Mark your calendar for classic holiday events, warming treats, cultural highlights and more!

51. Get serenaded at Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway
He sings! He dances! He’s ridiculously good-looking! All of Jackman’s talents will be on display when the charming performer returns to the Great White Way, showcasing songs from The Boy from Oz, Oklahoma! and other tuners.Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W 44th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave ( $68.50–$156.50; premium $251.50–$351.50. Through Jan 1.

52. Ring in the Year of the Dragon at the Firecracker Ceremony and Parade
Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year (which takes place January 23) at two massive celebrations in Chinatown: During the Firecracker Ceremony (Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Chrystie St between E Houston and Canal Sts;; Jan 23 at noon; free), half a million firecrackers will be set off to ward away bad spirits for the year. The following week, 16 floats and 6,000 marching band members will traverse the neighborhood during the Lunar New Year Parade and Festival (begins at Canal and Mott Sts; 917-660-2402,; Jan 29 at 1pm; free).

53. Attend (or crash) Fashion Week
After two successful seasons in Lincoln Center, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week returns to the arts complex in February to show off designers’ Fall 2012 collections. If you’re not a celeb, socialite or otherwise well-connected person, you may have to use slightly unscrupulous means to get into the shows. (One way to fit in: wear all-black and look annoyed constantly.) Lincoln Center ( Feb 9–16.

54. Hunker over a bowl of steaming-hot ramen
When temperatures drop, all we want to do is eat comfort food—and few dishes are quite as soul-warming as the Japanese staple. Sample a bowl of the noodle-packed soup at some of the city’s best ramen joints, including Ippudo NY(65 Fourth Ave between E 9th and E 10th Sts, 212-388-0088) and Hide-Chan Ramen (248 E 52nd St between Second and Third Aves; 212-813-1800)—find out what to order by consulting our list of the city’s 20 essential ramen dishes.

55. Volunteer with God’s Love We Deliver
Put hours upon hours of watching the Food Network to good use: The charitable organization needs volunteers to assemble thousands of nutritious meals for New Yorkers in need—volunteers are most needed to make deliveries throughout the city. The organization asks that participants make one shift commitment for 2–3 months. For more information, visit or e-mail

56. Hear a choir sing at St. Thomas Church
Based on 16th-century texts, Benjamin Britten’s enchanting nine-song sequence, A Ceremony of Carols, sounds especially glorious when performed by the renowned St. Thomas choristers. John Rutter’s Dancing Day, a song cycle that incorporates elements of both religious and secular carols, rounds out the program. St. Thomas Church, 1 W 53rd St at Fifth Ave (212-757-7013, Dec 15 at 5:30pm; $40.

57. Gawk at the Christmas lights in Dyker Heights 
Plan an evening trip to this south Brooklyn ‘hood, where a tacit and cutthroat competition exists among residents to have the most over-the-top holiday displays. Expect to see outrageous decorations like life-size nutcrackers, reindeer, gigantic inflatable snowmen and large gingerbread houses. Or book a spot on the Christmas Lights and Cannoli bus tour (meet at E 13th St at Fourth Ave;; daily 7–10:30pm; $55, children under 12 $45), which travels through the neighborhood before stopping at the Mona Lisa Pastry Shop for cappuccino and cannoli. 82nd to 85th Sts between Tenth and Twelfth Aves, Dyker Heights, Brooklyn; the biggest concentration of lights is on 83rd and 84th Sts between Tenth and Twelfth Aves. Through Dec 31.

58. Go seal-spotting
Beginning in the fall, hundreds of seals travel south from Maine to spend their winter in the relatively warmer waters of New York. Between December and March, they hang out by the local beaches, such as Orchard Beach in the Bronx, during low tide. Each winter, the New York City Parks Department hosts a Seal Shore Safari, a guided lookout from that spot; check the website for updates. Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx (718-378-2061, Date and time TBA; free.

59. Watch the season’s finest flicks 
Escape the cold by ducking into a movie theater (try one of our favorites) and catching one of this winter’s most promising films. We’re particularly pumped to see masterful director David Fincher’s sure-to-be-high-octane thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (opens Dec 21), starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara; Steven Soderbergh’s action flick Haywire (opens Jan 20); and the indie-horror effort The Innkeepers (opens Feb 3). For a complete list of films to check out this season, consult our winter film preview.

