Dry January is over (thank the Lord!) and Black History Month has gotten underway with pop-up markets, concerts and a killer Brooklyn Museum “First Saturday” lineup all on offer for the first weekend of the month.
Elsewhere, Friday brings the colorful Red Envelope Show in Greenpoint, with work from over 100 artists to mark the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit. Saturday sees the in-person return of the BAMkids Film Festival just in time for its 25th anniversary. And savor your first drink (ha1) of the year on Sunday at Farewell Bar’s Souper Bowl 2023, with over 20 soups to sample and a grilled cheese sandwich for dippin’.
It’s going to be freezing this weekend so we kept an eye out for the best indoor cultural offerings the next couple of days. Give it a look:
Friday, February 3
Pajama Storytime for kids 10:30 to 11 a.m.
Dress the kids in their favorite pajamas and head over to the Sheepshead Bay Library on Friday afternoon for Pajama Storytime. Kids are encouraged to bring their favorite books and librarians will share theirs as well. There will be nursery rhymes, arts & crafts, music, and the opportunity to borrow books from the library! All ages. 4201 4th Avenue. Free.
The Red Envelope Show 1 to 7 p.m.
Lunar New Year might be over, but the coolest art show in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit is just getting started. Greenpoint’s myplasticheart, a designer toy store and gallery, is featuring work from over 100 artists at their eighth annual Red Envelope Show through February 26. The works are made on red envelopes all thematically tied to the Year of the Rabbit. For example, there’s an envelope with Elmer Fudd (because he’s hunting “wabbits,” get it?). There’s more great work than we could possibly highlight here, so see it in person or shop online. 40 Greenpoint Avenue.
Welcome to the stage … Willow Pill! 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Willow Pill won the last season of Drag Race with the wildest outfits and a sneaky sense of humor. Now she’s bringing her brand of drag to Brooklyn on Friday. Willow will headline two evening sets with special guests Julie J and Serena Tea, and if you’re lucky, she might throw a toaster in your bathtub too. Willow’s sense of humor is surrealism meets John Waters, so expect her to be on her worst behavior. 21+. 325 Franklin Avenue. Tickets are $39.
Saturday, February 4
Black-owned Pop-Up Artisan Markets 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort Greene Park kicks off Black History Month with a pop-up dedicated to local Black merchants. Warm up with a cup of Brooklyn roasted coffee, and if you’re feeling yourself, pick up a warm alpaca sweater. This pop-up really has everything so don’t miss it! DeKalb Avenue at Fort Greene Park.
25th Annual BAMkids Film Festival 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
BAMkids Film Festival is back Saturday and Sunday with over 50 animated and live-action short films from around the world. Everything at the festival is free, including family-friendly events for Black History Month, carnival activities, live performances by the dancers of Move|NYC| and the circus performers of Parallel Exit. The creators of Sockz Studio and BRIC will provide hands-on activities, including an opportunity to create your own animation. Kids ages 3 to 11 with a parent or guardian. 30 Lafayette Avenue. Free.
Bklyn Indoor Block Party 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
City Point and Brooklyn Bridge Parents will bring the party inside on Saturday with free activities for the family! Events range from making Lego robots and skateboarding to a bounce house and making your own slime (which will inevitably be covered in dirt and hair, we’ve all been there). The diversity of programs makes this block party truly a one-size-fits-all afternoon of free fun. Kids ages 2 to 12 with a parent or guardian. 445 Albee Square West. Free.
First Saturday: Legacy at Brooklyn Museum 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Ring in Black History Month and celebrate 25 years of First Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum. This month’s theme honors the legacy of Black artistic production in the borough. The evening’s events vibrate with the creative excellence of Black artists who are shaping the borough’s culture today and of throwback performers who put First Saturdays on the map. Start with cocktails by Ode to Babel and music from trumpeter Jelani Akil Bauman, followed by Yaya Bey. Jeremy McQueen’s Emmy Award-winning Black Iris Project performs the ballet “A Mother’s Rite”; The Lay Out will bring the beat with their DJ sets. The event is free; advance registration is required. Admission is subject to our capacity at the time of arrival. 200 Eastern Parkway.
Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m show times
The Highline String Quartet will perform Beyoncé’s hits at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church under the glow of candlelight on Saturday night. Songs to be performed include “Hold Up,” “Halo,” and music from Beyoncé’s work with Destiny’s Child. 8 years old or older only, and anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 157 Montague Street. Tickets are $30 to $65.
Original musical, “Color Between the Lines” 7:30 p.m.
The Irondale Ensemble Project created an original musical “Color Between the Lines” and will perform it for free on Friday night. The musical uncovers the unknown stories of Brooklyn’s abolitionist struggle. Performed in four parts, the show also includes a discussion about how abolition in Brooklyn shaped the people, the landmarks, and the streets of our borough. 85 South Oxford Street. Free with reservation.
Sunday, February 5
Celebrate Tu B’Shevat 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
This day-long celebration of the Jewish holiday Tu B’Shevat takes place at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on Saturday. Some call Tu B’Shevat “Jewish Labor Day,” or new year for trees. Kids of all ages are invited to participate in a movement workshop where they will learn to grow like trees, taste traditional Tu B’Shevat foods like seeds, nuts, and fruits, and play with natural materials in the greenhouse. 145 Brooklyn Avenue. Tickets are $13.
The Rock and Roll Playhouse presents Bob Marley for kids 11 a.m. doors, 12 p.m. show
The Rock and Roll Playhouse brings the grooves of Bob Marley to Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday. They’ll play from Marley’s catalog in celebration of the reggae icon. The performances also feature games, dancing, stories, and the opportunity for kids to explore their creativity. All ages. 61 Wythe Ave. Kids under 1 get in for free and tickets are $15 for everyone else.
Souper Bowl 2023 4 to 8 p.m.
Put your tastebuds to the test at the 4th annual Souper Bowl at Farewell on Sunday. Twenty “soup-erb” contestants will make their best soup and attendees are welcome to sample and vote for their favorite. Soups will be judged as the most creative, “best carnivore,” and “best herbivore” soups. And yes, your ticket comes with a grilled cheese sandwich, but drinks are sold separately at the bar. Our favorite event has to be the opening remarks from Soup Pun Champions. Let’s stew this! 143 Troutman Street. Tickets are $10.
R&B Only Live 7:30 p.m.
R&B Only Live is bringing together Black communities and allies for a night of R&B at the Kings Theatre in Flatbush on Sunday (Friday and Saturday nights are already sold out, so move fast). The show combines entertainment and community, all you have to bring is energy to have an unforgettable night. The show lasts 3 to 4 hours, and features lighting, comedy, DJ sets, and plenty of people ready to dance. 21+. 1027 Flatbush Ave.