9 Actually Fun Things to Do in NYC This Weekend
Don’t worry, you’ll be home in time for curfew.
With the COVID restrictions requiring bars and restaurants to close at 10pm still in effect, we’ll have to reimagine NYC nightlife into… daylife? While the days are definitely getting shorter and colder, we’ve still got to work together to stop the spread. That means continuing to meet outdoors, wearing our masks, and even (ugh) spending a little more time inside our apartments.
This weekend, you can get your full of fun before the clock strikes 10 by ordering two of everything on the menu at a hot dog pop-up, mastering the sport of curling at an iceless rink, or streaming the world premiere of a Broadway show—we’ve rounded up nine actually cool things to eat, drink, see, and do in NYC.
Maison Yaki just launched SuperSonic, a pop-up that’s all hot dogs, all the time. Inspired by street food around the world, they’re serving up five frankfurters including the Boy Wonder, topped with cornichons and dijonnaise; the Best Friend’s Dad, served with bok choy slaw and five-spice ketchup; and the SuperSonic, slathered in brisket chili and cheez whiz. If you’re feeling particularly strong-of-stomach, order “The Dog Pound,” which comes with two of each hot dog and two orders of curly fries.
Cost: Hot dogs are $6 or 3 for $15
Playdate, a brand-new Taiwanese street food-inspired eatery (and—in the near future—an arcade!) is now open in Flushing, Queens. Founded by a group of friends who think a little fun competition should be rewarded by great food, go for the skewers, which you can get with a combo of meats (including chicken feet, fish balls, and duck wings), or a fried chicken meal paired with bubble tea. While the arcade games onsite are currently unavailable for playing due to COVID, you can still get down with their street treats in the meantime.
Cost: Skewers start at $2
Melissa Weller, the James Beard-nominated baker with stints at Per Se, Roberta's, and Sadelle's, is beginning a cold-weather residency at Gertie, a "Jew-ish" deli in Brooklyn, to warm you right up. She'll be serving up traditional treats—including schneken, babka, rugelach, and challah—with a twist (think chocolate marzipan babka, candied lemon poppy rugelach, and sourdough challah). Bagels will be on the menu, too, to pair with Gertie's selection of smoked fish and other delicatessen faves like corned beef and pickles. This weekend, they’re offering a special pastry box to celebrate the launch of Weller’s cookbook A Good Bake, featuring five goodies and a signed copy of the book.
Cost: Pastries start at $2; pastry box is $60
Michelin-starred The Musket Room has opened MR All-Day, a cafe that’s serving up pastries and meals from a very Instagrammable 1962 International Harvester truck. The sweets—from chef Camari Mick, alum of Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park—include guava cream cheese brioche donuts, Japanese-style milk bread, and miso toffee chip cookies. If you’re in the mood for more of a meal, they’re also serving up food from The Musket Room’s menu and to-go cocktails for happy hour from 5-7pm.
Cost: Pastries start at $3.50
Poets Anaïs Duplan and Uche Nduka are reading from their work at a virtual event from Brooklyn independent book store, Books Are Magic—and you can listen while drinking wine from a tiny plastic cup in your very own home. Anaïs Duplan will read and discuss his new book Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture, which focuses on experimental artists of color, and Uche Nduka will share poems from Facing You, a new collection of love lyrics.
Since jetting to Aspen for a week on the slopes is out of the picture this year, you might as well pick up a new wintry skill! Luckily for you, the Curling Café, an iceless intro to the noble sport of curling, is opening at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. A reservation scores you your very own curling lane, plus a keep-your-fingers-warm bubble tent with food and drinks during your 90-minute game.
Cost: Packages for 1-4 people start at $250
Tompkins Square Park
Need a good reason to get away from your computer screen and take in some fresh air? See the East Village/Alphabet City in some actual daylight as Tompkins Square Park’s Urban Park Rangers lead a tour through the history and geography of Manhattan South (in what used to be called Manahatta). Bring a date (and plenty of hand sanitizer), wear a mask, and learn about the area’s storied history of hidden streams and wetlands as you make your way through this thoroughly modern park.
Founded by Brooklyn musician David Ellenbogen, the Ragas Live Festival has streamed and performed 24 hours of raga—improvisational frameworks from Indian classical music—every year since 2012. This year, they’re joining with the Rubin Museum of Art, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn Raga Massive, and NYC Radio Live to showcase 24 hours of music from artists in Chennai, Mali, Nepal, Japan, and more. From 7 pm on Saturday to 7 pm on Sunday, more than 90 artists will perform for you to vibe to from home.
Broadway’s Best Shows, which streams live theater to benefit the Actors Fund, is putting on the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. But this isn’t your uncle’s Uncle Vanya: With stars including Alan Cumming, Samira Wiley, and Constance Wu, it’s a totally fresh take on the 19th-century Russian masterpiece. Tickets start at $5, but you can pay as you wish to help support actors through the continued Broadway shutdown.
Cost: Tickets start at $5
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