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New York May 12–18: Dance-Off by BABBLE, Massive Scavenger Hunt & Alta Linea Reopens

The best of what to do in and around New York this week.

Warmer weather makes this week the time to get outside in New York. Start with a dance-off in Central Park courtesy of BABBLE, and then head to Montauk for a ritzy beach experience minus the cost of high season. Partake in a giant outdoor scavenger hunt, or dine al fresco at the recently reopened Alta Linea.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.

May 13–15 | Dance
Big Apple Balboa, Blues & Lindy Hop Exchange
If you’re looking to move your body this weekend, don’t miss the ninth annual Big Apple Balboa, Blues and Lindy Hop Exchange (BABBLE). The event includes 20 hours of dancing to fabulous live bands and DJs. There are various other events throughout the weekend at venues across the city, from the Manhattan Ballroom to Central Park, including themed dance-offs and a historic tour of Harlem. Think you’ve got what it takes? Then enter the solo jazz dance competition and be ready to groove to any jazz-based song they spin.
Times and locations vary | $100 | website

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Now through May 14 | Theater
This weekend is your last chance to catch the two-week run of Strays, a two-woman play directed by Raquel Cion and starring Kim Katzberg and Nora Woolley in a variety of roles. A comedic procedural in the style of Law & Order, Strays centers around a suicide prevention hotline operator and ex–exotic dancer who becomes a pet detective and sets out on an outlandish, campy caper. With multimedia (like purposely low-fi video) woven throughout, the play touches on some profound themes beneath the quirky veneer, like feminism and the fluidity of identity.
Times vary | The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn | $18 | website

May 14–15 | Escape the city
We are on the eve of peak season in Montauk, the upscale beach community on the easternmost tip of Long Island, so now is the time to go and enjoy it in relative peace. The water is probably still a bit chilly for swimming, but there’s something relaxing about just being at or near the beach. Breathe in the sea air and dine on delicious, freshly caught seafood. Not everything is open for the season yet, but local favorite restaurant Navy Beach is already serving food on weekends (and will be open full-time after Memorial Day). Snag a room while you still can at the Surf Lodge, a favorite of musicians, artists, and—of course—surfers since 1967.

A still from "Strays"

May 18 | Scavenger hunt
The Amazing Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt
Whether you’re looking for a team building event, an out-of-the-box date idea, or just something fun to do with friends on a Wednesday night, consider the Amazing Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt. Using an app called ScanQuest, participants will receive a series of clues that will lead them through the neighborhood as you tackle both physical and mental challenges. Think of it as a hybrid of a scavenger hunt and an obstacle course. Each member of the winning team will receive a special New York City gift package. The organizers advise you come prepared and download the app ahead of time, wear comfortable shoes, and bring a loaded MetroCard.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. | Location TBD | $25 | website

Now open (seasonally) | Restaurant
Alta Linea
After the last few rainy few weeks it’s time to start celebrating the beautiful spring weather with all the al fresco dining we can fit in—before it’s too hot to sit outside. For a spot to see and be seen—while also enjoying delicious food and cocktails—check out Alta Linea, which just reopened at the High Line Hotel for the summer. The seasonal outdoor restaurant from acclaimed restaurateur Joe Campanale has set up shop once again in the hotel’s front courtyard and garden. Try the rib-eye cheeseburger with San Marzano jam, and wash it down with one of the restaurant’s signature frozen Negronis or a sgroppino: a decidedly grown-up slushie made with lemon sorbet, limoncello, vodka, and prosecco.
180 10th Ave., New York | website

A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to an inquisitive toddler.

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