14 Fun Things to Do in Harlem and Beyond This Weekend

Updated: 4 days ago

An image from "Aghdra" by Arthur Jafa
The Highbridge Water Tower is now open for scheduled tours.

Holiday tree lightings, a tour of the newly restored Highbridge Water Tower, the return of the Double Dutch Holiday Classic at the Apollo, and more fun things to see and do in Harlem and beyond:

Highbridge Water Tower Tour

Saturday, December 4 1pm-3:30pm FREE

Washington Heights Highbridge Park, W 174th St and Amsterdam Ave

Following a $5 million restoration, the majestic Highbridge Water Tower—part of the Old Croton Aqueduct system—is back. Join the Urban Park Rangers for this free public tour up to the tippy top.

Harlem Makers Collective Christmas Pop-Up

Saturday, December 4 & Sunday, December 5 1pm-7pm

Central Harlem Calabar Gallery, 2504 Frederick Douglass Blvd at W 134th St

The first of this collective's two weekend holiday pop-ups features jewelry from Denisse Aneke, colorful totes and masks from Della J's Designs, candles from 3 Candle Company and lots more.

Holiday on the Hudson

Saturday, December 4 4:30pm-6pm FREE

West Harlem W 125th and Marginal Sts

This tree lighting right by the scenic Hudson River includes hot chocolate, crafts and live music.

Tree Lighting in Morningside Park

Saturday, December 4 at 5pm FREE

Central Harlem Morningside Park, Enter at W 120th St and Morningside Ave

Watch the lighting of the tallest living evergreen in the park while listening to live music from the Barnard Chamber Choir and nibbling on free cookies, donuts and cider.

Double Dutch Holiday Classic

Sunday, December 5 at 1pm $30

Central Harlem The Apollo, 253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds

Come see girls and boys from schools and community centers across the U.S. show their stuff in this beloved street-game-turned-competitive-sport.

In case you missed it:


Through Dec 5; Wed-Sun noon-8pm FREE

West Harlem 439 W 127th St between Convent and Amsterdam Aves, 4th floor

Multimedia artist Arthur Jafa's latest work is a mesmerizing film whose focus is a strange, lava-like sea. On view in the old Gavin Brown gallery space.

Ice Skating at Riverbank State Park

Fridays 6pm-9pm, Saturdays & Sundays 1pm-4pm, 6pm-9pm

West Harlem Riverbank State Park, entrance at Riverside Drive and 145th St

Ice skating season is back at Riverbank State Park—the rink there is the only one open in Harlem now that the old Lasker Rink and Pool in Central Park is being redeveloped.

Charles Biasiny-Rivera. "Benjamin Franklin High School, NYC, May 1974." Collection of El Museo del Barrio.

En Foco: The New York Puerto Rican Experience, 1973-1974 and Popular Painters & Other Visionaries

Through February 27, 2022; Fri-Sun 11am-5pm

East Harlem El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave at 104th St

Two new exhibits on view now: Bronx collective En Foco's photographs capturing the lives of Puerto Ricans in 1970s NYC plus the paintings of 35 artists working on the margins of the mainstream art world in the mid-20th century.

Seeing Harlem

Through January 2, 2022 Fridays noon-7pm FREE

Central Harlem Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, 163 W 125th St and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd, 2nd floor art gallery and community room

Harlem through the eyes of an impressive list of photographers, including James Van Der Zee, Roy DeCarava to Dawoud Bey.

Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling

Saturdays 10am-3pm

Sugar Hill 898 St. Nicholas Ave at W 155th St

This beloved children's museum has reopened with two new exhibits: "Other Nature – Cicadian Rhythm," a multimedia installation by artist Cecile Chong, and "Home," a group exhibition of sculptures and more by Max Colby, Suchitra Mattai, Dionis Ortiz, and Albert Peguero.

Live Music at Shrine

Weekends until 3:45am

Central Harlem Shrine, 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between W 133rd and W 134th Sts

This gem of a live music venue kicks into high gear on the weekends with a mix of jazz, funk, blues, and even comedy—ending with DJ sets that run into the early morning.

Thomas J. Price's 9-foot sculpture "Witness" arrives in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.
Thomas J. Price's 9-foot sculpture "Witness" arrives in Marcus Garvey Park.

Thomas J. Price: Witness

Through October 1, 2022

Central Harlem Marcus Garvey Park, enter at Fifth Ave and E 124th St

Artist Thomas J. Price's monumental bronze sculpture of a young Black man looking down at his phone—it's nine foot tall—is now on view in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park.

Traveling While Black: A Century of Pleasure & Pain & Pilgrimage

Through December 11; Monday-Saturday 10:30am-5:30pm; FREE

Central Harlem Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd and W 135th St

You can now visit the Schomburg without an appointment and see its two current exhibitions, including a show exploring a century of "traveling while Black."

"Traveling While Black" exhibit at the Schomburg.
"Traveling While Black" at the Schomburg.

"Reclining Liberty"

Through April 2022

Central Harlem Morningside Park, Morningside Ave and 120th St

Take a selfie with artist Zaq Landsberg's 25-foot-long sculpture, "Reclining Liberty," right above the entrance to the park at 120th Street.

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