Stuff to Do's look at things to do in NYC written by New Yorkers for New Yorkers and serious New York tourists.

April is Autism Awareness Month – Lincoln Center’s Arts Program Offers Interactive and Educational Programs for Parents and Children — April 10-May 6

Here’s an arts program with a mission: from April 10-May 6, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ month-long program, the Big Umbrella Festival, is an international endeavor that brings together arts professionals and thought leaders, and offers performances and participatory workshops for children on the autism spectrum.

Special presentations will be offered by Lincoln Center’s resident organizations throughout the festival, including film screenings, concerts, and interactive music and dance workshops by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. In addition, workshops will be held to offer first-hand involvement in the arts. For a full schedule,

Highlights include:

Festival Kickoff events – April 14:

10:30 am, David Rubenstein Atrium:

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Brady Rymer leads a whimsical Americana mashup, bringing his rootsy, accordion-laced pop and rock tunes to Lincoln Center for a relaxed Saturday morning show.

Actionplay Chorus
Made up of a group of young performers on the autism spectrum and led by music therapist Gabriel Lit, the Actionplay Chorus performs original music in professional settings. In recent years, the Actionplay Chorus has performed with Weird Al Yankovic on Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars, with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, and at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

Silent Clowns Film Screening
11am, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Free

The Silent Clowns Film Series is NYC’s longest-running regularly scheduled showcase for classic silent film comedy, presenting the silent movies of Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, and others, with live musical accompaniment by renowned silent film composer Ben Model.

Very Young People’s Concert: “Make-Believe”
4pm, New York Philharmonic
Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse
Tickets $18

Musicians from the New York Philharmonic invite audiences on a playdate where musical instruments are toys, songs become games, and kids can make-believe whatever their hearts desire. Philippe the Penguin and host Rebecca Young lead audiences on a journey to make new friends and share in the fun of music. Designed by Philharmonic musicians together with faculty of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, Very Young People’s Concerts combine games, storytelling, and music in a fun-filled hour that unlocks children’s imagination and talent. This Very Young People’s Concert includes pre-concert musical games with musicians and a half-hour hosted performance of Martinů’s La revue de cuisine, including audience participation and story with Philippe the Penguin.


Three internationally focused theater companies, New York City’s Sidekick Theater Company (Up and Away), London-based Oily Cart (Light Show) and Australian Sensorium Theatre (Oddysea), will offer a variety of performances.  See schedule for dates and times.

Up and Away
Trusty Sidekick Theater Company
Clark Studio Theater
Tickets $25

Up and Away is both a story and an interactive experience, inspired loosely by the imagination of Jules Verne and his famous book Around the World in 80 Days. Seated in hot-air balloons, audiences join the Fogg Family Balloon Society on their 1,000th balloon ride. Featuring puppetry, live music, and interactive play, this “flight” travels through extraordinary places such as the Fog Bog, the Arctic Aviary, and Cloud Canyon, all with multisensory experiences. Each child in the audience has a one-on-one guide from the Fogg Family for the trip through the clouds.

Light Show
Oily Cart
Samuels Teaching Studio
Tickets $25

Creating distinct silhouettes in an exquisite play of light and shadow, Light Show brings audiences to a magical paper palace. The serene papery white landscape transitions from a beautiful warm day at the beach to a dreamy moonlit wonderland, creating a multisensory journey of textures, smells, and tactile experiences accompanied by live music from a virtuoso double bass player.

Sensorium Theatre
Samuels Teaching Studio
Tickets $25

Set within a beautiful undersea world, this immersive tale of best friends Crab and Turtle’s oceanic adventures comes alive through touch, smell, taste, live music and stunning imagery. Seated on beanbag sand dunes, audiences become part of the “oddysea” unfolding around them as they journey with Crab and Turtle from the beach through sparkling blue-sequined waves to a kaleidoscopic crocheted coral reef, encountering many memorable oddities along the way.

More Arts

Film Society Kids Screening and Discussion
Film Society of Lincoln Center
April 18, 5pm

Francesca Beale Theater, Free

This special showcase presents a selection of ten of the best short films made by students in Film Society Kids, a program that supports literacy learning through visual storytelling. These shorts will immerse viewers in the art of the silent film, as seen through the eyes of children of all abilities from neighboring public elementary schools. The screening, welcoming community members of all ages and abilities, will be followed by an audience discussion with the Film Society’s Director of Education.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
LC Kids Storytime at the Atrium
April 21, 11am

David Rubenstein Atrium, Free

At this relaxed story hour, Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Sophie Blackall (Ruby’s Wish, Ivy & Bean) explores the life of a lighthouse through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper.

