mansion by candlelight and decorated for the holidays. Christmas trees inspired by children’s holiday stories are featured throughout the house. Do a little holiday shopping, delight in music by the a cappella Metropolitones, and enjoy holiday refreshments. The free Bronx Seaside Trolley makes a continuous loop from the #6 Pelham Bay Park subway station to BPMM to City Island.” 5:30 p.m. to 8:30p.m. Bartow-Pell Mansion, 895 Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park, Registration requested, To register call 718.885.1461 or send email. Cost: $10 adults, $8 seniors & students; members free!

Washington Square Music Festival Holiday Concert
This free holiday concert will feature iconic and eclectic music, both played and sung, by Festival artists soprano Lucia Hyunju Song, pianist David Oei, violinist Eriko Sato, and cellist Lutz Rath. 8 p.m., St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 371 Sixth Avenue. Please click here for the full program, free!

Friday December 2-December 18, 2011
Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol
The Staten Island Shakespearean Theater takes on the classic holiday redemption tale from the point of view of Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley. Written by playwright, Tom Mula and directed by Joseph Daly, this play “has become a "don't miss" holiday classic for the whole family!”Starring Jack Dabdoub, Charlie McLaughlin, Joseph Smith and Rina Sklar. Tickets available from SI Shakespearean Theatre. Conference House Museum (in Conference House Park) 298 Satterlee Street, Staten Island. All advance sales are on-line at http://www.nycgovparks.org/web/external/exit.php?url=http%3A//www.sistny.org. Tickets are $18 for regular admission and $15 for students and seniors. Conference House Association members call (718) 984-0415 or (718) 984-6046 for your ticket coupon discount code to this event. Additional December Performance Dates: Friday, Dec. 2nd at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3rd at 8 p.m., Sunday, Dec, 4th at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 15th at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16th at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17th at 8 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18th at 3 p.m.

Friday December 3, 2011
Celebrate St. Nicholas Day at the Wyckoff Farmhouse
Celebrate St. Nick down on the farm! 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., St. Nicholas will arrive on horseback, and there will be a colonial music concert, holiday goodies like mulled cider and ginger cookies, as well as holiday craft making! St. Nicholas arrives around 2 p.m., Wyckoff Farmhouse, (ca. 1652) stands in M. Fidler-Wyckoff House Park, Brooklyn, cost: Adults: $5, Children: $3!

Gowanus Winter Festival-A Night of Food and Live Music
Concert and dinner to benefit Gowanus Canal Conservancy, specifically assisting with its Clean & Green Volunteer Program, Compost Program and Rain Garden projects! 9 p.m. to Midnight, Build It Green, 69 9th Street (bet. 2nd Avenue and the Canal, Concert is $15 (if you find some extra pennies in those couch cushions you can splurge on a farm-to-table meal from Restaurant Lot 2.) Tkts can be purchased here: http://gowanuscanalconservancy.org/ee/index.php/gcc_news/gcc_news?id=97

Watch zoo Animals Open their Christmas Presents at the Prospect Park Zoo!!
From the zoo, “The presents come early and often for the animals at the Prospect Park Zoo. Each weekend in December, at 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., watch as baboons, meerkats, otters, and other critters tear into treat-filled bags and boxes.”
December 3–4: Red pandas & Geoffreys tamarins
December 10–11: Hamadryas baboons & Pallas's cats.
December 17–18: Golden lion tamarins & Dwarf mongoose
December 24–25: Meerkats & North American river otters
Free with zoo admission ($8 for adults)

Wreath-making Workshops
Create an evergreen wreath at this seasonal workshop! Supplies provided; participants must bring garden shears. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy Floral Park, NY, cost: $20, Advance tickets required. Please call (718) 347.3276 for more info.

Swedish Children’s Christmas Workshop
Children ages five to ten are invited to Experience how Swedes prepare for Christmas julpysseldag (Christmas craft day)! Kids will learn the secrets of making traditional holiday crafts like woven hearts, yarn tomtar, and paper angels. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street, $10 (space is limited, pre-registration is required.) For reservations, call 212.847.9740 or email event_reservation@amscan.org.

