Note: This list has been updated to reflect the 2011/2012 season.
Worried about finding things to do this Winter? Luckily, we've got you covered. There may not be enough hours in the day or days in the winter for everything on this list, but you can always try! From the largest indoor pool on the East Coast to the Revolving Lounge at Marriott Marquise, we've got enough things to keep you off the couch.
1. Winter Restaurant Week. 2011 dates are TBA, we will update you shortly. Over 250 of the finest restaurants in New York will offer prix fixe menus during the Winter 2011 series. www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek
2. Explore Eataly, a 50,000-square-foot space brought to New Yorkers by three of the top Italian-American restaurateurs in the Nation: Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio. Founded by Oscar Farinetti, and located in the lobby of the Toy Building (200 Fifth Ave. between 23rd and 24th streets) in the Flatiron District, Eataly features multiple restaurants, including a fine dining Italian steakhouse called Manzo, a Neapolitan pizzeria, and a year round rooftop beer garden and microbrewery. eatalyny.com/
3. Sunday Brunch at Calle Ocho. Come to Calle Ocho on the Upper West Side on Sundays for brunch and enjoy eight types of unlimited sangria with the purchase of 1 entree. Brunch Entree's range from $14 – $16. www.calleochonyc.com
4. All you can eat Wings. $21 All-You-Can-Eat Wings, Fries & Onion Rings AND 3 pitchers of beer at Down the Hatch every Saturday & Sunday. The doors open at noon, the special runs from 1pm - 6pm. www.nycbestbar.com/downthehatch/
5. Free Pizza. Get a free pizza with every beer at the Alligator Lounge in Williamsburg (between Lorimer St & Leonard St — Just take the G or L line to Metropolitan Ave-Lorimer St). Visit Yelp for more info.
6. More Free Pizza at Naples. During happy hour at Naples, the free pies keep coming - when you see it come out, grab a plate. Nothing better than a thin-crusted slice to accompany your Perroni. Naples 45 was awarded the coveted certification of "La Vera Pizza Napoletana," in recognition of serving authentic Neapolitan pizza made with traditional ingredients, methods, and wood-burning ovens - one of only two such awards in New York City. www.patinagroup.com
7. New York City's oldest continuously operated saloon. McSorley's Old Ale House. On entry you'll feel as if you've stepped into a pub in Galway, Ireland: bits of sawdust at your feet, a little sunlight peering through the dusty windows, and just two kinds of house beers. Order two at a time, light and dark; they're half pints and they go down fast. www.mcsorleysnewyork.com
8. Margaritas at Zarela's. Ask what flavors they have, as they change frequently. Fresh fruit purees of raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate and mango are piled high in large wine glasses and topped with a mixture of tequila, salt and sour mix. Yes, they are $10 each, but you'll only manage two. Trust us. www.zarela.com
9. Explore NYC's Wine Bars. Wine bars in NYC have gained extraordinary popularity in the past few years. Like local coffee shops and low-key bars, wine bars provide a casual atmosphere to meet friends for a drink and a snack. Wine bars range in price, food selection, size of wine list, and crowd.
10. Go to an Open Mic-Night. New York City is the place where people go to make their dreams come true, so you might even catch a glimpse of a fledgling star. Most of these fill up pretty quickly, so make sure you get there early. Here's our picks.
11. NYC's top BYOB (Bring your own bottle, or booze, or beer) restaurants. We've compiled a list of the ten best restaurants in the city with BYOB policies. You won't only save money, but you'll get some awesome food, too. Cheap and delicious: what more could you ask for?
12. Learn a little about beer. Did you know that there are about 8,000 different types of beer in all of NYC's many bars? Mr. O'Leary, a "beer geek" who brews in his East Village apartment, has put together a blog about craft beer, beer bars, homebrewing, and beer culture in the New York Area. brewyorknewyork.com
13. Free wine tastings at many of NYC's wine shops. Manhattan isn't the cheapest place to drink. We all know that. So we've put together a list of wine shops that offer free tastings.
