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7 fun things to do this weekend in Harlem and beyond

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Photo: Central Park Conservancy

Sparkling holiday trees afloat on the Harlem Meer, two new art exhibits, and more fun things to see and do this weekend:

Through the holiday season

Central Harlem Harlem Meer, 110th St between Fifth and Lenox Aves​

This year's lighting of the magical flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer was virtual, and the video—including a live rendition of "Joy to the World" by Vy Higginsen's Sing Harlem—is up for all to see. Better yet, take a walk to the Meer at dusk and see the lights in person.

Through January 3; Wed-Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat & Sun noon-8pm

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

This new show features the work of 18 contemporary New York artists exploring Black history and culture.

Through January 16; Tue-Sat 11am-6pm, by appointment only

Central Harlem Claire Oliver Gallery, 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between W 134th and W 135th Sts

Miami Art Week comes to Harlem via this four-artist exhibition that's also part of this year's virtual Untitled Art Fair.

Saturday, December 5 at 5pm

Central Harlem 135th Street Plaza, St. Nicholas Ave and W 135th St

Due to Covid, this annual tree lighting at the base of the newly renamed James Baldwin Lawn in St. Nicholas Park is a little different this year. Participants are being asked to bring their own ornaments and hang them individually, starting at 5pm.


In case you missed it:

Through December 31

Central Harlem 125th St from Fifth Ave to Broadway

The holiday lights along 125th Street are officially on (rewatch the kickoff here). Take a stroll down Harlem's famous retail strip after dusk to see them all aglow.


East Harlem JHS 99, 410 E 100th St between FDR Drive and First Ave

A new mural by Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera's "Uno Dos Tres"—painted by students from the arts and education nonprofit Publicolor—is now up on the eastern wall of East Harlem school JHS 99. The 105-year-old abstract painter had her first solo exhibition at the Whitney in 2016.

"Uno Dos Tres," a new mural in East Harlem by Carmen Herrera
"Uno Dos Tres" mural by Carmen Herrera

Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm through December 6

Washington Heights The Hispanic Society Museum & Library, Audubon Terrace, Broadway between W 155th and W 156th Sts

Explore the museum's treasures—Goya! El Greco! Velázquez!—which have been reproduced for this outdoor installation in the majestic front terrace. Each artwork also has its own free audio guide you can download on your phone.

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