Call 311 or Visit
NYC.gov for More Information on these Events and
Activities and Many Others
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
today outlined dozens of examples of free and low-cost, family-friendly cultural
activities occurring throughout the City, and encouraged New Yorkers to take
advantage of them. New York City's museums, parks, theaters, public libraries,
recreation centers, Business Improvement Districts, and other venues offer many
attractions, including special holiday events, with a free or suggested
admission cost. Inspired by New York City's Just Ask the Locals campaign that
encourages visitors to ask New Yorkers about the City, Mayor Bloomberg asked
several New Yorkers - Monica Chierici of the Bronx, Yasminda Rivera of East
Harlem, Louvinia Pointer of Brooklyn and Sean Sweeney of Staten Island - to name
their favorites low-cost cultural activities. With the economy on the decline,
today's announcement is part of a series of initiatives announced by the
Bloomberg Administration to help more New Yorkers stretch their paychecks
further and weather the storm. The Mayor was also joined by First Deputy Mayor
Patricia E. Harris, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, Parks &
Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Small Business Services Commissioner
Robert W. Walsh, and Wildlife Conservation Society President and CEO Steve
Sanderson. The Wildlife Conservation Society operates the Bronx Zoo, where
the announcement was held.
"New York City is the
cultural capital of the world, and all New Yorkers, regardless of how old they
are, what borough they live in or how much they make, have a great opportunity
to benefit from it," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We have invested heavily in New York
City's museums, theaters and parks over the years, and now, especially in this
difficult economic time, all New Yorkers should take advantage of them. These
institutions are yours to enjoy. Walk through the Henry Moore sculptures at the
New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, take a date to the Brooklyn Museum to
see ‘The Black List Project,' an exhibition that depicts the faces and voices of
prominent African Americans like Colin Powell and Toni Morrison, explore some of
Staten Island's historic sites, bring your kids to the Children's Science Lab
at the Queens Public
Library, or take a tour of
Gracie Mansion - and do it all for free. The entire nation is facing tough
economic times, but with New York City's vibrant cultural life and world-class
parks, there's no better place to be with your family,
especially around the holidays."
"Most people don't realize
that the City's support for cultural groups is matched more than tenfold by
private contributors," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Levin. "During tough
economic times, this public-private partnership means that people don't have to
sacrifice what makes living, working and playing in New York City so great. The
City's cultural organizations remain committed to welcoming all New Yorkers, and
there are so many ways to participate - visit a museum, see a show, volunteer, become a
member or a subscriber."
"Through the Department of
Parks and Recreation, the City Parks Foundation, the Historic House Trust and
many non-profit Parks partners, New York City offers an array of low-cost
activities for the whole family this season, from ice skating to scavenger hunts
to chess lessons," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Benepe. "We hope
that all New Yorkers will visit our more than 50 recreational facilities, 15
nature centers, 1,200 monuments and 22 historic house museums to enjoy time together without having to spend
a lot of money."
"I encourage New Yorkers to
go out during this holiday season and explore the diverse neighborhoods that
make this City so unique," said Small Business Services Commissioner Robert
Walsh. The Department of Small Business Services works with New York City's 60
Business Improvement Districts in all five boroughs, many of which are hosting
free events throughout the holiday season. "Locally-based organizations,
including many of our Business Improvement Districts, are sponsoring creative,
family-oriented activities throughout the five boroughs. Whether it's a tree
lighting ceremony, an outdoor musical performance, or ice skating, there are countless events for you and
your family to enjoy."
New York City offers hundreds
of events and exhibits that are free or low-cost to the public.
Below is a sampling:
Live Jazz, Poetry Jam
and "The Black List Project" at the Brooklyn Museum
documentary exhibition, "The Black List Project," which depicts the faces and
voices of prominent African Americans, such as Colin Powell, Toni Morrison,
Serena Williams and Chris Rock. On December 6th, stay for a night of live jazz,
a poetry jam by the Welfare Poets and a dance party. 200 Eastern Parkway,
Brooklyn. FREE the first Saturday of every month from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. December 6 events
begin at 5:00 PM.