14. Get a burger at Shake Shack, (a Danny Meyer burger joint) in Madison Square, hands down NYC's best burger place. The lines tend to be long, but it's definitely worth the wait! There's also a Shake Shack on the Upper West Side at 366 Columbus Ave. www.shakeshacknyc.com
15. Have a burger at the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien. Burger Joint is literally hidden behind a curtain in the lobby of this posh hotel, and remains a beloved burger sanctuary in Midtown. www.parkermeridien.com. Four stars with over 1,000 votes on Yelp.
16. Go to one of NYC's best Rooftop Bars for some awesome views. We've compiled a list of the ten best rooftop bars in the city, where there are nothing but cold drinks, open air, and gorgeous views of the city that never sleeps.
17. Do some Karaoke. New York City, home to some of the most talented singers in the world, also offers musical refuge to the not-so-vocally-endowed in its abundance of karaoke bars. Here's out list.
18. Explore NYC's Chocolate Shops. Fans of dark, white, or milk: this city isn't lacking an abundance of chocolately treats. If you're a chocolate lover, don't miss out on some of NY's most scrumptious chocolate shops. Here are 10 of the city's best shops.
19. Explore NYC's Cupcake Shops. Manhattan's chaotic world of deadlines and appointments, congested streets and tourist crowds, sometimes you just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy the high of a good, old-fashioned sugar rush. Here are ten of the best places around.
20. Go to "Science, Cocktails and Conversation" at SciCafe at the Natural History Museum every Wednesday at 7pm. Free entry with cash bar. www.amnh.org/calendar/series/SciCafe
21. See Dylan's Candy Store -- opened by Ralph Lauren's daughter. You won't find Oompa Loompas or a chocolate river here, but you will find one of the biggest (and most creative) selections of candy in all of Manhattan and the world. www.dylanscandybar.com
22. Go on a Santa Pub Crawl. For the over-21 crowd, this holiday season you can follow Santa and his drunken little helpers to local bars for the Santa Pub Crawl. www.spcnyc.com
23. Take a free tour of the Brooklyn Brewery. If you have a Saturday or Sunday free, the brewery gives a complimentary hour-long tour of its facilities between 1-4 pm. On Fridays, you're welcome to bring your own food while you sip on some micro-brewed draft beer. The beer isn't free, but at five beers for $20, and a sixth one free, most people won't mind spending a few bucks for some quality hops. www.brooklynbrewery.com
24. Go to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria. This is the oldest Beer Garden in NYC (100 years old!) It's a pretty easy subway ride from Manhattan. Just take the N or Q trains to Astoria Boulevard. Check out HopStop.com for subway directions. It's like Map Quest for Public Transport. www.bohemianhall.com
25. Go to Canal Street in Chinatown Perhaps it's the thrill of the hunt; perhaps it's the chance to buy "designer" merchandise for a fraction of the price. Either way, people journey to Canal Street in Chinatown every day where vendors both legitimate and illegal sell their wares to herds of shoppers in tiny stores along the overcrowded sidewalks, and occasionally in "secret locations" off the main street.