December 3-4, 10-11, 17-18
Central Park Zoo Winterfest
From the website, “Relish the beauty of the Zoo at the best time of the year—the winter holidays! On the first three Fridays and Saturdays in December, we're open until 6:30 p.m. so you can stop by in the afternoon or after work for a stroll under thousands of twinkling lights. Visit cold-weather creatures, enjoy crafts and Wildlife Theater, see two wintry 4-D features, and watch the animals enjoy fish-cicles, fruits, and other favorite treats during holiday enrichment sessions. For a break from the chilly air, warm up with birds, lemurs, and tortoises in the Tropic Zone, a steamy 80 degrees all year long. Also do some holiday shopping at the Zootique and enjoy to holiday treats and hot cocoa in the Dancing Crane Cafe. For more info on specific activities go here: http://www.centralparkzoo.com/plan-your-trip/events-calendar/presents-to-the-animals.aspx and to purchase tkts (adult tkts are $16.) go here: http://www.centralparkzoo.com/cpz-ticket-discount/

Saturday December 4, 2011
Danu Celtic Christmas Concert
ConcertIrish ensemble Danú delivers a Celtic Christmas to the Winter Garden with traditional holiday songs from their homeland, 2 p.m. World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street, free!

Christmas in Richmond Town & Traditional Tree Lighting
10:00 am - 5:00 p.m. M. Bennett Café Opens 9:30 a.m.Bell choir—historical museum, 1:00 pm - 3:00 p.m. Horse and wagon rides: $2.00 Traditional tree lighting: 5:00 p.m. From Historic Richmond Town, “It's Christmas season in the Village! Watch as glittering ornaments are made by the Tinsmith, take your won photos with Santa, hear young carolers present holiday songs, or listen to lively storytelling session; tour the village, decorated in its holiday finery. Visit the Courthouse for greenery, home-baked goodies, and holiday gift items for sale. Admission to courtroom: $2! Sponsored by the Women's Auxiliary

Tuesday December 6, 2011
Twilight Tours of Christmas in the Colonies
From Van Cortlandt House, “Van Cortlandt House will be decked out the finest 18th century holiday decorations and bathed in the warm glow of candlelight. Warning to fans of Santa Claus as envisioned by Clement Clark Moore - you won't find a Christmas tree or red-suited jolly old elf anywhere near Van Cortlandt House. What you will find is a glittering display of sugary sweets, the legend of Saint Nicholas explaining how stockings hung by a chimney became associated with Christmas, and a cheery glass of warm cider at the conclusion of your tour. Van Cortlandt House, Broadway at West 246th Street, Bronx This tour is included with regular Museum admission. First tour begins at 3:00 p.m. followed by another at 4:00 p.m. Reservations will be taken after November 15, space is limited; call (718) 543-3344. (Also held Thursdays, December 8 and 15 and Tuesday, December 13 at the same times.) Cost: $5

Madison Square Park Tree Lighting
Join in a tree lighting ceremony with food provided by Hill Country Chicken & Hill Country Barbecue Market. The New York Life Singers and Audra Rox will also be performing! Madison Square Park, 23rd-26th Streets bet. Fifth and Madison Avenues, free!

Wall Street Tree Lighting
From the Downtown Alliance, “Join the New York Stock Exchange Euronext community for the 88th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony to celebrate the holidays on Wall Street. 5 p.m.- 7 p.m., free!

A SRSLY Grumpy Holiday Show
SRSLY LOL (a variety show that originated in Brooklyn) is teaming up with GrumpyFilms for 'A SRSLY Grumpy Holiday Show,'” a truly original variety extravaganza happening for one night only at the PIT (People”s Improv Theater)!Hosted by SRSLY LOLs H. Alan Scott the night will feature music, comedy, short GrumpyFilms, drag, AND a special appearance by a man in very little clothing. Theyll put the 'ho' back in Santa's 'Ho! Ho! Ho! (Unless you're Jewish, then they’ll redefine the meaning of playing with your dreidel.)
The lineup includes: Garry Hannon, Ben Lerman, Sharon Mama Spell, and Provincetown's 'Showgirl of the Year' Mona Mour! 8 p.m., People’s Improv Theater, 123 E. 24th Street, tkts are $5 and can be bought here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/211560

Women in Music Holiday Party
Women in Music (music industry professionals) is throwing its annual holiday party with free beverages and snacks + performances by hesta prynn, star eyes, and gina turner. The event is sponsored by Oxygen Media with addt’l sponsors inc. Additional sponsorship support by Absolut Vodka, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Vitamin Water, Bedford Cheese Shop, Pop Chips, BMI, SESAC, ASCAP, Joe Lambert Mastering, Treehouse Sound Studioand, and more! 7 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, $15 in advance/$25 at the door!

