10 Weekend Ideas Under $10: Neil Gaiman Reads A Christmas Carol, and XMAS Pop Sing-Along


This wintery weather sure makes us suckers for the holidays (even more so than usual), and this weekend we’re not short of holiday events. Get cozy with Neil Gaiman as he reads A Christmas Carol, partake in the annual holiday tradition of Unsilent Night at Washington Square Park, and sing along to the cheesiest holiday tunes at Union Hall. And if you’re not feeling the holiday cheer, then go fuck yourself.


[Dance] Curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones, the DraftWork series hosts informal Saturday afternoon performances that offer choreographers an opportunity to show their work in various stages of development. Performances are followed by discussion and a reception.

At 3 p.m., Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, free.

[Art] Because it’s Friday the 13th, fittingly, we’re going to face our biggest fears head on … with a little help from TAPIN. Tonight, in partnership with First Street Art Green Park, the TAPIN crew’s first public installation exposes fears in “OUT FEAR, TAP IN,” a “larger-than-life” art installation. You’re invited to simply observe or join in by sharing your biggest fear. “By naming what scares you the most and sharing it out loud, we take the first step in facing our fears and tackling them before they get the best of us.”

At 6 p.m., First Street Green Art Park, East Village, free.

[Party] When Netflix or Hulu has failed you, where do you turn? Videology, of course. In fact, we’ve been loyal to these fine video folks for many years now because they provide something that the internet can’t: human interaction. So tonight, on the occasion of their 10th anniversary, let’s toast Videology and celebrate with insane entertainment and edible goods. The night starts with the Low Standards Show with John Murray and Matt Fisher, then the TV Hangover Party, followed by a Twin Peaks/Arrested Development Bingo Mash-Up, and concludes with DJ Bill. Plus trivia, prizes, free cotton candy, soft pretzels, and popcorn. If you have a Videology membership, your card will get you a free drink.

At 8 p.m., Videology, Brooklyn, free.

[Holiday] Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we spice up our usual playlist and listen to nonstop holiday music. That means for more than a month we’ve got Mariah Carey belting out what she wants for Christmas and George Michael whining about what he got last Christmas on repeat. So we’re definitely going to know every single song at tonight’s XMAS Pop Sing-Along. Other holiday specials tonight include music by David Bowie, Bing Crosby, Justin Bieber, NSYNC, Run-DMC, Adam Sandler, and more. Put on your ugliest holiday sweater or dress as Santa (for a contest, of course), enjoy free milk and cookies, and be merry.

At 10 p.m., Union Hall, Brooklyn, $8.


[Shopping] Where can you go Christmas shopping, cuddle a cute animal, and walk away with treats and prizes for yourself? The two-day BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular brings together more than 200 vendors who do everything from quirky vintage wares to gourmet foods, and offers goodie bags for early-bird shoppers and a raffle with big prizes. Want to make your gifts yourself? Drop by one of the “make-and-take workshops” on DIY plant hangers, pouf pins, terrariums, beauty products, tapestries, and felt garlands. Need to de-stress? Pet a puppy in the SNARR (Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitaion) Pooch Room, and maybe even take one home. — AA

At 10 a.m., Saturday-Sunday, Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion, $3.

[Holiday] One of the nicest holiday traditions in town, What the Dickens? A Christmas Carol Marathon brings together a talented group of writers, editors, and performers for a day-long reading of the Charles Dickens classic at Housing Works Bookstore Café. The event begins at noon with Christmas caroling from members of the New York City Master Chorale; the reading goes from 1 to 4:30. Grab a hot chocolate or a glass of wine from the café and enjoy the tale as told by readers including Adam Gopnik, Lev Grossman, Téa Obreht, Fiona Maazel, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Lorin Stein, Emma Straub, Lynne Tillman, and surprise guests. Not done with your Christmas shopping? All books in the store will be 10 percent off. — AA

At 1 p.m., Housing Works Bookstore, free.

[Holiday] If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a mass musical mobile, here’s your chance. A glorious and chilly ritual since 1992, with only the technology changing over the ensuing years, Unsilent Night is composer Phil Kline’s annual electronic tribute to the joy of caroling. Tote your boombox to the Washington Square Park arch, where you will be issued a cassette or CD (apps also available) containing one of the minimalist work’s four interlocking parts. Hit your start button on cue (warning: miss it and risk being chastised mid-parade by the composer himself) and proceed eastward en masse. A single musical movement in literal movement, Unsilent Night is a spectacle of tintinnabulation to delight participants and bystanders alike. It all ends with a few magically meditative minutes in Tompkins Square Park. — RG

At 6:45 p.m., Washington Square Park, free.


[Shopping] It’s holiday crunch time! Have you finished all of your shopping? If not, (or if you’re looking for something special for yourself, head on over to a full-fledged holiday shopping fair called Capsule Market Square. The Capsule tradeshow has always inspired shopping, and now Capsule Market Square will throw open their doors to the public, serving up its community of the world’s most coveted emerging and established designers. Capsule has curated a selection of 100 labels, spanning men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, home goods, art and furniture together under one roof. With drinks and food plus surprises, bargains, treasures and even a grab bag of goodies, Capsule Market Square will be a holiday shopping extravaganza like no other! We’re ready.

At 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 82 Mercer Street, free.

[Art] The late Mike Kelley was renowned for his ability to work in every conceivable medium — collage, drawing, performance art, video, copulating sock monkeys — and for appearing on a Sonic Youth album cover (1992’s Dirty). Today’s one-day conference organized in collaboration with Princeton University, presents new ideas about Kelley’s work and influence.

At 1 p.m., PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, $10 in advance ($12 day of).

[Holiday] Molly Oldfield, author of The Secret Museum, shares her love of unique items and interesting objects found at museums and libraries worldwide, most notably the New York Public Library’s collection of Dickens material in the Berg Collection of English and American Literature. She will be joined by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, who will present a memorable reading of A Christmas Carol. Gaiman will read the classic tale as the great author intended, following edits and prompts Dickens wrote in his own hand for his unique readings 150 years ago.

At 2 p.m., NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, free.