Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 12/11/2013

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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.

December 11–17

Wednesday, December 11
What Does the Fox Say?
Where: Barnes & Noble, Fifth Avenue
When: Noon
Ylvis, the Norwegian comedy duo that famously posed the musical question "What does the fox say?," has turned the YouTube hit into a children's book, with illustrations by Svein Nyhus and lyrics from the absurdist sensation. (Spoiler alert: according to Ylvis, the fox says, among other things, "gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding " and "wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow"—and, judging by the music, is a fan of techno-happy megaclubs.) Ylvis will read the work and greet fans.

Thursday, December 12
Brooklyn Movie Night: Gremlins
Where: Sunset Park Recreation Center
When: 7–9pm
Halloween may be over, but Steven Spielberg's comedy-horror classic Gremlins is still seasonably appropriate—it's actually more of a Christmas flick. As you likely already know, the 1980s film, shown as part of Brooklyn Movie Nights, is a thrilling instructional about pet care. Mogwai owners are advised to keep their creatures away from water and not to feed them after midnight, or we'll all suffer the consequences.

Friday, December 13
Santa's Winter Garden
Where: Brookfield Place
When: 9am–1:30pm and 3–6pm
Head downtown with the entire family for an early audience with jolly old Saint Nick. Kids can ask Santa for a special gift to open on Christmas morning, and elves will be on hand to provide extra holiday cheer. Although this event is free, photo packages with Santa start at $20. Proceeds benefit New York Theatre Ballet.

Saturday, December 14
Holiday Book Bazaar
Where: Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
When: 12:30–6pm
If you need to do any holiday shopping for the creative type in your life, this sale will be a welcome help. Photo and design books will be on offer, along with monographs and other fine-art titles. Participating publishers include Artbook/D.A.P., Magnum Foundation and Spaces Corners. Stick around for a DJ set and pastries from Brooklyn bakery The Good Batch.

Sunday, December 15
Sixth Annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade
Where: The Space at 50 North 3rd
When: 10am–5pm
Now in its sixth year, the annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is a dream come true for Etsy fans, featuring more than 40 vendors from the homemade-goods online emporium. Local artisans and crafters will sell everything from clothing, jewelry and accessories to toys, housewares, paper products and more. Those looking for one-of-a-kind gifts, take note.

Monday, December 16
Wreath Interpretations
Where: Central Park Arsenal
When: 9am–5pm
The decorative Christmas garland gets a makeover each holiday season at the Central Park Arsenal's Wreath Interpretations exhibition. This year artists, horticulturalists, designers and others have created more than 45 eclectic versions, working with materials like neckties and recycled plastic bags to make statements that range from the topical to the utterly fantastic. The Arsenal Gallery will be open to the public weekdays through January 9, 2014, with the exception of holidays.

Tuesday, December 17
Vivian Maier: Self Portrait
Where: Howard Greenberg Gallery
When: 10am–6pm
Though Vivian Maier's work went mostly unrecognized during her lifetime, her photographs were roundly praised upon their discovery in 2007. The nanny-turned-shutterbug had been secretly taking shots for over 40 years. Maier spent most of her life in Chicago, which she obsessively documented with her Rolleiflex camera, meticulously filing away more than 100,000 negatives in a storage locker that was put up for auction when she was no longer able to afford it. (A local historian subsequently found the trove and, luckily, understood its aesthetic value.) Vivian Maier: Self-Portraits surveys Maier's photos of herself, many of which have never been shown before.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Barnes & Noble Fifth Ave
    555 Fifth Ave
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10017
  2. 2
    Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281
  3. 3
    Aperture Gallery
    547 W 27th St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  1. 4
    Central Park Arsenal
    East side of the park at Fifth Ave and 64th St
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10065
  2. 5
    Howard Greenberg Gallery
    41 E 57th St
    Manhattan – Midtown East

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