26. Go to the Brooklyn Flea Market. During winter the Flea never stops—they just move indoors. They've announced their return to the majestic Skylight One Hanson space at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank for the third winter run. From November 26th & 27th, 2011 through March 31st & April 1st, 2012, the market will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm at Skylight One Hanson (except Christmas and New Year's weekends when it will be closed). The market features 100 vendors inside the landmark Williamsburg Savings Bank. In addition to moving indoors to Skylight One Hanson, the Flea and Brooklyn Brewery will launch SmorgasBrewery on Sunday, December 4th, 2011: a mini-Smorgasburg featuring a rotating cast of five Flea/Smorg food vendors serving inside the Brewery's Tasting Room on North 11th St. in Williamsburg. The weekly feast will coincide with the Brewery's regular Sunday hours (noon–6pm), which include free brewery tours on the hour. SmorgasBrewery will run from noon to 5pm, and is scheduled to last through March 2012. www.brooklynflea.com
27. Bedford Avenue Flea Market in Williamsburg Brooklyn The Market is located inside a 3,000-square-foot building. Artists & Fleas Artist, Designer & Vintage Market is a weekly Williamsburg Brooklyn market where emerging and independent artists, designers, vintage collectors and DIYers can showcase their wares, set up shop and meet their market. The market is open every Saturday & Sunday from 10am - 7pm. artistsandfleas.com
28. Shop Smith Street, Brooklyn. Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens: These three small communities in northern Brooklyn form "BoCoCa," one of the many recently gentrified areas in the borough. BoCoCa has always been known for its beautiful tree-lined streets, though only in recent years have hip twenty-somethings and toddlers with their stylish moms emerged from the picturesque brownstones. The area is historically Italian, and family-owned restaurants, delis and hardware stores tenaciously remain amidst the trendy new inhabitants and businesses. The result is a charming combination between new world and old world Brooklyn, so BoCoCa feels a bit like a mix between the East Village, the Upper West Side, and Little Italy
29. Free guided tour of the Highline. Friends of the High Line leads a free, guided tour every Saturday at 11am for up to 20 people. To join the tour, meet below the High Line at the northwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets at 10:45am. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not accepted. www.thehighline.org/events/all/2011/6/every-saturday-saturday-tours
30. Free Guided Tours of Central Park, put on by the Central Park conservancy. Year-round, the Conservancy offers free walking tours that highlight several areas of Central Park. These guided tours take place rain or shine, except in extreme weather conditions (heavy rain, sustained winds of 30mph or more, snowstorms, and temperatures 25 degrees and below or 95 degrees and above). All tours are led by experienced guides who are volunteers in the Central Park Conservancy Walking Tour Program. www.centralparknyc.org/visit/tours/guided-tours/
31. Take a free self-guided tour of the New York Public Library. Enter the Main Reading Room to sample the library's grand interior. At 297 feet long and 78 feet wide, the room features massive arched windows with two tiers of bookshelves lining the perimeter below.
32. Free guided walking tours of Greenwich Village. For the arts and culture buffs out there, the Village Alliance, a Business Improvement District, holds its 8th Street walking tour in historic Greenwich Village, where you can visit Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios, abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock's former home, and Washington Square Park. www.villagealliance.org
33. Free guided tours of the Federal Reserve Bank. Visitors to the Bank will be able to explore the Fed's roles and responsibilities through a guided tour and interactive exhibits in the Bank's museum. The guided tour includes an overview of the Federal Reserve System, admission to the Bank's museum featuring FedWorks and the History of Money exhibits, and a visit to the gold vault. Space is limited, so make reservations several weeks to months in advance. There is no waiting list or walk-ins for the guided tour. Admission is free but you MUST make a reservation. To make a reservation, visit: www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/visiting.html
34. Take a Gossip Girl sites tour. Check out the spots where hot young actors like Blake Lively (Serena Van der Woodson) and Chace Crawford (Nate Archibald) take on the roles of socialite teenagers in New York City. Take a look at the Upper East Side elite society of sex, drugs, jealousy, and the pressures of the prestigious academic institutions they attend. Tours are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 12pm at 51st St and Madison Ave. Admission is $40 + $2 ticket fee. www.onlocationtours.com/tour/gossip-girl/
Note: you can find addition walking tours here.
