34 Brooklyn Christmas events for $30 or less

muppet christmas

Spending some time this Christmas season with the Muppets at Union Hall is just one of the many ways to enjoy the season this year

Santa was ushered into Macy’s at the conclusion of the Thanksgiving Day parade, thus officially signaling the beginning of another holiday season. There’s no denying that New York City in December is breathtakingly beautiful. The holiday markets, ice rinks, display windows, the omnipresent smell of evergreens in the air… and ahh yes, the herds of tourists. Want to avoid the crowds and subsequently becoming a Grinch? Stay in Brooklyn for all seasonal festivities. Whether you’re a Buddy the Elf or an Ebenezer Scrooge, Brokelyn has your one-stop holiday guide for fun and festive happenings in your favorite borough, all under $30.

Late Night TV: The Roast of Kris Kringle
Friday, December 5, 11pm
Videology, 308 Bedford Avenue
FREE

No, it’s not chestnuts that are roasting on that open fire, it’s Santa! Join Videology for a comedy roast of jolly Old Saint Nick and clips from Christmas movies.

Annual 35mm Screening of Black Christmas
Friday, December 5, 12am & Saturday, December 6, 12am
Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue
$11

What could be scarier than being caught under the mistletoe with the Greenwood Clown? This 1974 horror classic. Ho, ho, ho, sorority girls! The cinematic bloodbath is part of Nitehawk’s Midnite Screenings special holiday edition: XMAS Chopping. Other films featured as part of the December series are: Silent Night, Bloody Night (December 12 & 13 at 12:10am); Chopping Mall (December 19 & 20 at 12:15am; and The Shining (December 26 & 27 at 12am).

Brooklyn Cookie Takedown!
Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7, 2pm – 4pm (both days)
The Bell House, 149 7th Street
$20/day

The $20 entrance fee includes bottomless cookies and eggnog. Have a kickass recipe and want to show Brooklyn what cookie stuff you’re made of? Email chilitakedown@gmail.com to compete.

Party Like It’s 1999: All I Want for Christmas is Mariah
Saturday, December 6, 10pm
The Bell House, 149 7th Street
FREE

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Mariah’s Christmas album and dance to its tracks all night long. Plenty of other songs from the Mariah Carey catalog will be played, as well as other favorites from the ’90s. But really, we all know we’re only showing up for Mariah. She’ll always be our baby.

Monster Monday Madness: Holiday Edition
Mondays in December, 6pm
12/8: Black Christmas; 12/15: Gremlins; 12/22: How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Nightmare Before Christmas
The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue
FREE

The Monster Monday Madness lineup is very similar to Nitehawk’s lineup, so clearly more holiday horror films need to be made. There’s a niche market for all you aspiring filmmakers out there! The Way Station’s screenings are free though, and include drink specials, trivia questions with prizes, and free pizza.

The Third Annual Park Slope Messiah Sing-Along
Thursday, December 11, 7:30pm
Congregation Beth Elohim, 271 Garfield Place
$20 in advance/$25 at the door (proceeds benefit Old First’s Sanctuary Restoration Campaign)

Presented by Arts at Old First, all are invited to join the singing or simply enjoy the music. This is the Christmas sing-along for all you Hallelujah Chorus enthusiasts out there! Sing your heart out and bring the house down — your money goes toward sanctuary restoration, so it’s okay!

Annual Reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Holiday Sing-Along
Thursday, December 11, 4pm
Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street
FREE

Take the kids or just take yourself and enjoy hearing Dr. Seuss’s holiday tale of a green furry Scrooge. Other activities include a sing-along, stories, treats, cider, and give-aways. Also the perfect opportunity to get some holiday shopping done; everyone needs more books!

4th Annual No Office Holiday Party
Thursday, December 11, 8pm
Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street
$5 in advance/$8 at the door

Brokelyn once again teams up with the skint to bring you a holiday party where you’re encouraged to be more naughty than nice. Ditch the pantyhose and cufflinks for a fuzzy Santa hat or your favorite pair of elf shoes and come party with us! Event hosted by Jo Firestone and featuring live band karaoke from Rock Star Karaoke, jams from DJ Brian Blackout, raffle prizes and more!

Die Hard Holiday Swear-Along
Friday, December 12, 9:30pm
Videology, 308 Bedford Avenue
FREE

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker is just the icing on the cake! There are plenty of other quality insults and curse words where that came from. Join Den of Geek for film viewing, swear-along, body count scorecard and prizes.

Christmas Pop Sing-Along
Friday, December 12, 9:30pm
Union Hall, 702 Union Street
$10

For this event, SecretFormula promises everything from Bing to Bieber, and “sing-alongable” clips from favorite holiday movies and television specials. Have your picture taken with Santa, but beware! — there’s also a Santa Costume Contest, so make sure you’re sitting on the real Santa’s lap. Eat free milk and cookies, win a prize for winning the Best Worst Holiday Sweater Contest, and if you don’t win that one, you can always try for the title of Most Naughty (no word on what the prize is…) Stick around afterwards for guerrilla caroling! Led by Santa himself, visit nearby bars and serenade unsuspecting patrons with holiday tunes, both old and new. Caroling books will be provided, because not everybody can have “Dick in a Box” memorized (but we’re passing judgment if you don’t).

