Phew! It's Free Arts Day!

There’s all this talk around of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but where’s Let’s Just Sit And Relax Wednesday? Or Man, My Wallet Is Empty Thursday?

There’s all this talk around of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but where’s Let’s Just Sit And Relax Wednesday? Or Man, My Wallet Is Empty Thursday? Right now is that awful three-week period where holiday craziness has you strapped for cash, but just sitting and twiddling your thumbs until 2010 arrives is too boring to seriously consider doing.

Thankfully, ArtsWestchester has your back. They’ve built in a day where you can go out and enjoy the arts, let off some steam — and not spend a dime. On this weekend after Thanksgiving, let’s all be thankful for December 6, aka Free Arts Day.

Free Arts Day started eight years ago as a response to 9/11, but it seems like we need it now more than ever. This Sunday, you can find free admission to many of Westchester County’s museums and historical sites, plus find a host of fun events going on at each to liven things up a little. If you’ve ever had a cultural venue that you’ve always wanted to check out, Free Arts Day provides the perfect excuse. Many of them, in fact. Some highlights:

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Washington Irving’s Sunnyside
89 W. Sunnyside Ln., Tarrytown
12 & 1:30 p.m.
If you’re looking to get back into the holiday spirit, see the Living Theatre Museum Company’s performance of the Gift of the Magi — a story about gift-giving back when there was no such thing as Cyber Monday.

Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville
12 p.m.
Bring your kids to a screening of Nanny McPhee, then stick around for a discussion about both the movie and the book that inspired it. (Sure, the movie has been around, but it’ll take at least $12 to bring them to see New Moon instead.)

Hudson River Museum
511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers
1-3 p.m.
Distract your kids from their burning desire for Zhu Zhu Pets by plunking them down with a Victorian holiday arts and crafts project, reminding them that there was a time when toys didn’t require batteries.

Mount Vernon Public Library
28 S. First Ave., Mount Vernon
2 p.m.
Get tickets to the Metropolitan Opera? Forget it! That’s a pre-recession pastime. Instead, hear the New Rochelle Opera perform all the favorite selections from operas and operettas without any of the fussy dressing up required.

Pelham Art Center
155 Fifth Ave., Pelham
2:30 p.m.
Indulge your inner bookworm and enjoy an afternoon on the town when the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center hosts a reading by Cynthia Ozick.

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Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
1701 Main St., Peekskill
4 p.m.
Check the galleries and hear the band Urban Fetch — modern rock and modern art together at last.

And, of course, there are many more events going on, and more being added. You really can entertain yourself for an entire day without spending a dime. To see the complete schedule, visit ArtsWestchester’s Web site.


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