NYCB Access Workshop
New York City Ballet

May 6, 1pm

Samuel B. and David Rose Building, 7th Floor
Tickets $14

This one-hour movement workshop specially designed for children with autism will feature the music, movement, and themes from New York City Ballet’s treasured repertory. NYCB Teaching Artists guide children in a ballet warm-up and movement combination, concluding in a lively performance for accompanying family and friends. No prior dance experience needed.

CMS Kids
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
May 6, 2pm

Rose Studio
Tickets $25

Explore the up-close and friendly world of chamber music in the intimate Rose Studio. Host Rami Vamos and CMS artists show that the most personal of art forms speaks volumes to even the youngest listeners.

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Six Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows Closing This Month

It’s time to make good on that New Year’s resolution to see more theater this year.  Book now to see these six great shows which will be ending their runs in January.

Brought to you by Fiasco Theater, the classic Shakespearean comedy, Twelfth Night, tells the story of shipwrecked twins Viola and Sebastian on the island of Illyria. Shakespearean disguises, romance, and humor reign throughout. Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13th Street, New York City. Tickets at

Two Lincoln Center shows are closing January 7. The first, Junk, is a fast-paced story about markets, drive and intrigue, set in the 80s. Starring Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County). Vivian Beaumont Theatre. 150 West 65th Street, New York City.

Tickets at

Photo by T. Charles Erickson

The second, The Wolves, is a story of high school girl angst and issues told by a girls’ indoor soccer team during warm-ups and practices. Great performances and creative staging. Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. 150 West 65th Street, New York City Tickets at

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The Irish Repertory Theatre’s staging of James Joyce’s haunting novella, The Dead, 1904, takes place at a Feast of the Epiphany party over the course of one evening, with conversations, music, dancing and dining. What does it mean to be alive, or to be dead? The play ponders these questions. With a premium ticket, you sit a dinner with the actors. Starring John Treacy Egan. The American Irish Historical Society. 132 West 22nd Street. Closing January 7. Tickets at

Photo by Carol Rosegg

If you haven’t made it to Hamilton, but especially if you have, Spamilton is a must-see. Gerard Alessandrini’s hilarious take-off on Hamilton draws from his Forbidden Broadway background, with satires, spins, and superb talent. With Christine Pedi (Sirius XM). 47th Street Theater/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. 304 West 47th Street, New York. Closing January 7. Tickets at

Willy Wonka will be leaving Broadway on January 14. Starring Christian Borle (Something Rotten, Smash), Emily Padgett, Bed Crawford and Jackie Hoffman. The Broadway adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is all about chocolate, The Candy Man, Oompa-Loompas and a chance to win the Golden Ticket. Catch it before you can only see it on the small screen. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. 205 West 46th Street. Tickets at

Photo By Joan Marcus

The stunning remake of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon will also be flying away on January 14. Don’t miss your  chance to hear “The American Dream” sung by the fabulous Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer, or see Eva Noblezada in the title role made famous by current Once on this Island star Lea Salonga. Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, New York. Tickets at

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Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City

Everyone needs some laughs this year and starting off the New Year with a smile sounds like a very good thing.

The place to be in NYC is Caroline’s, where headliners routinely let their comic superpower loose, and on New Year’s Eve, it’s one big laughfest. The late show at 10pm carries into the wee hours after you watch the Ball Drop live on their TVs and 10-foot screen.  It’s close enough to Times Square to let you sense the excitement without being in the middle of the crowds, a nice benefit. 1626 Broadway.

Near enough to view the light show and the Ball Drop if you choose to head outside, two restaurants offer special evening meals.

A favorite of the Broadway community, Bond 45 New York Italian Kitchen and Barin its new 46th Street location — invites guests to ring in 2018 with a seven-course prix fixe menu, live music, Champagne toast and party favors. Or celebrate like a Tony Award winner with a seven-course dinner, a bottle of Champagne and a private escort to view the LIVE Ball Drop from the heart of Times Square.  221 West 46th Street.

In the mood for a Chinese feast instead? Hakkasan New York also sits to the west of Times Square and is offering  a six-course festive meal with luxurious twists on Cantonese favorites such as scallop shumai, roasted duck with truffle dumpling, braised abalone salad and stir-fry Boston lobster with black pepper and honey. 311 West 43rd Street.

Tradition and nostalgia rule on New Year’s Eve at several beloved locations.

The Palm Court’s Black Tie affair is an annual glamour-fest in the iconic restaurant at The Plaza with dancing, raw bar, dinner buffet and craft cocktails recalling days of Trader Vic’s. Black tie required. Fifth Avenue at Central Park South.

Perrine at the Taj Pierre is equally glamorous with a balloon drop and a Champagne aerialist highlighting the New Year’s celebration. The restaurant will serve a five-course menu, with a musical trio accompaniment. Dancing follows in The Rotunda into the New Year with the Antonio Ciacca Orchestra playing Big Band standards as well as contemporary favorites. 2 East 61st Street.

