We may be looking at six more weeks of winter, but you shouldn't spend them indoors. Here's our guide to everything New Yorkers need to put on their calendar in February 2018.
Fighting for Freedom Tour
During Black History Month, the Fraunces Tavern Museum is honoring the often forgotten achievements of African-Americans in helping to establish our young nation. Every Saturday in February at 3 p.m., hear incredible stories like Ona Judge’s escape from George Washington’s plantation and the daring espionage of James Armistead Lafayette during the Revolutionary War. Free with admission ($7)
Kosher Food & Wine Experience
Keeping kosher doesn’t mean having less fun, as you’ll find out at the Kosher Food & Wine Experience, taking over Pier 60 in Chelsea. Sample more than 1,200 bottles of wine and spirits, not to mention a vodka made from beets, as well as more than 30 restaurants serving dishes like lamb bacon brittle and kosher barbecue. $125, Feb. 5, 5:30-10 p.m.
Sounds of Change
With the world rapidly changing around them, the musicians of the 1960s took on political and cultural causes in their songs about the struggles and celebration of living in a new era. Carnegie Hall brings together the living legends of the past and the rising artists of today who are taking a similarly activist stand with their music for Sounds of Change. They’ll sing the iconic folk, rock, soul and R&B songs of the era. Guests include Anthony Hamilton, Otis Redding III, Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick and more. Feb. 5, 8 p.m., $13-$80
Passing the Bechdel Test
Men, who needs ‘em? Not the ladies of Passing the Bechdel Test, a night of world premieres by some of the city’s best musical theater composers, plus the few favorites that accomplish the improbable: a duet for two women that isn’t about a man. As the organizers put it, “When women start discussing things other than the men in their lives, who knows what might happen?” $15, Feb. 9, 11:30 p.m., Feinstein’s/54 Below
You don’t have to join the CIA to learn how to be a spy. Spyscape is a new interactive museum where you meet some of the most famous faces of spycraft and learn what kind of spying you’d be best suited for by completing challenges throughout the exhibits. And maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about better living through spycraft, like knowing what to look for to tell if a person is lying. Opening Feb. 9, 928 Eighth Ave.
Meet the more than 3,000 professionally good-looking doggos of the Westminster Kennel Club as they compete to be Best in Show. Feb. 10 is Meet the Breeds day, when you can shake paws with the participants and learn about what makes them unique, then cheer on the competitors of the fifth annual Masters Agility Championship. Cat fans have their moment too, with feline fashion and agility shows. The main competitions take place Feb. 12 and 13. Piers 92 & 94 and Madison Square Garden, tickets to all events are $32
Little Cinema: Romeo + Juliet
Interactive theater group Little Cinema spent the winter in Los Angeles, but they’ve returned to House of Yes with the movie that made an entire generation of women fall in love with love, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. They’ve brought on The Love Show dancers to up the lux party vibes with aerialists, a DJ, projections and themed cocktails. Tickets are selling fast for their three remaining dates, Feb. 12, 14 and 16. $25 and up, eventbrite.com
Miskatonic NYC: Black Horror
The best movie of 2017 — and now multiple Oscar nominee — Get Out is just the latest example of black filmmakers using the horror genre to tell truth to power. As part of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, Brooklyn-based author Dianca London Potts leads us through a century of films like Blacula and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus and how they used the supernatural to tell black stories without the burdens of traditional tropes. $12-$15, Feb. 13, 7-9:30 p.m., Film Noir Cinema
This is your friendly reminder that Feb. 14 is the day you’re societally obligated to show some gesture of affection to a person who, hopefully, you’re not ignoring the rest of the year. But seriously, figure something out that’s not a box of Russell Stover chocolates from CVS — we’ll have your back with date ideas and restaurant recommendations.
Lunar New Year
Every culture celebrates the New Year differently, but no other arrives with more color, sound and flair than the Lunar New Year. Chinatown’s annual Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival in Sara D. Roosevelt Park starts with lighting 600,000 fireworks to scare off evil spirits so the Year of the Dog can begin (Feb. 16, 11 a.m.), then the parade of dragons and dancers marches through Chinatown, with all the requisite street party fare, on Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. starting at Mott and Canal streets.