60. Snack on a bag of roasted chestnuts
There are just a few spots in the city where the quintessential holiday treat can be found: You’ll see a couple of street carts in tourist-packed midtown (Fifth Avenue between 53rd and 55th Streets and 34th Street near Herald Square are reliable spots). We also recommend heading to Main Street near 40th Street in Flushing, Queens, where you’ll find carts peddling a Chinese variety that’s cooked over hot pebbles.

61. See the city in miniature at the New York Botanical Garden
The Bronx conservatory’s annual Holiday Train Show presents teeny versions of city landmarks—including the Washington Square Park arch, Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport and Radio City Music Hall—made of natural materials such as bark, twigs and seeds. This year, the garden has opened up the display’s artists’ studio, where visitors can look at how buildings are created. Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd (718-817-8700, Tue–Sun 10am–6pm; $20–$25, seniors and students $18–$22. Through Jan 16.

62. Hang out at the American Museum of Natural History
It took volunteers six months (and countless paper cuts) to fold the 500 paper animals and objects that adorn the museum’s Origami Holiday Tree (through Jan 2). Each of the tiny paper formations represents one of the museum’s biggest displays, such as dinosaurs and planets. Before you leave, check out “The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter” (through May 28), where you can enter a chamber (kept at a balmy 80 degrees) with 500 of the winged creatures flying around. Central Park West at 79th St (212-769-5100, Daily 10am–5:45pm; suggested donation $19, seniors and students $14.50, children 2–12 $10.50, children under 2 free.

63. Dress to the nines and attend a fancy ball
Set in a historic mansion, Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra’s annual Yuletide affair with a Jazz Age vibe, the Winter Ball (The Bogardus Mansion, 75 Murray St between Greenwich St and West Broadway;; Dec 10 8pm–2am; $50) features performances from the Minsky Sisters and accordionist Nicole Renaud, among others. The 92nd Street Y takes things even further back with a Victorian Vintage Ball (1395 Lexington Ave between 91st and 92nd Sts; 212-415-5500,; Jan 28 8:30–11pm; $25, advance $20) showcasing 19th-century music and dancing (show up at 7:15 for a dance lesson). Dress code: Edith Whartonesque.

64. Spend New Year’s Day with hundreds of poets
Poetry fans have multiple ways to sate their obsession on January 1. Within a few blocks, nearly 300 wordsmiths will perform at two separate New Year’s Day festivals: At the Bowery Poetry Club’s Kaleidoscope (308 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-614-0505,; Jan 1 at 2pm; free), 150 performers, including Corrina Bain, Richard Kostelanetz and Ocean Vuong, will share their work. Meanwhile, the Poetry Project’s 38th annual New Year’s Day Marathon (St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th St at Second Ave; 212-674-0910,; Jan 1 at 3pm; $10–$20) is the oldest such celebration in the city, and presents famous participants such as Thurston Moore, Jonas Mekas, Suzanne Vega and Steve Earle.

65. Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial
Two reflecting pools, 2,938 names and 8,151 tons of steel make up the new national memorial honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001 (and February 26, 1993) terrorist attacks. While some of Christmas week is already booked solid, passes are still available for Christmas and New Year’s Day, and beyond. A pass is required for entry, and can be reserved online. Enter at Albany and Greenwich Sts (212-312-8800, Sept 12–Jan 8: Mon–Fri 10am–8pm; Sat, Sun 9am–8pm. Beginning Jan 9: Daily 10am–6pm. Free; advance reservations required.

66. Try out winter sports for free 
Each February, New Yorkers flock to one of the city’s green spaces for Winter Jam, where they can partake in gratis cold-weather activities like skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. (Over the last two years, it has taken place in Central Park and Prospect Park.) And if there isn’t any of that wet white stuff on the ground this year, don’t worry: Fresh snow will be dropped on the park before your arrival. Location and time TBA; visit for details. Free.