Wednesday December 7, 2011
Washington Square Park Christmas Tree Lighting

Sing holiday songs with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet (complimentary songbooks will be provided.) Santa Claus has promised to drop by to help illuminate the beautiful 45-foot-tall Christmas tree under the Washington Square Arch. 6 p.m., The Arch, Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North, free!

Thursday December 8, 2011
Womb of Advent

Enjoy a multimedia evening performance based on Mark Bozzuti-Jones’ book of meditations, The Womb of Advent. The evening will feature theatrical readings, dance, visual effects, and vocal and instrumental music, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Trinity Wall Street, Broadway at Wall Street, free! A reception will follow at 8:30 p.m. Free! A reception will follow at 8:30pm.
British Memorial Garden Trust, Inc. To Hold Free “Victorian Celebration”This annual event will feature caroling and a tree lighting In Hanover Square as well as a free outdoor concert at 6:00 p.m. with carols by the Choir of Trinity Church The event will be followed by a ticketed reception with more carols, readings and a silent auction. Hanover Square, TK info, tree lighting etc., free!

Harlem Holiday Speakeasy Orchestra Holiday Party
This holiday party will feature seasonal tunes, some souljaz, some pack rat classics, and a whole bunch of brand-new, never before heard arrangements. Come all ye hipful and let us make your spirits bright. Special holiday drinks, party favors, carol sing-alongs and such. 8:30 p.m. midnight, The Cave at St. Georges209 East 16th Street, cost: $23 advance, $25 door!

Friday December 9, 2011
Kevin Geeks out Holiday Grab Bag
From 92ndYTribeca, “This month, Kevin gives the audience a Holiday Grab Bag; an evening filled with surprise entertainment. Seven special guests give the gift of weird, wonderful multi-media segments, with topics including Britney Spears’ punk clown, the secret life of Wonder Woman’s creator, confessions of a Macy’s Santa, How He-Man spends the Holidays, an epic poem about horror movie villians and a look at Doom Cakes—the cinematic tradition in which any beautifully decorated cake serves as a harbinger of imminent catastrophe (often including the destruction of said cake).” 8 p.m., 92ndYTribeca Screening Room, 200 Hudson Street, tkts are $10 and can be bought here: http://www.92y.org/tribeca/tickets/production.aspx?pid=79025

History of Christmas
Learn about the local origins of Christmas to the modern-day holiday! 12:30 p.m., Mount Vernon House Museum, 12:30 p.m., 421 East 61st Street between First and York Avenues, $8 for adults!

Charles Dickens and Christmas Carolers at the Morgan Museum
See Charles Dickens’ original Christmas Carol manuscript that’s on display as part of the museum’s “Charles Dickens at 200 exhibit.” Festive holiday music will be performed by carolers from Mannes College, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, free with museum admission, $15 (adult) Event repeats itself on December 16, 2011.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry at the Deadline Club’s Holiday Party
Calling all media professionals! (writers, editors, photographers, reporters, graphic designers) for good cheer as the Deadline Club (the NYC chapter of the Society of professional Journalists) celebrates the season at the Salmagundi Club. We’ll provide the food and a cash bar. You provide the holiday spirit! 6:30 p.m., The Salmagundi Arts Club, 47 Fifth Ave.,bet. 11th and 12th Streets, Cost: $10 for Deadline Club/SPJ members, $25 for non-members, FREE for board members! RSVP here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2240699994

Xmas Pop Sing-a-long
Belt out holiday tunes along with hit music videos from songsters including David Bowie and Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, NSYNC, Wham, John Denver and the Muppets, Nat King Cole, John Lennon, Christina Aguilera, Charo, Run DMC, and Adam Sandler! Plus songs from TV holiday classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas, South Park, and A nightmare Before Christmas. There will also be $7 Egg Nog and Captain with a little sprinkle of "Keith Dust" over the top (a secret blend of sweet and spicy spices)! Free milk and cookies! A countdown with us to the announcement of the Santa Con starting location(s)! Prizes for being the most naughty/most nice! Santa Costume Contest! Best/Worst holiday sweater contest! Themed drinks like Santa's Sleigh, The Naughty List, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer and more! After the party join Santa for guerrila caroling at local restaurnts and bars,10 p.m. Union Hall, 702 Union Street, $8!

