Trip.com’s TripPicks This Week: Monday, Dec. 19 – Monday, Jan. 2

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Photo: Kaique Rocha/Pexels

Trip.com is an innovative planning tool that tailors recommendations for places to stay, eat and play to your specific tastes. It also allows you to share your great experiences with people who have the same interests as you; people in your “tribes.”

Trip.com’s TripPicks This Week feature empowers you to discover and take advantage of great events, openings and exhibits throughout the city each week.

Here are some exciting events and sites to check out this week in Downtown New York, courtesy of Trip.com. Visit the Trip.com site or download the app for more upcoming events.

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

1. Holiday Opera Mouse
Soho Playhouse (South Village)
Through Saturday, Dec. 31 at 11:00 AM

This lovely holiday play is about a puppet mouse who saves the day while belting out arias by Mozart and Puccini, proving once again that great things come in small packages. “Holiday Opera Mouse” is a great way to introduce kids (and adults) to the wonders of classical music. Tickets start at $25.

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

2. Giant Puzzle on the Plaza
Flatiron Plaza (Flatiron)
Wednesday, Dec. 21 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The National Museum of Mathematics and Flatiron Partnership are celebrating winter solstice with a giant math problem. Be one of the the first 300 people to show up on the plaza to help put together a huge mathematical puzzle that contains secret (and possibly life changing) messages. After this brainy activity, participants are invited to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. FREE.

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

3. Winter Music Fest
Check site for complete list of locations
Wednesday, Dec. 21 (check site for times)

Make Music Winter is an outdoor concert that turns audiences into band members. From African drums to hand bells, each event has its own unique sound. Come spread holiday cheer at one of 13 participatory musical parades across New York! FREE.

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

4. Christmas for Expats
Jimmy’s No. 43 (East Village)
Friday, Dec. 25 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Jimmy’s No. 43 invites expats, orphans and those who could care less about Christmas to gather around the taps for a holiday pint, or two. The expats X-mas Day Brewer’s Brunch is an all-you-can-eat walk-around meal that serves as a reminder that Christmas, like all good things, is best when shared. $25 (with drinks available for purchase).

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

5. Matzo Ball
Capitale (Bowery)
Thursday, Dec. 24 from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM

The biggest Jewish singles ball, Matzoball has been throwing this annual party for 30 years now! To celebrate three decades of “jewcy adventure” the organizers promise a bigger, better and outrageously more fun party! Mazel tov and happy hunting, ladies and gents! Tickets start at $50.

Photo courtesy of Flickr
Photo courtesy of Flickr

6. Gramercy Park opens its Gates
Gramercy Park (Gramercy Park)
Saturday, Dec. 24 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The biggest holiday treat does not come in a box, but in the form of a key. Though you won’t actually get the key to the uber exclusive Gramercy Park (Manhattan’s only private park), trustees of this two-acre paradise will open its gates to the general public for some holiday caroling. Bring a flashlight. FREE.

Courtesy of Pexels
Courtesy of Pexels

7. Colonial Christmas
Fraunces Tavern Museum (Financial District)
Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 6:30pm

Did you know that Christmas was once banned in America? Not that that stopped settlers from merry making on the down low. The Fraunces Tavern Museum takes a step back in time to explore early American holiday traditions through poetry, “English carols, American folk hymns, dance tunes and drinking songs.” $15 tickets includes one wassail drink.

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

8. Winter Wonderland Rooftop Bar
Arlo Hotel (Hudson Square)
Sunday through Wednesday from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM; Thursday from 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM; Friday-Saturday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM (through New Year’s Day)

Head up to the rooftop bar at Arlo Hotel for spectacular views and an array of spiked holiday drinks. The seasonal pop-up, Winter Land, has turned the space into a Christmasy ski-lodge that serves gingerbread-man jello shots, mulled wine, candy cane shooters and hot chocolate martinis.

Photo courtesy of Pexels
Photo courtesy of Pexels

9. Black Fashion Designers
The Museum at FIT (Chelsea)
Tuesday through Friday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM; Saturday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Fashion Institute of Technology honors the contribution of black designers in a new show called “Black Fashion Designers.” Covering over 60 years of history, the shows features original creations from Zelda Wynn Valdes, Ann Lowe, Arthur McGee, Wesley Tann, Jon Weston, Willi Smith, Patrick Kelly, Nkhensani Nkosi and others. FREE.

Photo: Andrew Malone/Flickr
Photo: Andrew Malone/Flickr

10. Welcome Back Union Square Cafe!
Union Square Cafe (Gramercy Park)
Daily

It was a day of mourning when Union Square Cafe closed its doors in 2015. But when one door closes, another one opens. In this case, Union Square Cafe’s new digs are double the size of its original home. It still looks and feels like Union Square, but better. On the menu, you’ll find staples like the tuna burger, calamari fried in graham cracker crumbs and banana tart alongside plenty of new items to fall in love with. Welcome back!

Photo: Tony and Debbie/Flickr
Photo: Tony and Debbie/Flickr

11. Ring in the New Year with Yoga
Jivamukti Yoga NYC (Union Square)
Saturday, Dec. 31 from 8:00 PM to 12:30 AM

Join your fellow navel gazers who will be welcoming 2017 in quiet contemplation at Jivamukti Yoga Relaxation Studio. Chant, reflect in silence and hear inspiring messages from Sharon Gannon and David Life. FREE and open to the public with registration. (If you want to take part in a Master Yoga Class with Gannon and Life and the vegan dinner that follows, the cost is $108.)

Photo: Blowfish Soup/Flickr
Photo: Blowfish Soup/Flickr

12. Poetry Marathon
St. Mark’s Church (East Village)
Sunday, Jan. 1 from 2:00 PM to 2:00 AM

For a more inspirational New Year’s Day, one dedicated to the arts, observations and self expression, why not spend the day and night listening to 150 poets (among them Tracie Morris, Eileen Myles, Edgar Oliver, Tommy Pico and Hannif Willis-Abdurraqib) read their work at the annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading. $25.

Photo: Kaique Rocha/Pexels
Photo: Kaique Rocha/Pexels

13. Bike or Skate into 2017
Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village)
Saturday, Dec. 31 at 10:00 PM

Why stand around waiting for New Year’s when you can get on your bike or skates, grab some food and drinks and take a late night ride to Central Park’s Belvedere Castle for a fireworks display and a festive outdoor dance party. Throw on some fancy pants (it’s a party after all), bring noise makers and meet us under the arch at Washington Square Park. FREE.