It’s holiday party time and coworkers and friends may be forcing you to brainstorm white elephant gift ideas. Fortunately, the city is rife with possibilities. Start off by perusing one of the many holiday markets, before moving on to a boutique like Kikkerland, where you can outfit a white elephant gift bag with cleverness like artisanal pomegranate-basil lollipops. New York museum shops are a great resource—fulfill your Secret Santa obligations (and stay under that $20 cap) with honey from the Whitney’s roof, a midcentury modern dollhouse from the MoMA, or that ultimate white elephant: a G train, from the Transit Museum. If you’re stuffing stockings for people you actually like, head to Paulaner on the Bowery, where you can source butter cookies, rum balls, and stollen, the only fruitcake that people actually want to find under the wrapping paper. On the receiving end of some hideous holiday knitwear? There’s safety in numbers: Saturday, December 20, join up with The Ugly Sweater Run at Citi Field, where you can burn off some seasonal angst in a 5K and then finish with a well-deserved chug of Sam Adams.
As perhaps the harbinger of a trend, long-running arts center Galapagos is leaving Brooklyn for the wilds of Detroit. This is the final weekend to say goodbye, and enjoy a night of cabaret, as Floating Kabarette sends Galapagos off with a circus and burlesque bang on Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th.
Love a Parade
Take to the streets and raise up a joyful noise as Make Music New York marks the winter solstice on Sunday, December 21. Join up with the Soho Gamelan Walk and turn the neighborhood’s cast iron façades into a neighborhood-scale drum kit, pedal through Prospect Park while performing a piece composed for bicycle bells, or check out one of the 11 other processions spread across four boroughs. There’s nothing like a little music to celebrate the lengthening of the days.
If music, shopping, and running haven’t cut through your holiday stress, turn to beer. The city’s latest brewpub, Threes Brewing, gets creative in Gowanus with house suds like “Mechanical Spring,” blending pear, pepper, and orange peel, and “Arboretum,” with the flavors of apricot, grapefruit, and fresh-cut grass. Pizza tends to not clash with hop sessions, and a crew from Roberta’s is turning out signature pies from Threes’ wood-burning oven.