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MANHATTAN HOLIDAY EVENTS

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by Rebecca Forbes

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Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's with our festive family events in New York City!!

                                     

Saturday, December 1

GINGERBREAD DECORATING WORKSHOPS:Decorate your own homemade Gingerbread House with candy canes, gummy bears, black licorice Scotty dogs, Dots, Smarties and other old-fashioned candies. Make it your new holiday tradition while contributing to downtown's only not-for-profit community music and art school. All proceeds go to support Church Street School for Music and Art's programming, community outreach and scholarships. Saturdays, 2:15pm and 4pm; Sundays, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. All ages. Church Street School for Music and Art, 74 Warren Street, West Broadway and Greenwich. 212-571-7290. www.churchstreetschool.org.

A NEW ORLEANS STYLE HOLIDAY CONCERT WITH LOUISIANA ARTIST INGRID LUCIA:Come celebrate the holiday season New Orleans style as Putumayo Kids and Joe's Pub present a New Orleans Christmas at the Putumayo World Playground all-ages concert series. This series is built around Putumayo's CD collections which take children on musical and cultural journeys around the world. 12pm. $12 kids under 12, $15 adults. 425 Lafayette St. 212-967-7555. www.joespub.com.

TRADITIONAL POLISH CHRISTMAS:Traditional Polish Christmas celebration for children at the Kosciuszko Foundation's elegant townhouse. Artist and educator Dorothy Wieczerzak will lead a hands-on Christmas Tree Ornament Workshop, followed by a tree-decorating ceremony, visit by St. Nicholas (Sw. Mikolaj), caroling sing-along and traditional holiday refreshments. Each child will make an ornament for the Foundation's Christmas tree, and one to take home. Attendance is limited. 3pm. Ages 6-12. $15 ($10 for KF members). Kosciuszko Foundation, 15 East 65th Street, 212-734-2130. www.thekf.org.  

Sunday, December 2

CHRISTMAS IN RICHMOND TOWN: Come see the village bustling with holiday cheer, ornament making and caroling. Holiday-themed gift baskets, baked goods, handmade crafts and refreshments. 11am-5pm. FREE. Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island. 718-351-1611. www.thebendheim.org.

THE GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD HOLIDAY SHOW: Brainchild of artist/songwriter/performer Morgan Taylor, Gustafer Yellowgold concerts are a one-of-a-kind blend of live music and moving image, projected in full color onto a big screen. The minimally animated illustrations are accompanied by Taylor's catchy and original story-songs for a truly different multimedia experience. The show will feature such Gustafer Yellowgold seasonal favorites as "Fa and a La," ushering in the holiday season with distinctive good cheer. As always, Morgan Taylor and his band of musicians bring humor to the show, as they interact with their often verbally inquisitive audience. 12pm. All ages. $8 general admission. Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery at Bleecker St., NYC. 212-614-0505. www.bowerypoetry.com.

CHANUKAH COOKIE DECORATING:Join professional baker and mom Sherri Maxman for an afternoon of artistry, eating and fun. Bake buttery sugar cookies from scratch and make royal icing in a rainbow of colors. 1-4pm. Limit of 2 children per adult. $25/$35 per adult. JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street. (646) 505-4444; www.jccmanhattan.org.

GENERATION HOLIDAY WORKSHOP:Have a great time with your Russian-speaking friends and their mostly Russian-speaking little ones while learning about the joys of the holidays. This workshop features storytelling, holiday songs, crafts, food, and more. It is taught by Hannah Cohen and has limited availability. 12:30-1:45pm. Ages 2-5. $20/$25, per child. JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street. (646) 505-4444; www.jccmanhattan.org.

GINGERBREAD DECORATING WORKSHOPS:See December 1.

THE ADVENT FAIR:Activities and programs for all ages, including origami, Advent wreath making, hymn and Christmas song sing-a-longs. The Trinity Choristers will sing for the St. Nicholas Festival and there will be a visit by the "Bishop of Myra" (St. Nicholas). Parents and children can participate in a short play telling the story of Santa/St. Nicholas around the world. 1pm. All ages. FREE. Trinity Wall Street, 74 Trinity Place, 2nd floor Dining Room, Broadway at Wall Street. 212-602-0755. www.trinitywallStreet.org.

Tuesday, December 4

SHABBAT AND HOLIDAY LOBBY CELEBRATIONS:Celebrate the Jewish holidays in the JCC Community Lobby. Crafts, stories, snacks, and more-free drop-in programs for your little one to enjoy. Lobby celebrations are free of charge. 3pm-4pm. Ages 5 and under. FREE. JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street. (646) 505-4444; www.jccmanhattan.org.