Let your inner child run wild — or bring your actual kids — to Lego Live!, the first ever convention of Lego enthusiasts. There will be a giant pool of bricks to free-build to your imagination, talks with master builders, giant sculptures and exclusive merchandise. $30 and up, Feb. 16-18
Before anyone else took gaming seriously, the Museum of the Moving Image stepped up as a hub for showing how it can be culturally relevant. IndieCade East is the museum's annual celebration of independent games, giving visitors a chance to play dozens of new and unreleased games, head from the people who make them, attend workshops to hone your own skills and learn from the activists and historians working to help us make sense of their role in society. $125, Feb. 16-18
A stunning transformation of the foyer of the @nycballet theater by resident artist Jihan Zencerli, a perfect appetizer for some superb Balanchine and music conducted by @andrewlitton_! pic.twitter.com/zVnnKtHoKq— Hak-Peng Chng (@HPChng) January 27, 2018
Balloons at Lincoln Center
Hit Instagram paydirt at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater this month. Visual artist Jihan Zencirli has filled the New York City Ballet’s home with thousands of rainbow sculptures made entirely of environmentally friendly balloons, with free public viewings happening from Feb. 17-25. Free, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
Amateur Night at The Apollo
A new season of Amateur Night kicks off on Feb. 21 at the Apollo, where dreamers come to The Apollo to get their start (and a pretty sweet cash prize if they’ve got what it takes). Bring your enthusiasm as comedian Capone leads a night of music, dancing, rapping and spoken word, all to find New York City’s next hometown star. Tickets $22-$34
Frozen on Broadway
The season’s most anticipated new Broadway musical Frozen starts performances on Feb. 22 at the St. James Theatre. Enthusiasts of the film will find a faithful adaptation: The film’s screenwriter, Jennifer Lee, wrote the book, with a score by the Oscar-winning duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (for Let It Go) that includes new songs written just for the stage. Its brief pre-Broadway run in Denver was hailed as a “brilliant spectacle” by Variety, so be prepared to have your expectations exceeded.
Marvel Universe Live!
Fancy suits and special effects are cool, but if you want to see real humans doing real-life superhuman stuff, then check out Marvel Universe LIVE! The touring production that brings Marvel heroes and villains to life stops by the Barclays Center on Feb. 22-25. Marvel characters like Spiderman, Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy team up against foes like Loki and Nebula in an arena show every bit as impressive as the movies they’re based on. Tickets start at $15, ticketmaster.com
Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival
Paying tribute to the father of modern science fiction, the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival delves into our inner worlds and how we make sense of what’s around us — think of it as “technology with a soul,” according to festival organizer Daniel Abella. Screenings include premieres, short films and virtual reality, with special guests like Armand Assante and Tom Sizemore. Feb. 23-25, thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com
New York City Beer Week
The 10th annual celebration of all things hops, malt and a little madness, NYC Beer Week, returns Feb. 23-March 4 with over 60 breweries taking part in more than 150 events, from walk-around tastings to tap takeovers, brewer talks and pairing dinners. With beers brewed special for the festival, it’s a chance to taste things you won’t find anywhere else in the company of people who love one thing above all else. nycbrewed.com
Mac and Cheeze Takedown
We’ve got six more weeks of winter to look forward to, which means comfort food season is far from over. Fortify yourself at the Mac & Cheeze Takedown, an all-you-can-eat festival of cheese and pasta created by home cooks from across the city at Brooklyn Bazaar. $25, Feb. 25, 2-4 p.m.
The seventh annual TEDxBroadway brings a full day of conversations to New World Stages with the goal of answering the question, “What’s the best that Broadway can be?” You’ll hear totally new perspectives from people just coming to theater’s biggest stage like Joshua Jackson, who’ll make his debut in Children of a Lesser God this year, San Francisco Giants communications EVP Staci Slaughter(?!) and life coach Julie Stroud. $100, Feb. 27, 1-7 p.m.