Friday December 9-18, 2011 (various dates/times)
"A Charlie Brown Christmas"
A jazz trio will perform all the classic Vince Guaraldi tunes from the show live! Brooklyn Lyceum, 4th Avenue and President Street, Gowanus, $10 or four for $30, buy tickets here: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=24e917a3b2ebbd670d2e5a916954450c&t=tix

Saturday December 10, 2011
Santa-Con
Have you been naughty or nice this holiday season? Better check your list twice, cuz Santa Claus is coming to town-literally! According to the website, “Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.”

Saturday December 10, 2011 and Sunday December 11, 2011
Holiday Story Time with the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library invites kids of all ages to gather around for a mix of classic holiday tales and new favorites in a special holiday story time! 1 pm. To 2 p.m., World Financial Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street, free!

Sunday December 11, 2011
TubaChristmas
From the TubaChristmas website, “TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 as a tribute to the late artist/teacher William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Through the legendary William J. Bell we reflect on our heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given us high performance standards, well structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists.” See TUBACHRISTMAS in-person today Christian Wilhjelm, former conductor of the Goldman Memorial Band! 3:30 p.m., The rink at Rockefeller Center, Don’t have pricing info yet!

Santa Rescue at the New York Fire Museum
Watch FDNY firefighters rescue Santa from the top of the New York City Fire Museum. Once safely inside, Santa will take gift requests and pose for photos until 2:30 p.m. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available for purchase in the Museum’s third floor Christmas Café and Christmas carols will be performed live by John Clacher’s firehouse band. 11:30 a.m. New York Fire Museum, Spring bet. Hudson and Varick Streets, tkts are $8 for adults, and $1 for children and can be bought here: http://www.nycfiremuseum.org/shopsite_sc/index.html

A Very Murray little Christmas
From Murray Hill, "Murray Hill gives the much needed gift of holiday cheer and entertainment to Brooklyn with his legendary Yuletide tradition! Expect an evening of hilarious and wacky skits with the cast, a sleigh full of cheesy holiday songs, plenty of nuts, fruits and tree trimming. Murray also promises a few tender moments when he sings his signature "Have Yourself a Murray Little Christmas." Special recession prices!$15 - standing room only$25 - seated, general admissionand $50 - VIP! incl. reserved seating & a new Murray Hill t-shirt! Cheap Chick Tip: USE CODE: SNOWBIZ for $5 off advance tickets!

Flushing Historic Holiday House Tour
From Flushing Town Hall, "Catch a historic trolley at Flushing Town Hall, and set off on a tour of the Queens’ areas historic settlements. Visit the Kingsland Homestead, the Voelker Orth Museum, Quaker Meeting House and more, ending at the stately Louis H. Latimer House. Enjoy complete access to each stop on the tour, and munch on holiday refreshments to power you through the education and entertaining journey. 5 p.m., Flushing Town Hall,
127-35 Northern Boulevard, Cost: $10 for adults and free for children under the age of 12.

Santa Paws Holiday Party
Make the holidays a little less "ruff" this year with "a holiday pet party complete with Santa photo ops, treats and cuteness galore." 2 p.m. to 4p.m., Eventi Hotel, 851 Sixth Avenue, Chelsea, free!

A Christmas Carol by The Puppet People
From Brooklyn Lyceum, "Warm your hearts with Charles Dickens' holiday classic. Watch Mean Ol' Scrooge as he discovers Christmas is not a HUMBUG! This puppet spectacular features beautiful handcrafted marionettes, shadow puppets, gorgeous masks, lavish costumes, vivid sets, a professional soundtrack that includes many holiday favorites, a giant 9-foot parade puppet and guaranteed smiles! Experience this literary masterpiece that reaches far beyond the holiday season!" 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m., tkts are $10 or four for $30 and can be bought here: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=eb4182b2e6ebfb7abb0a715553968c85&t=tix

Sunday December 11 and Monday December 12, 2011
Annual Holiday Songbook
From the NYPL, "A concert of new holiday music by Broadway composers and lyricists, sung by Broadway vocalists. Presented by Arts and Artists at St. Paul, directed by John Znidarsic." Sun., at 2:30 p.m., Mon., at 6 p.m., NYPL for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, near 66th and B'way, free!

