Winter Break Stuff to do in NYC

HOLIDAYS 2016-2017



It is holiday time in New York City and you have a VACATION from December 24th through January 2nd.  School starts again on January 3rd.  Hooray!!!  This week is the perfect time to enjoy the BIG and EXCITING city we live in and experience all of the amazing, fun, and unique things it has to offer.  This is our guide to what is happening this holiday season and what you can do over vacation (and not get stuck at home cleaning the house the entire time).





Rockefeller Center Tree 

The lighting of this 72-foot-tall Norway spruce kicks off the holiday season with celebrity entertainment and a crush of onlookers. Prepare to be dazzled by both the tree and the sheer number of people. FREE 30 Rockefeller Plaza between 49th and 50th Sts (212-632-3975). Daily 5:30am–11:30pm. Through Jan 7.


Madison Square Park Tree 
In 1912, this park lit the first community Christmas tree in America. According to Maggi Landau of the park’s conservancy, a wealthy local organized the ceremony when a visitor told him of “his loneliness…during the holiday season.” The lighting retains its neighborly vibe, with free cocoa and a cappella groups. FREE Madison Square Park, 26th St at Fifth Ave (212-538-1884). Daily 24hrs. Through Jan 1.

Park Avenue Memorial Trees 
These were first lit in 1945, in remembrance of soldiers killed in World War II. Now they stretch from the MetLife building to 96th Street. FREE Park Ave at 91st St (212-289-4400). Daily 24hrs.

AMNH’s Origami Holiday Tree 
Look for letters C, S, and T, and their corresponding creatures—a chimpanzee, a sabertooth tiger, and of course, a T. Rex—among the 500-plus origami ornaments dressing this 13-foot-tall tree. This year’s theme is “Origami, A-Z.” and the ornaments were made by by volunteers from more than 20 countries. American Museum of Natural History, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, Central Park West at 79th St (212-769-5200, Daily 10am–5:45pm.  Through Jan 11.


Metropolitan Museum of Art 
The institution’s yearly stunner is a candlelit, angel- and cherub-adorned blue spruce that towers above the 18th-century Neapolitan Baroque Crèche. Seasonal music rounds out the display. Lighting: Nov 24. 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St (212-535-7710, Through Jan 6.

Washington Square Park  
Sing carols with family and friends while gazing at the 40-foot fir tree underneath the Washington Square Arch.  Then wander around NYU!. Through Jan.31. Washington Square N., at Fifth Avenue (212-252-3621)




Countdown to 2017:

Happy New Year in Times Square!

December 31, 2016

Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, the eyes of the world turn once more to the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Times Square.

If you want to celebrate start arriving for New Year's Eve celebration by 4:00 p.m.

Free and CRAZY!!!





Workout for Free at Flushing Meadow Park

Fill out the application and workout for free!



Fun at Flushing Meadow Park

Swimming For Free in Flushing Meadow Park

Fill out the application and swim for FREE! A free membership includes scheduled access to gym, pool, and other facilities for one year.


Directions Take the #7 train to the Mets/Willets Point Station.  Walk down the ramp to the left.  Follow Meridian Road passing the Pitch and Putt (a four minute walk) Cross over small bridge and the aquatic center is located on the right side.



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Rockefeller Center



The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center

The most famous of rinks returns for its 72nd season, and it’s still as cramped as ever. When to go: Early in the morning or between 9am and noon on Thanksgiving—otherwise, expect a one- to two-hour wait. 30 Rockefeller Plaza between 49th and 50th Sts (212-332-7654, $9.50–$19, skate rental $8.

The Pond at Bryant Park

Don’t get too excited: The admission may be free, but you gotta pay $12 to rent skates (or BYO). On the upside: the complex holds 500 people, holiday shops, an indoor pavilion and the Canadian-themed lounge Celsius. FREE! Sixth Ave between 40th and 42nd Sts (212-661-6640,

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

This athletic megacomplex offers year-round skating, two NHL-size rinks and classes galore. If you’re looking for holiday accoutrements, head elsewhere. When to go: Between 1 and 3:50pm on Sundays, through November 23; admission, skate rental and a slice of pizza cost just $15 ($10 for kids). Chelsea Piers (Pier 61), W 23rd St at Hudson River (212-336-6100, $10–$12.50, skate rental $7.

