By Jessica Allen

If you’re having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, look no further than our picks for the best in eating, drinking, and merrymaking this weekend.

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Dyker Heights Lights
11th to 13th Avenues from 83rd to 86th Streets
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Probably the greatest display of lights in all of New York City, if not the Tri-State area, Dyker Heights opens for the season. You can stroll up and down the streets of this suburban Brooklyn neighborhood, admiring the extent to which people will go to show their holiday spirit using electricity, blow-up figures, statues, and more. It’s up to individual houses to decide whether to decorate. Now through Sunday, December 31, dusk until 9 pm, free.

Walk the Windows
401 Atlantic Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

The shops along Atlantic Avenue are putting on an array of events this Saturday, designed to help folks get pumped up about the holidays. You can get your photo taken with Santa and check out adoptable kitties, take a Rockettes-style dance workshop (all the better to burn off those eggnogs and hot cocoas), listen to drummers, sample cookies, and, of course, get some holiday shopping taken care of. Saturday, December 9, 11 am to 7 pm, free. 

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Holiday on the Hudson
West Harlem Piers
125th Street and Marginal Street
New York, NY

Get into the holiday spirit by sipping cocoa, doing some on-theme crafts, and watching the president of the Riverside Park Conservancy turn on the huge tree at West Harlem Piers. After the tree gets lit, you can stay for photo ops and listen to Barnard Bacchantae, the official all-female a cappella group at Barnard. There will be dancing and overall merrymaking too. ‘Tis the season for celebrating! Saturday, December 9, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, free. 

Museum of Jewish Heritage
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280
(646) 437-4202

As you’d expect with a name like Latkepalooza!, this family-friendly event enthusiastically embraces potato pancakes, and then some. Come learn about Hanukkah, gobble some delish latkes, make menorahs and dreidels, and sing songs. (The event is designed for kids ages 3 to 10, along with caregivers). The holidays are, of course, a great time to learn about other traditions and cultures. Sunday, December 10, 10 am to 12 pm, $10, tickets required.

Dog Film Festival 
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592-2980

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The Dog Film Festival celebrates the bond between four-legged and two-legged friends. This year, the festival’s third, you’ll find two separate programs, suitable for kids and adults, full of short movies covering such topics as the competitive world of dog grooming, the biggest dog sledding race in Europe, and the unexpected benefits of using inmates to train service dogs. Sunday, December 10, 2:45 and 4:45 pm, see schedule for details, tickets required.