W W ell, New York is officially starting to feel a lot more winter-y. (Hello, high winds and low temps!) And while it’s very tempting to pull a fuzzy blanket up to your chin and curl up with Netflix, it’s really in your best interest to pause your binge-watching, get out, and enjoy this season in NYC. Holiday events, special performances, parties, cultural experiences, food festivals, and more are all out there for your enjoyment. Plus, let’s face it: You need a break from your radiator. Grab your Arctic-explorer parka and head out to these events.
December
Santa Con
Donald Bowers Photography/shutterstock

December

Friday
Dec 2
Astoria
Celebrate four years of this Queens brewery with a Weezer cover band, cheap locally brewed beers on tap, and warm BBQ by Salt & Bone Smokehouse.
Saturday - Sunday
Dec 3-11
William Vale Hotel
For the first two weekends in December, the William Vale will play host to home goods/art/accessories site Bulletin with handmade goods from local designers, plus performances from local DJs and a full bar. 
Monday
Dec 5
OTTO
Get an Action Bronson-designed pizza at this Bronson X Batali pizza event at Batali's OTTO, where they'll also be screening a new episode of Batali's MUNCHIES show, Moltissimo. $10 from each ticket will go to the Food Bank for New York City.
Wednesday - Sunday
Dec 7-11
Fort Greene
The classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker has been Brooklynified. Think LED tutus, hip-hop, and a diverse ensemble of more than 50 professional dancers ranging from Middle Eastern-style belly dancers to African-based modern dancers and beyond. Tickets start at $25.
Friday
Dec 9
Bushwick
In the grand tradition of soup cook-offs and chili showdowns, this competition will pit local artists against each other to show off their best cat paintings. And best of all, you can take home some cat artwork, which is so much better than adopting an actual cat.
Saturday
Dec 10
TBA
The boozy route through NYC won’t be announced until December 9th, but this annual bar crawl will bring debaucherous overserved Santas through the streets once again to raise money for charity (but more importantly, to drink and embarrass themselves).
Tuesday
Dec 13
Gowanus
Your favorite childhood holiday movie just got a major upgrade with this live stage reading of Home Alone, accompanied by plenty of cocktails and recommended audience participation.
Tuesday - Sunday
Dec 13-Jan 29
The McKittrick Hotel
It's the winter blizzard of 2010 in Scotland -- you'll know by the snow you and the rest of the audience in this pub-set play are throwing -- and academic and Hell topography expert Prudencia Hart is a long way from home in Edinburgh, stranded in a sad karaoke pub along with the rest of the audience, who are led through her dramatic story in an impressively entertaining interactive theater experience. Not a participator? The audience is welcomed with free shots of Scotch to get you in the mood. 
Wednesday
Dec 14
Test your knowledge of NYC history at The Tenement Museum's Trivia Night
Test your knowledge of NYC history at The Tenement Museum's Trivia Night
Tenement Museum
The Tenement Museum is teaming up with The Bowery Boys podcast for a night of NYC historical trivia. Admission is just $10, and includes two drink coupons. Just make sure your team is somewhere between 4-6 people!
Friday
Dec 16
Hell's Kitchen
Break out that sweater from your local thrift shop and get ready to celebrate the season with no style at all. A free vodka open bar will be provided from 10-11pm, so prepare to linger near the bar.
Friday
Dec 16
Hell's Kitchen
RuPaul’s Drag Race winners Bianca del Rio and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 will host this second annual celebration of Christmas cheer, with award-winning Cher impersonator Chad Michaels and a roster of queens.
Friday - Sunday
Dec 16-18
Chelsea
Say goodbye to your human friends for the winter and adopt a furry friend who will be a much better cuddler. Entry is free (as is falling in love with a pet), and adoption fees start at $25.
Monday
Dec 19
Crown Heights
Skip the tiny apartment potato pancake frying and head to the Brooklyn Museum, where you can stuff yourself with dozens of varieties of latkes from NYC chefs, including Baz Bagel's Latkes Dill-Lux with gravlax, sour cream & dill. Tickets are $70.  
Wednesday
Dec 21
Indulge in gooey, melty raclette
Indulge in gooey, melty raclette
West Village
You’ve seen all those ridiculously good looking slow-mo videos of raclette dripping and oozing onto bread, and now it’s your turn to taste (and digitally capture) all that melty cheese at this raclette party at Murray’s Cheese.
Saturday
Dec 24
Lower East Side
Those who don’t celebrate Christmas Eve or Christmas and are looking for holiday romance should get off Tinder and head to this annual party designed to match up Jewish singles (and their friends). No judgement if you need to cure your post-ball hangover with bodega chicken soup.
Saturday - Sunday
Dec 24-25
Williamsburg
Head to Nitehawk for a special brunch screening of It’s a Wonderful Life, to be accompanied by warm spiked cider or a mimosa, all delivered to your seat on demand.
Wednesday
Dec 28
Midtown West
No one will blame you for wanting to shred evidence of the awful year that was 2016. Join fellow New Yorkers -- and just a few tourists; this is in Times Square, after all -- in shredding memories from the past 365 days and letting go of grievances just in time for 2017.
Thursday
Dec 29
West Village
It’s drag bingo with some holiday flair! Entry is free and bingo cards are two for $5 -- play to win big (undisclosed) prizes and to drink. A lot.
Saturday
Dec 31
Harlem
Back for its 10th year, the Apollo’s Kwanzaa festivities will celebrate culture, community, and family with a special performance by Abel R. Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. If New Year’s Eve isn’t your thing, this is a much more relaxed -- and positive! -- way to spend the last night of 2017.
Saturday
Dec 31
Central Park
Stride into the New Year with this four mile race that starts at 11:59pm. You’ll jog to the light of fireworks and maybe even find someone to kiss at the finish line. Hydrate with Champagne, of course.
January
Polar Bear Plunge
Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge | a katz/shutterstock