Trump Lasker Skating Rink

This rink is less crowded than Wollman, but go for the hockey: Competitive leagues for Gretzky wanna-bes practice here daily. When to go: Wanna see somebody lose their teeth? Swing by on Wednesdays at 8:15pm for Division One adult hockey. Central Park at 110th St and Lennox Ave (917-492-3856). $2.25–$6, skate rental $5.25.


Trump Wollman Rink

If you’re a skating newbie, this is the place to be: It has the largest learn-to-skate program in the country. Select classes cater to the over-12 crowd. When to go: Friday nights, when rink manager Barry Weisselberg drops thumpin’ dance beats. W 59th St at Sixth Ave (212-439-6900, $4.75–$14, skate rental $6.



City Ice Pavilion

The five boroughs’ only rooftop rink stretches an NHL–size 85 x 200 feet under a weatherproof air dome (if it’s good enough for Canadians, it’s good enough for the wussy New York winter). When to go: Stop by mid-afternoon during the week, or between noon and 2:50pm on the weekends. At other times, the rink is devoted to skating lessons, hockey practice and private parties. 47-23 32nd Pl between 47th and 48th Aves (718-706-6667, $9 all week, skate rental $5.50.


YOU GOTTA HAVE ART: Museums & Culture


Socrates Sculpture Garden

PO Box 6259, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard

Long Island City, NY 11106

Telephone: 718 956 1819

Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10am to sunset. It is always FREE!

Museum of the Moving Image

35th Ave & 37th St

Astoria, NY, (718) 784-0077

Travel: N or Q train to 36th Street.  Walk north and east to 35th Avenue and 37th Street.  Also, from Flushing, take the Q66 "21st Street" to Steinway Street and 35 Avenue. Walk west on 35 Avenue and proceed to the Museum entrance on 36 Street, near 35 Avenue.

Description: Play video games from the 1970s to today, learn how movie cameras manipulate light to make an image, and see just about everything that goes into making movies.  If you want to see a movie, they’ve got that, too.


Wed-Thu: 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Fri: 10:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Sat-Sun: 11:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Cost: Suggested Donation


New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th St (at 48th Ave), Queens


Travel: By subway, 7 train to 111th St, walk toward the rockets!

Description: Hall of Science demystifies its subject through colorful hands-on exhibits, with topics such as Marvelous Molecules and The Realm of the Atom.  Try your arm out throwing and arm wrestling over the Internet at the upstairs Sports Challenge exhibit.  It’s too much science to do in one day!

Hours: Tue-Thu 9:30 am-2 pm; Fri 9:30 am-5 pm; Sat, Sun 10 am-6 pm.

Cost: $8 for students and kids, $11 for adults



Artists Space

Location:  38 Greene St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10013

Telephone:  (212) 226-3970

Directions: C/E subway to Spring Street, J/M/N/R/6/1/9 to Canal Street

Hours: Tues-Sat 11am-6pm

Admission: FREE (Suggested Donation)

The gallery, Artist's Space, is fairly hard to find. It's located on a small cobblestone side street of Soho on the third floor. The short stone building with tall windows and columns is just about the same as all the others on the block. There is now a banner to indicate that the gallery is inside, but the number above the door is easy to miss


The Museums at FIT

Shirley Goodman Resource Center

7th Avenue btw 27th and 28th Sts

Telephone: (212) 217-5800

Directions: Take the 1 or 9 to 28 St

Hours: Tues-Fri, noon-8 pm. Sat, 10 am-5 pm, Closed Sunday, Monday, and holidays.


The Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum houses the largest collection of costumes, textiles and apparel dating from the 18th century in the world. The museum also hosts fantastic exhibits ranging from jewelry design to fashion photography and including the Fashion Design Student Show.