Go "Behind the
Screen" at the Museum of the Moving Image
Discover how movies are
made, make your own sound effects and create your own flipbook at the "Behind
the Screen" exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. 35 Avenue at 37 Street,
Astoria, Queens. Tuesday through Friday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Saturday and
Sunday, 12:00 NOON to 6:00 PM. FREE
through the holiday season.
5,000 Years of
History at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Discover ancient Egypt,
explore the Temple of Dendur, see how samurai warriors dressed, and take in one
of the finest art collections in the world at one of the most renowned cultural
institutions. 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Manhattan. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30AM
to 5:30PM. Suggested admission.
Catch a Birdseye View
of New York on Your Own Two Feet at the Queens Museum of Art
your neighborhood and explore others within the Panorama of the City of New
York, a 9,335-square-foot architectural model of the City that includes every
single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs - a total of
895,000 individual, miniature structures. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens.
Wednesday - Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 NOON to
5:00 PM. Suggested admission.
Identity by Design:
Indigenous Dress at the National Museum of the American
Observe intricate Native American women's dresses and
accessories from the early 1800s to the present. One Bowling Green, Lower
Manhattan. Open everyday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (8:00
PM on Thursdays). FREE.
Learn to Tango at the
Brooklyn Public Library
Learn the fundamentals of the world's
favorite partner dance or hone your moves at the Brooklyn Public Library. Grand
Army Plaza, Brooklyn. December 6 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM for beginners and 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
for advanced dancers. FREE.
Be Broadway Bound
Purchase discount same-day tickets to Broadway and
Off-Broadway musicals and plays at the spectacular new TKTS booth in Times
Square or one of the other locations. Broadway and 47th Street, Manhattan; Front
and John Streets, Lower Manhattan; and 1 Metro Tech, Downtown Brooklyn. Open
every day, times vary.
Date Night at
Enjoy an evening with family and friends on Fridays at
BAMCafé. This Friday is Funk Buddha Hip Hop Holiday night, featuring Akim Funk
Buddha. 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. FREE on Friday
evenings at 9:00 PM.
Music, Theatre and
Birds of Prey at the New Children's Center at The New York Public
Enjoy musical retellings of "Peter and the Wolf" and
"Pinkalicious," watch a performance of "A Christmas Carol," and encounter hawks,
owls, falcons and other species up close, and much more at a two-day family
festival of free events to celebrate the opening of the new Children's Center at
The New York Public Library. 476 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Varied events on November 28 and 29. Call
311 for information. FREE.
Magic and Mystery at
the Queens Public Library
Enjoy a unique blend of mind-reading,
dynamic feats of escape and breathtaking illusions by master magician, mentalist
and escape artist Michael Lee at the Queens Public Library Elmhurst branch. 86-01 Broadway, Elmhurst. November 29
at 3:00 PM. FREE.
Peter Pan at the
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
This fresh retelling of the
children's classic has been adapted for the stage with an original score,
hand-crafted marionettes, and a new setting in New York City. Swedish Cottage
Marionette Theatre in Central Park near the West 81st Street entrance. $8 for adults
and $5 for children.
Ice Skating in New
Grab your skates and
head to one of the City's six ice
skating rinks listed below:
Abe Stark Rink, Brooklyn. Admission:
$8, skate rental: $5.
Kate Wollman, Brooklyn. Admission for adults: $5, children/seniors:
$3, skate rental: $5.50.
Lasker Rink, Manhattan.
Admission for adults: $4.50, children/seniors:
$2.25, skate rental: $4.75.
The Pond at Bryant Park, Manhattan. Admission:
FREE, skate rental: $12.
Wollman Rink, Manhattan. Admission varies,
call 311 for information.
War Memorial Rink, Staten Island. Admission:
$8, skate rental: $5.
