Gaze at the Night Skies and Unwind With a Yoga Class

This week, learn about the history of vaccines, explore Mammoth Hot Springs or learn to code.

By Emma Grillo and Katherine Cusumano

Here is a sampling of the week’s events and how to tune in (all times are Eastern). Note that events are subject to change after publication.


Start the first regular weekday of 2021 on a positive note (and perhaps even kick off a New Year’s resolution?) with New York Road Runners Virtual Yoga: Classic Flow class. This practice, led by the instructor June Li Lo, will focus on improving strength and flexibility; it’s intended particularly for runners but is open to all. Free, but you need to register ahead of time.

When 8 a.m. Eastern



As inoculation against the coronavirus gets underway, learn all about developments in vaccine technology during the National Museum of American History’s seminar “Pandemic Perspectives: Racing for Vaccines.” A panel of curators and historians will explore the history of vaccination, starting with the very first vaccine, for smallpox, administered in 1796. This event is free.

When 4 p.m. Eastern



Hear the writer Robert Jones Jr. discuss his buzzed-about debut novel, “The Prophets,” with the author Alexander Chee at Loyalty Bookstore in Washington, D.C. “The Prophets” depicts the relationship between two enslaved gay men on a Deep South plantation; The Times recently named it a book to watch for in January. There’s a suggested minimum donation of $1; all proceeds go to Black Lives Matter D.C.

When 8 p.m. Eastern



Pull up a chair and listen to a reading from the poet Ross Gay, hosted by the Vermont Studio Center. Mr. Gay will read his latest book-length poem, “Be Holding,” an ode to the basketball player Julius Erving, which explores themes as varied as surveillance, state violence and personal histories of flight. This event is free.

When 7 p.m. Eastern


Round up the whole family and join the Franklin Institute for “Night Skies at Home,” an evening of stargazing with Derrick Pitts, the museum’s chief astronomer (alias: @coolastronomer). Learn how to recognize planets, stars, constellations and even the International Space Station — all with the naked eye. This event is free.

When 7:45 p.m. Eastern



Explore Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park with a live, interactive tour from Virtual Trips. A local guide will talk about the natural history of the famous hot springs while taking viewers along for a walking tour. Participants will be able to ask questions about the park and send digital “postcards” to family and friends during the tour. Attendance is capped at 300, and while the event is free, tips are encouraged.

When 4 p.m. Eastern



Introduce your kids to the basics of coding with a workshop from the London-based school Cypher Coders. During this 90-minute course, students will learn to build a shark-chase game in the programming language Scratch. Each class is limited to six students, but never fear: The organization offers this class (and other game-building seminars) most days and adds more as demand increases. Admission is $35.

When 1:30 p.m. Eastern


Watch a recorded performance from the dance company A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham, as part of National Sawdust’s FERUS Festival. This new piece, choreographed by Mr. Abraham, a MacArthur Fellow, in collaboration with the performers Keerati Jinakunwiphat and Jae Neal from A.I.M., features music from the producer Jlin. It explores death, folklore and reincarnation. The performance is free and will be followed by a live talk with the artists.

When 6 p.m. Eastern



Listen to the haunting sounds of Elastic Ambience, a 24-hour audio exhibit from the Orange County Museum of Art. In response to the way people’s sense of time has changed during 2020, beginning on Dec. 8, the artist and composer Julian Day released a new hour of looping audio every day for 24 days, to create a 24-hour aural clock. It now plays on a continuous loop, and is available to listen to anytime.

When Anytime


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