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Things to Do

NYC weekend picks: Holiday cruises, new plays and more things to do

Don't have any plans for the weekend? We're here to help.

There are plenty of reasons to get out of the apartment and experience real life.

Here are our picks for things to do in your city this weekend.

Schtick a Pole In It: Christmas Surprise Edition (Dec. 21-22)

Comedians, including Dan Goodman, JoAnna Ross and Kendra
Photo Credit: Schtick a Pole In It

Comedians, including Dan Goodman, JoAnna Ross and Kendra Cunningham, and pole dancers (not strippers) from Incredipole, Pole Play, Body Soul & Pole and more are alternating on the stage at "Schtick a Pole In It: Christmas Surprise Edition." This Christmas spectacle will feature carols but also some throwback hits. ($20 online or $25 cash at the door; 8 p.m., Drom, 85 Ave. A,  ticketfly.com)

See Jeremy O. Harris' 'Slave Play' (through Jan. 13)

The world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' "Slave
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' "Slave Play," set on plantation in the old South where nothing is as it seems, promises to be an adult evening of theater (with warnings of nudity, racial and sexual violence). Two-time Obie winner Robert O'Hara directs. With Teyonah Parris and Paul Alexander Nolan, pictured. (Tickets from $35, through Jan. 13, the New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. 4th St. nytw.org)

'Noura' at Playwrights Horizons (through Dec. 30)

A family of Iraqi immigrants gets a Christmas
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

A family of Iraqi immigrants gets a Christmas visitor who stirs up buried memories in Heather Raffo's "Noura." Joanna Settle directs the Playwrights Horizons' mainstage production in association with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. (Tickets from $39, through Dec. 30, Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., playwrightshorizons.org)

Raheem DeVaughan & Friends (Dec. 21)

Raheem DeVaughan, R&B's self-proclaimed "Love King," will spread
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Aaron J. Thornton

Raheem DeVaughan, R&B's self-proclaimed "Love King," will spread some holiday cheer with his annual benefit concert. This year's edition includes appearances from Marsha Ambrosius, Eric Benet, Yo-Yo and Funkmaster Flex. ($35-$65, 7:30 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., ticketmaster.com)

Watch Tchaikovsky meet hip-hop (Dec. 23)

Featuring hip-hop icon Kurtis Blow (pictured) as a
Photo Credit: Timothy Norris

Featuring hip-hop icon Kurtis Blow (pictured) as a special guest, the Hip Hop Nutcracker is an energy-infused take on the Tchaikovsky classic that is based in the Russian composer's work but is generously spiked with hip-hop style and dance. You'll hear DJs scratch, performers pop and lock, rappers rhyme -- all on the back of seasonally appropriate classical music. ($29.50-$79.50, 6 p.m., Kings Theatre: 1027 Flatbush Ave., hiphopnutcracker.com)

Hear medieval Spanish holiday music (Dec. 23)

The Renaissance ensemble Sonnambula (pictured) is putting on
Photo Credit: Paula Lobo

The Renaissance ensemble Sonnambula (pictured) is putting on a pair of performances imbued with holiday spirit at the Met's dedicated space for the culture and art of medieval Europe. All the music comes from the Cancionero Musical de Palacio manuscript, Spanish music written prior to the 16th century. ($65 includes museum admission, 1 and 3 p.m., 99 Margaret Corbin Dr., Fort Tryon Park, metmuseum.org)

Build a gingerbread house (Dec. 23)

The New York Hall of Science is giving
Photo Credit: Andrew Kelly

The New York Hall of Science is giving children ages 18 months and older a chance to build their own gingerbread house, from the tasty foundation up, during each "Little Makers: Gingerbread House Engineering." In addition, visiting families can explore GingerBread Lane, a vast, entirely edible gingerbread village. Devised by Queens resident Jon Lovitch, the exhibit is included with museum admission. ($9 plus general admission, 50-minute sessions at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., 47-01 111th St., Corona, nysci.org)

Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise (through Dec. 30)

Carol literally around Manhattan aboard a cruise ship
Photo Credit: Classic Harbor Line

Carol literally around Manhattan aboard a cruise ship decked out with holiday decor and full of wine, beer, champagne, and (spiked) gourmet hot cocoa. Classic Harbor Line's Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise takes off from Chelsea Piers and serenades you with live carols and a free drink. ($64, 5:15 and 7:45 p.m., West 22nd Street and Hudson River, sail-nyc.com)

The Strategist's holiday pop-up shop (through Dec. 23)

New York Magazine has made its foray into
Photo Credit: Courtesy of New York Magazine

New York Magazine has made its foray into retail with the "I Found It At The Strategist" pop-up, which features the magazine's favorite health and beauty products, including a chlorophyll mask, a charcoal-infused face towel, Aubrey Plaza's Travel Kit, snail essence, setting powders and more, and has events that offer free blowouts, facials, makeup applications and master classes. (347 West Broadway, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., nymag.com)

'Christmas in Hell' at the York Theatre Company (through Dec. 30)

Old Bethpage native Garry Apple has done the
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

Old Bethpage native Garry Apple has done the book, music and lyrics for a new musical comedy, "Christmas in Hell," now being performed by the York Theatre Company. We're warned that it's more naughty than nice. It's rated PG13 for explicit language. (From $67.50, the York Theatre Company, Saint Peter's, 619 Lexington Ave., yorktheatre.org)

‘The Hard Nut’ at BAM (Dec. 14-16, 20-23)

The season does call for performances of
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

The season does call for performances of "The Nutcracker," but for those who'd prefer a fresher take on the tale, Mark Morris's "The Hard Nut" might be the right fit. A classic in its own right, this version of the ballet is itself almost 30 years old -- a reimagining resplendent with cartoony costume, modernized characters and comical moments, all set to the Tchaikovsky score. ($25 to $125, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House at Peter Jay Sharp Building: 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, bam.org)

Christmas concerts with Trinity Church (Dec. 13-24)

Trinity Church Wall Street has a lot going
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street has a lot going on for Christmas this year, including a Christmas carol reading, a ceremony of carols, a Christmas Eve candlelight a midnight mass, and community caroling event.

Handel's "Messiah" (Dec. 13, 14, 16, 17): The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, with conductor Julian Wachner, will perform the classic at 7:30 p.m. on these dates, except for on Dec. 16, when it will be at 3 p.m. $25-$100.

"Compline by Candlelight: Ceremony of Carols" (Dec. 16): The Trinity Youth Chorus performs "Ceremony of Carols," Britten's set of ancient Christmas texts, at 8 p.m. Free.

"Comfort at Christmas" (Dec. 16): A service for those in grief or who have experienced loss can come to this service for meditative music, prayer, and a quiet space for comfort and support. It will be Led by the Rev. Alfred Loua and the Rev. Kristin Miles. Music is provided by Anne Damassa. Refreshments will be served as well. Free.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas' reading (Dec. 16): Assem. Al Taylor of Upper Manhattan reads the classic poem at the Church of the Intercession at W. 155th St. Free.

Community Carol Sing (Dec. 22-23): Head to St. Paul's Chapel to sing Christmas favorites with Downtown Voices, the Trinity Youth Chorus, and Trinity's new music orchestra, NOVUS NY, at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 23. $10-$25.

Christmas Eve events (Dec. 24): The candlelight Christmas mass will take place at midnight in St. Paul's Chapel with carol singing, music by the choir and a eucharist by the Rev. Elizabeth Blunt and the Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones. At 3 p.m., the church will host its family eucharist with giant puppets, a children's sermon and the Trinity Youth Chorus. Then from 9 to 10:45 p.m., the traditional service will start with a 40-minute prelude of choral music and carols, followed by a choral eucharist. Free.