67. Pretend that it’s summer by getting a tan
It is possible to get a sun-kissed glow in the winter months without looking like a streaky extra from Jersey Shore.Completely Bare (locations vary; visit for details) offers body-sculpting spray tans ($55–$75) that adds contours to your I-just-got-back-from-vacation color. And consult our list of the best self-tanning products, which will help you keep up appearances until summer. Locations vary; visit for details.

68. Hear boldface names speak at 92nd Street Y
The uptown institution’s winter lineup features an impressive roster of noteworthy speakers, including Walter Isaacson, who will discuss his recently released biography of Steve Jobs (Jan 24 at 8pm; $29), and feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, who will chat with NY1 anchor Budd Mishkin about her life and career (Feb 28 at 8pm; $29). 1395 Lexington Ave between 91st and 92nd Sts (212-415-5500,

69. A religious tale gets a titillating twist at the Menorah Horah
The Schlep Sisters—better known as Darlinda Just Darlinda and Minnie Tonka—present this sexy Hanukkah celebration, hosted by comedian Seth Herzog. This isn’t your bubbe’s holiday party: Expect NSFW performances from Anita Cookie, Little Brooklyn, Cherry Pitz and more. Highline Ballroom, 431 W 16th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-414-5994, Dec 17 at 8pm; $20–$25, advance $15–$20.

70. Take a frigid plunge with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club
If you need a post–New Year’s pick-me-up, join the Polar Bears for their annual icy dip in the Atlantic Ocean, a tradition that’s meant to help reinvigorate your mind and body. The average temperature of the water in January is about 38 degrees—if nothing else, it’ll distract you from how awful your hangover is. Meet on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Stillwell Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn ( Jan 1 at 1pm; free.

71. Spend a day with Picasso, Matisse and other masters
Take refuge from the cold and hole up in the Museum of Modern Art for a day. There’s plenty to keep you occupied: Start by checking out 20 of the best paintings on view, including Piet Mondrian’s New York–inspired Broadway Boogie Woogie. In addition to its unparalleled holdings in 20th- and 21st-century art, the institution offers cool amenities like its plush movie theater, which presents multiple screenings throughout the day. And then, of course, there’s the MoMA Design Store. Oh, did we mention that besides spending the day, you might be tempted to spend some serious money? 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400, Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun 10:30am–5:30pm; Fri 10:30am–8pm. $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. Fri 4–8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free.

72. Celebrate Hanukkah at a global music festival
International performers will gather for this annual event celebrating the musical traditions of Sephardic Jewish culture. Beginning on the first night of Hanukkah, the fest kicks off with sets from folk-rockers Pharaoh’s Daughter and Bronx-born solo artist Haale (Dec 20 at 7pm; $18). Later in the week, catch a performance from famed Israeli musician Miki Gavrielov (Dec 24 at 7pm; $25–$60). Location, time and price vary; visit for details. Dec 20–27.

73. Get in the Kwanzaa spirit at two events
The Apollo Theater celebrates the holiday with Regeneration Night (253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd [Seventh Ave] and Frederick Douglass Blvd [Eighth Ave]; 212-531-5300,; Dec 30 at 7:30pm. $14–$16). Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will perform, as will trombone player Craig S. Harris. The American Museum of Natural History hosts its own Kwanzaa event (Central Park West at 79th St; 212-769-5100,; Dec 31 noon–4pm; suggested donation $10.50–$19) with spoken-word and music performances, as well as a bazaar selling traditional crafts. Sample traditional Kwanzaa dishes, such as yassa, or roasted chicken with a citrus dressing, which will be available to buy in the food court.

74. Hunker down at a bar with games 
Get your fix of Donkey Kong, Punch Out and Pac-Man at Barcade (388 Union Ave between Ainslie and Powers Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-6464,, whose selection of old-school games is matched only by its impressive list of craft beers. At the pimped-out entertainment complex Greenwich Village Country Club (110 University Pl between E 12th and E 13th Sts; 212-255-8188,, you can play minigolf, bocce or shuffleboard while snacking on David Burke eats. For more watering holes with activities, consult our roundup of the best bars with games.