35. Free Writing Classes. Gotham frequently offers free one-hour workshops in the New York metropolitan area in partnership with area booksellers. www.writingclasses.com
36. Take a class at the New York School of Burlesque. Classes range from Flirting with Burlesque, geared toward fun and easy moves to get you fit and fine, The Essential Burlesque Dance Series, which is the entire series of beginner burlesque dance classes. www.schoolofburlesque.com
37. Take cooking lessons at the Brooklyn Kitchen Ever wanted to know how to cook an authentic Chinese stir-fry, brew your own beer, make sourdough bread, soda, or mozzarella? Ever wanted to learn how to use knives how famous chefs do? Or butcher a pig? Well now you can! The master chefs at the Brooklyn Kitchen will teach you everything you need to know. Most courses are only $25-$50. www.thebrooklynkitchen.com
38. Take some free classes at the Public Library. The New York Public Library offers 25,000 free public classes, programs and exhibitions at its 90 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. www.nypl.org/events
39: Take a Couple of Classes at the Brooklyn Brainery: The Brooklyn Brainery hosts collaborative learning classes where you can experiment with all the things you've wanted to learn but just haven't. Classes meet for either one, two, or three weeks, and they keep them as inexpensive as possible (something like $30 for a bunch of class sessions), because you shouldn't have to spend a paycheck to learn something new. For more information, visit: brooklynbrainery.com/
40. Go ice-skating at Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center or Central Park. Ice skating in New York City transports you back to a time where all you needed to celebrate winter was the cold crisp air and the festive city lights. So get on your warmest hat, lace up those skates, and be prepared to relive a little magic from your childhood. The Pond at Bryant Park is now open, and will run thru February 26th, 2012. The Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center is NOW OPEN for the 2011 holiday season! Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink are both open for the 2011/2012 holiday season. For more information, visit: www.centralpark.com/guide/sports/central-park-ice-skating.html
41. Go sledding in Central Park. Central Park has 2 places to slide down the slopes. Just north of the 72nd St. entrance at Fifth Ave., Pilgrim Hill offers a steep slope that levels out to a gentle finish, which is perfect for sledding. Another hill, Cedar Hill, which lies between 76th and 79th st. just south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is also an excellent sledding hill.
42. Go cross-country skiing in Queens. You can cross-country ski around Flushing Meadows Park's Meadow Lake, or along Forest Park's winter-wonderland trails.
43. Get a membership at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink. Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink is the largest recreation complex ever built in a city park at 110,000 square-feet! The $66.3-million, year-round complex features an Olympic sized pool and NHL-regulation ice rink, which is used for competitive leagues. And the best part? They only charge a small $75 annual fee! For more information, visit: www.nycgovparks.org
44. Go on the NY Skyride, it's the only virtual aerial simulator in NYC. Located in the Empire State Building. Your fantasy comes to life via a specially designed platform which moves in sync to an 18-foot high-definition screen. Actor Kevin Bacon narrates your 30-minute adventure, taking you across the skyline on a unique journey around nearly three dozen famous landmarks. You never have to leave the comfort of the second floor at the famed Empire State Building. www.skyride.com
45. Go rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders. Brooklyn Boulders is New York City's largest climbing gym with over 20,000 square feet of bouldering and climbing walls. They also offer a variety of training classes for those seeking to increase their rock climbing skills and knowledge, as well as daily yoga classes and a slackline. brooklynboulders.com
46. Play tennis at the Bridgeview Racquet and Fitness Club – It's a 100,000-square-foot white tennis dome that houses eight indoor courts, a pro tennis shop, and a full-service gym for $35 per month. www.bridgeviewtennis.com
47. Learn how to ride a horse at the Riverdale Equestrian Center – just 30 minutes north of Manhattan. The entire center is inside!
48. Play pool or ping pong at Ocean's 8 in Brooklyn. They have 30 large TV screens, 30 pool tables, 6 ping-pong tables, 2 bowling allies, and more. www.oceans8atbrownstone.com
49. Go to the New York Spa Castle in Flushing, Queens. The New York Spa Castle, located in Flushing Queens, is a relaxing escape for budget-minded folks. The Castle is 5 stories high and has 100,000 feet of luxurious serenity. For $35 on weekdays, and $45 on weekends, you'll receive unlimited time usage of their spa facilities, including a foot and body massage pool, Hinoki Bath, sauna, indoor, outdoor, and kiddie pools, waterfalls, and an aqua bar. They also have a fitness center, which is $5, and annual memberships. www.nyspacastle.com
50. Spend the day exploring one of NYC's botanical gardens. The Queens Botanical Garden is free between November 1st and March 31st, and April through October on Wednesdays from 3-6pm and Sundays from 4-6pm. The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is free all day on Wednesdays, and from 10am to 12pm on Saturdays. The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is $8, but is well worth it. Spreading across 52 acres in the center of Brooklyn, the gardens display more than 11,000 plant species from around the world. The gardens also boast a famous Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, one of the oldest and most popular Japanese gardens outside of Japan.
