11 fun things to do this weekend in Harlem and beyond


The Cliffs at Harlem is a new 15,000-square-foot rock climbing gym on 125th Street
The Cliffs at Harlem is a new 15,000-square-foot climbing gym on 125th Street. Photo: Josh Pestka

A new Harlem climbing gym with lots of great (free!) introductory offers, the return of Harlem Restaurant Week and indoor dining, a Valentine's Day weekend shopping event, and more fun things to see and do this weekend:


The Cliffs at Harlem opening day

Saturday, February 13

256 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd and Frederick Douglass Blvd

At 15,000 square feet, Harlem's newest rock climbing gym is also the largest in the city; check out the video tour here. It opens on Saturday with a host of introductory specials:

• Daily Intro to Bouldering clinics are free for the first month.

• Harlem residents who live in the zip codes 10027, 10026, 10029, 10035, 10030 get one free climbing pass (off-peak hours only).

• 50 discounted community scholarships are available for local residents.


Harlem Creative Society's Valentine's Shopping Day Event

Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 noon-6pm

Kente Royal Gallery, 2373 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between W 138th and W 139th Sts

Shop for Harlem hoodies, jams, teas, ceramics, and more made by creatives in the neighborhood.


Harlem Restaurant Week

February 14-28

40+ restaurants

This semiannual uptown Restaurant Week kicks off on Valentine's Day with $25 and $10 specials at more than 40 participating Harlem spots; see the full list of eateries and deals here. Many restaurants will be taking advantage of the return of indoor dining at 25% capacity, but outdoor dining and takeout are also options.


Dance Theatre of Harlem's Sunday Matinée

Sunday, February 14 at 3pm; $7

Live on Zoom

This legendary Harlem ballet company (its viral video from last summer is on the homepage) is closing out its Founders' Week with live and recorded dance performances, followed by a discussion with the artists.


Sing Harlem Valentine's Day Live

Sunday, February 14 at 3pm; FREE

Live on Looped

Hear the inspirational voices of the Sing Harlem choir perform live as they sing about love.



In case you missed it:


NYC Restaurant Week To Go in Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood

Through February 28

50+ restaurants

NYC Restaurant Week To Go has been extended through the end of February, and even more uptown spots have joined the citywide program offering takeout meals for $20.21—including 8 in Washington Heights and Inwood.



Harlem's Renaissance Pavilion at dusk.

The Renaissance Pavilion

Ongoing

Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd between W 137th and W 140th Sts

This Uber Eats-led initiative is highlighting a string of Black-owned businesses—including The Row Harlem, Harlem Chocolate Factory and Ruby's Vintage—with custom outdoor dining structures, public art, and online events.


Uptown Triennial 2020

Through February 28

The Wallach Art Gallery, Lenfest Center for the Arts, 615 W 129th St between Broadway and 12th Ave

Due to the pandemic, this public exhibition showcasing the work of contemporary artists such as Jordan Casteel, Derrick Adams, and Sanford Biggers in conversation with the Harlem Renaissance is fully online. (Note: It's open to Columbia University students, faculty and staff, but reservations are required.)



The Met Cloisters Primer

Ongoing

Online

Although timed tickets for in-person visits are also available, there's now a new way to explore the Met's medieval gem in Washington Heights. The Met Cloisters Primer takes you on a digital trip through time, allowing you to enjoy this spectacular museum's art, architecture and gardens via the Met's website.


Ice skating in Harlem

Through winter

Central Harlem Lasker Rink, entrance at 110th St and Lenox Ave; Mon-Sun

Hamilton Heights Riverbank State Park Ice Rink, entrance at Riverside Drive and 145th St; Fri-Sun

Both of Harlem's outdoor rinks are open, but each has a new set of Covid guidelines. In other words, plan ahead.



In Our Season of Discontent, Count It All Joy

Extended

Central Harlem Jackie Robinson Park, Bradhurst Ave and W 145th St and St. Nicholas Park, St. Nicholas Ave at W 132nd St and W 140th St

Part of the citywide Photoville festival, this free outdoor photo exhibit centers on Black joy and is inspired by the poetry of Ross Gay and the music of Stevie Wonder.


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