curated by Sara Maher

Well, it seems winter decided to show up after all. In this case, we might say better never than late, but before you head back into hibernation, go out! Have some fun (and stock up on dumplings and hot cocoa.)!

Sopranos and Fiddle Strings

Get your year off to an ... ahem ... eclectic start with a performance of The Cave: A Folk Opera. Winner of the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival awards for “Best First Play” and “The Encore Producer’s Award,” this “musical exploration of fairy tales, myths, and spiritualism” follows a girl named Willow, who offers to work in an opium den to pay off her father’s debt. Along the way, she “fights to find light, not only in the grim and strange shadow-world around her, but also within herself.” So that’s that.

F downtown to Delancey St and walk north to Cake Shop (152 Ludlow.) Sun Jan 31, 8pm. Ages 21+. Free. Info and reserve tickets at

Ice is Nice

If you can’t beat it, enjoy it. Bryant Park’s Winter Carnival lets you celebrate the snowy season with the lowest level of discomfort. There’s an ice skating showcase, curling lessons, giant Jenga, ice golf, an ice castle, and even more frozen festivities befitting your little Elsas and Olafs. There’s also a nice warming hut with snacks and hot beverages and a brew house for the grown-ups.

F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and enter the park. Fri Feb 5-Sat Feb 6, 12pm-10pm. All ages. Most activities free. Full schedule of events at

Off with a Bang

Did you catch yourself nodding off hours before the ball dropped? You can head down to Chinatown and ring in Chinese New Year in broad daylight. You have two opportunities to welcome the Year of the Monkey: first, watch the Firecracker Ceremony, where thousands of firecrackers are set off to scare away bad spirits, and enjoy a festival filled with food and dancing. Come back a few days later to enjoy the New Year’s parade, with costumed marchers, performers, and dragon dancers.

Firecracker Ceremony and festival: F downtown to Delancey St and walk west to Sara D. Roosevelt Park; firecrackers will go off in the park between Grand and Hester Sts. Mon Feb 8, firecrackers at 11am. Free. Parade: F downtown to Delancey St and walk southwest to Forsyth St between Grand and Hester Sts or F downtown to East Broadway and walk northwest to Eldridge St between Ludlow and Hester Sts. Sun Feb 14, starting at 1pm. Free.

Hot Spot + Chocolate

We don’t have a Polar Bear Plunge, but we can freeze our keisters off in other ways. Take a 90-minute tour of Union Square, the “Crossroads of New York,” and explore the social and political history of this ever-busy neighborhood. After the tour, swing into Max Brenner’s or The City Bakery for a toasty cup of hot cocoa and a tasty treat.

F downtown to 14th St and walk east to Union Square. Walking tour: walk north on Union Square West and turn right into the park at the 16th St entrance; meet in front of the Abraham Lincoln statue. Every Sat through Feb 27, 2pm. Free. Reservations required for groups only. Max Brenner: 841 Broadway (off southeast corner of Union Square). Open daily. Hot chocolate (24 flavors) $5.95/cup. maxbrenner.com City Bakery: 3 W 18th St (off northwest corner of Union Square). Open daily. Hot chocolate (with marshmallow) $7/cup.

Tags: Adventures Off-Island entertainment Sara Maher

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