It might be a new year, but all of this week’s highlights are old favorites that show the range of fun available in New York City: Check out a cutting edge performing arts festival or a Jewish film festival, attend a decades-old Three Kings Day celebration, or join in on the modern tradition of riding the subway without pants. If your urge is to get out of town instead, head to the Berkshires to hit the slopes at Catamount.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
January 5 - 12 | Performing arts
Now in its eighth year, American Realness is a contemporary dance and performance festival at the Abrons Arts Center that highlights new works by cutting-edge artists from around the world. This year, check out Dana Michel’s solo exploration of identity in Mercurial George or Wendell Cooper’s performance of a multimedia ritual using sound meditation, urban dance, video projection, and rap, within an installation by sculptor Jasmine Murrell. Any preconceptions about traditional performing arts are sure to be challenged by this groundbreaking festival.
Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand St., New York | From $20 | website
January 6 | Parade
Three Kings Day
If you’re not ready for the holiday season to be over, head to the Museo del Barrio for its 40th annual Three Kings Day parade and street party. Featuring live camels, colorful puppets, music, and dancing, the parade runs from 106th and Lexington to 115th and Park. Following the parade, participants are invited to the museum for free admission to the galleries and more music and celebration.
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM | Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave., New York | Free | website
January 7 - 8 | Escape the city
Get the most out of the winter weather by skiing and snowboarding at Catamount in the Berkshires. With over 35 trails ranging from beginner bunny slopes to one of the steepest double diamond slopes in the region, there is something for every ability level. Right on the border of New York and Massachusetts, here you’ll find plenty to do beyond the slopes. Stay at the nearby Windflower Inn for a charming bed-and-breakfast experience.
January 8 | Interactive comedy
No Pants Subway Ride
Don’t panic if you’re riding the subway on January 8 and witness an influx of pantless people getting on the train. You’re not losing your mind; it’s simply the 16th annual no pants subway ride put on by comedy collective Improv Everywhere. The group “stages unexpected performances in public places,” the most famous of which is the no pants subway ride that confuses and delights fellow passengers every year. There will also be an after-party at Bar 13.
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Location TBA | Free | website
January 11 - 24 | Film festival
New York Jewish Film Festival
The 26th annual New York Jewish Film Festival—in partnership with the Jewish Museum and Film Society of Lincoln Center—presents dozens of international documentary, feature, and short films that depict the diversity of the global Jewish experience. From the New York premiere of films like Hummus! The Movie to screenings of classics like Mel Brooks’s The Producers, there is something for every kind of film buff, plus a poster exhibit, Q&A sessions, and more.
Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th St., New York | $14 | 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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