51. Take a free tour of the Central Synagogue. It seats over 1,400 people and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Tours are Wednesday at 12:45pm weekly. No reservations needed, except for group tours. www.centralsynagogue.org
54. Go to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The museum, which opened in 1990 after extensive restoration to the main building on Ellis Island, provides free admission with the purchase of a ferry ticket. www.nps.gov/elis
55. Go to Forbes Magazine Galleries. Admission is free. The museum's permanent collection displays trinkets like 12,000 toy soldiers, hundreds of toy boats, the second largest collection of Faberge Easter Eggs (the first being Queen Elizabeth's), historical documents, and antiques. www.forbesgalleries.com
56. Go to the National Museum of the American Indian. Admission is free. For an in-depth educational experience, expect to spend about four hours viewing all the museum's exhibits and galleries that border the building's center rotunda. While history is an important part of most exhibits, the museum continues to adapt and grow to support contemporary Native American life, literature, and art. Cultural events, such as dance and music performances, children's workshops and school programs, also occur throughout the year. www.nativenetworks.si.edu
57. Go to the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Admission is Free. To avoid crowds, visit later in the day and keep in mind that your ticket allows entrance only at a specific time of day. The museum recommends reservations, which can be made in advance. www.sonywondertechlab.com
58. Spend the day exploring Chelsea's art Galleries. Chelsea is home to over 200 impressive art galleries. Galleries line the West Chelsea streets between 20th and 28th.
Be a Tourist for the Day
59. Go to the Top of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) rather than the top of the Empire State. The views are better and the lines are shorter. You can wait up to 3+ hours in the line to get to the top of the Empire, and when you get to the top, the Rockefeller Center blocks the views of Central Park. www.topoftherocknyc.com
60. Check out the Revolving Lounge at Marriott Marquise. The glass elevators whisk you 48 stories above the city in seconds, literally and physically taking your breath away. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycmq-new-york-marriott-marquis/
61. Ride the Staten Island Ferry, it's free and lots of fun. Relax, enjoy some old-fashioned concession stand food and a beer, and take in the panoramic views of New York Harbor from a whole new perspective. www.siferry.com
62. Sit in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria and bring a coffee. The couches are cozy, and the lobby is spectacular. Famous residents and guests of the Waldorf-Astoria have included gangsters Benjamin "Bugsy" Seigel and Frank Costello, former U.S. President Herbert Hoover, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Marilyn Monroe. www.waldorfastoria.com
63. Take a double decker sightseeing tour of NYC. In the Winter, busses cover their open-top vehicles with a clear, see-through material so you can still experience the tour from the second story of the bus. Try Gray Line Tours, www.newyorksightseeing.com
64. Spend a day at FAO Schwartz on Central Park South, or Toys R Us in Times Square. FAO Schwarz contains some of the most sought after toys on the market and has kept children and other kids at heart happy for more than 145 years. www.fao.com, Wedged among the fluorescent hodgepodge of its big kid neighbors, Toys "R" Us Times Square dominates nearly a block at three stories high and 110,000 square feet. www.toysrusinc.com
65. Take Winter Stroll Through Central Park: Central Park is beautiful when the snow accumulates and glistens everywhere making the park look like a winter wonderland. Don't miss the Central Park Mall, a walkway leading to Bethesda Terrace in the middle of the Park from 66th to 72nd street. For more information about Central Park, visit: www.centralparknyc.org/
66. Go to a free show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. At the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater are several free shows, such as Liquid Courage, where brave, and most likely inebriated souls, submit their sketches and perform them if they're picked that night. It is free to both watch and participate in the show. newyork.ucbtheatre.com/schedule/
