8 Holiday Musts
We made a list of things you have to do this season. You can check it twice.
Photo by Juleta Cervantes
A ballerina from the Westchester Ballet Company dances for the King of Sweets.
1. Walk in a Winter Wonderland. We know what happened to Rip Van Winkle after his big nap, but what did he dream about during those long years? The same experts who created the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze take their best guesses with their Winter Wonderlights, which goes on until January 3, 2009 at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. The grounds of Irving’s home are transformed into a wintry dreamscape with the help of some rad LED technology (914-631-8200, hudsonvalley.org).
2. Mann Up. The title of Aimee Mann’s new album, ! Smilers, doesn’t sound like it’s full of Christmas cheer, but rest assured that the musician will be in the holiday spirit for Aimee Mann’s Third Annual Christmas Show. Once again, she’ll corral a lineup of guest stars (last year’s included Ben Lee, Nellie McKay, Josh Ritter, and the “Hanukkah Fairy”) for a holiday-themed variety hour. You can catch her show December 9 at the Ridgefield Playhouse (203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org) or December 19 at the Tarrytown Music Hall (914-631-3390, tarrytownmusichall.org).
Photo by Anup K. Misra
Liza Joseph performs the Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance.
3. Go Nuts. Really nuts. If you want to see The Nutcracker, you can find a pas de deux going on in almost every corner of the county: in Peekskill (at the Paramount Center for the Arts on December 5 and 6, 914-739-2333, paramountcenter.org); Purchase (at the Performing Arts Center on December 5, 6, and 7, 914-251-6200, artscenter.org); White Plains (at the Westchester County Center on December 19, 20, and 21, 914-941-4532, westchesterballet.org); Yorktown Heights (at Yorktown Stage on December 20 and 21, 914-962-0606,
yorktownstage.org); and Ridgefield, Connecticut (at the Ridgefield Playhouse on December 13 and 14, 203-438-5795, ridgefield
4. Light Up the Night. Have a holly, jolly Diwali with the Indian Festival of Lights at the Pelham Art Center on December 7. There, you can see dance demonstrations, get a henna tattoo, and partake in craft activities—but don’t forget to light one of the diyas for good health and peace (914-738-2525, pelhamartcenter.org).
Photo by Bryan Haeffele
Sunnyside trips the light fantastic.
5. Reserve a Tea Time. Through December 20, the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, in White Plains hosts a series of holiday Teddy Bear Teas every Saturday. Children ages three and up can hit the lobby lounge for treats, entertainment, and holiday activities—and go home with a brand-new teddy bear to share it all with (914-467-5707, ritzcarlton.com).
6. Be Gelt-Ridden. There’s no better reason to head over the bridge than Riverspace Arts’ Hanukkah Party on December 21. Music is provided by Metropolitan Klezmer, which performs a patchwork of songs inspired by Yiddish films, wedding dances, trance, folk, swing, and even the tango. Time Out New York writes that the group “takes a scholarly approach to the genre’s history, yet never skimps on the exuberance at its core.” We like exuberance (845-348-0741, river space.org).
7. Carol with the Kellys. Forget the figgy pudding. At We Need a Little Christmas…Now, X2O’s Christmas dinner and holiday cabaret (December 12 to 23), you’ll be dining on a four-course meal that features baby lamb chops, roast chateaubriand, Hudson Valley duckling with a sugarplum glaze, and much, much more. But you’ll have to sing for this supper. Sure, Chef Peter Kelly’s brother, Ned Kelly, will provide most of the entertainment, but you’re expected to join in for the rousing “Twelve Days of Christmas” finale (914-965-1111, xaviars.com).
Photo by Jean-Marie Guyaux
Theaterworks USA says, “Bah, humbug!”
8. Get in the Spirits. Haven’t had your fill of carols? Theatreworks USA brings its production of A Christmas Carol to the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck on December 6 and the Quick Center for the Arts in Fairfield on December 21. If the thought of being visited by three spirits sounds super-creepy, keep in mind that the company has pitched this musical so that it’s appropriate for children ages five and up (Emelin: 914-698-0098, emelin.org; Quick Center: 203-254-4010, quickcenter.com).