Tuesday December 13, 2011
New York Philharmonic rehearsal of Handel’s Messiah

See a dress rehearsal f or Handel’s Messiah! Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 9:45 a.m., $18 (+$2 online and phone ticketing orders)!

Brooklyn Christmas Spectacular and Holiday Treat Bake-off!
From the Bell House, “A night of music, skits, readings, merriment and good holiday cheer! Music by Zach Williams the Bellow with Brian Elmquist, Tricia Ivy and more! Stories by Caleb Clardy, Kristen Ball, Harlan Alford, Kevin Doyle, Justin Street and many others! A holiday dessert bake off! Bring your best baked good to share (categories and prizes for best gluten free treats, best traditional dessert, most original offering and best in show.)” 8 p.m. doors/8:30 p.m. show, The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn

Wednesday December 14, 2011
History of Christmas Traditions!
Learn all this holiday has to offer with the Brooklyn Brainery tonight! 6:30-8pm, Brooklyn Brainery, 515 Court Street, $10! http://brooklynbrainery.com/courses/249-history-of-christmas-traditions

Lit mag Awkward Holiday Party
From Housing Works, “There’s a grand tradition of celebrating the holiday season at an awkward office party. Wait, what’s that? You’re a lit mag and you don’t have an office? Or you do, but you’d like to double up on this year’s festivities with more than those same five people you see every day? Either way, Slice magazine and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe cordially invite you to the 2011 Awkward Office Lit Mag Party. There will be a gift exchange! There will be Sixpoint beer!” 7 p.m., Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, pricing info to come!

Morningside Heights Winter Celebration and Tree Lighting
Join us to celebrate holiday traditions and help us light the Morningside Park holiday tree. Free refreshments will be served. 4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m., North Lawn (in Morningside Park), Manhattan, Inside the lower level of the park at 121st Street, near Morningside Ave, free!

Thursday December 15, 2011
Brooklyn Youth Chorus Holiday Concert
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus will perform at the World Financial Center Winter Garden with soprano Harolyn Blackwell for a special holiday concert featuring the world premiere of a new Ricky Ian Gordon work based on a Langston Hughes poem, and several new holiday arrangements by long time BYC friend and collaborator Joel Martin.7:30 p.m., World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street, free!

Friday December 16, 2011
Peace Tree Dedication, St. John the Divine
From the St. John the Divine website, “The students from The Cathedral School will be put up their annual Mitten Tree and join in the holiday celebrations…” 11 a.m., St. John the Divine, 112th and Broadway, free!

Secret Santa Ukelele Cabaret
Get your uke on at this holiday-themed ukelele party! 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E. 2nd Street bet. Second and Third Avenues, free!

15th Annual Holiday on the Hudson
From Chelsea Piers, “FREE but ticketed skating show featuring special guests The Skyliners (#1 junior synchro team in the world), the Central Park Synchro Team, and the Gotham City Synchro. Group performers include the Tiny Tot Stars and Junior Prep Competitors.” 7 p.m. Chelsea Piers, Sky Rink East Rink, Free, but tkts are limited to two per person and are available at the Sky Rink Front Desk beginning November 26, 2011.

Winter Choral Concert
From NYU, “Mark your calendar for this annual Winter Choral Concert presented by Music and Performing Arts at NYU Steinhardt. 7:30 p.m., Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West Fourth Street, For more information and ticket reservations, please call 212.352.3101 or visit the NYU Ticket Central Website. Cost is $10 general; $5 students and seniors.

Saturday December 17, 2011
Prospect Park Christmas Bird Count

From Prospect Park, “Join a tradition over 100 years in the making! The Christmas Bird Count is a nationwide bird census that helps conservation researchers track the long-term health of bird populations. Groups will meet at the Audubon Center at the Boathouse at noon and at 3 p.m. to take part in the count. You do not need to register in advance to join us on the Christmas Bird Count, so come along!” Free!

In the Spirit of the Season: A Holiday Church Tour
Join Urban Oyster for a seasonal tour of Brooklyn’s oldest German-Catholic Church. You’ll also learn about the German roots of the Santa Claus story and other holiday traditions. Afterward, you can unwind with dessert and coffee. 1 p.m. Urban Oyster Walking Tours (347-618-8687, urbanoyster.com). Meet at Most Holy Trinity–St. Mary, 138 Montrose Ave between Graham and Manhattan Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Also Jan 7, 2011, $20, reservations required.

