Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 02/05/2013

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There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. See our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar  and special offers section for more free events.

February 6–12

Wednesday, February 6
Chinese New Year Celebration
Where: Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center
When: 9:30am–2:30pm
The Chinese New Year officially falls on February 10, and Chinatown kicks off its colorful parade and festival on February 17. But before Manhattan's revelry begins, Queens is throwing a party of its own in Rego Park to ring in the Year of the Snake. The culture-packed program includes solo and group singing, traditional dances and martial arts demonstrations.

Thursday, February 7
National Geographic: The Past and Future Present
Where: Steven Kasher Gallery
When: 11am–6pm
National Geographic takes a journey back through the archives for this exhibition. The show features a carefully curated sampling of images captured by Herbert Ponting, Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden, Maynard Owen Williams and Hiram Bingham, among others, positioned next to illustrations by such artists as Thornton Oakley, Louis Agassi Fuertes and Tom Lovell. The result: a one-of-a-kind survey of the science, culture and discoveries of the 20th century and a vivid look into the future through the eyes of one of the world's most influential publications. The 100-piece showcase—the fifth collaboration to come from a four-year partnership between the gallery and National Geographic—will be on display through February 16.

Friday, February 8
Queen Anne's Chamber Choir
Where: The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
When: 11:30am–noon
The talented voices of Queen Anne's Chamber Choir have traveled from England to NYC for this performance. The choir's musical résumé includes shows at notable London locales including Westminster Abbey, in addition to international tours—not bad for performers who range in age from 11 to 18. If you can't make the Friday-morning concert, the choir will be performing alongside Queen Anne's School's saxophone ensemble at St. Peter's Church on February 9 at 1pm.

Saturday, February 9
Family Affair: All About You & Me
Where: The Bronx Museum of the Arts
When: 1–4pm
Geared toward kids ages 5 to 11, the museum's Family Affair series gives young museumgoers a chance to complete hands-on projects. Children and their families can create works of art and prepare food on the premises. And in honor of the institution's 40th anniversary, admission is free for all who attend. 

Sunday, February 10
Apollo Open House
Where: Apollo Theater
When: noon–5pm
Harlem's famous theater is hosting a weekend open house on February 9 and 10. The highlight is an opportunity to see performances by winners of the Apollo's famed Amateur Night. Also notable: on-display memorabilia, kid-friendly workshops and a series of presentations and screenings focused on Harlem history—all completely free. For even more things to do in the neighborhood, check out our Harlem guide, featuring museums, theaters, restaurants and other venues.

Monday, February 11
Swoon!: The Recital
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
When: 7pm
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is determined to bring back the lost art of literary memorization. At this event, writers and performers—Caleb Crain, Jason Diamond, Rita Meade and Lindsey Weber among them—will demonstrate their knack for recall by sharing one to three minutes of text with the crowd. The guidelines are simple: pick a piece you didn't write and recite it. Participants will show off their brain capacities and perhaps give some words a little more lasting power.

Tuesday, February 12
Annie and Dan Shannon Present Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family
Where: Greenlight Bookstore
When: 7:30pm
Betty Crocker's recipes cater to families, bakers, party makers and chefs-in-a-hurry. But for the most part, the ingredients leave vegans out of the mix. Thankfully, two Brooklyn residents set out to change that. In Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family, Dan and Annie Shannon share the culinary findings of The Betty Crocker Project, an enormous undertaking that involved altering Betty Crocker's entire cookbook to make it vegan-friendly. Fans followed the Shannons' journey on and now you can meet them in person. Stop by for a book signing, recipe demos and a Q&A session with the authors.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Steven Kasher Gallery
    521 W 23rd St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10011
  2. 2
    Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
    1047 Amsterdam Ave.
    Manhattan – Morningside Heights
    NY 10025
  3. 3
    The Bronx Museum of the Arts
    1040 Grand Concourse
    Bronx – South Bronx
    NY 10456
  1. 4
    Apollo Theater
    253 W. 125th St.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10027
  2. 5
    Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
    126 Crosby St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012
  3. 6
    Greenlight Bookstore
    686 Fulton St
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11217

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