Our picks for what to see and do in the city.
Build a gingerbread house
The New York Hall of Science is giving children ages 18 months and older a chance to build their own gingerbread house, from the tasty foundation up, during each "Little Makers: Gingerbread House Engineering." In addition, visiting families can explore GingerBread Lane, a vast, entirely edible gingerbread village. Devised by Queens resident Jon Lovitch, the exhibit is included with museum admission.
WHEN | WHERE 50-minute sessions at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23; 47-01 111th St., Corona, Queens
INFO $9 plus general admission ($16, $13 ages 2-17); 718-699-0005, nysci.org
Hear medieval Spanish holiday music at the Met Cloisters
The Renaissance ensemble Sonnambula (pictured) is putting on a pair of performances imbued with holiday spirit at the Met's dedicated space for the culture and art of medieval Europe. All the music comes from the Cancionero Musical de Palacio manuscript, Spanish music written prior to the 16th century.
WHEN | WHERE 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23; 99 Margaret Corbin Dr., Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
INFO $65 (includes museum admission); 212-923-3700, metmuseum.org
Watch Tchaikovsky and hip-hop meet in Brooklyn
Featuring hip-hop icon Kurtis Blow (pictured) as a special guest, the Hip Hop Nutcracker is an energy-infused take on the Tchaikovsky classic that is based in the Russian composer's work but is generously spiked with hip-hop style and dance. You'll hear DJs scratch, performers pop and lock, rappers rhyme -- all on the back of seasonally appropriate classical music.
WHEN | WHERE 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23; Kings Theatre: 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn
INFO $29.50-$79.50; 718-856-2220, hiphopnutcracker.com
Explore ‘Winterfest’ at the Brooklyn Museum
Located outside the Brooklyn Museum, this 40,000-square-foot arrangement is a representation of a wintry village, with shopping, food, a Christmas tree maze, a Santa to visit and a candy shop. There are also wine tastings and live entertainment and music.
WHEN | WHERE Friday-Sunday (and Dec.27-30), 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn
INFO Admission and most events free (some events require ticket purchase); 646-233-4298, winterfestbrooklynmuseum.com
See Raheem DeVaughan & Friends
Raheem DeVaughan, R&B's self-proclaimed "Love King," will spread some holiday cheer with his annual benefit concert. This year's edition includes appearances from Marsha Ambrosius, Eric Benet, Yo-Yo and Funkmaster Flex. WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21; Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., Manhattan INFO $35-$65; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
Celebrate the season with Darlene Love
Sure, she's a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer for "He's a Rebel" and "He's a Fine, Fine Boy." But for generations, the holiday season isn't complete until Darlene Love sings "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." After all, David Letterman dubbed her the "Christmas Queen" and turned her into a holiday tradition. WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22, Sony Hall, 235 W. 46th St., Manhattan INFO $47.50-$55, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
See 'Noura' at Playwrights Horizons
A family of Iraqi immigrants gets a Christmas visitor who stirs up buried memories in Heather Raffo's "Noura." Joanna Settle directs the Playwrights Horizons' mainstage production in association with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 30 at Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., Manhattan INFO Tickets from $39, 212-279-4200, playwrightshorizons.org
See Jeremy O. Harris' 'Slave Play'
The world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' "Slave Play," set on plantation in the old South where nothing is as it seems, promises to be an adult evening of theater (with warnings of nudity, racial and sexual violence). Two-time Obie winner Robert O'Hara directs. With Teyonah Parris and Paul Alexander Nolan, pictured. WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 13 at the New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. 4th St., Manhattan INFO Tickets from $35, 212-460-5475, nytw.org
Get nostalgic at a screening of 'The Hudsucker Proxy'
"The Hudsucker Proxy," the Coen Brothers' holiday-season heart-warmer from 1994, features Tim Robbins (pictured) as Norville Barnes, a toy inventor with a concept that could really catch on. It's an off-beat treat with a terrific cast, including Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman. WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 23 at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave., Manhattan. INFO $15; 212-924-7771, ifccenter.com
'The Ferryman' opens at Bernard Jacobs Theatre
"The Ferryman," starring Paddy Considine and Genevieve O'Reilly, is a must-see on Broadway.