The Chicken Saves Christmas
Saturday, December 13, 8:30pm
King’s County Saloon, 1 Knickerbocker Avenue
$10

Chicken Bitches, MC of the Smallest Penis in Brooklyn Pageant and everyone’s favorite poultry-inspired drag queen, brings us an original holiday revue. In this one-night only evening of song and comedy, the Smallest Penis in Brookklyn Pageant’s host regales the audience with tales about her love affair with Santa, her moment of religion with Jesus, catfights with Mrs. Claus, and more. After the show, stay for the FIRST annual Snow Ball: The Shake Your Ass Dance Party hosted by DJ What?! and of course, Chicken Bitches. Snow Ball begins at 11pm and continues until 4am.

Holiday Tasting & Book Signing with Brooklyn’s Best Bakers and Treat Makers
Saturday, December 13, 3pm
powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street
FREE

Need inspiration to get started on your holiday baking? Come to powerHouse and sample treats from Ovenly, Baked, Liddabit Sweets, and Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Pick up an autographed cookbook for that special baker in your life, then stay for holiday stories from Emma Straub, Teddy Wayne, and Diana Spechler.

Brooklyn Comedy Festival’s Winter Wonderlandia
Saturday, December 13, 9pm
Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Avenue
$12

A glorious night of comedy, followed by after party in the front bar. Plus, bring donations for Homefront Hugs (carepackages for troops) or New York Cares Coat Drive and receive a free Brooklyn Comedy Festival tote bag, while supplies last. There’s no better feeling than a night of laughter and helping others at the holidays.

Amazing Brooklyn Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, December 13, 12:30pm-4:30pm
McMahon’s Public House, 39 Fifth Avenue
$25

Even during the season of celebrating peace on earth, a little competitive spirit doesn’t hurt. Presented by Pogo Events, this scavenger hunt invites participants to experience Brooklyn amid the twinkling lights, Christmas Tree pop-ups and other festive street decorum. Solve word puzzles and get put to the test both mentally and phsyically to be the first team to reach the finish! Fully charged smart phones, metrocards and comfortable shoes are required.

Slate’s Holiday Movie Party
Saturday, December 13, 6:30pm
Videology, 308 Bedford Avenue
$10 (free for Slate Plus members)

Hosted by Slate movie critic and Culture Gabfest host Dana Stevens, come for a highbrow evening of holiday movie clips, trivia, drinks, and discussion. We don’t know exactly what is going to be discussed, so a recommended topic is: who can best belch the entirety of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”?

Morbid Anatomy Annual Holiday Fair
Saturday, December 13, 12pm – Sunday, December 14, 6pm
Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue
FREE

Not yet finished with your holiday shopping? How about a nice shrunken head or fetus in a jar for Aunt Mildred? Boring things like jewelry also on sale.

A Colonial Nutcracker
Sunday, December 14, 2pm
Brooklyn College’s Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
$15

Presented by Dance Theatre in Winchester, this full-length production of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet runs two hours with a 15 minute intermission. Recommended for ages five and up; come early to participate in a card decorating workshop in the Mezzanine Lounge at 1pm. If you’re like me, and always dreamed of hiding under Mother Ginger’s giant skirt, this show that is definitely not to be missed.

Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra Performs Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite
Sunday, December 14, 5pm
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 85 South Oxford Street
$18

The Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra plays Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn’s rarely preformed arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite. This is the show to attend if you doubt your ability to sit through an entire ballet performance but still want to pretend you live under Mother Ginger’s skirt.

Fifth Annual Dumbo Family Holiday Party
Sunday, December 14, 3pm
powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street
FREE

Favorite Childrens’ books’ illustrators battle in a fast-paced drawing competition based on holiday suggestions from kids in the audience. Santa will be present for photo opportunities and to divulge your Christmas wishes to if you haven’t yet mailed your letter to the North Pole.

Tough Pigs Presents Muppet Vault: Christmas!
Sunday, December 14, 8pm
Union Hall, 702 Union Street
$8

You guys… Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, A Muppet Family Christmas, Christmas on Sesame Street… we rest our case. There’s no saying which clips will be shown, but rest assured the night will include drink specials, giveaways, and an Emmet Otter sing-along. So grab your washtub, but watch out for the Riverbottom Nightmare Band!

Bad Christmas Specials Screening
Sunday, December 14, 4pm
The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue
FREE

Featuring timeless holiday classics such as He-Man & She-ra: A Christmas Special and Star Wars Holiday Special. Sounds pretty bad, but I’m willing to bet the Star Wars Holiday Special is not nearly as terrible as Episodes I, II, and III.

A Very Special Holiday Haunting Renditions with Eliot Glazer
Tuesday, December 16, 8:30pm
Bell House, 149 7th Street
$10 in advance/$12 at the door

What happens when a classically trained Jewish vocalist-turned comedian turns Christmas Carols into ridiculous sweeping ballads? We don’t know, but can’t wait to find out. Eliot will be joined by special guests Milk, from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Ilana Glazer of VH1’s Broad City, who also happens to be Eliot’s sister. This event just might make you want to grab a sibling and the nearest drag queen and start preparing your holiday cabaret for December 2015.

