This week’s virtual roster kicks off with a star-studded benefit hosted by Tina Fey and continues with book readings by Neil Gaiman, ballet classes taught by Wendy Whelan, and the first online version of Selected Shorts hosted by Maulik Pancholy. Ahead, we’ve rounded up 10 fun things to do this week from the comfort of your couch.
Patience & Fortitude: NYPL’s Lions Through the Years
Ongoing, special event on Monday, May 11 at 2pm; free
Today is the 109th birthday of the New York Public Library’s historic marble lions, Patience and Fortitude. To celebrate the event, the library has launched a slew of fun activities, from a special storytime this afternoon to lion-curated book lists to adorable coloring pages, all of which highlight the lions’ role as symbols of New York’s resilience.
Rise Up New York! The Robin Hood Relief Benefit
Monday, May 11 at 7-8pm; free
Tina Fey is hosting–need we say more? Robin Hood, the non-profit that’s been leading the fight against poverty in NYC for over 30 years, has teamed up with iHeartMedia for a virtual telethon in support of New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19. Musicians, actors, chefs, and more–including Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lopez, Bette Midler, Lin Manuel Miranda, Julianne Moore, Ben Platt, Chris Rock, Sting, Barbara Streisand, Maria Carey, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cynthia Erivo, Jimmy Fallon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Joel, Eli Manning, Idina Menzel–will make appearances.
Virtual Exploration of Untermyer Gardens, “America’s Greatest Forgotten Garden”
Tuesday, May 12 from 5:30-7pm; $10
If you’ve never visited the 43-acre Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, here’s a fun way to do it. The New York Adventure Club is hosting a virtual tour led by Stephen F. Byrns, President and Founder of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, which began restoring the historic 1916 gardens in 2011. You’ll learn the history of the Persian garden and see all of its gorgeous areas, including reflecting pools and marble sphinxes, the Temple of Love set atop a rocky bluff and waterfall, and the Vista, which features sweeping views of the Hudson River.
LIVE from NYPL, Full-length reading of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline
Tuesday, May 12 through Monday, May 18-everyday at 6pm; free
The New York Public Library is putting on a special one-week, full-length reading of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. The author himself will kick things off on Tuesday, with other readers to include LeVar Burton, Rosario Dawson, and Dakota Fanning.
Finding Inspiration in the Kitchen: Claudia Fleming and Melissa Clark in Conversation with Ruth Reichl at 92Y
Tuesday, May 12 at 7pm
Pastry chef Claudia Fleming, author and restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, and author and New York Times food writer Melissa Clark will talk about finding inspiration both in and out of the kitchen in an event hosted by the 92Y. “They’ll demonstrate a few key techniques, talk ingredients, and take a dive into what drives them to create and how doing so gives them a special perspective on everything from culture to communication.”
New York City Ballet’s Wednesday with Wendy
Wednesday, May 13 at 5pm; free
Every Wednesday at 5pm, the New York City Ballet hosts an Instagram Live ballet-inspired movement class taught by NYCB Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan. They say it’s suitable for all ages and levels.
The Moth Presents: Taking the Plunge: Stories of Going All In
Wednesday, May 13 at 7:15pm (virtual doors)/7:30pm stories begin; $15
Personal storytelling venue The Moth has brought its event online via Zoom, and this week’s virtual mainstage is being hosted by Ophira Eisenberg with stories by Frimet Goldberger, Monte Montepare, Edgar Ruiz Jr., and Theresa Thames.
Symphony Space’s Virtual Selected Shorts: Best Laid Plans
Wednesday, May 13 at 7:30pm; free
Symphony Space’s signature program, Selected Shorts, is going digital for the first time. The event will be hosted by Maulik Pancholy and feature and actors Bobby Cannavale, Emily Skeggs, and Allison Williams, who will “give voice to befuddled talking horses, unusual reform school headmasters, and more!”
New York Sings Along: Liza Minnelli’s “New York, New York”
Thursday, May 14 at 7:02pm
For this week’s city-wide sing along, which will be the final event, open up your windows and join your neighbors in singing Liza Minnelli’s “New York, New York.”
Rent a movie from Alamo Drafthouse
Ongoing; prices vary
Everyone’s favorite dinner-and-drinks movie house has created an entirely new platform, Alamo on Demand. A virtual video store, all of the titles have been curated by a member of the Drafthouse team, from new releases like Parasite (rent for $3.99) to cult favorites like Klown (rent for $2.99).
Travel back in history for your next Zoom date
The New-York Historical Society has released a selection of its archival images to be downloaded as your next Zoom background, including Ebbets Field and Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery back in 1895.
Do an online nature-themed jigsaw puzzle
Trust us, we know how hard it is to purchase a real jigsaw puzzle right now. But the Parks Department has a fun set of nature-themed puzzles with photos from around the city that you can tackle online.
Frieze Viewing Room
Free, but registration is required
Since the popular art fair on Randall’s Island had to be cancelled this year, it’s going virtual from May 8 through May 15. “More than 200 galleries from across the globe will present major works by established and emerging artists in a virtual gallery space.”