American Folk Art Museum

Location: 2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Ave between 65th and 66th Streets

Telephone: 212) 977-7298

Directions: Subway: 1/9 to 66th St, A, B, C, or D to 59th Street

Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30am-7:30pm,

Admission- FREE

American Museum of Natural History

79 Street And Central Park West

(212) 769-5100

Travel: B or C train to 81st street

Description: In addition to the always-free dinosaurs, mammals, ecosystems, and cultural exhibits, this week there are frog, butterfly, and mammal exhibits with live animals!  A great New York tradition – come with your friends and contemplate the world while you stare up at the giant blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, or just hang out in the planetarium and ponder the nature of the stars, planets, and galaxies.

Hours: 10am – 5:45pm

Cost: Suggested Donation, extra for IMAX, planetarium or special exhibits

New York Botanical Garden

200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard 
Bronx, NY 10458 
(718) 817-8700

Travel: Take the B, D, or 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd Station. From the station exit: take the Bx 26 bus east to the Garden's Mosholu Gate entrance. 

Description: Walking in a winter wonderland.  Especially with snow on the ground, its a treat to walk through the carefully tended 250-acre landscape, 50 curated display gardens, ans an expansive 50-acre native Forest.  Those looking to stay warm can hide out in the greenhouse with tropical heat and tropical plants.

Hours: December 26–31 10am to 7pm, January 1-3, 10am –7pm, Jan 4, 10 am-6pm

Cost: $3 for students, $6 for adults for access to all gardens, $22 for the Holiday Train Show.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

Sony Plaza, 550 Madison Ave (at 56th St)

Midtown East Manhattan


Travel: Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R to 59th St; E, V, to 5th Ave; F to 57th St.

Description: It’s a museum about everything technology, and it’s a whole lot of fun.  Dance on the interactive dance floor, play Playstation 3 games, or design your own video games, this place has it all.  You can even perform a virtual open heart surgery using the newest technology found in hospitals.  Whoa.

Hours: BY RESERVATION – call at least 7 days ahead of time to guarantee hours.  Tuesday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. EST

Cost: FREE



Central Park

Travel: 4, 5, 6 subway to 86th Street, Walk west to 5th Avenue.

Description:  Stretching 50 blocks from 59th Street in Midtown to 110th Street in Harlem, this is one of the world’s largest and most diverse parks.  You can get lost in the woods, play ball on any number of fields, walk around the reservoir, take beautiful pictures, have a romantic walk, or duck inside the Museum of Art on the east side or the Museum of Natural History on the west side.

Prospect Park

Travel:  The following subways are located near the Park:

  • · F train at 7th Ave. station, 15th St./Prospect Park station and Fort Hamilton Parkway station.
  • · 2 or 3 train at Grand Army Plaza station.
  • · Q train at Parkside Ave. station and Prospect Park station.
  • · S train at Prospect Park station.
  • · B train at Prospect Park station.

Description: The jewel of Brooklyn, this park has it all.  Nature trails through the woods, ballfields, a lake, a skating rink, and a running trail/bike path.  Even in winter, there’s much to do and lots of wildlife to see.

Kissena Park

Travel: From school, walk south on Parsons Blvd. until you hit the park. 

Description: In the winter, it’s a great place to see birds, walk around the pond, and enjoy someone’s company.  Go to play ball on one of the fields with your friends.  It’s right here in Flushing!

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Travel: Get into the park from Mets-Willets Point or the 111th Street station of the 7 train. 

Description: Right here in Flushing, you can play soccer or baseball, hang out by the Unisphere, go to the lake, take your little brother or sister to the Playground for Children, stop by the Queens Museum of Art or the New York Hall of Science, or walk or ride around the many trails.

Your browser may not support display of this image. IN & AROUND QUEENS


Your browser may not support display of this image.                           Gather up some friends and go to SPA CASTLE: 

SPA CASTLE is the perfect combination of traditional Asian saunas and luxurious European spas.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Location:  131-10 11th Ave, College Point, NY 11356

(718) 939-6300,


New York Hall of Science

Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

(718) 699-0005
, Take the 7 train to 111th Street Station. Walk three blocks south.