67. See The New York Philharmonic During Open Rehearsals For Just $18: November 17 - June 20, 2012. An Open Rehearsal is a fascinating opportunity (and is WAY cheaper) to watch the New York Philharmonic at work, and see how a piece of music is shaped and polished by the conductor and the musicians. Tickets are $18 each and an be ordered online, by phone, by mail, by fax, or in person at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. For more information, visit: nyphil.org/concertsticks/special_openRehearsals.cfm
68. The Big Apple Circus. The Big Apple Circus tours in the Big Apple from October 20th, 2011 through January 8th, 2012, and it's an event to remember. Bello, the ringleader named 'America's Best Clown' by Time Magazine, performs with a stellar ensemble from all around the world including acts such as Spain's juggling artiste, Picaso Jr., and Russia's Aniskin Troupe who can seemingly defy gravity as he catapults across the tent. www.bigapplecircus.org
70. See a New York Pops Concert. The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra was founded in 1983 by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson. The New York Pops is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely through individual donations, institutional grants and concert income. To view the 2011/2012 season, visit: www.newyorkpops.org/
71. Go to the City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival. The City Bakery's 20th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival takes place during the entire month of February, 2012. City Bakery will be featuring a different flavor for every day in February. Flavors ranging from Moulin Rouge, chili pepper, cinnamon, espresso, fresh ginger, creamy stout and tropical, The City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival's got something to please everyone. For more information, visit: hotchocolatefestival.com/
72. NYC Parks & Recreation's Winter Jam. The 2012 Date is TBA, but the 2011 event happened in February, so we expect this year to be the same. Hosted by the NYC Parks Department, Winter Jam is an action-packed sports festival featuring sledding on a 70-foot long snow flume, an ice-climbing wall and other snow sports, like snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Live entertainment and a warming hut keep enthusiasts involved and comfortable throughout the festivities. For more information, visit: www.nycgovparks.org/sub_things_to_do/events/winterjam/index.html
73. Go to the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. 58th Annual Winter Antiques Show is set for January 20th - 29th, 2012 at Park Avenue Armory. The show will feature exceptional objects exhibited by 75 specialists in American, English, European, and Asian fine and decorative arts from antiquity through the 1960s, all vetted for authenticity. www.winterantiquesshow.com/
74. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy's 85th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade is fun for the whole family, featuring many actors, actresses, and musical guests. There's no better way to kick off the holiday season than by taking in the sights and sounds of perhaps the most famous parade on Earth. The upcoming parade is scheduled for Thursday, November 24th, 2011.
75. Go to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The upcoming show will take place on February 13th & 14th, 2012. Pooch-lovers rejoice! For well over a century, people and dogs alike have watched anxiously as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show awards our furry friends with honors like Best in Breed, Best of Group, and of course, Best in Show. www.westminsterkennelclub.org
76. New York National Boat Show. January 4th - 8th, 2012. An event to lead you into January is the National Boat Show at the Jacob Javits Center. Come check out the latest in summertime luxury and warm yourself with thoughts of the summer. www.nyboatshow.com
77. New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend. January 5th - 8th, 2012. Start off the New Year in the company of some of NY Times best journalists and a variety of today's smartest thinkers. This exciting weekend of TimesTalks will feature lively discussions between New York Times journalists and some of today’s leading figures in film, theater, music, television, literature and media. Special guests will include Chris Cornell, Patricia Cornwall, Clive Davis, Alison Krauss, Errol Morris and the stars of “The Good Wife. www.artsandleisureweekend.com
78. Chinese New Year Parade. January 23, 2012. In cities throughout the world, millions of people celebrate the Chinese New Year, and New York City is no exception. From traditional food, drink, music and lion and dragon dances to the ever-present spluttering of firecrackers, there is constant activity during this celebration, also known as the Spring Festival.
