curated by Sara Maher

I know we still have a few days before that groundhog searches for his shadow, but based on the last few days of warm weather, I’m going to assume he won’t see it. Jump-start your fling with spring by getting out and about.

King of Queens

Long before the Emancipation Proclamation, a member of the Senate spoke against slavery. In his lifetime, Rufus King was also a member of the Massachusetts state legislature, ambassador to Great Britain, and a resident of Queens. Learn about his legacy and tour his home at the King Manor Museum, situated in a quaint park in Jamaica, New York. They also offer hands-on educational classes and presentations: if you have kids, try your hand at coloring fabric with the natural dyes from berries and plants; if you don’t, you may prefer examining “Treasures in the Attic” that aren’t on display in the museum’s regular collection and then enjoying a beverage that could have been enjoyed by King himself.

F Queensbound to Parsons Blvd and walk southwest to 153 St/Jamaica Av. Mon-Fri 12-2pm, Sat-Sun 1-5pm; tours every 30 minutes with last tour leaving 30 minutes before close. Natural Dyes: Sat Feb 4, 1-4pm; Treasures in the Attic: Sun Feb 12, 3:30-4:30pm. Suggested donation $5 adults, $3 students and seniors, free for 16 and under.

New Year, New Yolk

If you couldn’t make it to the New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony, there’s another opportunity to welcome the year of the rooster. Chinatown will once again fill the air with music and fireworks for its annual Lunar New Year Parade and Festival. The food and festivities will be at the same time, same place; last one there’s a rotten egg.

F downtown to East Broadway and walk northwest to find a spot along Division or Eldridge Sts for the parade; continue northwest to Sara D. Roosevelt Park for the festival. Sun Feb 5, 12-4:30pm; parade starts at 1pm. Free.

Fancy Food

Ditch your New Year’s resolutions for one meal (or two, or five) and give in to the goodness at NYC Restaurant Week. Some of the city’s hottest venues open their doors to those of us unable to score seats … or unwilling to shell out entire paychecks. All meals are served prix fixe, so there’s no nasty surprise when the check comes.

Various locations; check website for full listings or to search by neighborhood. Through Fri Feb 10; brunch, lunch, and dinner are all offered, though menus/availability may vary by restaurant. $29/each for lunch/brunch, $42/each for dinner. Participating restaurants and reservations:

Nice Doggie

“Why would I want to go to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?” you may ask. “I get to watch 3,000 dogs prance around for free as I walk to the office.” Yes, but are they well-groomed, well-behaved dogs? Didn’t think so. The fancy jackets and purebred pups make this look like an exclusive event, but it’s actually open to the public. All evening sessions will be held at Madison Square Garden, so take a gander at Masters Agility, Group Judging, Showmanship, or Best in Show competitions, as you prefer.

F downtown to 34 St-Herald Sq and walk west to Madison Square Garden (4 Pennsylvania Plaza). Sat Feb 11-Tue Feb 14, various times. Tickets $40-100.

Talk It Out

No matter how you felt on Inauguration Day, it always helps to have someone to talk to … or talk at you … drunkenly. For Two Beers In, two Upright Citizens Brigade veterans and a panel of guests chug two beers, then launch into what is surely a very educational political discussion (past guests have included writers from Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report). If you generally shy away from politics, the live sessions are recorded and published as podcasts on iTunes, so you can listen before you commit.

F downtown to 2 Av and walk northeast to Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre East (153 E 3rd St). Upcoming listed shows are Tue Feb 2, 9:30pm and Mon Feb 27, 8pm. $5-7, online or at the door. 21+.

Tags: Adventures Off-Island entertainment Sara Maher

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