Cheap$kate: The best FREE events in NYC this week

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Credit: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)

Tree-Lighting Show at Bank of America’s Winter Village at Bryant Park
It’s officially the holiday season, and what better way to embrace the festive spirit than by going to a tree-lighting ceremony? Head to midtown’s Bryant Park Tuesday for the eighth annual tree-lighting show at Bank of America Winter Village. Hosted by 106.7 Lite FM’s Bob Bronson and Christine Nagy, the show will feature live performances from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Young People’s Chorus of New York, Loston Harris Trio and Carly Rose Sonenclar, as well as a special appearance by Yankees legend Mariano Rivera and skating performances by Johnny Weir, Sarah Hughes and The Haydenettes. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., FREE, Winter Village at Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd streets, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, wintervillage.org)

EXHIBIT

Hudson Yards Exhibit at Time Warner Center
Manhattan’s West Side will see another bout of beautification and construction in the coming years with the development of Hudson Yards — a community with offices, shops, residences, restaurants, open space, a public school and a luxury hotel. The first tower is set for completion in 2015, but Tuesday you can get a glimpse at the nabe at an exhibit featuring models, renderings and more at the Time Warner Center. (Thursday through next Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., FREE, The Shops at Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, hudson yardsnewyork.com)

PRESENTATION

Math Encounters: Secrets of Mental Math with Art Benjamin
Discover the magic in math and uncover the secrets of mental math with “mathemagician” and award-winning professor Arthur Benjamin. The math wizard will perform rapid mental calculations and will divulge tips, tricks and techniques at this latest MoMath Math Encounter on Wednesday. (Wednesday, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., FREE, National Museum of Mathematics, 11 E. 26th St., 212-542-0566, mathencounters.org)

LECTURES

Jose Vargas on immigration today
Immigration is a hot-button issue on many political pulpits. This Wednesday, the Tenement Museum hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and immigration advocate Jose Vargas for a conversation with museum president Morris Vogel regarding citizenship, identity and the nation’s immigration policy. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., FREE, first come, first served, Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St., 212-982-8420, tenement.org)

SciCafe: How Plants Domesticated Humans
In this latest installment of the American Museum of Natural History’s SciCafe, anthropologist Fatimah Jackson talks about the coevolution that has happened between plants and humans. Sure, you know the story behind how humans have domesticated plants, but did you know that our green cohabitants have had a resounding effect on our biology and evolution? (Wednesday, 7 p.m., FREE with cash bar, 21+, seating is first come, first served, AMNH, Central Park West at 79th Street, enter at 77th Street, 212-769-5100, amnh.org)

AUTHOR EVENT

Scott Wiener presents ‘Viva la Pizza!’
Take in the art of the pizza box and nosh on slices at Book Court this Sunday as author and pizza aficionado Scott Wiener presents his latest book, “Viva la Pizza!” The Guinness World Record holder for the largest collection of pizza boxes — and founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours, which guides folks through the world of NYC pizza — will discuss 100 of his favorite boxes. (Sunday, 7 p.m., FREE, Book Court, 163 Court St., 718-875-3677, bookcourt.com)

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