Cheap$kate: Best FREE events in NYC this week

Bloomingdale’s unwraps holiday windows with Idina Menzel

‘Tis the season for holiday window displays, and Bloomingdale’s is unveiling its holiday windows in style, complete with performances by the cast of hit off-Broadway show, iLuminate, and Tony Award-winning singer and actress, Idina Menzel. Menzel will be performing works from her new album, “Holiday Wishes,” as well as other favorites. So swing down to Beacon Court today for the performances and then mosey on down the block to check out Bloomie’s panes and enjoy gourmet, hand-crafted desserts and hot chocolate courtesy of the Coolhaus truck. Arrive early at 3 p.m. for a chance to meet Menzel and pick up a copy of her new album for her to sign. Monday, 5 p.m. performance, Beacon Court, 59th St. btwn Third & Lexington aves., Bloomingdale’s, 59th St. at Lexington Ave., 212-705-2000, bloomingdales.com


Dark Girls

Make your way over to BookCourt for a panel discussion hosted by Amistad editor Tracy Sherrod and featuring “Dark Girls” contributors Mikki Taylor of Essence magazine, author and professor Retha Powers, Robyn Arrington of TVOne, Singles Project star Erika Pittman, and “Dark Girls” author Sheila P. Moses. “Dark Girls,” a companion book to the NAACP Award-nominated documentary, presents the stories of dark-skinned women from various walks of life sharing what their skin color means to them. The event tonight will include a reading, audience Q&A, book signing and, obviously, a panel discussion. Monday, 7 p.m., FREE, BookCourt, 163 Court St., Cobble Hill, 718-875-3677, bookcourt.com


Wave Hill Gallery Tour

Head up to the Bronx to join a curatorial fellow for a tour of Wave Hill Gallery’s current exhibitions, including “Recapturing the Scenic Wilds,” inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, a former resident of Wave Hill. Also on display, in the Sunroom Project Space, is Hilary Lorenz’s experimentation with the arrangement of large-shaped paper constructions with animal and plant prints. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m., so stop by for a look tomorrow. Tuesday, 2-3 p.m., FREE, Glyndor Gallery in Wave Hill, Bronx, 718-549-3200, nycgovparks.org/events


The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

No Thanksgiving day in New York City would be complete without Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The balloons take flight at Central Park West and 77th St., turn east on 59th St., then make their way down Sixth Ave. to Herald Square at 34th St. Whether you’ve yet to see the spectacle live, or have seen it many a year, head on over to the parade route early and snag a prime viewing spot from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday. Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon, FREE, Central Park West and 77th St. to Herald Square, macys.com/parade


11th Annual Day After Thanksgiving Hike

It’s time to work off all that turkey, stuffing and yummy Thanksgiving fixings! Join educators from the Greenbelt Nature Center in Staten Island for the 11th Annual Day After Thanksgiving Hike, a two-hour hike through the woods, including a brief visit to the LaTourette House. Go on and lace up those hiking shoes and walk off the pounds, or at least that extra helping of mashed potatoes and gravy from the day before. Friday, 10 a.m.-noon, FREE, Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley, 700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave., Staten Island, 718-351-3450, nycgovparks.org/events


Central Park Tour: Heart of the Park

Get at the heart of things on this tour of Central Park, which takes you to some of the most famous landmarks in one of NYC’s most famous landmarks. Stop by the Conservatory Water, Bethesda Terrace, the lake and Strawberry Fields on the east-to-west walk, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy. Meet up at the 72nd St. and Fifth Ave. entrance to the park. Friday, noon-1:30 p.m., FREE, Central Park, enter at E. 72nd St. at Fifth Ave., 212-772-0288, nycgovparks.org