Harry Potter Yule Ball
Grab on to that Portkey, because as Professor McGonagall would say it’s time for some “well-mannered frivolity” at the Harry Potter Yule Ball! There will be performances by Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, the Potter Puppet Pals, Big Digits and MC Kreacher, and the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! Doors open at 5p.m., Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, tkts are $18 and can be bought here: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=4035895&pl=bellpl

12 Bars of Christmas Bar Crawl
Get your liquid courage on before the family arrives! Take a bar tour of the East or West Village (groups will join together at the 12th bar) with a festive Santa hat, and a commemorative beer mug! Each bar will provide drink specials for the group! Donations of $25 in advance or $30 at the door benefit the Food Bank of New York! For more info and tkts, go here: http://www.12barsnyc.com/

Unsilent Night
Get jiggy with the holidays by parading from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park jamming with your boom box! Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own boom boxes though there will be a limited number of boomboxes passed out to those who don't have them. There will also be a limited number of and cassettes and CD’s for those who bring their own players. 7 p.m. (participants are encouraged to arrive at 6:45 p.m., Arch at Washington Square Park, 5 Ave, Waverly Pl., W. 4 St. and Macdougal St., free!

Cantori Holiday Concert
From the website, "Get in the spirit with Cantori's annual concert of traditional holiday favorites." 5:30 p.m., St. Luke-in-the-Fields, 487 Hudson Street, cost: $15!

December 17-28, 2011
Lettuce Rejoice Holiday Show
Catch NY drag queen Hedda Lettuce as she lampoons the holidays with classics such as, “Here Comes Tranny Clause,” “Sleigh Ride,” which turns into a gay man’s quest for sex on Grinder, and “Do You Hear What I Hear” is now, ‘Do You Think That He’s Queer,’ about a fag hag desperately seeking a sexual relationship with a gay man. Plus, a holiday homage to the recently departed Amy Winehouse. Too soon perhaps? Not for the sardonic Miss Lettuce.” The Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves,). Dec 17, 18, 21, 23, 28 at 7p.m. $22 plus two-drink minimum.

Sunday December 18, 2011
Riverside Church Christmas Concert and Choral Festival
The two concerts will feature performances byThe Riverside Choir, Soloists, and Instrumentalists, The Riverside Chamber Singers, The Riverside Ringers, The Riverside Inspirational Choir, and The Children’s Choir! There are two performances, one at 3:30 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive and 120th Street. Tkts are $10-$25, and can be purchased here: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=8fc4fb3e589ace9c1b6d3e6adf555d2c&t=tix

‘"Twas the Night Before Christmas" Reading
Ron Carter, jazz bassist and Grammy-winner, will be leading the 101st reading of TwasThe Night Before Christmas! After the reading, there will be a lantern procession to Trinity Cemetery and Mausoleum, where a wreath will be laid at the gravesite of Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), the son of Dr. Benjamin Moore, the sixth rector of Trinity Parish. In 1882, who wrote the story as a Christmas present for his six children. Church of the Intercession, 155th and Broadway, free and open to the public!

Lights in the Heights Bicycle Ride
Get your holiday lights on Brooklyn-style with Time’s Up Lights in the Heights Bike Ride in the crazy Christmas neighborhood, Dyker Heights! Manhattan: Meet across from the bicycle entrance to the Manhattan Bridge (northeast corner of Canal and Forsyth Sts), 4:30pm. Brooklyn: Meet at 3rd St and Prospect Park West, 5:15pm. Enjoy hot cocoa at Nathan’s when it’s all done! Free!

What the Dickens? Second Annual Marathon Reading of A Christmas Carol
Join writers and performers for a marathon reading of Charles Dickens's holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. 1 p.m. Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, free!

Scrooge & Marley
Become part of the story when Theater at Trinity presents its annual reading of Israel Horovitz’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley, a multi-generational event with audience participation! 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway at Fulton Street), free!

Cookie Takedown
From the Bell House, “Judge for yourself the 30 cookiezoidical inventions from local cooks at the Best Ever Cookie Takedown! $15 for all you can ravage! Wash the crumbs down with an hour of free eggnog from Bulleit Bourbon! 3 p.m., The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, $15!

