Your Ultimate Event Guide: Latke Fest, Ditmas Lit, Solstice Parties & More

The 8th Annual Latke Festival takes place Monday night at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo via ashday / instagram)
The 8th Annual Latke Festival takes place Monday night at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo via ashday / instagram)

Staying in town for the holiday week? Here’s a full list of truly unique local events including a new reading series in Ditmas Park, Solstice celebrations, and political unity discussions — in addition to holiday favorites a couple miles away, like the Latke Festival, menorah lighting, and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ marathons. If you have an event to share, email us at

Graffiti artist workshop
When: Monday, December 19 at 3:30pm.
Where: Cortelyou Public Library, 1305 Cortelyou Road at Argyle Road.
What: ATTN Teens — learn about the history of hip-hop and practice your graffiti art style with artist David Alicea.
How much: Free

2 Monday comedy shows at Bar Chord
When: Monday, December 19 at 8pm and Monday, December 26 at 9pm.
Where: Bar Chord, 1008 Cortelyou Road between Coney Island Avenue and Stratford Road.
What: Who says you have to go all the way to Manhattan for quality comedy? Catch ‘Reservoir Tags Comedy‘ tonight hosted by Alex Fossella; then return for local favorite ‘Our Neighborhood Comedy Show‘ next Monday hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf.
How much: No cover charge

8th Annual Latke Festival 
When: Monday, December 19, 6pm-9pm
Where: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway
What: The 8th Annual Latke Festival is a celebrated holiday food event featuring the best latkes and creative interpretations of a potato pancake in New York City. Join the panel of celebrity judges on December 19 to ring in the holidays, enjoy amazing food and drink, live DJ and music, and vote for the Best Latke in all of NYC.
How much: Ticket prices vary; available online.

Ditmas Park Corner holiday party!
When: Tuesday, December 20 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.
Where: Bar Chord, 1008 Cortelyou Road between Coney Island Avenue and Stratford Road.
What: Come meet the team behind the Ditmas Park Corner, BKLYNER/Park Slope Stoop, Bensonhurst Bean, & Sheepshead Bites at our annual holiday party. Everyone is welcome!

Christmas Tree Lighting at Grand Army Plaza
When: Tuesday, December 20 at 5:30pm.
Where: Grand Army Plaza
What:  A 25-foot Christmas tree and life-size Nativity scene will rest below the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arc. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will bless the crèche during an interfaith ceremony.

(Photo via Ditmas Lit / Facebook)
(Photo via Ditmas Lit / Facebook)

Ditmas Lit reading series at Sycamore
When: Tuesday, December 20 at 8pm — then every third Tuesday of the month.
Where: Sycamore Bar, 1118 Cortelyou Road between Stratford and Westminster Roads.
What: Writers and bookworms unite! Announcing the new Ditmas Park reading series hosted by Rachel Lyon and Sarah Bridgins, featuring writers in all genres. This month we’ll hear from Isaac Fitzgerald, Jeanne Thornton, Gabrielle Moss, and Tommy “Teebs” Pico. Check out the website for more info.
How much: Free

‘Stay Nasty’ political forum & live show
When: Tuesday, December 20 at 8pm.
Where: A venue in PLG OR Livestream.
What: Stay Nasty Live Show aims to open up conversations between conservatives, democrats and everyone in between. This discussion will be on immigration, education, party values, and more, with featured guests like a law student who escaped Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and president of the Young Republicans Club of Brooklyn. There will also be live comedy and music. For the event location, RSVP at You can also livestream the event here.
How much: Free

Solstice Concert with Make Music NY
When: Wednesday, December 21 from 11am to 12:15pm.
Where: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, meet at Magnolia Plaza.
What: Celebrate the start of winter with Make Music New York and Baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert, with an encore performance of his participatory version of Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey) while wandering the garden.
How much: Free admission for all weekdays in winter.

Winter Solstice celebration at the garden
When: Wednesday, December 21 at 6:30pm.
Where: East 4th Street garden, East 4th Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue.
What: Welcome the new season with stories and (weather permitting) stargazing. Local astronomer Irene Pease will be on hand with her trusty telescope. This fun, family-friendly event will include cookies and hot drinks.
How much: Free

Unity Night from Ditmas Civic
When: Wednesday, December 21 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
Where: P.S. 217, 1100 Newkirk Avenue at Coney Island Avenue.
What: Join parents, elected officials, clergy members and community organizations to ask questions, get information about civil and immigrant rights and support the diverse community. Translation available in Bengali, Urdu, Spanish, Nepali, Russian and Arabic. Information/resource tables, childcare and light refreshments available. For more information, contact:
How much: Free

Christmas Weekend:

Grand Army Plaza menorah lighting. (Photo via Largest Menorah)
Grand Army Plaza menorah lighting. (Photo via Largest Menorah)

‘I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’ at the Owl 
When: Friday, December 23 at 8pm (doors at 7:30).
Where: The Owl Music Parlor, 497 Rogers Avenue between Midwood and Maple Streets.
What: A holiday music fest with Glenn Patscha, Fiona McBain, Tony Leone, Adam Minkoff, Oren Bloedow, David Mansfield,  Dan Littleton, Liz Mitchell, Joy Askew, Ali Dineen, Savannah Gordon, Steve Bernstein, Matt Darriau, Brian Drye, Tim Byrnes, Katie Scheele and more.
How Much: $10 suggested donation.

Nightly Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza
When:  Begins Saturday, December 24 at 7pm, then nightly until Dec. 31 (check site for times)
Where: Grand Army Plaza
What: The premiere Largest Menorah lighting of Brooklyn has been happening every Chanukah for over 25 years. Check out the kick-off concert on Saturday, and eight nights of live music, hot latkes, and gifts for the children.
How much: Free

All Day and All Night Screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” Backward by Donald O’Finn.
When: Sunday, December 25 starting at 2pm.
WhereFreddy’s Bar and Backroom, 627 5th Avenue (between 17th and 18th Streets)
What: The title says it all — and even though this is a Park Slope event, the Christmas movie tradition travels across neighborhood boundaries. Check out the unique twist on the classic film.

"I wish I had a million dog!" (Photo via Pinterest)
“I wish I had a million dollars…hot dog!” (Photo via Pinterest)

Chanukah celebration at FJC
When: Sunday, December 25 from 4pm to 7pm.
Where: Flatbush Jewish Center, 527 East 5th Street at Church Avenue.
What:  Party it up for the second night of Chanukah at the FJC with food, music, games & activities for all ages.
How much: $5 for adults and $4 for kids 8 and up.

Winter recess at Prospect Park featuring tennis workshop
When: Monday, December 26 between 12pm and 4pm.
Where: Various locations throughout Prospect Park, including the Audubon Center and tennis courts.
What: Looking for some post-Christmas family fun? There’s plenty to do at Prospect Park for winter recess, including nature exploration from 12pm to 4pm; and an intensive tennis workshop for kids and adults. To register for tennis, see the forms here.
How Much: Free for park programs; $80 for tennis from 1pm to 4pm.

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