Opening night party: Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m.
Weekdays from Dec. 4-Jan. 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Arsenal in Central Park, 830 Fifth Ave., third floor
For a 33rd year, this showcase looks beyond pine branches to make unconventional wreaths out of surge protectors, Q-tips, lost gloves and more. Fifty artists and designers were invited to take part, and their creations often have a deeper meaning, such as environmental issues and even the presidential race.
Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St.
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably still shopping for holiday presents. One place to seek out the perfect one-of-a-kind item is CraftBrooklyn, where $10 gets you in to browse pieces from over 100 independent artists showcasing everything from jewelry to housewares. The kick-off party is Friday night, where you can enjoy snacks and drinks, plus music from DJ Supertouch — not to mention early access to the artworks. Kids under 16 get in free, in case you want to make sure your niece will actually love that hand-tooled leather purse.
Dec. 4, 8 p.m.
Brother Jimmy’s Live, 116 e. 16th St.
This NYC-based country cover band dubs their all-girl, all-blonde style “high-heeled honky tonk,” covering everything from Dolly to Garth Brooks. Check them out at the revamped Brother Jimmy’s space in Union Square, which now has a concert venue serving $4 beers and $5 Jack Daniels and Jim Beam Fire shots.
Half‐Price Holiday Operas
Dec. 4‐Jan. 7
Metropolitan Opera, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza
Through Dec. 30, the Metropolitan Opera is offering half‐price tickets to patrons under 18 to two popular and accessible operas sung in English: “Die Fledermaus” (Dec. 4‐Jan. 7) and “The Barber of Seville” (Dec. 16–Jan. 4). The latter offers an open house on Dec. 30, with an extra intermission to keep young kids from getting fidgety and a behind‐the‐scenes tour of the majestic opera house.
‘A Married Woman’
BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn
If you’re in “Mad Men” withdrawal, here’s the perfect fix: a restored screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 classic, “A Married Woman.” The film follows a female Don Draper who’s juggling sexcapades with her actor boyfriend and domestic bliss with her pilot husband. It’s also an eerily prescient commentary on consumer culture, with futuristic speculation on data tracking and spyware.
The Great Northeast Cheese Fest
Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Queens
The Great Northeast Cheese Fest is exactly the mouthwatering fantasy the name promises. It offers unlimited cheese samples, firstly, with plus custom drinks and expert plating/pairing advice from maître fromager Max McCalman. Your ticket includes unlimited samples, chef tastings and beverage pairings, while VIP tickets include special demonstrations with McCalman, plus early access.
Battle of the Belgians
Dec. 5, 1-4 p.m.
Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E. Seventh St.
You may already be a believer in the superiority of Belgian brews. But which is the best? Taste test several contenders and cast your vote during the sixth annual Battle of the Belgians at Jimmy’s No. 43 this Saturday. Unlimited samples of over 20 small-batch Belgian-style brews will be offered, alongside the bar’s Tito King’s Kitchen serving up a whole roasted hog and vegetarian options, included in the ticket price.
Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.
The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St.
A holiday tradition for many theater-loving New Yorkers, “Sparkle: An All-Star Holiday Concert” brings together Broadway talent for a one-night-only event to benefit the Actors Fund. Now in its fourth year, “Sparkle” stars Tony Award winner Billy Porter (“Kinky Boots”), Stephanie J. Block (“The Mystery of Edwin Drood”), Max von Essen (“An American in Paris”) and other leads from stage and screen. The night is hosted by Scott Nevins, and the VIP tickets will score you backstage access.
Festival of Lights
Dec. 6-13, opening night concert at 5 p.m.
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
Rockefeller Center has its Christmas Tree, and Brooklyn has its own Hanukkah celebration. Each night of Hanukkah in Park Slope’s Grand Army Plaza, there will be a ceremonial lighting of the world’s largest menorah, with warm drinks, snacks and live music, plus gifts for little ones.
Dec. 7, 6:30-9 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St.
Yes, the candles and gifts do steal most of Hanukkah’s thunder. But we all know the real hero of this holiday: latkes. Appropriately, they get their own festival on Monday, the second night of Hanukkah, where you can sample traditional as well as creative twists on the humble potato pancake from some of the city’s best restaurants while sipping drinks. Proceeds benefit The Sylvia Center, which guides families to healthy eating with hands-on training.
SOLS Holiday High Line Health Kicks
Dec. 7, 14 & 21, 6 p.m.
Starrett‐Lehigh Lobby, 601 W. 26th St.
It’s still nice enough to keep running outdoors, and shoe insert brand Sols is organizing 5K group runs every Monday through Dec. 21. Runners meet in the lobby of the Starrett‐Lehigh building and follow a course along the West Side Highway, then down the High Line. The event coincides with a pop‐up insole showroom for Sols at 619 W. 27th St. offering samples and fittings; it’s open on Wednesdays and Fridays this month (except Christmas Eve).