See 'The Boys in the Band' before it closes
Mart Crowley's landmark 1968 drama, "The Boys in the Band," returned to Broadway in 2018 for a limited 50th anniversary run with actors Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer.
Experience ‘The Hard Nut’ at BAM
The season does call for performances of "The Nutcracker," but for those who'd prefer a fresher take on the tale, Mark Morris's "The Hard Nut" might be the right fit. A classic in its own right, this version of the ballet is itself almost 30 years old -- a reimagining resplendent with cartoony costume, modernized characters and comical moments, all set to the Tchaikovsky score.
WHEN | WHERE Friday, Dec. 14 to Sunday, Dec. 16, Also Dec. 20 to 23; BAM Howard Gilman Opera House at Peter Jay Sharp Building: 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn
INFO $25 to $125; 718-636-4100, bam.org
See 'Rated X' films at the Quad Cinema
Just in time for Christmas comes this 50th annual celebration of the MPAA's controversial, often misused and now-axed X rating. Titles include "A Clockwork Orange," in photo; "Klute," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Fritz the Cat" and "The Evil Dead."
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 8 at the Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., Manhattan
INFO Single screenings $16, five-film passes $60; 212-255-2243, quadcinema.com
See 'Christmas in Hell' at the York Theatre Company
Old Bethpage native Garry Apple has done the book, music and lyrics for a new musical comedy, "Christmas in Hell," now being performed by the York Theatre Company. We're warned that it's more naughty than nice. (It's rated PG13 for explicit language.)
WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 30 at the York Theatre Company, in Saint Peter's, 619 Lexington Ave.
INFO Tickets from $67.50; 212-935-5820, yorktheatre.org
See Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken's holiday show
It's a blast from the past, as the "American Idol" favorites team up for "Ruben & Clay's first annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion," an evening of holiday music and comedy. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Inclusion Project. WHEN | WHERE Previews begin Dec. 7 at the Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St.; running through Dec. 30 INFO Tickets from $39; 212-239-6200, telecharge.com
Skate, shop and snack in Bryant Park
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is a place to skate, dine and shop while embracing the season's chill. Lace up and glide across a 17,000-square-foot ice rink with no admission; skates ($20) and helmets ($6) are for rent. Dine rinkside at one of several eateries. Peruse the wares of various vendors. If the cold becomes too much to bear, head to the indoor, second-floor Overlook and warm up while watching skaters or playing a selection of board games.
WHEN | WHERE Rink and lodge open daily until March 3, Holiday Shops running daily through Jan. 2; Bryant Park, 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, Manhattan
INFO Free admission; 212-768-4242; bryantpark.org
Dive into Warhol at the Whitney
In what the Whitney is describing as its largest monographic exhibition yet, this look back at the works of Andy Warhol is curated to show how the artist moved forward from a 1968 assassination attempt to grow, take even more risks and venture into creatives places even he hadn't considered. "Andy Warhol -- From A to B and Back Again" features works and materials found following his death in 1987, demonstrating that a man whose work often seemed before his time may is still extraordinarily relevant.
WHEN | WHERE Through March 31; Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St., Manhattan
INFO $25, free ages 18 and under; 212-570-3600, whitney.org
See an adaptation of James Joyce's 'The Dead'
Immerse yourself in James Joyce's novella at "The Dead, 1904," with a production that will travel through three floors of a 1900 town house (stopping in the dining room where dinner will be served). With Melissa Gilbert and Rufus Collins, pictured. WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 13 at the American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Ave., Manhattan INFO Tickets $300 (with dinner), $150 (show only), 212-727-2737, irishrep.org
See the big ape on Broadway
The giant ape makes for great spectacle in "King Kong," the new Broadway musical that's a slicked-up version of the classic 1933 film. Christiani Pitts, pictured, stars as Ann Darrow, but it's hard for anyone to take their eye off the imposing 2,000-pound animatronic puppet. WHEN | WHERE Through April 14 at Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, Manhattan INFO Tickets from $49, 212-239-6200, telecharge.com
See two short plays by Ireland's Brian Friel
"Two by Friel" features short plays by Irish playwright Brian Friel. "Lovers: Winners," is a 1967 work about two teen lovers (Aoife Kelly and Phil Gillen, pictured), and "The Yalta Game," is a 2001 piece adapted from a Chekhov story. WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 23 at the Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., Manhattan INFO Tickets $50; 212-727-2737, irishrep.org
Celebrate 60 years of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is doing a monthlong stint at New York City Center featuring premieres from some of its lauded choreographers.The two-act ballet "Lazarus" (pictured) from Rennie Harris and "The Call" from Ronald K. Brown are part of the program, as is "Kairos," a contemporary piece from Wayne McGregor and "EN" from Jessica Lang, who is making her choreographic debut at Ailey with this, her 100th ballet.