Sculptures at the New York Botanical Garden
Take the stroller or a
friend to see the iconic, monumental sculptures of world-renowned artist Henry
Moore installed across the Garden's 250-acre campus. Bronx River Parkway at
Fordham Road. Bronx. FREE on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10:00
AM to 12:00 NOON
Illuminates the Guggenheim
Jenny Holzer's newest work - a light
exhibition commissioned to mark the completion of the Guggenheim's three-year
restoration project - casts writings and poems directly onto the facade of Frank
Lloyd Wright's landmark building comprised of the artist's own writings and
numerous poems. 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, Manhattan. Fridays through
December from sunset to 11:00 PM, with a special showing on
New Years Eve. FREE.
at Socrates Sculpture Park
Preview sets from Lincoln Center's 2009
November performances, designed by artist Robin Rhode, whose larger than life
Promenades adorn the Park entrance. 32-01 Vernon Boulevard and Broadway, Queens. Open everyday from 10:00
AM to sunset. FREE.
Hike through the Northern Trails of Van Cortlandt Park
to get rid off those extra calories from the holidays or just enjoy the autumn
outdoors, should join the Parks Department Urban Park Rangers-led hike through
the northern trails of Van Cortlandt Park. Broadway and Mosholu Avenue, Bronx. November 29
at 11:00 AM. FREE.
Star Trek in the
Woods of Inwood Hill Park
Join the Urban Park Rangers for a
nighttime exploration of the woods of Inwood Hill and the skies above. West
218th Street and Indian Road, Manhattan. November 29
at 9:00 PM. FREE.
Turkey Count Hike in
Pelham Bay Park
If you've still got turkey on the brain, join the
Urban Park Rangers on its annual turkey count for a "hunt" for this elusive bird
on the Siwanoy Trail. The Bartow-Pell Mansion at 895 Shore Road, Bronx. November 30
at 10:00 AM. FREE.
Winter Scavenger Hunt
through Fort Greene
Explore the nooks and crannies of Fort Greene
while searching for hidden treasures. There will be two courses: one for
families with kids, and a more challenging one for adults, with prizes awarded
to the best hunters. Fort Greene Visitors Center in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn. December 21
at 11:00 AM. FREE.
SCIENCE AND NATURE
Sparkling Stones and
Unusual Insects at the Staten Island Museum
Families, discover the
prehistoric treasures of natural science five days a week at the Staten Island
Museum. 75 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island. Open everyday, 12:00 NOON to 5:00 PM
on weekdays and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
on weekends. Suggested admission.
Space out at the New
York Hall of Science
Visit the rocket park and use microscopes to
examine tiny organisms that were seen for the first time over 300 years ago at
the New York Hall of Science's Microbial Zoo. 47-01 111th Street, Queens.
Fridays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 10:00 AM
to 11:00 AM. FREE.
Swing with the Lemurs
at the Bronx Zoo
Bundle up the kids and head to the Bronx Zoo, where
the penguins roam and the lemurs swing all day at the new Madagascar exhibition.
2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx. "Pay-As-You-Wish" donation for admission every Wednesday from 10:00
AM to 4:30 PM.
Lab at the Queens Public Library
Parents, bring your children ages
6-11 to hands-on activities and exciting lessons all about science, including
growing crystals, studying metamorphosis with a butterfly release, and this
Saturday, studying chemical processes through the making of butter for the
Thanksgiving table. Queens Public Library Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. November 29
at 12:00 NOON. FREE.
Lessons at Prospect Park
Join the Urban Park Rangers as they reveal
the astonishing winter adaptations that resident animals use to survive the
frigid temperatures and give a lesson in how to identify animal tracks in snow
and mud. Kate Wollman Rink in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. December 6
at 11:00 AM. FREE.
