Cheap$kate: FREE events in NYC this week

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit on November

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit on November 30, 2010 in New York. (Getty) (Credit: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit on November 30, 2010 in New York. (Getty))

Holiday Festival

Citi Pond at Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies
Christmas is upon us, and that means it's tree-lighting season. Start off at the ceremony in Bryant Park tomorrow, featuring Sarah McLachlan, as well as routines from Olympic ice skaters. Then on Wednesday, head over to Rockefeller Center for the annual blowout. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., FREE, Citi Pond at Bryant Park, btwn W. 40th and W. 42nd sts. and Fifth and Sixth aves., citipondatbryantpark.com; Wednesday, 7-9 p.m., FREE, Rockefeller Plaza, btwn W. 48th and W. 51st sts. and Fifth and Sixth aves.,
rockefellercenter.com)

Book signing

Bobby Flay
Make sure you eat before you get to this event; we don't want you salivating all over the books. Food Network star and Bar Americain executive chef Bobby Flay will dish on his best recipes straight from the kitchen of his New York restaurant as he signs copies of his latest cookbook, "Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America's Great Flavors." (Thursday, 7 p.m., FREE, Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810, bn.com)

Ballet

Keith Michael's  "The Nutcracker"
'Tis the season for "The Nutcracker." And this year, you can view the premiere of Keith Michael's Art Nouveau take on "The Nutcracker," performed by the New York Theatre Ballet. Stop by at 12:30 p.m. or catch the evening show, which will kick off with the Winter Garden's Holiday Lights ceremony, in which 100,000 lights will be set a-twinkle throughout the venue. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey St., 212-945-0505, artsworldfinancialcenter.com)

Concert

Nathalie Pires
Let yourself be serenaded by fado, the urban folk music of Portugal, at the latest installation of BAMcafé Live this Friday with a FREE performance by fadista Nathalie Pires. Check out Pires' intense vocals as she performs tracks from her debut album, "Corre-me o Fado Nas Veias." (Friday, 10 p.m., FREE, BAMcafé, 30 Lafayette Ave., 718-636-4100, bam.org)

Lecture

Design and Style - New African Fashion
The fashion world's spotlight is being cast on Africa, and Helen Jennings' latest book, "New African Fashion," details a history of African fashion, beauty and style, as well as its influence on modern designers throughout the industry. Jennings - fashion expert, writer and editor of Arise magazine - shares a selection of images from her book, joined by members of the African fashion community, in this lecture at the New York Public Library. (Wednesday, 6-8 p.m., doors at 5:30 p.m., Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum, Fifth Ave. at 42nd St., nypl.org)

Tree Lighting

12th Annual Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square turns into a winter wonderland tonight with Winter's Eve, which will feature a performance by folk legend Arlo Guthrie, the lighting of the Upper West Side holiday tree, and FREE musical and theatrical performances all along Broadway, from the Time Warner Center to 68th Street. Nosh on tastings from area restaurants (for $1 to $5) as you peruse the festivities. (Monday, 5:30-9 p.m., FREE, Broadway from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th St., 212-581-7762, winterseve.org)

Tags: Cheapskate , Rozanne Gelbinovich

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