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A dining table prepared at a luxury hotel in Damascus, Syria

9 Ways to Spend The Holidays With Your Significant Other

 

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From the fresh smell of pine trees taking over and lights shining bright, Christmas time is vast approaching. Getting into the holiday spirit, make this year a fun filled holiday season you won't forget with your loved one. Check out a few of our holiday do's for the Christmas season.

Apollo Holiday Specials

Christmas in NYC with your loved one? The legendary Apollo is hosting a series of programs for the Holiday season with special guest, 106 and park co-host, Bow Wow. They will be celebrating the legacy of Duke Ellington which features Savion Glover, actor Keither David as narrator and Jazz vocalist, Lizz Wright; Amateur Night Finals, in which the winner will walk away with $10,000.

An evening for your enjoyment, the Apollo will also have their 7th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night ; Coca- Cola Winter Wonderland, a free event offering a variety of holiday-themed activities and performances under the iconic Apollo marquee and Ballet Hispanico presenting the world premiere of Dia de los Muertos on the Apollo stage.  Events take place from Dec 7- 27th. Head to apollotheater.org for more info!

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Christmas Shows and Cabarets

With tons of Xmas spectaculars, and musicals kick starting,  you’re never too old to experience the grandiose performances from the Nutcracker, The Radio City Music Spectacular, A Christmas Carol, and an extravaganza musical from The Rockettes along with  some dazzling small production cabaret shows.

 

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Winter Experience at Rockefeller Center

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center is the quintessential New York City winter experience. It’s the perfect place for you and a loved one to engage an evening on the rink, holding hands, and spending quality time.

Like anything else around this time, ice skating at Rockefeller Center  tends to be the most expensive and busiest during peak holiday periods, so plan on getting there early morning and weekdays before 4 p.m. You'll have a better chance at getting a more private and quieter experience.

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Poconos Get-A-way

If you and your partner are looking for a mini vacate nearby, the Poconos is the ideal getaway trip, even if it’s for a day or two. Enjoy hitting the slopes learning to ski, snowboarding and choosing over a wide variety of other resort activities. There are packages for beginners and quick training sessions to better prepare you.

For overnight stay, you will swoon over their oversized suites with a champagne glass whirlpool bath-for-2, In Suite pools, saunas and more. Enjoy nightly entertainment featuring headliner musicians and comedians at the popular Poconos Mountains Night Clubs.

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Classic Holiday Screenings

Bring in some holiday cheer by attending a special screening of holiday classics. If you're in the NYC area, stop by MoMa on December 23rd for the bicentenary celebration of Charles Dickens, “Dickens on Film.” It is dedicated to the author’s greatest Christmas creation, Ebenezer Scrooge. They will also be screening the classic film, A Christmas Carol.

The Nighthawk Cinema, is hosting a midnight series throughout the month of popular holiday screenings. What's better than hot bourbon cider, while enjoying an evening of great films and conversation? The in-theater alcohol service invites tantalizing and extremely reckless drinking-game fun.

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Downtown Festivities

The mall is in a state of anarchy by now, but if you’re in the D.C. area, the ninth annual Downtown Holiday Market has your last-minute gift needs covered, with more than 180 crafters, boutique shops and artisans along F Street between Seventh and Ninth streets NW. Shop daily until Dec. 23 from noon to 8 p.m.

Spending the holidays in New York? Take a walk down through Bryant Park for a unique holiday shopping experience. There are a million things to do whether you want to venture off to the ice skating rink or partake karaoke sessions in a 7 foot freezer while testing out a Columbia Omni- Heat jacket. The point is - while you shop you’re experience a high dose of fun and cutesy activities to get involved with.

And to top it all off, there is always hot chocolate to be found to keep you and your  sweetie warm.

alvin ailey dancerAlvin Ailey 

The Ailey Agency Returns! Take a night out on the town, and make your first stop watching the Ailey dancers resurge live performances in theater. Joining current favorites from recent seasons and Ailey classics like Pas De Duke, The River and Revelations, they will premiere an exhilarating dance of Wayne McGregor’s sensory feast Chroma, Bill T. Jones D-Man in The Waters (Part 1), Ronald K. Brown’s powerful Four Corners and Aszure Barton’s, LIFT.

This season will also include Ohad Naharin’s audience-grabbing Minus 16, a jazzy number from Kyle Abraham and the spirit-lifting joy of Revelations.

If you’re enrolled as a super fan you can save 20% on two or more performances, plus save for large groups and students. Head to alvinailey.org for tickets!

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Enjoy an intimate holiday dinner

Want to eat, drink and be merry? Take advantage of all of the holiday specials at your favorite restaurants. Groupon and restaurant.com are updating amazing deals for local eateries just for the two of you. Italian for the night? Zagat has the review for top food-centric destinations in your area.

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 Christmas Crafting Workshops

Get artsy and enroll for fun ornament making classes. Grab a bottle of wine and find a local pottery store to paint and glaze your ornaments. Make designing your Christmas tree an extra special occasion, while showing him your creative side!

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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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