January

Sunday
Jan 1
Coney Island
Brooklyn’s local polar bears will make their annual leap into the freezing cold waters of the Atlantic at 1pm sharp on New Year’s Day. Join in to help raise money for Camp Sunshine or just head down to the beach to observe (and maybe share some hot chocolate with a shivering swimmer).
Saturday
Jan 7
Check Jerry Seinfeld off your NYC bucket list
Check Jerry Seinfeld off your NYC bucket list
Upper West Side
Stop re-watching “The Chinese Restaurant” episode of Seinfeld with your sad lo mein delivery and head out to a live show. Tickets start at $120, meaning if you cancel your Hulu subscription for the rest of the year, you’ll never notice the splurge.
Sunday
Jan 8
Williamsburg
Cook up the cure to all those long nights of sad January drinking with this cooking class that’s totally acceptable to attend hungover. Master chicken and ginger spinach noodle soup with homemade crackers, spicy tomatoes, and baked eggs with a baguette, and homemade pancakes with berry compote to really impress the next person who sleeps over after a long night at the bar.
Saturday
Jan 14
Everywhere
New York is honoring MLK Day early with a National Day of Service, during which New Yorkers can register for community service projects to help beautify and better the city of New York.
Sunday
Jan 15
East Village
A mere $20 gets you all the cassoulet you can eat -- that is, warm, meaty French casserole that will keep you cozy all afternoon. Sample more than 10 varieties to see who makes the best cassoulet in NYC.
Monday
Jan 16
Midtown West
Dreaming of joining the cast of Hamilton? Don’t pass up your shot! Enroll in this workshop that focuses on audition techniques and offers a Q&A session with cast member Andrew Chappelle. Attending the $130 workshop doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the Richard Rodgers stage, but you never know!
Monday - Friday
Jan 23-Feb 10
All Over
NYC’s biannual restaurant week returns, with more than 100 restaurants offering special prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at a discounted rate. Make your reservations early.  
February
NYC Chinese New Year Parade
Flickr/Dan Nguyen

February

Sunday
Feb 5
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at the 18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at the 18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
Welcome the Year of the Rooster with a procession looping through Chinatown, covering the streets and sidewalks with confetti and some much-needed February cheer.
Saturday
Feb 25
Flushing
Unleash your love of cured, salted, and smoked meats at this all-you-can-eat charcuterie festival, i.e., the best four hours of your February. Tickets are $100, but we’re pretty certain you can eat that value in chorizo.
March
Cocktail
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

March

Friday
Mar 3
Astoria
The Bonnie will be hosting its next installment of this competition showing off local bartenders’ mixology skills. A to-be-announced alcohol sponsor means the cocktails tastings at this word of mouth event are on the house. Cheers to winter ending soon!