The Muppet Vault: Christmas
Come help your favorite Muppets, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie, celebrate Christmas! This event will feature a screening of the holiday special, "A Muppet Family Christmas," as well as other holiday-related clips! Plus there will be sing-aa-longs, giveaways, drink specials, and more! 2 p.m., Union Hall, 702 Union Street at Fifth Ave., cost: $8!

It's a Wonderful Life Act-a-thon
For those who've dreamed of being George Bailey, Clarence, or Zuzu, or perhaps if you've memorized the entire script, then here is a golden opportunity to live out your fantasy! At this special perfrmance, you'll have the chance to read one of the parts in this holiday classic! of course those with stage fright can come watch the show! 3;30 p.m. (holiday cheer) 4 p.m. (drawing of parts and show), Metropolitan Playhouse, 220A East Fourth Street, cost: $5 suggested donation!

"The Long Christmas Dinner"+Free Dinner
Brave New World Repetory is performing Thorton Wilder's one-act play, "The Long Christmas Dinner,which spans 90 years of the Bayard family history. In addition to the play, the troupe will actually be preparing a meal for their four audiences today before the show begins at The Old Stone House in Brooklyn, only catch is that you have to stand on-line at noon to get a dinner voucher-and they're only for the person in-line, so no tkts for friends-they have to get their own! But both the dinner and the play are free! Old Stone House, Washington Park /JJ Byrne Playground, 5th Ave. at 3rd St., More details and showtimes are here: http://bravenewworldrep.org/current-season/

Sunday December 18 and Monday December 19, 2011
Holiday concert at the Guggenheim
George Steel conducts the Vox Vocal Ensemble and the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble. The Museum will close at 5:45 pm and re-open at 6:30 pm for the free holiday concert, Guggenheim Museum, Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, free!

Wednesday December 21, 2011
Naked Girls Reading - A Christmas Carol
Check out a sexy burlesque reading of the classic holiday tale! 9 p.m., Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Pl. East Village, tkts are $20 or two for $35 and can be bought here: http://www.nakedgirlsreadingnyc.blogspot.com/

Wednesday December 21-Tuesday December 27, 2011
It’s a Wonderful Life screening at IFC Center
Are those rose petals in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Find out at IFC’s screening of the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Mary Owen, Donna Reed’s daughter, will be in-person at select shows. Check IFC website for showtimes: http://www.ifccenter.com/films/its-a-wonderful-life/

Thursday December 22, 2011
Martinis and Mistletoe -An Evening of Live Jazz and Burlesque for the Holidays
"Live Music fromThe Brian Newman QuintetMichael & MardieShelly "The Singing Siren" Watson and Diamond Redd. Burlesque performance byAngie Pontani, Dirty Martini, The Maine Attraction, Helen Pontani, Harvest Moon, and The World Famous Pontani Sisters! This is a general admission event. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first seated basis. There is a two item minimum per person at all tables. Standing room is also available. It's recommend that you arrive early. 7 p.m. Show starts at 8p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, 18+, tkts are $20 general admission, $30 VIP, and can be bought here: https://secure.gigmaven.com/events/7253/orders/new

Thursday December 22 and 23 and 29 and 30th
Nutcracker Rated R
From the show website, "Nutcracker: Rated R cracks open the heart of the classic children’s ballet to uncover drugs, sex, family secrets and all the other delights that make the Holidays so special." 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., LePoisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, tkts are $20-$30, and can be bought here: http://lepoissonrouge.com/events/search?q=nutcrack

Friday December 23, 2011
A Motown Christmas featuring Dr. K’s Motown Revue!
Doors open at 6 p.m., showtime is at 8 p.m., BB King’s, tkts are $20 in advance, $25 the day of show! Tkts can be bought here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/00004752DE6AC123?artistid=1476678&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=52

Ugly Sweater Jam
Wear your tackiest holiday sweater, we're talking glitter, dogs, Santa in his sleigh, snowmen, reindeer, candy canes, and bows here, people, so you can drink for free at Turtle Bay! 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. open bar, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. 1/2-price drinks! Turtle Bay, 287 2nd Avenue, near 52nd Street, free!