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday, Nov. 28 through Dec. 30, shows held daily (twice on Saturdays and Sundays); New York City Center: 131 W. 55th St., Manhattan
INFO $29 to $159; 212-405-9000, alvinailey.org
Check out holiday window displays across Manhattan
The big windows of Manhattan's upscale department stores are famous for wondrous winter holiday displays. Whether or not you intend to buy something at these stores, you can stay on the sidewalk to see Macy's "Believe in the Wonder Of Giving" display, pictured, starring "Sunny the Snowpal"; a "Theater of Dreams" presentation at Saks; over at Barney's it's a "Make Change" demonstration; Bloomingdale's is running the storyline of Dr. Seuss's "The Grinch." Henri Bendel's, set to close next year, will have its last holiday window display. WHEN | WHERE Now on view at Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St.; Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave.; Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave.; Bloomingdale's, 1000 Third Ave.; Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Ave., Manhattan INFO Free
See what’s new in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Returning for another season, the Christmas Spectacular -- starring the iconic Radio City Rockettes -- will once again offer a holiday tale, extravagant sets and visuals boosted by a light show. This year's edition is announcing a new closing scene, re-imagined choreography, fresh costumes, refigured elements and technological upgrades, including a 100-drone flying performance.
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 1; Radio City Music Hall: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan
INFO Tickets $41 and up; 866-858-0007, rockettes.com
See a Brecht play about the rise of fascism
Raúl Esparza, pictured, stars as a Depression-era mobster in "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," Bertolt Brecht's work on the rise of fascism. John Doyle directs the Classic Stage production.
WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 22 at the Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., Manhattan
INFO Tickets $82 and up; 866-811-4111, classicstage.org
Experience the art of jewelry at the Met
Jewelry can demonstrate wealth or declare love -- but do you recognize it as an art form? "Jewelry: The Body Transformed" looks back through history to review the power and influence of extravagant adornments with more than 200 pieces, including "Oh I am Precious #7," pictured, by artist Eugene Pijanowski.
WHEN | WHERE Through Feb. 24 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan
INFO $25; 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org
See Elaine May in her return to Broadway
Elaine May gives a heartbreaking performance in "The Waverly Gallery," marking her return to Broadway after more than 50 years. Playing a former activist dealing with Alzheimer's, she's joined by Joan Allen, Michael Cera and Lucas Hedges (pictured, with May) in the revival of Kenneth Lonergan's play. WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 27 at the Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., Manhattan INFO Tickets from $48; 212-239-6200, telecharge.com
Review the work of iconic artist Bruce Nauman
Playful yet thoughtful, Bruce Nauman often manipulates mundane materials to create images, sculpture and other media that reflect the artist's evolving views on society. This program, "Disappearing Acts," spans Nauman's offbeat, ever-shifting style, including works constructed from household items, like this one "White Anger, Red Danger, Yellow Peril, Black Death," and his semiregular returns to the manipulation of neon and video.
WHEN | WHERE Through Feb. 18 at the Museum of Modern Art (11 W. 53 St., Manhattan; 212-708-9400) and at MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, Queens; 718-784-2084) through Feb. 25.
INFO $10-$25, children age 16 and under are free (MoMA PS1 tickets can be used for $10 off admission to The Museum of Modern Art; tickets to the Museum of Modern Art can be used for free admission at MoMA PS1 within 14 days of purchase); moma.org
Check out the 2018 edition of the Big Apple Circus
Now in its 41st season, this latest version of the big-city, big-top show features such highlights as trapeze tricks by the Flying Tunizianis, clowning by award-winning funnyman Mark Gindick, fantastic gymnastics by husband-and-wife team Duo Fusion, in photo, and a new ringmaster in Stephanie Monseu.