Wednesday, December 5

HOLIDAY FUN: WORKSHOPS WITH HANNAH:Have a great time with little ones while showing them the joys and traditions of the holidays. Featuring special songs, crafts, noshes, and more. 3:30pm-4:45pm. Ages 2-5. Each workshop: $20/$25. JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street. (646) 505-4444; www.jccmanhattan.org.

CELEBRATE HANUKKAH WITH THE ANDY STATMAN TRIO: Join the Andy Statman Trio for a unique blend of klezmer, rock, folk, and jazz. Unable to categorize his music, Statman, whom the New Yorker calls "the real thing, a musician's musician," offers this description to listeners: "It's deeply Jewish because I am, and it's honest because I am." 7pm. $25 adults, $20 seniors, $15 students/members. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. 646-437-4202. www.mjhnyc.org.

Thursday, December  6

HOLIDAY FUN: WORKSHOPS WITH HANNAH: See December 5.

Friday, December 7

HANUKKAH SHABBAT DINNER:Join other families for a festive holiday dinner, including latkes, jelly doughnuts and candle lighting. 6-7:30 pm. All ages. $20 adults/$8 children. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue. 212-415-5500. www.92Y.org.

NEW YORK REVELS: For its 28th year, the Christmas Revels goes Nordic. A cast of 80, including guests from Norway and Sweden, will treat audiences to the music, songs, stories and traditions of Scandanavian contries to celebrate the Winter Solstice and "keep the dark away". A warm-hearted community show with some audience participation. Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 2pm and 6pm. All ages. $45-$27, Children under 12, $31-$19. Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, NYC. 212-864-5400. www.symphonyspace.org.

TRUNK SHOW IN THE WAVE HILL SHOP:Get into the holiday spirit at Ellen Schiffman's show featuring miniature botanical collages that provide the focus for pins and necklaces. Also notecards and bookmarks incorporating pressed flowers, leaves and seedpods. 10am-4:30pm. Wave Hill, 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx. 718-549-3200.

Saturday, December 8

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS:In the first major New York City production of this classic family opera since the recent death of its composer, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" returns to Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for two performances on Saturday December 8 in a presentation by The Little Orchestra Society. Music Director Dino Anagnost conducts Mr. Menotti's classic American opera, which was staged specifically for Little Orchestra by the composer. These performances are presented in his honor. 11am and 1pm. $10-$40. Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. 212-971-9500. www.littleorchestra.org.

GINGERBREAD DECORATING WORKSHOPS:See December 1.

PERFORMANCE BANANUKAH!:Entertaining and informative Danna Banana brings his joy, musicality and impish wit to Bananukah!, a retelling of the Hanukkah story filled with games, song and humor. 2pm and 3pm. All Ages. FREE with admission to the museum. FREE with museum admission. Adults and children $9; under 1, free. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.). 212-721-1234. www.cmom.org.

TRUNK SHOW IN THE WAVE HILL SHOP:See December 7.

Sunday, December 9

GINGERBREAD DECORATING WORKSHOPS:See December 1.

TRUNK SHOW IN THE WAVE HILL SHOP:See December 7.

Monday, December 10

CHANUKAH CELEBRATION WITH MALLORY LEWIS AND LAMBCHOP:Join Mallory Lewis (daughter of Shari Lewis) and Lambchop for an hour of music, fun and audience participation as Mallory and Lambchop celebrate Chanukah! Great for all ages. Come sing and play with your kids during this unique and special celebration. A light snack will be served. 5pm-6pm. $18/$22 per person, pre-registration. Free for children under 1. JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street. (646) 505-4444; www.jccmanhattan.org.

MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK'S CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY PARTY:  All proceeds from this event go towards funding programming provided by the museum, such as the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Children's Center, where school children learn about the city's rich history and cultural diversity, as well as Weekend Family Programs, which provide homeless children and their families with workshops and hands-on activities.  Participating families will enjoy a celebrity reading of the children's classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', face painting, children's art activities, games, and a visit with Santa Claus.  A buffet supper will also be served. 3-6pm. Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street.  Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, visit www.mcny.org.

Thursday, December 13

28TH ANNUAL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION:Annual musical celebration featuring Paul-Winter Consort, John-Carlos Perea and Renato. 7pm. All ages. $32-$75. The Cathedral of St. John Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th Street. 212-316-7441. www.ticketweb.com.

GARDEN WORKSHOP:Seasonal Centerpiece: Create a Wave Hill-inspired centerpiece for your table with twigs, cones, vines and fresh greens arranged around a fragrant beeswax candle. Registration required. 11am. $55. Wave Hill, 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx. 718-549-3200.

