World’s Largest Menorah Lighting
Grand Army Plaza, Flatbush Ave. at Eastern Pkwy., Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 11/27 at 7 p.m., 11/28 at 6 p.m., 11/29 at 3:30 p.m., 11/30 at 7 p.m., 12/1 at 6 p.m., 12/2 at 6 p.m., 12/3 at 3:30 p.m., and 12/4 at 7 p.m.
In New York we go big or go home. Starting November 27, catch the lighting of this massive symbol—dubbed the "World's Largest"—in Grand Army plaza. Come for the lights and stay for the live music, hot latkes, and gifts for the kiddies.
Hanukkah at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., at St. Mark’s Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 11/30 and 12/1 at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Swing through the first museum created especially for kids for their “Meet the Holiday” exhibit, where preschoolers discover the traditions behind the holiday as well has how it’s celebrated around the world, before getting crafty making a Hanukkah-themed bag, which they’ll get to take home.
Chanukah on Ice
Wollman Rink, 59th St., nr. East Dr.; 212-439-6900; 12/2 at 6 p.m.
Spin like a dreidel at this night of skating and the lighting of a six-foot-tall menorah carved out of ice. Brought to you by Chabad, a cappella choir Yeshiva Maccabeats soundtracks this seasonal affair, which also features complimentary kosher food, should you feel the need to take a break.
Fifth Annual Latke Festival
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 12/2 at 6:30 p.m.
Bring your appetite when some of New York's finest kitchens (including Dough, Kutsher's Tribeca,, Toloache, and The Butterfly) shred, season, and fry their best potato pancakes to impress a panel of cooks, food writers, and festivalgoers.
Sephardic Music Festival 2013
Various Venues; 12/1–12/5
The diversity of Jewish music is showcased over these five days, from Balkan beats to multinational chamber ensembles, with some slam poetry thrown in for good measure. Venues vary, check the official website for details.
CBST: The LGBTQ Synagogue, 57 Bethune St., nr. Washington St., 212-929-9498; 12/3 at 7 p.m.
All are welcome by the Trans Empowerment Committee for a laid-back night of candle lighting, board games, snacks, and, of course, dreidel. Whether you make it out of clay is up to you.
Beer and Latkes:
Randolph Beer, 343 Broome St., nr. Bowery, 212-929-9498; 12/4 at 7 p.m.
Beer and fried potatoes go as well together as, well, alcohol and holidays. The pairing is even better when beer experts choose brews to complement a fresh-made latke menu. Brought to you by the 92Y.
Seventh Annual Menorah Horah
(Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., nr. Thompson St.; 212-505-3474; 12/5 at 7 p.m.
A cultural mash-up of skin and tradition, with musicians and burlesque performers glitzing up the holiday with retro flair, latkes, and boobs. Table seats are available, should you enjoy your titillation sitting down.
David’s Harp Returns! The Hanukkah Concert
Forchheimer Auditorium, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., nr. Fifth Ave., 212-294-8330; 12/8 at 3 p.m.
A thrilling night of menorah lighting and Sephardic, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, Egyptian, Ottoman, Bukarian, and Yemenite songs begins with a reading by a special guest of a text written by a Jewish writer. Then the five-piece ensemble—which plays santouri, darbuka, keyboard, zills, flute, guitar, mandolin, electric bass daf, and violin (we had to look at least two of those up)—will take the stage, the first time at the Center for Jewish History since their sold-out show in 2011.
Matisyahu's Festival of Light
The Studio at Webster Hall, 4125 E. 11th St., nr. Third Ave., 212-353-1600; 12/8 at 7 p.m.
Matisyahu, the Hasidic reggae king with a fervent cult following, will only do his Festival of Lights show for one night, but those left hanging can check out his new interactive musical storybook for iPads, the “Happy Hanukkah Jam-Along.” It’s technically for kids, but hey, we could all use a dub-infused traditional-Jewish-music fix.