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 27 at Damrosch Park, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan
INFO $25-$125; 212-257-2330, ticketmaster.com
Check out ‘Marnie’ at the Met
An opera written by composer Nico Muhly, "Marnie," is based on the 1961 novel by Winston Graham, the story of a victimizer-turned-victim that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's film of the same name. Muhly's adaptation premiered last year in London, and now is a featured production at the Metropolitan Opera, led by Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in the title role.
WHEN | WHERE Oct. 19, 22, 27, 31 and Nov. 3, 7, 10 (times vary); Metropolitan Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center, Manhattan
INFO 212-362-6000, metopera.org
ADMISSION $30 to $470
Explore works by Queens artists
The eighth biennial Queens International exhibition is an exploration of modern art by more than 40 artists and collectives from the borough. This year's expo involves a partnership with the Queens Library, with installations in the Lefrak City, Flushing and Central branches.
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays through Feb. 24; Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens. Also at the Queens Library locations in LeFrak City, 98-30 57 Ave., Corona; Flushing, 41-17 Main St.; and Central, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica.
INFO 718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org, queenslibrary.org
ADMISSION $8, free 18 and younger, no admission fee at libraries
IN THE PHOTO: Camille Hoffman's work, "Excelsior: Ever Upward, Ever Afloat," at the Queens Museum.
Explore 20 years of Harry Potter
The New-York Historical Society is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter's literary arrival in the United States with "Harry Potter: A History of Magic," an exhibition packed with manuscripts, books and other items from a wide range of Potter-focused collections.
INFO 888-718-4253, harrypotter.nyhistory.org
WHEN | WHERE Daily, except most Mondays, through Jan. 27; 170 Central Park W., Manhattan
INFO $21, $6 ages 5-13, free 4 and younger
Visit 'Popcorn Falls' at the Davenport Theatre
Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle is making his New York directing debut with "Popcorn Falls," a comedy by James Hindman. The title refers to a small American town where the waterfall it's named for has dried up (shades of "Anyone Can Whistle"). With Adam Heller and Tom Souhrada, pictured.
WHERE | WHEN Tickets on sale through Jan. 6, Davenport Theatre, 354 W. 45th St., Manhattan
INFO 212-239-6200, telecharge.com
ADMISSION Tickets from $75
See the work of an early abstract artist
Recognized as one of the art world's earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, "Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future," showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.
WHEN | WHERE Opens Friday, Oct. 12 (through Feb. 3, 2019) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave., Manhattan
INFO 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org
ADMISSION $25 adults, $18 students/seniors, free younger than 12
Experience the art of Charles White
MoMA is joining forces with the Art Institute of Chicago in this insightful exploration of the creative efforts of this artist, who died in 1979. "Charles White: a Retrospective" offers more than 100 pieces in what would have been White's centenary year -- you'll get a close-up look at the man's personal, powerful take on the African-American experience.
WHEN | WHERE 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily Sunday, Oct. 7-Jan. 13 (open until 8 p.m. Fridays); The Museum of
Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.
INFO Adults $25, free 16 and younger; 212-708-9400, moma.org
Take in Verdi’s 'Aida' at The Met
Composed more than a century ago by Giuseppe Verdi, this production sees soprano Anna Netrebko taking on her first-ever Met Aida (until Oct. 11), working with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris and tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko as Radames. (Cast will change mid-season.)
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday, Sept. 26, through March 7, Metropolitan Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza
INFO 212-362-6000, metopera.org
Tour Ellis Island's hospital
Empty for nearly 70 years, this space, best-known as an entrance point for turn-of-the-last-century European immigrants, also has a history of holding the ill who arrived but weren't deemed healthy enough to enter. This around two-hour tour of the century-old disease wards shows how those treated and held here ate, lived and, sometimes, died. Dress for the weather; closed-toe shoes are mandatory. Not wheelchair-accessible; children must be 10 or older.
WHEN | WHERE 2 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays until the end of 2018; Ellis Island: Statue of Liberty National Monument
INFO $75; 917-727-9840, untappedcities.com
See the 'Pretty Woman' musical
It's opening weekend for this long-awaited musical, taken from the hit 1990 romantic comedy starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks, pictured, take on those roles in the updated Cinderella story about a hooker with a heart of gold and the businessman who falls for her.
WHERE | WHEN Through March 2019 at Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St., Manhattan
INFO From $99, 877-250-2929, ticketmaster.com