Saturday, December 15

GINGERBREAD DECORATING WORKSHOPS:See December 1.

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT: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. 8 and 10 am, 12pm and 1pm, 3pm and 4 pm. All ages. FREE. Prospect Park West at Flatbush Avenue. 718-287-3400. www.prospectpark.org.

GINGERBREAD KIDS WORKSHOP:What better way to celebrate the holidays than with some hands-on time in the kitchen? Kids will mix the dough from scratch and shape it into gingerbread boys and girls. Then, they'll make the icing in a variety of colors and teach young bakers how to use piping bags to create their very own gingerbread kid. All junior pastry chefs will create a holiday bag so they can bring home the treats they've made. Ages 3-5: 10am-11am; ages 6-8: 12pm-1:30pm; ages 9-12: 2:30pm-4pm. Cupcake Kids! in Soho. 410-310-6794. www.cupcakekidsnyc.com.

HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD:This multicultural program performed by the Young People's Chorus of New York City is designed for kids ages 5-12 with the aim of helping kids experience the joy of attending a live musical performance. Ages 5-12. $9. Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave. (57 St.). 212-247-7800. www.carnegiehall.org.

'MARIE AND THE NUTCRACKER' AND 'T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS':Dicapo Opera Theatre's fully staged productions of "Marie and the Nutcracker" and "T'was the Night Before Christmas". Geared especially for families with small children, the program is appropriate for ages 2 and up. 5pm-6pm. $20 adults and $10 children under 12. Dicapo Opera Theatre, 184 East 76th Street at Lexington Avenue. 212-759-7652. www.dicapo.com.

Sunday, December 16

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: SCROOGE AND MARLEY:Theater at Trinity presents the annual reading of Israel Horovitz's adaptation of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley'. This is a multi-generational event with audience participation. 1pm. All ages. FREE. Trinity Wall Street, 74 Trinity Place, 2nd floor Parlor, Broadway at Wall Street. 201-915-9814. www.trinitywallStreet.org.

A READING OF 'A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS' WITH WYNTON MARSALIS:Famed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis recites Clement Clark Moore's 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' (more familiarly known as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'), with a lantern procession to the author's gravesite in nearby Trinity Cemetery and refreshments to follow. 4pm. Ages 18 months-12 years old. FREE. The Church of the Intercession, Broadway and 155th Street, Washington Heights. 212-283-6200. www.trinitywallStreet.org.

Friday, December 21

CEREMONY OF CAROLS, HOLIDAY CONCERT, AND CAROLING:The Trinity Choristers perform the annual Ceremony of Carols and Holiday Music. Following the concert, all join together for holiday carols on the east porch. 4:30pm. All ages. FREE. St. Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway, Fulton & Vesey Street. 212-602-0800. www.trinitywallStreet.org.

Saturday, December 22

THE BROADWAY KIDS' CHRISTMAS SHOW:Broadway's youngest stars from shows including 'The Lion King', 'Beauty and the Beast', and 'Gypsy' perform songs to celebrate the holidays. 2pm and 3pm. All ages. FREE with museum admission. Adults and children $9; under 1, free. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.). 212-721-1234. www.cmom.org.

Monday, December 24

HOLIDAY KEEPSAKE:Families can paint the story of how they celebrate the holidays with acrylic paints on real canvas. 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm. Ages 5 and older. FREE with museum admission. Adults and children $9; under 1, free. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.). 212-721-1234. www.cmom.org.

CHRISTMAS EVE FAMILY EUCHARIST AND THE BUILDING OF THE CRECHE: A special Christmas service designed for families featuring the story of Christmas told by the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector of Trinity Wall Street. This service involves children throughout. Children of the congregation help to build the Christmas creche as the Rector tells the timeless story of the birth of Jesus, followed by the celebration of the Eucharist. Christmas carols are sung at various points in the service. 4pm. All ages. FREE. St. Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway, Fulton & Vesey Streets. 212-602-0800. www.trinitywallStreet.org.

Wednesday, December 26

PERFORMANCE MAGBANA DRUM AND DANCE: Celebrate Kwanzaa with the explosive energy of traditional African rhythms, kung fu and modern dance rooted in West African tradition. 2pm, 3pm. All ages. FREE with museum admission. Adults and children $9, under 1 free. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.). 212-721-1234. www.cmom.org.

Thursday, December 27

HOLIDAY KEEPSAKE:See December 24.

Friday, December 28

HOLIDAY KEEPSAKE:See December 24.