75. Grab a pair of skis and get out of town
If the freak October storm was any indication, this winter may be a snowy one. If you want to hit the slopes this season, several local sporting-goods shops organize day and weekend trips to skiing destinations. Paragon Sports ferries ski bums to New York’s Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain Ski Resort (212-255-8889,; dates vary; $TBA), while Emilio’s Ski Shop in Queens heads to several locations in Vermont, including Okemo Mountain Resort and Stratton (718-544-0404,; dates vary; $100). Social sports organization ZogSports also plans day trips to Belleayre in New York (Jan 21, Feb 11 at 6:15am; $130–$140) or Camelback in Pennsylvania (Feb 18 at 6:30am; $100–$175); visit for details on how to sign up.

76. See college hoops at MSG 
NYC might not be a college-basketball town, but this season you can catch a doubleheader of bouts between NCAA titans at the Garden. As part of this year’s Carquest Auto Parts Classic, the Washington Huskies take on the Duke Blue Devils, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys lineup against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave) between 31st and 33rd Sts (212-465-6741, Dec 10 12pm. $35–$355.

77. Say farewell to a notable dance troupe
Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham passed away in 2009, and a year later, the company that he founded decided to disband in 2012, following a legacy tour that would take the troupe across the U.S. Its final performances in New York City happens in December: First, the company will perform a retrospective at BAM (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-636-4100,; Dec 7–10 at 7:30pm; $20–$95), including Cunningham’s collaborations with Brian Eno and Radiohead. Then, the troupe moves to the Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts; 212-616-3930,; Dec 29–31 at 6:30, 9pm; $10) for six site-specific performances.

78. Don a snazzy outfit and attend an Oscar soiree
Instead of sitting on your couch and making cutting, witty comments about the disastrous fashions at the Academy Awards, do the same thing in a crowd of like-minded folks. Get the celebrity treatment at the Paley Center’s viewing party(25 W 52 St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-621-6600,; Feb 26 at 7pm; $20–$25), where you can pose with life-size cardboard cut-outs of celebs. Or channel your inner diva at the sixth annual Alt.Oscars (Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St between Thompson and Sullivan Sts; 212-505-3474,; Feb 26 6pm–2am; $15–$20), where, in addition to a screening of the show, you can win prizes for having the best Oscar-themed costume, or as “Best Celebrity” (throw a really massive temper tantrum during the judging, and you’ll be a shoo-in).

79. Heat up (and see adorable animals) at city zoos
Take a cue from the animals—including lemurs and tamarins—who inhabit the Central Park Zoo’s Tropic Zone(southeast corner of Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 64th St; 212-439-6500,; daily 10am–4:30pm; $7–$12), a rainforest-like environment that’s far warmer than the chilly outdoors. Or head to the Bronx Zoo’s JungleWorld (Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx; 718-367-1010,; daily 10am–4:30pm; $14.35–$19.95), whose temperate climate mimics that of an Asian jungle.

80. Discover Tibet through comics at the Rubin Museum
Comic-book characters such as Lara Croft, Tintin and Mickey Mouse all share a similar bug for travel: Each has had a story line in Tibet. A new exhibit, “Hero, Villain, Yeti,” explores the portrayal of the country through the pop-culture staple ever since a Buddhist caped crime-fighter, the Green Lama, crept onto pulp-mag pages in the 1940s. 150 W 17th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, theater-level (212-620-5000, Mon, Thu 11am–5pm; Wed 11am–7pm; Fri 11am–10pm; Sat, Sun 11am–6pm. Free. Dec 9–Jun 11.

81. Pay homage to the Godfather of Soul
It’s been five years since James Brown passed away on Christmas Day, and five since mega-DJ Nickodemus and Brooklyn’s Nappy G started their annual funk-soul extravaganza featuring original tunes, covers of Brown’s songs and mash-ups. Bring a friend who’ll reenact the musician’s famous “cape routine” for extra dance-floor brownie points. Drom, 85 Ave A between 5th and 6th Sts (212-777-1157, Dec 23 at 10pm; $10, before midnight $5.