Located in the middle of Times Square, The Edison Ballroom revisits the days of the Fitzgerald’s, flappers and the heyday of jazz with a gala night of dinner and dancing. Show off your jitterbug and foxtrot moves surrounded by New York opulence and musical stylings provided by Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band. 240 West 47th Street.

New York City also offers a choice of parties so you can bring out your inner actor and enjoy some crazy entertainment at a range of prices.

Dinner runs into the party at Bedford & Co in the Renwick Hotel with a special prix fixe menu and a Masquerade Ball. Late night festivities also include passed canapes, specialty cocktails and dancing to DJ tunes. Various packages and prices are available. 118 East 40th Street. Masquerade Ball tickets at

Modern Mediterranean restaurant Green Fig will ring in the New Year with The Brothel Carnivale, a lavish party with a five-course dinner, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and open bar. Entertainment is non-stop with Burlesque performers, sword swallowers and giant boa constrictors. 570 10th Avenue.

Befitting the melting pot that is New York City, several restaurants show off New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.

Socarrat is offering a special tasting menu for the evening, featuring their acclaimed paella and tapas, with sangria, beer and an open bar. Guests will celebrate New Year’s in the Spanish tradition with a Cava toast and the eating of 12 Lucky Grapes. At midnight, each guest will receive 12 grapes, one for every month. At each clock stroke, celebrants eat the grapes which are said to bring good fortune throughout the new year. 259 West 19th Street, 284 Mulberry Street, 953 Second Avenue.

Greek steakhouse Merakia rings in the New Year with a prix fixe dinner and a Greek ceremony of the cutting of the cake at midnight. On New Year’s Eve, families cut the Vasilopita (bread or cake), hoping to find the hidden coin inside to bless the house and bring good luck. If you’re the lucky person who orders the chocolate lava cake and finds the lucky coin, your meal is free. 5 West 21st Street.

At recently opened Shuka, it’s a Night in Marrakech with a Feast Menu of mezze plates, dips and kebabs. To welcome the New Year, entertainment will be provided a la Mediterranean  including Glenda’s Gypsy Palm Readings (from Employees Only) and Salit the Belly Dancer.  38 MacDougal Street.

And what would New Year’s Eve in a city of skyscrapers be if it didn’t offer the chance to view the celebration from high above.

Rooftop lounge Bar 54 hosts a New Year’s Eve celebration with an exclusive live viewing of the world famous Ball Drop. Located on the 54th floor of Hyatt Centric Times Square, Bar 54 kicks off the evening with an indoor party with open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, with guests moving outdoors to view the Ball Drop on the bar’s terrace with a Champagne toast in hand. 135 West 45th Street. Tickets at .

Right in the heart of Times Square, the New York Marriott Marquis lets guests take advantage of its premier location with a five-course dinner, unlimited premium open bar and entertainment at The View Restaurant & Lounge on the 47th and 48th floors, with 360-degree views revolving completely every hour and overlooking Times Square.  1535 Broadway.

How about a view of the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks downtown instead of the Ball Drop at Times Square?

Conrad New York invites you to a downtown celebration with a view. Begin the celebration with open bar and canapes at ATRIO Wine Bar and Restaurant, followed by a four-course prix fixe dinner accompanied by tunes by a live DJ. Just before the end of 2017, guests will head to Loopy Doopy, the 16th-story rooftop bar, for a Champagne toast with views of the Statue of Liberty and fireworks along the Hudson River. 102 North End Avenue.

Cruise into the New Year on board Hudson’s at Pier 81 for a music-filled, open-bar celebration in the middle of the Manhattan Harbor under the fireworks in the presence of the Statue of Liberty. Pier 81, 12th Avenue and West 41st Street.

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New Year’s Eve Fun in New York – Brooklyn and Manhattan edition

If you don’t mind being in the cold, New York City’s outdoors New Year’s Eve festivities are pretty cool.

Take a look at some of these happening in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  Be prepared for long security check-in lines, dress warmly and leave your large bags at home. A flask filled with your favorite libation should suffice to keep you warm!

Coney Island USA will host its 4th annual NYE celebration in Steeplechase Plaza with a fireworks display from the historic Parachute Jump. Select boardwalk restaurants and attractions will be open, including B&B Carousel, Deno’s Wonder Wheel  (just like in Woody Allen ‘s 2017 movie Wonder Wheel) and the Thunderbolt roller coaster. A digital burst ball drop rings in 2018, followed by a Circus Sideshow Fire Spectacular at 1am

Celebrating its 20th year, the Time’s Up New Year’s Eve Bike Ride & Afterparty will reverse direction, going downtown instead of uptown, and ending at an indoor dance party. If you’re in Manhattan, start the ride at the park in front of the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street and 5th Avenue at 9:30pm, or join in at Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Broadway at 10pm. Brooklynites can start their ride at the Brooklyn-side entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge at 9:30pm to ride into Manhattan.  End point is the party at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in the East Village, 155 Avenue C.   Free valet bike parking.