Wasabasco Burlesque’s ’70’s Christmas Carol
Thursday, December 18, 8pm
Bell House, 149 7th Street
$20

Enjoy the funky take on this holiday classic by Nasty Canasta and Charles Dickens “about miserly nightclub owner Scrooge and the ghostly visitations and spectral stripteases that teach her the true meaning of Christmas: sweet lovin’ under the disco ball.” No further explanation needed.

How Wine and Sleaze Saved Chrimbus
Friday, December 19, 10 pm.
Backyard Restaurant & Bar, 388 Fifth Avenue
FREE

Sponsored by Magic Hat, this stand-up comedy event features holiday-themed comedy from Paul Ashey, R. Alex Murray, Amanda Van Nostrand and other special guests. Magic Hat will also host an Ugly Sweater Fashion Show, which boasts a $100 Ticketmaster gift certificate. Plus, find Sleepy the Gnome hidden somewhere in the restaurant and also enjoy $1 drinks all night.

Big Gay Country Holiday
Friday, December 19, 8pm
Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street
$8 in advance/$10 at the door

Be sure to don you now your gay apparel for this holiday concert showcasing the musical skills of Julia Weldon, Karen & the Sorrows, Small Talk, and Kings.

Harry and the Potters Present The Yule Ball
Sunday, December 21, 6:30pm
Bell House, 149 7th Street
$20

What’s a ball without music? Hear the hit tunes from Harry and the Potters, Tonks and the Aurors, and Lauren Fairweather of the Moaning Myrtles, plus an appearance by the Potter Puppet Pals. $5 from every ticket sold will go toward The Harry Potter Alliance. As much as we were hoping that was a Hogwarts Scholarship Fund, it is actually a non-profit that makes activism accessible for young people by using Harry Potter books as a guide to discussing pressing issues of social justice (but maybe it’s really a front for the Hogwarts Scholarship Fund).

Wander Winter Solstice Concert
Sunday, December 21, 11am
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
FREE (Garden admission also free until 11am)

Celebrate winter with Make Music New York. Meet at Magnolia Plaza to take a musical stroll as the performance migrates throughout the garden. Baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert presents Schubert’s 1828 song cycle Winterreise (Winter Journey). Bonus experiment: find out if classical music really does help plants grow!

Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert
Sunday, December 21, 2pm
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway
$20

Performing in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium on the third floor, the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra will be playing familiar holiday songs, such as Sleighride, under the artistic direction of Nicholas Armstrong.

Dave Harrington and Friends Holiday Spectacular!
Sunday December 21, 8pm
Glasslands, 289 Kent Avenue
$10 in advance/$12 at the door

You may still be in denial (and understandably so), but here’s a reminder: this will be one of your last chances to catch a show at Glasslands. Join PopGun Presents and Dave Harrington of Darkside for holiday music featuring members of Bear in Heaven, Real Estate, The Antlers, Dirty Projectrs, and many more. A house band will also be present and DJ sets from the likes of Valentin Slip, and others. All proceeds to benefit the Harlem School of The Arts, so do it for the children.

Low Budget Sketch Show Presents A Special Christmas Special
Sunday, December 21, 7pm
Videology, 308 Bedford Avenue
FREE

Enjoy an evening of holiday videos, most notably a screening of Low Budget Sketch Show’s Special Christmas Episode. There will be live sketch comedy as well from some of New York’s best-loved sketch comedians. Sounds pretty sketchy to me.

The Salt Cracker Crazies Play Emmet Otter
Monday, December 22, 8pm
The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue
FREE

Join The Salt Cracker Crazies, The Way Station’s resident jug band (because who doesn’t have a resident jug band?) to celebrate the music from one of the most adorable Christmas special’s of all time. Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, a reimagining of The Gift of the Magi told by Muppets, includes timeless favorites like “There’s a Hole in the Washtub” and “When the River Meets the Sea.” The event is free, so you don’t even have to sell your supply of snake oil to shell out for a ticket.

All Day Christmas Movies
Tuesday, December 23, 4pm – close
Videology, 308 Bedford Avenue
FREE

FREE CHRISTMAS MOVIES. ALL DAY. It’s like you’ve died and gone to heaven, but you’re not really dead, you’re just learning what life would be like if you had never been alive at all!

Dr. Who Christmas Special
Thursday, December 25, 8pm
The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue
FREE

Because if you don’t have anything else to do on Christmas, you’re probably watching Dr. Who anyway.

Kwanzaa Family Celebration
Saturday, December 27, 11:30am – 1pm
Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance, 558 Fulton Street
$10 (for the whole family, up to five people; $2 for each additional family member)

December 27th is the second day of Kwanzaa, Self-Determination. Learn the history and seven principles of celebrating Kwanzaa though song, dance, and a special candle-lighting ceremony. Refreshments and plenty of culture provided.

However you celebrate, have a wonderful holiday season, all you crazy revelers!