Whether you’re already dreaming of a white Christmas, popping in Die Hard for the fifth time this month, or are just feeling a might … grinchy, let’s say, Westchester is firmly in the holiday mood. Here are some dramatic dates and silly celebrations you’d definitely want to be hitting up this weekend.
First up, if you haven’t already swung by Westchester’s Winter Wonderland this year, now is the time. Thursday night, the Wonderland will be hosting a special Veteran’s Appreciation Night at 5 p.m. Any active-duty or veteran members of the army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard, national guard, or reserve will receive $5 off admission for themselves and up to three additional family members. (Kids under 3 get in free.) Westchester’s Winter Wonderland runs through New Year’s Eve, but if you or a family member has served in the military, this is a wonderful time to get a little extra appreciation.
Just over the border in Stamford, The Palace Theatre is hosting A Magical Cirque Christmas, which will be exactly as astounding as it sounds. Performers from around the world will engage and delight you with feats of music, magic, comedy, and mind-bending circus acts. VIP tickets (very limited quantities remaining) will even land you squarely on the stage, just feet from the performers’, well, feats!
Meanwhile, at Garcia’s in Port Chester’s The Capitol Theater, 15 year old guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer will shred the stage as part of Taz’s Holiday Spectacular. Niederauer will be joined by special guest Jimmy Vivano, most notably of TBS’ Conan. We’ve raved about this kid before, so trust us when we say that this is a holiday show definitely worth seeing!
If you’re just not in the mood for any of this ‘Christmas’ stuff just yet, don’t worry, you’re still allowed to thoroughly enjoy being a grump. Over in New Rochelle, the loveable lugs at Empire Harley-Davidson have invited a special guest to cheer guests this holiday season: No, not Santa; it’s the Grinch! Bikers and non-bikers alike will be welcomed by the shop, if not the crotchety guest of honor, ‘who’ will be hanging around from noon until 3 p.m. to delight any Westchesterites on this year’s naughty list. Free hot dogs and Christmas cookies will be available, and everyone, younger guests and even pets are welcome to come get their photos taken with the mean green one himself. Honestly, this event is too hilarious to pass up!
In White Plains, the City Center Cinema de Lux will offer a one-day-only screening of the Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker. See the Tchaikovsky classic performed by Moscow’s finest dancers. Tickets are just $19.
Also on Sunday, the Yonkers Public Library will host a free screening of holiday classic A Christmas Story at 2 p.m. at its Riverfront branch. Simple, elegant, and a confoundingly timeless piece of nostalgic Americana, come introduce your children to Ralphie, the Red Ryder, and the importance of always wearing proper safety equipment when handling your Christmas presents.
Lastly, this weekend will mark the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year and official start of winter. It’s only fitting, then, that Paul Winter will be presenting his 39th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration at St. John the Divine church in New York City. It’s only a quick Metro-North ride away, and after we got to speak with the Grammy winner a couple years ago, we’ve been hooked. World music, international musicians and dancers, and just utterly mesmerizing visuals in the grand cathedral make for a night you won’t forget even through the longest of winters. Tickets range $38 to $148.