The Empire State Building will ring in 2018 with a festive, multicolored LED confetti lighting on Dec 31, 2017. Five minutes before midnight, the building will switch to its signature white lights, sparkling in the New Year through sunrise on January 1, 2018. For a great view, stand by the Little Church around the Corner, 1 East 29th St. and look up. If you’re curious about future Empire State Building lights, view the schedule at

Runners can lace up for the four-mile NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park on NYE. After going through security via entrances at West 72nd Street and Central Park West or East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, registered runners and their +1 will gather at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Kicking off at 10pm, the race (to which many wear costumes) will conclude by midnight with a spectacular fireworks display at its completion..

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New Year’s Day Fun in New York City

The evening’s festivities are over; here are some activities to consider for the first day of 2018.

Are you a daredevil?  The weather promises to be freezing on New Year’s Day, but that doesn’t deter these folks from plunging into the icy cold water at Coney Island in Brooklyn. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge is free with and begins at 1pm at the Stillwell Avenue boardwalk entrance. Participants get free admission to the New York Aquarium and a post-dip warm up at Coney Island Brewing Company and Steeplechase Beer Garden. A $25 donation is suggested to benefit local Coney Island organizations including the New York Aquarium and the Alliance for Coney Island.

Train lovers still have time to catch the annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx where model trains travel through a miniature landscape of 150+ iconic city structures. This year’s version spotlights Midtown Manhattan, with a new Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building and more on view through January 15. Advance reservations are strongly recommended as tickets do sell out.

In Queens, the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®—hockey’s highest profile regular-season game—will be held at Citi Field on New Year’s Day.  January 1, 2018 will mark the first time the game is held in New York City. Even if you don’t have a ticket, there will still be fun activities outside of the stadium starting at 9am including a DJ, giveaways, refreshments and more.

If you plan to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue between 49t5h and 50th streets, here’s what you need to know to book a reservations through VIP igloo if you’d like to avoid the lines and also get complimentary skate rentals (although general admission does not require a reservation.)  Hours are 8:30am until midnight daily.

Warm up after with Maison du Chocolat’s fabulously, thick and perfectly sweet chocolat at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and also on the Upper East Side at 1018 Madison Avenue. Or at Jacques Torres, aka Mr. Chocolate, also at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

And no matter where or what the New Year’s celebrations have been, the potato powered FryGuys, will be ready to soothe your hunger or hangover  with their new boat load of OG twice fried frys, topped with scrambled eggs, bacon an cheese, then crowned with a fried egg and fried chicken. Dubbed the Brunch so Hard, this will satisfy your hunger as you enter the New Year.  FryGuys, 150 2nd St.

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Celebrate Christmas in NYC with the Holiday Train Show, Department Store Windows and Santa Claus

It’s almost Christmas in New York City — well, not really. But Christmas festivities and sales start earlier and earlier each year and decorations are popping up all over the city.

Here are three don’t-miss activities to consider:

Credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

This year, you’ll have to do a bit more planning if your children hope to sit on Santa Claus’s lap.  Macy’s wants to make the process more efficient and handle the huge number of people lining up to visit Saint Nick. Santa makes his appearance at “the world’s largest department store” from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, but you’ll need to reserve online to get a spot. Starting just before Thanksgiving, you can book a spot at Macy’s Santa Land at Macy’s Herald Square, 8th floor, at No walk-ins are allowed, so don’t delay. Spots will go quickly, particularly after the ads sure to come during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday. 151 West 34th Street, Manhattan.

Holiday windows are starting to appear all over the city. Now is the perfect time to visit before the mad Christmas rush.  Particularly appealing, Bergdorf Goodman’s “To New York with Love” windows showcase some of New York City’s most iconic places this year, including the New York Botanical Gardens, the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Historical Society Museum & Library, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Philharmonic., 754 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Look for others at Saks Fifth Avenue (“Once upon a Holiday”), Barney’s New York (“Hass for the Holidays”), Bloomingdale’s (“The Greatest Showman”), Lord  & Taylor (“The Best and the Brightest”), and Macy’s Herald Square (“The Perfect Gift Brings People Together”).

The 16th annual Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal is brought to you by the New York Transit Museum.  A favorite among children of all ages (and their parents), the show includes movement, lights, sound and color and gets increasingly crowded as shoppers throng the major transit hub closer to Christmas. In the exhibit, model trains travel through tunnels, from subway stop to subway stop, and around skyscrapers as they meander through New York City locations. The show is free and runs from 6am-8pm, through February 4, 2018. 89 East 42nd Street, Manhattan.

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