Midnight Screening of A Christmas Story
Since you can't see this holiday classic on cable enough times mock Ralphie's pink pajama bunny outfit in good company during this late-night screening! Plenty of food and drinks will be available! Midnight, Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry and Wythe Streets in Williamsburg. tkts are $11 and can be purchased here: http://www.nitehawkcinema.com/movie.php?movie=84

Saturday December 24, 2011-Happy Christmas Eve!
Grand Central Holiday Walking Tour
Join the Municipal Arts Society for their holiday tour of Grand Central Terminal. From MAS, “Come December, the terminal is especially attractive, with special exhibits, a holiday fair and festive lighting. Learn some of Grand Central’s secrets as we take you on an in-depth look at its art, architecture, engineering and $200 million restoration. Highlights include the “whispering” gallery and the site of a private apartment.” Led by Joe Svehlak, architectural historian. 11:00 a.m. Meet near the information booth in the middle of the main concourse. Cost: $15, $10 MAS members. Pay at tour.

Christmas Eve Caroling in Washington Square Park
Get ready to belt out those holiday tunes! The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will lead singers in holiday favorites. The Washington Square Association will provide complimentary songbooks. 5 p.m., Meet by the arch in Washington Square Park, free!

Save Christmas With a Night of Dirty Songs
Come get down and dirty at Christmas time with "as Time Out New York so eloquently put it, at a collection of songs that would make your grandmother blush clap and dance with delight.special guests who you’ll recognize from The Late Show with David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Comedy Central, 9 p.m., Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, tkts are $15 and can be bought here: http://clicks.fanbridge.com/l.php?cid=794646&sid=169218529&url=http://bit.ly/vvF7vI

Special Holiday Edition of Le Bingo
NYC's favorite drag queen Linda Simpsin hosts a special hliday-themed night of Le Bingo! Doors Open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, free admission, but Bingo cards are $2 each!

Christmas Stroll in Greenwich Village
Learn about New York's unique role in our modern-day Christmas festivities with Big Onion Walking Tours! From Big Onion, "We will talk about the role of German immigrants and the Christmas tree; New York artists and the contemporary image of Santa Claus; and the patron saint of New Amsterdam. Other stops on our tour could include: the “hanging elm," the Stonewall Inn, Chumley’s, and sites associated with Stanford White, Aaron Burr, Edith Wharton, John Sloan, and Tom Paine. This special holiday tour will conclude with a visit to St. Luke-in-the-Fields Chapel for a group reading of Clement Clark Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” 1 p.m., meet at the northeast corner of Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue South, in front of Duplex. This a poular tour, and Big Onion does not take reservations, but will have additional tour guides to split attendees into smaller groups, cost: $18!


And The Museum of the City of New York is open today!

Sunday December 25, 2011-Merry Christmas!
Christmas in New York City
Open Attractions:
Empire State Building (365 days)
Top of the Rock and most of Rockefeller Center (365 days)
Ground Zero Memorial - 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum (365 days)
CitySights New York City Bus Tours
Times Square - Hershey's Store, M&M Store, Hard Rock Cafe and more.
Central Park - Zoo, Carousel, Wollman Ice Skating Rink
CSI: The Experience! at Discovery Center

DJ Rekha's Bollywood Disco Xmas with Rajstar
DJ Rekha presents Bollywood Disco Xmas. From retro film classics to eclectic disco grooves, DJ Rekha digs through her digital and actual crates, 10 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door!

December 26, 2011-Happy Boxing Day!
Black Hawk-Football (European-style!) and Free Bangers and Mash!
Pretend you're on the other side of the pond and celebrate by watching an entire day Premier League soccer matches and scarf down the free bangers and mash the bar is providing after 2 p.m., Black Horse Pub, 568 5th Ave (at 16th St), Brooklyn, free!

December 26-28, 2011-Happy Boxing Day!
Holiday Open House at the Queens County Farm Museum
Check out the farm museum’s Victorian-stle holiday decorations as you sip mulled cider. There will also be opportunities for winter -themed craft-making as well! Spend an afternoon drinking mulled cider and touring the grounds of the city’s oldest working historical farm. The house will be decked out in period decorations from its Victorian Era roots, and you can join the young’uns to in making winter-themed crafts. Noon-4 p.m., Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park, Queens. free!

Plus NY Mag’s Guide to the best Christmas Cookies in the City
http://nymag.com/guides/holidays/christmas-cookies/

And tips for a green-friendly holiday season!
http://www.ecologycenter.org/factsheets/holiday_tips.html


Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: Through December 31, 2011: Get free admission to the Bronx Zoo, The Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, The Prospect Park Zoo, and The New York Aquarium, when you bring a new, unwrapped toy or 10 nonperishable food items to these places.