New Year’s Day Offers Plenty of Free Chances at a Clean Slate

A First Saturday event at the Brooklyn Museum. This week’s lineup includes concerts and a short film on racial unrest.

Whether you’re hoping to improve your body or your mind — or even just add to your cocktail conversation repertory — this weekend has plenty of events for self-improvement that, while opening the door for commitment, ask for nothing upfront.

JCC Manhattan, apparently aware that some of the most popular resolutions involve fitness and weight loss, is laying out its offerings free on New Year’s Day. Exercise options include group classes like Zumba, cycling and boot camp; yoga and meditation provide relaxation. The chef Shaya Klechevsky will also lead healthy cooking demonstrations, including one at 12:30 p.m. on Friday that shows how to prepare warm winter foods without putting on seasonal weight. For those craving more, the JCC will have one-day membership deals to make commitment less daunting.

(From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with classes at various times; 334 Amsterdam Avenue, at West 76th Street, Manhattan; 646-505-4444;; registration is recommended.)

The first Saturday of every month, the Brooklyn Museum is open until 11 p.m., with free admission and concerts, talks and activities. January’s edition is an opportunity to make good on resolutions to take in more culture.

The evening’s lineup, inspired by the exhibition “Agitprop!,” begins with a concert by Tamara Renée, a singer who blends styles like jazz, hip-hop and reggae. From there, you can see “GoFish,” a short film about racial unrest in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1991, or use stencils to make a protest poster. After about a half-dozen other events, a reliably catchy performance by Young Paris will provide a musical bookend for the night.

(From 5 to 11 p.m.; 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park; 718-638-5000; lineup at; free.)

To combine fitness and culture resolutions, head over to an Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performance. For its season at City Center ending on Sunday, the company is offering a free class at the Ailey Extension (first-timers only) with the purchase of a ticket to any show. And if there’s any dance troupe that can provide athletic inspiration, it’s Ailey.

Four performances remain this season, with two chances to see the company’s rousing signature work “Revelations.” Not all tickets are within a Miser’s reach, but plenty of $25 seats are available. Keep your ticket stub for the class at the Ailey Extension, no dance experience required.

(Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; City Center, 131 West 55th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, Manhattan; 212-581-1212; Classes are at 405 West 55th Street, at Ninth Avenue; 212-405-9500.)

If classical music is your cultural blind spot, Trinity Church’s Twelfth Night Festival is an opportune remedy, with a lineup consisting mostly of free concerts. On Saturday the baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert, fresh off a holiday run of Handel’s “Messiah,” performs Schubert’s “Winterreise” at St. Paul’s Chapel, accompanied by William Kelley on the piano. The song cycle, while challenging to perform, is melodic and welcoming as an entry point into classical music.

(At 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s Chapel, 209 Broadway, at Fulton Street, Lower Manhattan;; free.)

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