Looking for a fun new cultural activity but not sure what to check out next? We’ve rounded up some of the highlights that you can experience for free this month with Culture Pass, from new exhibition openings to limited-run live performances. Check back each month for a new set of recommendations!
You can learn more about individual exhibitions and events by clicking the links in the blurbs below, but if you want to book a Culture Pass, click here to return to the homepage and log in with your library card to make a reservation.
All offers listed below are subject to availability.
EXHIBITION: BCM's New Makerspace Welcomes Families Starting This Month
Date: Opening 12/2
As if there weren't already enough fun things for kids to do at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, this month marks the opening of Nature’s Engineers. This innovative, interactive natural science-inspired makerspace will be open on Thursday afternoons during the museum’s Amazon Free Hours, or you can grab a Culture Pass for free admission on Saturdays and Sundays.
PERFORMANCE: Head on Down to the Farm with the Little Ones at Teatro SEA
Dates: 12/2, 12/9, 12/16, 12/23
Created specifically for children from birth to five years old, Teatro SEA's new interactive bilingual puppet performance, Rancho Tales, pairs classic children's stories like The Ugly Duckling, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Red Hen with popular Latin American songs. It's never too early to instill a love of the performing arts!
CONCERT: Hear Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann & more with PSC
Dates: 12/2, 12/16
Is it just us, or does classical music somehow seem even more lovely on a crisp winter's evening? Thanks to People's Symphony Concerts, there are two chances to score free Culture Passes to amazing concerts this month. First up will be the Calidore String Quartet with Matthew Lipman on viola (pictured) on 12/2, followed by a concert by the ESPRESSIVO! Piano Quartet on 12/16.
PERFORMANCE: Learn About the Life of Puerto Rican Writer Jesús Colón at Pregoness/PRTT
Dates: 12/2, 12/3, 12/7, 12/8, 12/9, 12/10
The Red Rose, a musical based on the life of Afro/Black Puerto Rican writer and activist Jesús Colón, has been re-imagined in a brand new staging at Pregones/PRTT's Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in Manhattan. The show follows Colón from his fateful meeting with undercover FBI agent Mildred Blauvelt through their subsequent face-off before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1959.
EXHIBITION: Trace the Lineage of Women Fashion Designers at The Met
Date: Closing 12/7
There's just one week left this month to see Women Dressing Women, the Costume Institute's fall 2023 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through garments from the turn of the century through the present day, the show explores the work of over seventy womenswear designers and their collective impact on global fashion.
PERFORMANCE: Expand Your Horizons at JACK's Radical Acts Festival
Date: 12/7, 12/8, 12/9, 12/10, 12/11, 12/14, 12/15, 12/16
During this month's Radical Acts Festival you can grab a Culture Pass to see one of more than a dozen boundary-pushing performances at JACK in Brooklyn. Participating performers include: Jo de la Cruz, Skye Kowaleski, Jennae Santos, Ankita Sharma, Theydy Bedbug, Alexa Græ, Stephanie Acosta, Ching I Chang, Brett Robinson, Lydia Jialu Li 黎珈璐, Natacha Voliakovsky, Mette Loulou von Kohl, Leila Delicious, Abigail Jean-Baptiste, Sam Morreale, Maleek Rae, Mars, and 88X.
PERFORMANCE: "Witness Something Incredible" at the New Victory Theater
Date: 12/8, 12/9, 12/15, 12/16, 12/22, 12/23, 12/24
Cambodia's world-renowned Phare Circus, a refugee-founded group that has preserved cultural traditions nearly erased under the Khmer Rouge, is coming to Manhattan's New Victory Theater! Take your child to delight in dance, music, live painting, juggling, tumbling, teeterboard, and other circus arts dating back twelve hundred years.
EXHIBITION: Work up an Appetite at MCNY's Gingerbread City
Dates: 12/9, 12/19-20, 12/26-27
The results of the second annual Great Borough Bake-off are now on display at the Museum of the City of New York! You can see the exhibit for free at the museum's Gingerbread NYC Community Day from 1-5pm on Saturday 12/9 (we've heard Santa Claus, himself, might even put in an appearance). If you're busy that day, good news: MCNY will host extended hours this month, with the museum opening on the 19th, 20th, 26th, and 27th in addition to their normal operating hours, and the gingerbread is on-view every day through early January.
CONCERT: Enjoy a Holiday Motown Concert at the Town Hall
There's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with great live music. Grab a Culture Pass and head to the Town Hall in Midtown on 12/15 to hear That Motown Band perform the timeless hits of The 4 Tops, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas with Garfield Fleming, former vocalist of The Delfonics, and special guest C.P. Lacey, co-star of It's Showtime at the Apollo.
EXHIBITION: Last Chance to see King Manor's Artistic Exploration of Urban Waterways
Date: Closing 12/21
The stately King Manor Museum may be best known for preserving a piece of the city's history, but did you know that they feature contemporary exhibitions as well? There are just a few weeks left to see their latest, Streamline, which brings works by contemporary local artists together with historical artifacts, maps, and data to explore the relationship between waterways and urban development over time.