Take a Tour of Gracie
Visit the historic country home of Archibald Gracie built in
1799 that later became the home to New York City Mayors, starting with Fiorello
La Guardia in 1942. Finish with cider in the Ballroom. FREE tours on December 5
from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM; call 311 to reserve a spot. Other tours are offered on
Wednesdays at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM at a cost of $7 for adults, $4 for seniors and
always FREE for students.
Fort Totten Tunnel
Discover the tunnels, hidden chambers and other forgotten and
mysterious parts of Fort Totten with a lantern-armed guide from the Join the
Parks Department Urban Park Rangers. Fort Totten Visitor Center at Ordnance and Lee Roads in Queens. November 29
at 1:00 PM. FREE.
Go Behind the Scenes
at Grand Central Terminal
Join the Municipal Art Society of New York
for a historical tour of the Beaux-Arts landmark Grand Central Terminal. Meet at
the information booth on the main concourse at Grand Central Terminal at 42nd
Street and Park Avenue, Manhattan. Wednesdays from 12:30 PM to
1:30 PM. Suggested admission.
Winter at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum
View the farmhouse by the
glow of "candlelight" and learn more about holiday and winter preparations in an
early 19th-century Manhattan farmhouse. 4881 Broadway at 204th Street, Manhattan. December 7 and 27
at 4:00 PM. FREE.
Holiday House Tour
The Historic House Trust hosts a holiday tour of
five museums and historic sites: the Queens Historical Society at the Kingsland
Homestead, the Quaker Meeting House, Flushing Town Hall, Voelker-Orth Museum,
and the Lewis H. Latimer House. The tour includes a guided trolley ride with a
local historian, who will be narrating the ride, and each site will be festively
decorated, have various holiday activities for the whole family, and serve
holiday refreshments. Jump on at 143-35 37th Avenue, Queens. December 14 at 1:00
PM. Admission is $10 for adults and $5
for children under 12.
A Shoreline Holiday
Join Parks & Recreation, the Historic House Trust,
and the Preservation League of Staten Island for a trolley tour of Staten Island
historic sites in all of their historic holiday finery. You'll be able to shop
at the Kitchen Marketplace and visit Father Christmas at Conference House's
"Colonial Christmas" celebration. Snug Harbor Building C, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. December 14
at 10:00 AM. Free.
Learn to Cook, Play
Chess or Record Music at a New York City Recreation Center
the art of cooking at our culinary classes at Von King Recreation Center in
Brooklyn, learn the ins and outs of chess with your whole family at the
Greenbelt Recreation Center on Staten Island, mix your own music at the
state-of-the-art recording studio at the Brownsville Recreation Center in
Brooklyn, or attend any of the myriad events and classes at one of New York
City's many recreation centers. Yearlong memberships are free for children under
18, $10 for seniors and $75 for adults. Call
311 for more information.
Holiday Crafts and
Stories at the Queens Public Library
Create placements and a turkey centerpiece, sing songs and
hear stories celebrating the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza,
and New Year's. For Children ages 6-11. Children's Room, Queens Public Library
Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. December 16
at 4:00 PM. FREE.
Gifts of the Season:
Tales for Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa at the Brooklyn Public
Storyteller Robin Bady tells stories from three different
traditions that explore and celebrate the gift of giving from the heart. Central
Library, Dweck Center, Grand Army Plaza. December 20
at 1:00 PM. FREE.
"Babes in Toyland"
and "The Nutcracker" at Queens Theater in the Park
Enjoy this musical and ballet, both of which have become
holiday traditions for many. Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Toyland on November
30 at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Nutcracker on December 29 and 30 at 1:00 PM and 4:00
PM. $12 per person.
Holiday Music Concert
with Bronx Arts Ensemble at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Arts Ensemble will perform a festive holiday program featuring costumed singers
and a double reed band (oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn and bassoon). The
performance tells the story of the Dutch Sinterklass—a colonial celebration in
Old Nieuw Amsterdam, hosted by the Historic House Trust. December 13 &
14 at noon. FREE.
