YOUR GUIDE TO NYC DURING WINTER
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).
HOLIDAY TREES & LIGHTING CEREMONIES!
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
Park Avenue Memorial Trees
AMNH’s Origami Holiday Tree
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Washington Square Park
RING IN THE NEW YEAR!
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!!!
ICESKATING & SPORTS
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.
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, therinkatrockcenter.com). $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, thepondatbryantpark.com)
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, chelseapiers.com). $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, wollmanskatingrink.com). $4.75–$14, skate rental $6.
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, cityicepavilion.com). $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.
Hours: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
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,
79 Street And Central Park West
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
200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard
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 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
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.
Travel: The following subways are located near the Park:
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.
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!
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.
SPA CASTLE is the perfect combination of traditional Asian saunas and luxurious European spas.
(718) 939-6300, www.nyspacastle.com
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
in Flushing Meadow Park
STUCK AT HOME: Movies, Websites, & the Internet
Go to: www.clubfreetime.com & check in the morning and see what’s free in NYC.
BRAIN POWER: Learning & EducationalDISCOVER the ROOTS of the UNITED STATES!
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
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