82. Head to the rodeo in Midtown 
Yee-haw! Forty professional bull riders (and the bucking creatures they’ll attempt to stay atop) take over MSG for a three-day spell during the NYC stop on the PBR 2012 Built Ford Tough Series tour. And yes, donning a cowboy hat is totally encouraged. Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave) between 31st and 33rd Sts (212-465-6741, Jan 6–7 8pm; Jan 8 1pm. $15–$205.

83. Shop for gifts at indie holiday markets…
Ladycentric magazine Bust hosts its annual Craftacular and Food Fair Holiday Market (82 Mercer St between Broome and Spring Sts;; Dec 10 11am–8pm, Dec 11 11am–7pm; $3), with hundreds of vendors selling handmade and vintage items, and a beer garden selling Blue Point brews ($3–$4). Or head to Williamsburg for 3rd Ward’s Handmade Holiday Craft Fair (195 Morgan Ave between Meadow and Stagg Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn;; Dec 10 noon–6pm; free), featuring live music and cheap drinks, in addition to dozens of jewelry, clothing and housewares vendors from around the country. For more places to find unique gifts, check out our list of New York’s best holiday markets, or our 2011 gift guide.

84. …Or learn to make your own presents at a craft class
Skip the checkout lines by creating homemade holiday presents with the help of a few local organizations. Online craft market Etsy has teamed with 3rd Ward to host courses on everything from millinery to perfume blending (3rd Ward, 195 Morgan Ave between Meadow and Stagg Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-715-4961,; times and prices vary). Or head to Craft Night at Etsy Labs (55 Washington St between Front and Water Sts, suite 712, Dumbo, Brooklyn;, Mondays 4–8pm; free), a community craft night with different themes. Stop by on December 12 to get a tutorial in holiday card-making.

85. Get down at a Hanukkah-themed bash 
Attend the second installment of the monthly event the Wind Up at the Jewish Museum, where Brooklyn art collective CHERYL throws a multimedia dance party that includes a beer-and-wine open bar for the first hour, DJ sets, video projections and dreidel games. The Jewish Museum New York, 1109 Fifth Ave at 92nd St (212-423-3200, Dec 15 8–11pm. $15, advance $12.

86. Go around the world with Under the Radar
Producer Mark Russell’s festival of avant-garde theater will feature 16 new plays from companies across the world. The offerings include Goodbar, a collaboration between New York company Waterwell and rock band Bamb (featuring Ira Glass in a video performance); The Table, by U.K. puppeteers Blind Summit; and Sontag: Reborn, a piece by the Builders Association based on the late author’s early diaries. Locations and times vary; visit for details. $20–$25, festival pass $75; Jan 4–15.

87. Celebrate renewal with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
For its latest season, the dance company appointed choreographer Robert Battle as the new artistic director. Slated for this season are several new pieces, including the world premiere of Home, Rennie Harris’s hip-hop piece inspired by the stories of those living with or affected by HIV. The company will also perform its signature piece, Revelations, which was choreographed by Ailey himself. New York City Center, 131 West 55th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-581-1212, Schedule varies; check the website for details. $25–$135. Through Jan 1.

88. Warm up at a water spa
The quickest way to beat the shivers is a good old-fashioned shvitz. Luckily, the city abounds with some of the best therapeutic spas this side of Moscow. Queens’ Spa Castle has four heated mineral pools, wet and dry saunas, and an outdoor heated Hinoki bath (131-10 11th Ave at 131st St, College Point, Queens; 718-939-6300,; Mon–Sun 6am–midnight; weekdays $35, weekend $45). In the East Village, the Russian and Turkish Baths warm you up in three kinds of saunas, then challenge you to dip into the ice-cold plunge pool (268 E 10th St between First Ave and Ave A; 212-674-9250,; hours vary, check the website for details; $35). Or, get the total Russian treatment at Brooklyn Banya (602 Coney Island Ave between Beverly Rd and Ave C, Flatbush, Brooklyn; 718-853-1300,; Mon–Fri 9am–midnight; Sat, Sun 8am–midnight; $30), where you can follow a salt body scrub with pierogi from the on-site cafe (ten for $7).

