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The best things to do this weekend in Harlem and beyond

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

Kahlil X Daniel as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in "A Christmas Carol in Harlem"

A song-and-dance-filled "A Christmas Carol in Harlem," the neighborhood's first night market, the annual reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and visit to Clement Clark Moore's grave–and more fun you can only find uptown:

Through December 21, Wednesday-Sunday; $10-$35

Aaron Davis Hall, City College of New York, Convent Ave and 135th St

Based on the Charles Dickens novel, this song-and-dance-filled retelling of the holiday classic by the Classical Theatre of Harlem is set in present-day Harlem. Here, Scrooge is a real estate mogul who has gotten rich at the expense of others, but on Christmas Eve three visitors show him the value of family and community. Bring the kids!

Friday, Dec 13 & Saturday, Dec 14

I, Too, Arts Collective at The Langston Hughes House, 20 E 127th St between Madison and Fifth Aves

After three years, the I, Too, Arts Collective has lost its lease at The Langston Hughes House, the 1869 brownstone where the poet spent the last 20 years of his life. The non-profit arts organization will be ending its run on December 31. In the meantime, stop by and say farewell at multiple events this weekend: In Honor of Our Roots Artist Showcase, Community Open Hours and Race Talks with Dr. Anica.

Saturday, Dec 14 noon-5pm

The Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace between W 160th and W 162nd Sts

Celebrate the season in Victorian style: make your own traditional ornaments, drink mulled wine in former resident Eliza Jumel's bedroom, and sing Christmas carols, to name just some lof the activities at this afternoon event. Later in the evening catch a special two-man performance of "A Christmas Carol."

Saturday, Dec 14 noon-4pm

Ruby's Vintage, 2340 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and 137th St

Two great things–the holidays and brunch–come together at this afternoon event that invites you to take a picture in the eatery's sparkling Christmas forest or with Santa, post it on Instagram, and enjoy a complimentary kid's entree or brunch cocktail.

Saturday, Dec 14 at 2pm & 7:30pm

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

Take a picture with Santa and listen to the Salem United Methodist Church Choir and others perform under The Apollo's famous marquee at this free afternoon event. Stick around for the Amateur Night Holiday Special in the evening, showcasing recent winners (tickets required).

Saturday, December 14 at 3:15pm; free

Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park, 145th St and Riverside Drive

This free three-part celebration starts with a photo op with Santa (BYO camera), continues with an ice show by the Ice Theatre of New York (get free hot chocolate from Starbucks before the performance), and ends with the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Saturday, Dec 14, 3:30pm-5pm; $15 suggested donation

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 58 W 129th St between Fifth Ave and Malcolm X Blvd

It doesn't get any cooler than this: certified yoga instructor Courtney Liddell leads a 60 minute vinyasa flow set to the sounds of live jazz in the ground-floor space of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Saturday, Dec 14; Saturday, Dec 21; 4pm-10pm

La Marqueta, 1590 Park Avenue between 115th and 116th Sts

The brand new Harlem Night Market is taking over the recently weatherproofed, block-long La Placita in La Marqueta for the first three Saturdays in December. Expect a mix of local bites, drinks, shopping and beats from some of Harlem's best DJs.

Saturday, Dec 14 7pm-8:30pm

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St

The Cathedral choirs and orchestra join in this annual Christmas concert featuring everything from traditional Christmas carols to an organ concerto by George Frideric Handel.

Sunday, Dec 15 at 3pm; free

Church of the Intercession, 550 W 155th St and Broadway

News anchor Kaity Tong will host this year's candlelight reading of Clement Clark Moore's "Twas the Night Before Christmas," followed by a lantern procession and wreath-laying at Moore’s gravestone at the Trinity Church Cemetery & Mausoleum across Broadway.

Sunday, Dec 15; pre-show Santa and karaoke caroling at 4:30pm, movie at 5pm; $8-$15

United Palace Theater, 4140 Broadway at 175th St

There's no better place to watch Will Ferrell as a misfit elf finding his roots than the United Palace Theater: thanks to a big push from Lin-Manuel Miranda and his family, the spectacular theater, built in 1930, now has a new 50-foot screen, projector and surround-sound speakers.

Photo: Jill Jones

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