'Christmas in America' (through Dec. 24)

Industry City is celebrating the holidays with visits
Photo Credit: Industry City

Industry City is celebrating the holidays with visits from Santa, a giant mural of the Grinch inside an elevator and a photography exhibit called "Christmas in America" by artist Jesse Rieser. The exhibit, which includes photos across eight years, depicts the different traditions and ways Americans celebrate the holiday season around the country. For those who go, Santa Claus will arrive on a forklift and take photos from noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. And don't miss the Grinch elevator. (Free, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 241 37th St., Brooklyn, industrycity.com)

'Wreath Interpretations' (Dec. 10-Jan. 3)

Peruse through unique and unconventional wreaths from nearly
Photo Credit: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

Peruse through unique and unconventional wreaths from nearly 40 fine artists and designers who formed their works with piano keys, pasta, plastic bottles, various tools ("Domestic Artifacts" by Liz York, pictured), foam ears, tree tags and art supplies among other unusual objects. The exhibit opens with a reception Dec. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. (Free, 9 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 830 Fifth Ave., nycgovparks.org)

Dive into Warhol at the Whitney (through March 31)

In what the Whitney is describing as its
Photo Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutters/JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

In what the Whitney is describing as its largest monographic exhibition yet, this look back at the works of Andy Warhol is curated to show how the artist moved forward from a 1968 assassination attempt to grow, take even more risks and venture into creatives places even he hadn't considered. "Andy Warhol -- From A to B and Back Again" features works and materials found following his death in 1987, demonstrating that a man whose work often seemed before his time may is still extraordinarily relevant. ($25, Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St., whitney.org)

See Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken's holiday show (Dec. 7-30)

It's a blast from the past, as the
Photo Credit: Mark Hill

It's a blast from the past, as the "American Idol" favorites team up for "Ruben & Clay's first annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion," an evening of holiday music and comedy. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Inclusion Project. (From $39, Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., telecharge.com)

'A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York' (through June 23)

A new exhibit at the Museum of the
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kerlan Collection, Children’s Literature Research

A new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, "A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman's New York," provides a sweeping look at his life's work in three sections, "City Life," "Stage Life" and "Corduroy and Friends." The author wrote 40 books that included characters who lived and worked at well-known landmarks, including Norman the Doorman, a mouse who stands sentry at the art museum; Hattie, the backstage bat who lived at the Lyceum Theatre; and Maestro Petrini, the mouse who works at the Metropolitan Opera. But Corduroy, the stuffed bear in need of a button for his green overalls, is the most beloved. ($18, 1220 Fifth Ave., mcny.org)

Flatiron Cheer Dec. 1-23

Join in on a whole month of free
Photo Credit: Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID

Join in on a whole month of free activities and holiday-themed walking tours from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership each Sunday in December. Catch free live performances and activities, including Winter Wellness Wednesdays and chances to win giveaways. flatirondistrict.nyc)

Accumulations: Hanukkah Lamps (through Feb. 9)

Photo Credit: Courtesy Jewish Museum

"Accumulations: Hanukkah Lamps," is the Jewish Museum's collection of more than 80 Hanukkah lamps that come from four continents across six centuries. The collection contains almost 1,050 pieces and was amassed over 114 years. Each lamp is unique in its design, decoration and the way it was created. ($18, Saturday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1109 Fifth Ave., Manhattan TheJewishMuseum.org)

Celebrate 60 years of Alvin Ailey (Nov. 28-Dec. 30)

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Alvin
Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is doing a monthlong stint at New York City Center featuring premieres from some of its lauded choreographers.The two-act ballet "Lazarus" (pictured) from Rennie Harris and "The Call" from Ronald K. Brown are part of the program, as is "Kairos," a contemporary piece from Wayne McGregor and "EN" from Jessica Lang, who is making her choreographic debut at Ailey with this, her 100th ballet. ($29-$159, twice on Saturdays and Sundays, New York City Center: 131 W. 55th St., alvinailey.org)

Get in the holiday spirit at Miracle (Nov. 23-Dec. 31)

