It’s the last weekend before Christmas. Live it up via music, ugly sweaters, and lots of candy canes, and/or by participating in one of our picks for the best eating, drinking, and merrymaking events this weekend. By Jessica Allen.
The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year. Rather than fret about the lack of light, celebrate the season with Paul Winter (not a stage name) and his musical guests. For the past 35 years, the Grammy-winning saxophonist has made the ides of December a little brighter with his multimedia, cross-cultural concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Thursday, December 18, through Sunday, December 21, see schedule for details, tickets start at $35.
You don’t have to be young, just young at heart, to enjoy this Breakfast with Santa cruise. Kids will also enjoy breaking bread and whatever else is planned for the special breakfast buffet with St. Nick before he heads back to the North Pole to put the finishing touches on everyone’s presents. A kid-friendly DJ will be on hand, and kid-friendly holiday movies will be screening around the ship. Saturday, December 20, 9 am, $45 (adult), $35 (kid), tickets required.
Don your ugliest sweater, then head to Citi Field for the aptly named Ugly Sweater Run. This 5K puts the sweat in “sweater.” Instead of water or sports drink, the various holiday-themed stations throughout the closed course will offer hot chocolate. (Plus beer or cider at the finish line for those 21 and over.) Snow blowers, a huge inflatable Santa, and photo ops abound, with contests for worst sweater and best fake mustache, among others. Saturday, December 20, race begins at 11 am, $60, tickets required.
Have a think about your own Christmases Past, Present, and Future by attending a live reading of A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens’ Xmas classic comes alive at Housing Works, one of the best bookstores in the city. All of the bookstore’s proceeds benefit people with HIV and AIDS. Featured readers at this year’s What the Dickens? (the bookstore’s fifth) include Adam Gopnik, Eileen Myles, Lev Grossman, and Mike Albo. Saturday, December 20, 1 to 4:30 pm, free.
The streets are alive with the sound of music. Since 2011, Make Music Winter combats the cold with the joys of music. Like Make Music, its summery counterpart, Make Music Winter is a series of free concerts and performances around the city. Different genres, different timbres, different singers and bands. You might hear “Jingle Bells” or “Frosty the Snowman,” but then again you might not. Sunday, December 21, see schedule for details, free.