89. Play squash
The threat of extreme cold and snowstorms has put the kibosh on outdoor sports for the next few months. Instead, try your hand at squash: The indoor racquet sport involves smacking a rubber ball around an enclosed room with a partner. Much of the New York squash scene happens at private pro clubs, but those who are merely curious can try out the game at a few public clubs, including CityView Racquet Club (43-34 32nd Pl at Hunters Point Ave, Long Island City, Queens; 718-389-6252,; Thu 7:45pm, Sat 2pm; $40), which hosts twice-weekly round-robins for varying skill levels. BYO gear, including a racquet, safety goggles, indoor court shoes and ball (available at City Sports, 390 Fifth Ave at 36th St, 212-695-0171). True beginners would fare best by opting for private lessons with a teaching pro at a squash club; for more details, visit

90. Gather ’round the hearth at a bar with a fireplace
Keep warm during the long, cold winter months at some of the city’s finest fireplace bars. At Alewife Queens (5-14 51st Ave between Vernon Blvd and 5th St, Long Island City, Queens; 718-937-7494,, a new two-story gastropub, the upstairs fireplace boasts a gas-fueled setup with a minimalist white-brick mantel. For cool-weather flame-watching, we prefer the hot “punch” for two (mulled wine, spiked cider or hot eggnog, depending on the month), delivered in a teakettle ($22). Or head to Lani Kai (525 Broome St between Sixth Ave and Thompson St; 646-596-8778,, where a sizable gas hearthstone filled with a bed of lava rock evokes the volcanoes of the bar owner’s Hawaiian homeland. For more cozy drinkeries, check out our list of the city’s best fireplace bars.

91. Watch the Harlem Globetrotters do their athletic antics
Whistle along to the familiar strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown” as you watch these basketball stars shoot from midcourt and spin balls on their fingers. Players to watch include Tiny (No. 55), the world’s tallest pro basketball player at 7’8″; Hops (No. 17), who has a 50″ vertical jump; TNT (No. 18), the team’s first female player since 1993. Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave) between 31st and 33rd Sts (212-465-6741, Feb 18 at 7:30pm; $15–$250.

92. Fight for a handbag at Barneys Warehouse Sale
Well, don’t literally resort to fisticuffs—that’s likely to get you kicked out of this bargain bonanza. But do arrive early—shoppers have been known to line up hours before doors open—and be prepared to move quickly if you want to snag deeply discounted items. The shop slashes prices up to 75 percent, making pieces by designers such as Nina Ricci, Marc Jacobs and Rodarte slightly more affordable. Dates and info TBA (

93. Go to a TV show taping
Play hooky from work and while away a few climate-controlled hours at tapings with some of the city’s talk-show talent.Everyday with Rachael Ray tapes Tue–Thu at 11:30am and 3:30pm (222 E 44th St between Second and Third Aves, and The Martha Stewart Show films at various points in the week at 10am and 2pm (221 W 26th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, If you’re willing to put in some time in the cold, you could wait for a stand-by ticket to Saturday Night Live—tickets are distributed at 7am for either the live show or the 8pm dress rehearsal (30 Rockefeller Plaza, between Fifth and Sixth Aves,

94. Sip creative cocoas at City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival
Each February, City Bakery augments its delicious, rich hot cocoa with different flavors—previous infusions include bourbon, stout, chili pepper and Chinese cinnamon. Look for 2012’s calendar of flavors, which change each day of the month, around January 20. City Bakery, 3 W 18th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-366-1414, Feb 1–29.

95. Watch the Super Bowl
The big game is in Indianapolis this year, but plenty of bars across the city will be showing the action on February 5. Arrive two to three hours before kickoff at Professor Thom’s (219 Second Ave between 13th and 14th Sts, 212-260-9480,, where small groups can watch the game from a TV in the privacy of their own booths. Or head to Standings (43 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves; 212-420-0671,, which will offer brews from the hometowns of the competing teams. The game will be shown on the bar’s eight HDTVs.