Saturday, December 29

KWANZAA CELEBRATION: A colorful cultural festival of African and African-American performing and visual arts commemorates the seven principles of Kwanzaa at the Museum. A feast for the soul and senses, this vibrant all-day event offers African dance, spoken word, live musical performances, and traditional crafts. A bustling Kwanzaa Marketplace, located on the Mezzanine Level of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, will feature vendors, visual artists, and craftspeople, as well as representatives from major cultural institutions. In addition, special Kwanzaa foods will be available in the Museum Food Court. Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, first floor. The American Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West. 212-769-5800. www.amnh.org.

KWANZAA UNITY CUP: Learn about the significance of the unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja) used at the harvest feast during Kwanzaa. Make your own unity cup with clay and paint it with the colors of Kwanzaa. 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm. Ages 5 and older. FREE with museum admission. Adults and children $9, under 1 free. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.). 212-721-1234. www.cmom.org.

Sunday, December 30

KWANZAA UNITY CUP:See December 29.

Monday, December 31

TOOT-A-LOO TO 2007: Make and decorate a festive New Year's horn to toot and salute the end of 2007. 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm. Ages 5 and older. FREE with museum admission. Adults and children $9; under 1, free. Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.). 212-721-1234. www.cmom.org.

 

MUSEUMS/ GALLERIES



HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW: "All aboard!" One of New York's most beloved holiday traditions transforms the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a magical world with large-scale model trains and trolleys zipping through an enchanting landscape, disappearing into tunnels, crossing bridges, and gliding under waterfalls and twinkling lights. The exhibit features replicas — made entirely from plant parts like berries, leaves, and seeds — of more than 140 New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and Yankee Stadium. All ages. Adult $18, Student $16, Ages 2-12, $5; Grounds only: Adult $6, Student (with valid ID) $2, Ages 2-12, $1. NY Botanical Garden, 2694 Dr Theodore Kazimiroff Blvd, Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road. (718) 817-8700. www.nybg.org.

 

GINGERBREAD ADVENTURES: A "sense-sational" holiday experience! Using smell, touch, and taste, children discover the spices and other plant parts that make up a gingerbread recipe. They learn that cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree, ginger root from an underground stem, and cloves from the bud of a clove tree. They also grind spices, make sachets, and decorate gingersnap cookies. There's a sprinkle of holiday magic with larger-than-life topiary bunnies and a kid-sized gingerbread house to explore. 1:30-5:30pm weekdays, 10:30-5:30 weekends. All ages. Free with admission. NY Botanical Garden, 2694 Dr Theodore Kazimiroff Blvd, Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road. (718) 817-8700. www.nybg.org.

SHOWTIME

'THE BLUE CARBUNCLE WITH SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE GIFT OF THE MAGI': Especially for the holiday season, JB Theatrical Productions in association with WorkShop Theater Company will present an evening of Holiday classics: a double feature of "The Blue Carbuncle with Sherlock Holmes," a play about forgiveness and friendship restored, and "The Gift of the Magi," based on the famed O. Henry story about sacrifice and love. The plays have been newly adapted for the stage by Andrew Joffe and are directed by Kathleen Brant. Music directed and arranged by Jeffrey Buchsbaum will underlie the evening. Show runs December 6-22. Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, matinees Saturday at 2pm. Ages 9-109. $18; $12 students/seniors. WorkShop Theater , 312 West 36th Street, New York. 212-695-4173. www.workshoptheater.org.

THE LITTLEST LIGHT ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE: The tale of Little Light, a discarded Christmas bulb, and the 8-year-old boy who finds him and takes him home. When the town suffers a blackout from a fierce winter storm, Little Light triumphs over all odds — and his own self-doubt — to 'shine'. Opens December 8. Runs Saturdays and Sundays, at 11am and 1pm. $18. Vital Theatre Company, 2162 Broadway , New York. 212-579-0646. www.vitaltheatre.org.

THE BLUE BIRD: On Christmas Eve, a mysterious visitor leads a materialistic city girl named Martha on a fantastical journey in search of the "blue bird of happiness" in this multimedia musical extravaganza based on Maurice Maeterlinck's play. Runs December 14-30; Fridays and Saturdays 7pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees. All ages. $40, or $25 per ticket for a Family Pack of four tickets or more. Urban Stages, 259 West 30th Street, NYC. 212-868-4444. www.urbanstages.org.

NEW TANG DYNASTY TV PRESENTS HOLIDAY WONDERS: Create a new holiday tradition with this fusion of classical Eastern and Western cultures in New York. Experience the celebration this season with Holiday Wonders. Blending the charm of the East with the holiday spirit of the West through two hours of performances that range from classic European ballet to the theatrical folk dances of China. Show runs December 18-26. Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 1:30pm; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday at 4pm; Wednesday at 7:30pm. All ages. $48-$128. Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, NYC. 212-307-7171. www.beacontheatrenyc.com.


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