Stay busy with these winter activities

Crystal Grant, Staff Writer

No Pants Subway Ride – Pants. Name one person who genuinely enjoys this cruel domain over their lower half. On Jan. 10 at 3 p.m. you don’t have to wait until you come home to free yourself from the evils.Like-minded subway commuters decked out in full winter clothes (minus their pants) unite over their mutual disdain  towards the constrictions of pants.

Ice Skating in Queens – In case you don’t want to rub elbows with tourists looking to skate on the overcrowded rinks of Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center, you can head over to the World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Admission is $6 on weekdays and $9 on weekends.

Le Parker Meridien Gingerbread Extravaganza – With the low cost of this mouthwatering event, combined with raising money for a wonderful cause, the only downside to this event is that you can’t sample the creations. This prestigious French styled hotel hosts their annual gingerbread contest with free admission and only charges $1 to vote for your favorite gingerbread house. All proceeds goes to City Harvest, a nonprofit working to combat hunger in New York. The date has not yet been released, but the event usually takes place from December through January.

Free Nutcracker– Though heading out to see the Nutcracker is one of our most quintessential holiday traditions, there aren’t many opportunities to see this beloved performance for free. Brookfield Place New York is hosting a free one-hour version of the ballet on Friday Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. Guests are advised to arrive early to guarantee a seat.

Fifth Avenue window displays- Although I doubt that many of us can afford a single item in the display windows, taking a stroll down the world famous Fifth Avenue holiday window displays is an experience not to be missed. Many of New York’s most iconic department stores from Fifth Avenue and 59th Street to Macy’s on 34th dazzle the nation with their yearly holiday window displays proving high fashion is an art of its own.

Sledding in Queens –If it was acceptable for grown adults to go trick or treating on Halloween this year, it is perfectly fine for us to compete with the kiddies gushing down the slopes and hills in the parks in Queens this winter. The best parks to head out sledding in Queens when the snow begins to fall are Forest Park, Crocheron Park and Lower Highland Park.

Astoria Market Holiday– Beer + your wallet normally do not mix well, but on the three Sundays before Christmas, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden will revamp itself into a shunning Christmas market with handcrafted items from local vendors. And if you aren’t keen on chugging alcohol while you’re there, you can still enjoy the hot apple cider and eggnog that will be sold through the day.

New York Restaurant Week Feb. 17- March 7– This will be the one time of year that the food posts flooding your Instagram aren’t your friends’ dried up, unseasoned chicken and microwaved veggies. During New York Restaurant Week, you have the opportunity to eat at some of New York’s fine dining establishments for just $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner.

Lunar New Year’s Parade and Festival- During the Chinese New Year, the streets of Chinatown are decked out in brilliant colors, dancing dragons and sensational floats. Chinese New Year begins on Jan. 28 celebrating the year of the Rooster and the Parade travels through Mott Street from Canal Street, continues onto East Broadway.

Drink Apple Cider-  What is the holiday season without a warm, crisp glass of apple cider? Find your way down to The Queens Kickshaw on 4017 Broadway in Astoria for one of the best glasses of apple cider Queens has to offer.