Popular Christmas-themed pop-up bar, Miracle, is returning with
Photo Credit: Melissa Hom

Popular Christmas-themed pop-up bar, Miracle, is returning with four locations, including one in Brooklyn for the very first time. Each bar is decked out with fun and festive decorations, from Santa statuettes to sparking garland, packaged presents and fake snow. Themed drinks go for $14-$16 and shots priced at $7. One of the drinks, "The Christmas Carol Barrel," pictured, contains aged rum, Aquavit, Amaro, pumpkin pie, Demerara syrup, lime, vanilla, and Angostura bitters.The bars will open on Black Friday at Boilermaker at 13 First Ave.; at Mace at 649 E. Ninth St.; 505 E. 12th St.; and on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Grand Street in Williamsburg. miraclepopup.com

See two short plays by Ireland's Brian Friel (through Dec. 23)

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

"Two by Friel" features short plays by Irish playwright Brian Friel. "Lovers: Winners," is a 1967 work about two teen lovers (Aoife Kelly and Phil Gillen, pictured), and "The Yalta Game," is a 2001 piece adapted from a Chekhov story. ($50, The Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., irishrep.org)

The art of jewelry at the Met (through Feb. 24)

Jewelry can demonstrate wealth or declare love --
Photo Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jewelry can demonstrate wealth or declare love -- but do you recognize it as an art form? "Jewelry: The Body Transformed" looks back through history to review the power and influence of extravagant adornments with more than 200 pieces, including "Oh I am Precious #7," pictured, by artist Eugene Pijanowski. ($25, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., metmuseum.org)

Ride the Holiday Nostalgia Trains (Sundays through Dec. 31)

Swipe your MetroCard ($2.75) for a ride on
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Swipe your MetroCard ($2.75) for a ride on a vintage 1930s R1-9 train, which will take you on a unique route, starting at the Second Avenue F station in Lower Manhattan and heading uptown along Sixth Avenue to Rockefeller Center before switching over to the Central Park West line with stops at Columbus Circle and 125th Street in Harlem. The trains, which operated between 1932 and 1977, feature paddle ceiling fans, vintage advertisements, incandescent light bulbs and rattan seats. Check out the schedule here.

Go window shopping

Soak in the holiday spirit by spending time
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

Soak in the holiday spirit by spending time in front of the city's many holiday window displays, from Bloomingdale's "Grinch"-themed windows (pictured) to Bergdorf Goodman's candy land. Check out what is up this year in our holiday windows roundup.

Free day at the Whitney Museum (Fridays)

Pay what you want to get into the
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Pay what you want to get into the Whitney on Friday evenings. The museum has 63,000 square feet of exhibition space and has about 15,000 pieces of work by artists like Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe and others. (7 to 10 p.m., 99 Gansevoort St., facebook.com)

Drag Queen Brunch (every Sunday)

Make your brunch a little more glamorous with
Photo Credit: Molly Tavoletti

Make your brunch a little more glamorous with Toro Loco's Sunday Drag Queen Brunch, featuring performances from the city's best drag queens and live music, like electronic saxophonist @livesax. For $50 per person, you'll get two hours of unlimited share plates and up to five signature brunch cocktails each. (15 Stone St., 917-262-0444, toroloconyc.com)

Tour Ellis Island's hospital

Empty for nearly 70 years, this space, best-known
Photo Credit: Untapped Cities | Augustin Pasquet

Empty for nearly 70 years, this space, best-known as an entrance point for turn-of-the-last-century European immigrants, also has a history of holding the ill who arrived but weren't deemed healthy enough to enter. This around two-hour tour of the century-old disease wards shows how those treated and held here ate, lived and, sometimes, died. Dress for the weather; closed-toe shoes are mandatory. Not wheelchair-accessible; children must be 10 or older. ($75, 2 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays until the end of 2018, Ellis Island: Statue of Liberty National Monument, untappedcities.com)

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