96. See three holiday shows—with a twist
Who better to get you into the holiday spirit than potty-mouthed, polyester-wearing drag acts? In Lettuce Rejoice 2011(Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-206-0440,; Dec 17, 18, 21, 23, 28 at 7:30pm; $22), Hedda Lettuce puts a kooky spin on classic Christmas tunes (example: “Here Comes Tranny Clause”). For A Murray Little Christmas (Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave at Havermeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-529-6696,; Dec 11 at 7:30, 9:30pm; $25–$50), entertainer Murray Hill welcomes friends such as Dirty Martini, Bridget Everett and Moisty the Snowman for his annual raunchy extravaganza. And in Jackie Beat: The Nutcracker (Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W 42nd St between Ninth and Tenth Aves; 212-695-6909,; Dec 14–Dec 18 at 7:30pm, Dec 17 at 7:30, 10pm. $22, advance $20; plus $15 minimum), the self-proclaimed bastard child of Bette Midler and Weird Al devotes her interfaith holiday show to the enduring power of STDs, with such numbers as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Syphilis.”

97. An acclaimed opera company travels to Brooklyn
City Opera’s plan to leave Lincoln Center and become an itinerant arts institution may have ruffled some devoted fans’ feathers when it was announced earlier this year, but Lincoln Center’s loss is Brooklyn’s gain. Two of its new season’s most anticipated offerings will premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in February: British director and humorist Jonathan Miller’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata, and Prima Donna, the first opera by singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (212-870-5600, La Traviata: Feb 12 at 1:30pm, Feb 14, 16, 18 at 7:30pm; $25–$150. Prima Donna: Feb 19 at 1:30pm, Feb 21, 23, 25 at 7:30pm; $25–$150.

98. Pretend that you’re on a Caribbean vacation—in the Bronx
If you’re not heading to warmer climes at any point this winter, take refuge at the New York Botanical Garden, which opens its annual “Caribbean Garden” exhibit in January. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will be heated to a pleasant 75 degrees, and you can amble through rainforest mists, towering palms and deserts inspired by the landscape of the Caribbean islands. Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-817-8700, Tue–Sun 10am–6pm; $8–$20. Jan 21–Feb 26.

99. Grab your gloves and have a snowball fight
Impromptu games of frozen dodgeball or capture the flag occasionally spring to life on social media sites once the forecast predicts flakes—school and work cancellations help, too. One page to check out is the NYC Snowball Fight Club. Both kids and kids at heart answered the organization’s call following a late January blizzard and gathered at Madison Square Park to create a flurry of their own. Visit NYC Snowball Fight Club’s Facebook page for updates.

100. Get into the spirit of the season at holiday-themed exhibits
St. Nick wasn’t always portrayed as a jolly man in red; earlier incarnations of the big dude were far more stern. A new exhibit, “It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus” (New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West between 76th and 77th Sts; 212-873-3400,; Tue–Thu, Sat 10am–6pm; Fri 10am–8pm; Sun 11am–5pm; $15, seniors and educators $12, students $10; through Jan 8) traces the shift in Santa’s character through 19th-century depictions, including Thomas Nast’s iconic drawings in Harper’s Weekly, and Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (better known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”). Or learn about the evolution of a classic holiday tune at the Morgan Library & Museum’s new show, “Robert Burns and ‘Auld Lang Syne'” (225 Madison Ave at 36th St; 212-685-0008,; Tue–Thu 10:30am–5pm; Fri 10:30am–9pm; Sat 10am–6pm; Sun 11am–6pm; $15, seniors and students $10; through Feb 5). Look for Burns’s 20-page letter, written in 1793, in which he penned the words to the song for the first time; it comes at the very end, almost as a postscript.

101. Celebrate Festivus on December 23
This nondenominational meal, introduced to the world by Seinfeld, varies depending on whom you’re asking; we suggest meatloaf, turkey or ham, followed by a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&Ms, a favorite of Festivus term-coiner Dan O’Keefe. The holiday also includes such novel practices as the Airing of Grievances, which takes place after dinner and entails each person telling everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. The Feats of Strength are also performed after eating. This involves each guest wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the celebrations ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned. No tree is necessary, for on this day—a holiday for the rest of us—an unadorned aluminum pole is the sole decoration.