13 Great Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

Including Lunar New Year celebrations, hidden gems from a great filmmaker and a certain football game

February 9, 2024 6:09 am
Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year parties are among this weekend's events.
Liao Pan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

Most weekends in New York City are busy. Between Lunar New Year and the Super Bowl, this one is especially so — and plenty of the events we’re looking forward to this weekend are reflective of that. But that’s far from all we’re excited about. There are also some enticing food and drink events, performances by great musicians and an intriguing deep dive into the work of a legendary filmmaker. Here are the best things to do in NYC this weekend.

Friday, February 9

Bagel and Lox Day at Acme Smoked Fish

On Friday, two beloved Brooklyn businesses will team up to celebrate all things related to bagels and lox. Greenpoint’s long-running Acme Smoked Fish and nearby eatery Bagel Point will be giving out free bagels and lox beginning at 8 a.m. Waking up early on a winter morning isn’t always easy, but this is worth the effort.

Buñuel in Mexico at MoMA

The great Surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel was born in Spain but spent much of his career living and working in Mexico. A new retrospective at MoMA — running through February 17 — encompasses both the director’s better-known films from this period, like The Exterminating Angel, with more obscure works. Tickets are $14 for non-members and free for members. 

Back Bar
Back Bar offers a cozy spot to try delicious cocktails.
Back Bar

Moe Aljaff and Juliette Larrouy at Back Bar

You may know Moe Aljaff and Juliette Larrouy’s names from an earlier venture, the cheekily-named (and critically-acclaimed) Barcelona bar Two Schmucks. They’ll be opening a new bar on the Lower East Side in the not-so-distant future. But for now, they’re holding a residency at Back Bar on Thursdays and Fridays through March.

“Touch Nature” at Austrian Cultural Forum

What can art tell us about the environment around us? The exhibit “Touch Nature” brings together a host of artists whose work explores this very question. Visitors can take in everything from detailed and arresting photography by Edward Burtynsky to immersive work by Barbara Husar. The show is on display through February 24, and admission is free.

Oden Omakase
Some oden this weekend, perhaps?
Dashi Okume

Oden Omakase Pop-Up at Dashi Okume

We may be getting further into the year, but it’s still winter, and that means it’s the ideal time for a properly warming dish. On Fridays and Saturdays, the shop Dashi Okume is serving a tasting menu (with optional sake pairing) dedicated to oden, a traditional wintertime favorite. You’ll want to make reservations in advance for this one.

Oneida at Rubulad

For more than 20 years now, the band Oneida has been making music that’s both challenging to classify and blistering to take in live. Think post-punk, think psychedelic, think relentless. They’ve shared bills with everyone from Yo La Tengo to Raphael Saadiq, and their most recent album — 2022’s Success — was aptly titled. They’ll be playing the eclectic Bushwick venue Rubulad on Friday; tickets are $17.

Saturday, February 10

Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center

Unfortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, they aren’t exactly having the greatest of seasons. Unfortunately for the San Antonio Spurs, their season is at an even lower ebb. This Saturday evening matchup could be a good one for the home team; tickets start at $70.

Lunar New Year at CultureLab LIC

Lunar New Year festivities are continuing around the city this weekend, including this wide-ranging event at Long Island City’s CultureLab. The event includes everything from an interactive design installation to a set from CrazyLaugh Comedy. Tickets start at $17.85.

Squid at Brooklyn Steel

Squid’s 2021 debut, Bright Green Field, was a pleasant surprise — playful at times, dissonant at others. Since then, they’ve released a follow up, O Monolith, which was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio and pushes their sound in new and eclectic directions. Now they’re on tour, with a Brooklyn stop this weekend. Tickets start at $34.45.

Mic Nguyen and Jenny Arimoto at Union Hall

Besides their work as writers and comedians, Mic Nguyen and Jenny Arimoto are also known for hosting the Asian Not Asian podcast. For this installment of their series Hack City Comedy, they’ll be joined by Jason Choi, KC Shornima, Sila Puhl and Youngmi Mayer. Tickets are $18.98.

Year of the Dragon Plants Tour at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

There’s never really a bad reason to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and this Lunar New Year features some dedicated programming from the facility’s staff. Among them is a tour of plants associated with the holiday. The tour is included with admission to the BBG, which is $19.59 for adults.

2024 Jersey City Brewsology at Liberty Science Center

Described on its website as “the boozy hybrid of your middle school museum field trip,” this event includes a host of great local breweries — including Westbrook, Carton Brewing and KCBC — set up across a certain science museum. General admission is $65, and there’s also an $80 option that gets you in an hour early and gives you access to some exclusive pours.

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Sunday, February 11

The Big Game Viewing Party at Brooklyn Bowl

Odds are good that if you’re reading this, you already have some plans in effect to watch a certain Chiefs/49ers game, whether it’s at a bar with friends or home alone. But if you’re still looking for options, there are plenty of bars and venues across the city where you can do so — including Brooklyn Bowl, which will have the game playing on more than a dozen screens and has bowling alleys that can be rented out for $350 apiece. It’s the rare opportunity to play one sport while watching another.

Dragonpalooza at Chop Suey Club

If football isn’t your thing — or if you’re feeling very ambitious in your Sunday evening plans — Manhattan’s Chop Suey Club is ringing in the Lunar New Year with an expansive event known as Dragonpalooza, featuring everything from DJ sets to flash tattoos. Tickets are $78 and include an open bar and food voucher. 

Looking Ahead

Jon Kung at Essex Market

Looking to get a new perspective on cooking? Jon Kung’s writings and videos have explored the nature of Chinese American cuisine. For this event, he’ll be in conversation with food writer Farideh Sadeghin. Tickets start at $10, and there’s also a $40 option that includes a copy of Kung’s new book Kung Food.

Cat Power Sings Bob Dylan Tour

The prospect of Cat Power covering one of Bob Dylan’s most iconic performances was disconcerting at first, but the album released late last year has earned plenty of critical acclaim. The NYC show at Carnegie Hall on February 14 has “limited availability,” according to the venue’s website, but the tour’s kickoff show two days earlier is a short walk from the Red Bank NJ Transit station, and tickets for that start at $49.50.


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