December 13, 2013

Weekend Planner: December 13-15

A Holiday Light Spectacular + “Nutcrackers” Galore + Counting Birds + Much More Family Fun.

By New York Family


Elizabeth Mitchell lands at Symphony Space on Saturday.

The holidays are officially upon us—check out our seasonal checklist of, among other things, the brightest trees and jolliest santas to be found in the city. Also, take a look at our slideshow of the over-the-top Christmas light displays in Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood. But we don’t want you to run out of things to do, so here we’ve compiled our guide to the best offerings this weekend, from the annual Christmas bird count in Prospect and Central parks to two unique takes on “The Nutcracker” by the Manhattan Youth Ballet and the New York Theatre Ballet. Bundle up and take to the great outdoors or sit back and enjoy the show (not to mention the perks of indoor heating).


The Salzburg Marionette Theatre introduces young ones to Wagner’s The Ring Cycle in a shortened two-hour performance at the Metropolitan Museum. Grab your opera glasses! (Friday-Saturday)

The Manhattan Youth Ballet presents a New York-ified version of the “Nutcracker” known as “The Knickerbocker Suite” complete with appearances by city landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Celebrate the city! (Friday-Sunday)

Fans of the 1983 film “A Christmas Story” will fall for its musical adaptation opening at Madison Square Garden. Sing along! (Through December 29)

In “Batteries Not Included: Toys and Trains at the New-York Historical Society,” the institution takes a playful look at 19th-and 20th-century pieces, including mechanical banks and toy soldiers. Open the toy chest! (Through January 5, 2014)

Snap a photo with Santa Claus at the festive Winter Garden at Brookfield Place (World Financial Center). Expect his elves and reindeer to be on hand too. Strike a pose! (Friday-Sunday)


Elizabeth Mitchell and her family band, You Are My Flower, take over Symphony Space this Saturday. Expect a guest appearance from Natalie Merchant, among others, who will accompany Mitchell on tunes from her upcoming album, “The Sounding Joy.” Ring in the holidays! (Saturday)

Watch as Theodore “Jigsaw” Jones and his friend Mila hunt down a class clown with a fondness for sliming students at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Follow the clues! (Saturday)

Enjoy a performance by the Vital Theatre Company at Kingsborough Community College, where Angelina Ballerina and her friend in Mouseland will gather to plan a dazzling holiday dance pageant. Hijinks ensue! (Saturday)

Citibabes in SoHo is playing host to a unique shopping event packed with over 75 retailers. Enjoy snacks and beverages, and bring the little ones (childminding appointments are available in advance). Shop ‘til you drop! (Saturday)

Join the 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Saturday and Sunday and in Central Park on Sunday. Help bird populations flourish by keeping track of their numbers. Bring your binoculars! (Saturday-Sunday)

Prepare to be dazzled by the New York Theatre Ballet’s one-hour production of Keith Michael’s “The Nutcracker” at Florence Gould Hall. On Sunday, all ticket-holding kids are invited to The Land of Sweets Party, where they can mingle with dancers. Watch, meet, and greet! (Saturday-Sunday)

Participate in the Taste of Christmas “Cookie Walk” at St. Nicholas of Myra Orthodox Church. Pick from over 50 varies of cookies and fill your box with as many as it can hold. This is the bake sale to beat! Got milk? (Saturday-Sunday)


Gustafer Yellowgold, the animated creation of singer and illustrator Morgan Taylor, performs at the Jewish Museum in a multimedia medley of song and story-time. Enjoy the show! (Sunday)

The Poppy Seed Players, featuring the Kaufman Kids young actors, perform the ages-old biblical tale of David and Goliath at Merkin Concert Hall.  Prepare for an epic battle! (Sunday)


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