79. Celebrate Black History Month (February) at the Natural History Museum. The 2012 program has not yet been released, please check the museum website for updates. The American Museum of Natural History proudly hosts an array of engaging programs each February to celebrate Black History Month. Last year, programs included high-caliber performances, interactive cultural discussions, and short film screenings. For more information, visit: www.amnh.org/programs/specials/blackhistory/
80. New York Wine Expo. The 5th Annual New York Wine Expo is set for March 2nd - 4th, 2012. At the New York Wine Expo, the public and the trade will have their choice of 600 wines to sample from over 170 winemakers, both domestic and international. The three-day exposition is a sensation of residual sugar, rich aromas, and appealing palettes. www.wine-expos.com/Wine/NY/
81. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. The 2012 date is TBA. The parade runs along Fifth Ave from 61st to 86th st. Over 25,000 marchers participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in New York City.
82. New Year's Eve Times Square. The famous ball drop atop One Times Square has been a tradition dating back to 1906. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people descend upon NYC and Times Square to experience this free event. Stay updated here: www.timessquarenyc.org/new-years-eve/index.aspx
83. See the Grand Central Terminal Kaleidoscope Light Show. Nowhere on Earth is the holiday spirit as spectacular as in New York City. Visitors to Grand Central will delight in the high-tech winter wonderland images on the famed Astrological Ceiling in the Main Concourse 125 feet above their heads. 2012 dates are still TBA. grandcentralterminal.com
84. 28th Annual Seaport Tree Lighting Spectacular: November 25th, 2011. The South Street Seaport will ring in the holiday spirit on Friday, November 25th, 2011 when the 28th Annual Seaport Chorus Tree Lighting Spectacular lights up the cobblestone streets of the Seaport’s Historic District. For more information, visit: www.southstreetseaport.com/Event-Calendar
85. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting: The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 with live and taped performances from 7-9pm at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Manhattan. The tree, traditionally a Norway Spruce, is illuminated by 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights on five miles of wire, and crowned by a Swarovski crystal star. For more information, visit: www.rockefellercenter.com/events/2011/11/30/2011-rockefeller-center-christmas-tree-lighting/
86. See a performance of The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet. If thoughts of sugarplums are dancing in your head, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker is the cure. With a cast of more than 150 dancers and musicians, intricate costumes, a one-ton Christmas tree, and music from Peter Tschaikovsky, this production is not to be missed. Performances run from November 25th - December 31st, 2011. www.nycballet.com
87. See the Holiday Window Displays in New York City. Many stores in NYC go all out for the Holidays. Walk by the following shops to see their magnificent window displays: Lord & Taylor (424 Fifth Avenue at 38th Street), Bergdorf Goodman (Fifth Avenue and 57th Street), Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Avenue), Barneys New York (660 Madison Avenue at 61st St.), Bloomingdales (Lexington Avenue between 59th Street and 60th Street), and Macy's (Herald Square, between 34th and 35th on Broadway). Most department stores run their holiday displays from mid-November to mid-January. About.com has put together a great guide.
88. Take a bus tour of Christmas lights in Brooklyn Tour highlights include animatronic toys and motorized displays, glowing natvity scenes, 30 foot tall toy soldiers, and delicious cannoli and cappuccino from an authentic, Brooklyn neighborhood pastry shop. Tours take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December at 7pm. www.asliceofbrooklyn.com
89. See the New York Transit Museum Grand Central Holiday Train show, it's free. For family-friendly fun, visit the New York Transit Museum and check out the Grand Central Holiday Train show. This 34-foot long, 2-level track runs from a miniature Manhattan to the North Pole. For train enthusiasts, vintage Lionel trains join more modern trains such as a new Long Island Railroad train, Metro-North, and Pennsylvania Railroad. 2012 Dates are still TBA.
