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Best Things To Do In NYC This Weekend

This weekend you can kick off your holiday season by attending the lighting of the world's biggest menorah, shopping for one-of-a-kind presents at a craft fair, or singing along to arguably one of the best Christmas songs ever recorded. Read on for details. By Jessica Allen.

credit: Garrett Ziegler

For almost 25 years, the African Diaspora International Film Festival has sought to "present [an array of innovative] films to diverse audiences, redesign the Black cinema experience, and strengthen the role of African and African descent directors in contemporary world cinema" by featuring movies by "emerging and established filmmakers of color." Highlights this year include a selection of films from South Africa. Friday, November 27, through Monday, December 13, see schedule for details, tickets start at $14.

credit: Artrider Productions

Get everyone on your list something really, truly special this year from CraftBrooklyn. More than 100 exhibitors will be on hand, chatting and peddling their wares. Craft categories include jewelry, clay objects, painting, printmaking, wearable fibers, mixed media, glass, wood, and the delicious-sounding catchall "gourmet specialties." A weekend pass just might mean you get all your shopping done in 48 hours. Friday, December 4, through Sunday, December 6, see schedule for details, $10, tickets required.

credit: Flushing Town Hall

Say "cheese"! OK, that was both lame and cheesy . . . . all right, all right. No more jokes. This weekend the Great Northeast Cheese Fest brings the region's best dairy products to Flushing. A ticket gets you all your can eat and drink from more than 60 purveyors of ice cream, hard ciders, wine, craft beers, and, of course, cheese, including Descendant Cider Co., Bovina Valley Farm Creamery, Krave Beef Jerky, Beecher's Handmade, and Vulto Creamery. Saturday, December 5, 6 to 9 pm, $60, tickets required.

credit: Bell House NY / Instagram

Generally speaking, lovers of holiday music fall into two camps: traditionalists and fans of contemporary music by artists like Michael Bublé and She & Him. Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas album has been around since the 1990s, which, depending on your age/sensibilities, might make it fall into the "traditionalist" category. Either way, the Bell House's Party Like It's 1999: All I Want For Christmas Is Mariah edition will feature a live DJ spinning the best R&B, pop, dance, and hip-hop from the 1990s. Saturday, December 5, 10 pm, free, 21+.

credit: Chabad Park Slope

It's only fitting that one of the world's largest cities should boast the world's largest menorah. Just how big is it? Head on over to Grand Army Plaza to check it out at sundown on Sunday, the first night of Chanukah. The event also includes a kick-off concert with Pey Dalid Simcha Band/Orchestra at 5 pm, along with activities for the kiddies and potato latkes. The menorah will be lit for the remainder of the holiday at various times (see schedule for details). Sunday, December 6, festivities begin at 5 pm, free.

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