Family Affair Holiday
Party at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
Celebrate the holiday season
with activities for children ages 5 - 11 and their families that will include
art-making, food, and guided tours of Street Art, Street Life - an exhibition
documenting street art from the 1950s to the present. 1040 Grand Concourse,
Bronx. December 13 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. FREE, but participants
should register in advance.
IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT EVENTS
Many BIDs have events in
addition to those listed below; call 311 for further details.
Kick-off in Downtown Flushing
Listen to carolers and enjoy free
food and drink at the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub BID's Holiday Season
Kick-off. 136-50 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing. November 24
at 5:00 PM. FREE.
Ninth Annual Winter's
Eve at Lincoln Square
by the Bacon Brothers, Father Goose, Hazmat Modine and Boogaloo Brasileiro, $1
to $4 food tastings from 25 restaurants, street performers, ice sculptors and
more. Broadway between Columbus Circle and 68th Street, Manhattan. December 1 from 5:30 PM
to 9:00 PM. FREE.
Holiday Tote Giveaway
at Union Square
Pick up a free holiday tote and join the revelers in
Union Square. Union Square Park, Manhattan. Daily through December 24; Monday -
Friday from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM
to 7:00 PM. FREE.
Bronx Council on the
Arts' Bronx Culture Trolley
Participate in a variety of free family
activities including art exhibitions, a book signing party and a poetry reading,
and ride the trolley, which will feature holiday medleys. Hostos Community
College, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street, Bronx. December 3
at 5:00 PM. FREE.
Free Musical Performances
Enjoy hot beverages and a variety of
musical performances offered through the Shop Downtown Brooklyn program of the
MetroTech BID, Fulton mall Improvement Association, and Court Livingston
Schermerhorn BID. December 3, 6, 10 and 17; call 311 for
times and locations. FREE.
Sunset Park Holiday
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Enjoy local entertainment by BCAA Youth
Chorus, St. Agatha School Chorus, Grupo Cultural Dances of Sunset Park and
others at the Sunset Park Business Improvement District's Holiday Tree Lighting
Ceremony. 5th Avenue and 60th Street, Sunset Park. December 4 from 4:00 PM
to 6:00 PM. FREE.
"Sparkling the Heart of Fordham"
Enjoy holiday lighting and musical
performances by the Learning Tree and Fordham University Gospel Choirs at the
Fordham Road BID's annual holiday event. East Fordham Road and East Kingsbridge Road, Bronx. December 5
at 7:00 PM. FREE.
Enjoy an array of performances and free food and drink at
the Madison Avenue BID's annual "Miracle on Madison," where the street is open
to pedestrians only and a portion of retail sales are donated to The Children's
Aid Society. Madison Avenue between 57th Street and 86th Street, Manhattan. December 7 from
NOON to 5:00 PM.
Alliance for Downtown
New York Zuccotti Park Tree Lighting and Concert
holiday season at Zuccotti Park with free refreshments and performances by The
Parish Choir and Trinity Choristers and a festive holiday tree lighting.
Zuccotti Park at Broadway and Liberty Street, Lower Manhattan. December 10
at 5:30 PM. FREE.
Community Carol Sing and Tree Lighting
Join Brooklyn Heights' Grace
& Spiritus Chorale for the Montague Street BID's community sing along
Montague Street. Montague Street at Montague Terrace. December 10 from 5:30 PM
to 6:45 PM. FREE.
Lights of Hope Annual
Tree Lighting Ceremony at Jackie Robinson Park
Join the 11th annual
tree lighting event which will feature carolers, toy distribution to youth
participants, and free food and drink. Jackie Robinson Park, 89 Bradhurst Avenue at 146th Street. December 11
at 5:00 PM. FREE.
Community League of
the Heights Tree Lighting Ceremony
Warm up with hot chocolate and
donuts and join in the singing at the Community League of the Heights Tree
Lighting Ceremony. Pagan Iyanka Park at Broadway at 157th Street, Inwood Heights. December 11
at 5:00 PM. FREE.