90. 12th Annual Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square: Lincoln Square Business Improvement District (BID) hosts the 12th annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square, New York City’s largest outdoor holiday festival, on Monday, November 28th, 2011 from 5:30 – 9pm. This year’s event, which is expected to attract more than 20,000 people, features folk legend Arlo Guthrie and family and many others. The New York Cares Coat Drive will be the event’s charitable beneficiary. The Parks Department will run a free trolley service up and down Broadway during the event. Winter’s Eve will take place rain, snow or shine. For more information, visit: www.winterseve.org/
91. Yelp's Giftacular Holiday Market: December 17th & 18th, 2011. To encourage NYers to shop local for the holidays, Yelp has organized their FIRST EVER handpicked Holiday market chock full of pop-up shops curated by top-rated retailers, crafters, local designers and more. If shopping ain't enough, enjoy some holiday spirit with hot cocoa and cider, performances, gift-wrapping, live bands, photo booths, an array of non-alcoholic bevvies, snacks, samples, spa treatments, DJs and more. For more information, visit: www.yelp.com/events/new-york-yelps-giftacular-holiday-market
92. Go to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. If you want a show with some kick to it, check out the Radio City Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Breath-taking scenes such as Santa riding to his workshop and the reenactment of the first Christmas are all part of the Christmas fun. The upcoming show runs from November 11th, 2011 - January 2nd, 2012. For more information, visit: www.radiocitychristmas.com/newyork/index.html
93. Union Square Holiday Market: The 18th annual Union Square Holiday Market will run from November 18th – December 24th, 2011 this year. With over 100 merchants bringing in some of the most unique gifts ever, this is the place do your holiday shopping, or just enjoy browsing! For more information, visit: urbanspacenyc.com/union-square-holiday-market/
94. Lighting of the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah This 32-foot-tall, two-ton candelabra will be lit at the Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street. The nightly lighting ceremonies will be accompanied by folk dancing and sufganiyot (holiday jelly doughnuts). The lighting ceremony will take place on December 20th, 2011.
95. New York SantaCon The upcoming event will take place on December 10th, 2011. SantaCon is a not-for-profit, non-political, non-religious & non-logical Santa Claus convention, attended for absolutely no reason. nycsantacon.com
96. New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show: The upcoming train show will run from November 19th, 2011 - January 16th, 2012. Within the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, model trains zip over bridges and past replicas of New York landmarks made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. Show favorites include the original Yankee Stadium, Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge. For more information, visit: www.nybg.org/exhibitions/holiday-train-show-2011/index.php
97. Christmas in Little Italy. The 2011 dates are TBA. Come for festive street lighting, opening weekend concert and tree lighting, live nativity performances, and the annual East Meets West Christmas Parade Highlight Holiday Celebration. littleitalynyconline.com
98. American Museum of Natural History Origami Holiday Tree: The upcoming tree will be on display from November 21st, 2011 - January 2nd, 2012. An annual Museum tradition, the delightfully decorated Origami Holiday Tree has marked the start of the holiday season at the Museum for more than 30 years. Inspired by the blue whale (the largest animal in the world) displayed in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and the current exhibition The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, this year’s Origami Holiday Tree decorations pay tribute to some of the largest and most impressive animals and inanimate objects found in the Museum halls through the art of origami. For more information, visit: www.amnh.org/calendar/event/Origami-Holiday-Tree/
99. New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park. Fireworks happen on December 31st, 2011 at 11pm. Best locations for viewing the fireworks include: anywhere in Grand Army Plaza, inside the Park on the West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. There will also be entertainment and hot refreshments at Grand Army Plaza. www.prospectpark.org
100. New Year's Eve Fireworks & Midnight Run in Central Park For an invigorating New Year's, try the Midnight Run in Central Park. A four-mile run leads you through Central Park and ends with a champagne toast. It also includes a fireworks show! www.nyrrc.org