Enjoy free admission, Sept. through June, on Fridays, 2–5pm & Sundays, 10 – 11 am.



Free Friday Nights Entertainment

for Teens in Flushing Meadow Park 
Details:  Each Friday night best recreation center in the New York, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has an evening of games and entertainment for teenagers, including open basketball, ping pong, table games, and music. 


STUCK AT HOME:  Movies, Websites, & the Internet

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CHECK IT OUT!!!  This website is GREAT!

Go to: & check in the morning and see what’s free in NYC.


BRAIN POWER:  Learning & Educational


12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island and see how they or families like them lived at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The Museum of Chinese in America, tracks the experience of Chinese-Americans from the 1850s to the present, and El Museo del Barrio, focuses on the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans in the United States.  All of these are awesome places to visit and learn more about all of the people who made the move to the U.S.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Ellis Island is open every day except December 25. Weather can influence the ability of the ferries to run so check us out on Twitter in the event of inclement weather.

To enjoy both Ellis and Liberty Islands with ample time, plan to be on a Statue Cruises Ferry that departs from Battery Park or Liberty State Park before 1:00 P.M.

Departs from Mainland
Departs from Mainland
Departs from Ellis Island
9:30 A.M.3:30 P.M. *5:15 P.M. **

Departs from Mainland
Departs from Mainland
Departs from Ellis Island
8:30 A.M.3:30 P.M. * ^5:15 P.M. **


Travel: R, W to Whitehall St; 1 to South Ferry; 4, 5 to Bowling Green; then take the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island Ferry, departing every 30 minutes from gangway 4 or 5 in Battery Park.

Description: Trace the history of U.S. immigration with a visit to the three floors of objects, photographs and interactive displays housed on the famous island next door to Lady Liberty herself. The exhibitions are an evocative, moving tribute to the people from so many countries, who made the journey to America filled with dreams for a better life.

Hours:  Mon-Sun 9:30 am-5 pm.


The Tenement Museum

108 Orchard St (at Broome St)


Subway: F to Delancey St; J, M, Z to Delancey–Essex Sts. 

Description: This fascinating museum—actually a series of restored tenement apartments at 97 Orchard St—is accessible only by guided tour. Tickets are purchased at the visitors’ center at 108 Orchard St; tours often sell out, so it’s wise to book ahead. Costumed interpreters recount the daily lives of individual immigrant clans that called the building home over the decades. “Getting By” visits the Sicilian Baldizzi family residence in apartment No. 5 in the 1930s, while “Piecing It Together” pays a call on the Russian Rogarshevsky family, mourning the loss of patriarch Abraham, a garment worker who died of tuberculosis in 1918. “The Moores: An Irish Family in America,” revisits a Dublin family who lived in the building in 1869.

Hours: Mon-Sun 10:15 am-5 pm.


Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

215 Centre St (between Grand and Howard Sts)


Subway: J, M, Z, N, Q, R, W, 6 to Canal St.

Description: MOCA’s former space on Mulberry Street closed last year, making way for this brand-new space on the edge of Chinatown. Designed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect Maya Lin, the building incorporates organic elements such as bronze walls, reclaimed wood floors and a giant skylight that illuminates its two-floor atrium. The Chinese-American experience is the main focus of the permanent collection, but the additional gallery space allows for more contemporary programming—including a survey of contemporary Chinese-American artists and a series of short films set in Chinatown.

Hours: Mon, Fri 11 am-5 pm; Thu 11 am-9 pm; Sat, Sun 10 am-5 pm.


El Museo del Barrio

1230 Fifth Ave (between 104th and 105th Sts)


Subway: 6 to 103rd St.

Description: Located in Spanish Harlem (a.k.a. El Barrio), El Museo del Barrio is dedicated to the work of Latino artists who reside in the U.S., as well as Latin American masters. The 8,000-piece collection ranges from pre-Colombian artifacts to contemporary installations. Though the galleries are closed for renovation, they will reopen on Oct 17; the theater and workshop space remains open. The refurbishment includes the addition of a Pan-Latin café.

Hours: Wed-Sun 11 am-6 pm