Dec 042013
 

Christmas in NYC free eventsThe 12th Annual Holiday Train Show is now open at Grand Central Terminal, and it’s FREE. These are classic, vintage Lionel Trains which run on eight separate loops of track through a 34-foot long miniature New York City scene, at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store in GCT.  The vintage trains are  from the museum’s collection, and will please kids of all ages.  Really, who does not love choo choo trains!  And who does not love free.

Additional miniature trains by Lionel, American Flyer and Louis Marx & Company, also are on display.  Notice we are calling them miniature trains.  They are not toys.  The display is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.  Through Feb. 23, 2014.

Get complimentary tickets to NYC events and shows from our ticket affiliate Goldstar.

Stay up to date on all NYC holiday happenings on the NYCOTC Christmas in NYC page.

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Nov 302013
 

Wisnter's Eve Lincoln SquareEnjoy an entire evening of FREE concerts and dance performances, arts and crafts for the kids, samplings from more than 30 top NYC restaurants Monday, Dec. 2nd, at the 14th Annual  Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square. It all begins at 5:30 pm with a tree lighting ceremony and continues at various spots on the Upper West Side, including Time Warner Center, and in special tents set up on Broadway between 62nd and 64th Streets.

The evening begins with a performance by Tony Award Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell accompanied by Rosie’s Theater Kids, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars, Bond Street Theatre’s Shinbone Alley Stilt Walking Band, and Channel 7′s Sade Baderinwa for  the holiday tree lighting ceremony  at 5:30pm at the main stage in Dante Park at Broadway & 63rd Street.

Winter’s Eve’s Kids’ Central will be located at the American Bible Society (Broadway & 61st Street) and will feature three free musical and dance performances by GRAMMY nominated Brooklyn-based children’s band The Pop Ups, who will be rocking Kids’ Central with their colorful cast of original puppets. Activities at Kids’ Central include face painting and temporary tattoos hosted by the West Side YMCA, a holiday card workshop with New York Society for Ethical Culture, Magnolia Bakery cupcakes (while they last!), and Voice Painter, which allows young people to create amazing paintings with their voices just by talking, singing or making funny noise into a microphone.

Additional family entertainment includes -

  • Jack Frost presented by Big Apple Circus performing sing-a-longs, juggling acts and many other interactive games
  •  ice sculpting outside Time Warner Center and on Columbus Avenue between 65th & 66th Streets by Okamoto Ice Studio.
  • Dance to the sounds of the XYLOPHOLKS, a dynamic group of musicians who mostly play novelty ragtime music from the 1920′s while wearing furry animal costumes located at 62nd & Broadway
  • next door at TD Bank little ones can enjoy craft making.
  • Step out, warm up, and dance till you drop at the Winter’s Eve TD Bank Dance Party on Broadway and 61st Street with Renowned DJ David Chang, Arthur Murray Dancers and energizer, dancer leader Bryant “Drew” Andrews.
  • Meet PBS Kids/THIRTEEN characters Curious George and Daniel Tiger outside the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center – Broadway and 66th Street.
  • The Film Society of Lincoln Center will present three free screenings of Miracle on 34th Street – a family favorite and holiday classic returning to the big screen exclusively on Winter’s Eve! Whether you watch it every year or want to enjoy it for the first time, the Academy Award-winning Miracle on 34th Street is a must-see for all ages.  Join the Film Society for this beloved classic and enjoy delicious popcorn from indie food and wine free of charge!  The screenings will take place at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam at 3:30pm, 5:30pm & 7:30pm. Doors open 15 minutes before each performance.
  • a chance to visit with SantaClaus

 

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Nov 182013
 

free hanukkah e-cardHanukkah 2013 begins at sundown Wednesday, November 27, the night before Thanksgiving, and lasts for eight nights of special holiday foods, small gifts, and the all-important lighting of Menorah candles.   Send a free Hanukkah e-Card. The Chabad website also has Hanukkah recipes, including for lowfat latkes and Hanukkah cookies and treats to make with the kids.

Hanukkah 2013 is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, since it is the only time n more than 70,000 years that Hanukkah overlaps with Thanksgiving.  Find a turkey-shaped menorah at the Jewish Museum in NYC, so you can celebrate Thanksgivikkuh properly.

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Oct 142013
 

Martha Stewart American MadeIf you love American made products, Martha Stewart, or both, then head to Grand Central Terminal Wed. and Thurs., Oct 16 and 17 for the American Made Festival, two days of holiday gifts, food, DIY projects and design hand-picked by the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine. The FREE pre-holiday show is full of ideas, free samples from artisanal producers around the USA, and the chance for you to design your own craft project with some guidance from Martha Stewart experts, on the CraftStudio iPad app. Of course, there also are items to buy, for a head start on your holiday shopping. The American Made handicrafts and food show is in Vanderbilt Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days.

 

 

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Aug 222013
 

Celebrate the birthday of the U. S. National Park Service on Sunday, August 25th with FREE  entry to all U.S. National Parks and other historic sites operated by the National Park Service.  Take advantage by visiting the National Parks in New York City and nearby, including the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace at 28 East 30th St., Grants Tomb, Gateway National Park in Brooklyn and Queens, and the Vanderbilt Mansion Historical Site in Hyde Park, in the Hudson Valley.  And, of course, national parks a bit further away, including Yellowstone and Yosemite

  • Remember, the Statue of Liberty has re-opened since the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, also called Supestorm Sandy, last October, but Ellis Island remains closed.

Click here for the entire list of fee-free national parks.  The U.S. National Park Service operates millions of acres of picture-postcard views and educational experiences in hundreds of national parks, historic sites, and heritage areas.  An annual pass for a carload is $80, or  $10 for a lifetime pass for seniors.    There are additional fee-free national park days and weekends in 2013

  • August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
  • September 28 – -National Public Lands Day
  • November 9-11 – Veterans Day weekend

This is less than in 2012.  Blame sequestration.

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Jun 242013
 

best locations for NYC July Fourth fireworksYou could join the crowds lining Riverside Park and the Highline to view the 36th Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks extravaganza.  Or you could elevate yourself and relax with a camera in one hand and a drink in the other at one of NYC’s heavenly rooftop bars.  There are just a few rooftop spots on the West Side to watch the show, since most are already booked, including for corporate events.

230 Fifth — That’s the name of the rooftop bar, and its address.  The celebration starts here earlier in the day, with a live satellite broadcast of the other world famous NYC Fourth of July event — the famous hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island.  There are no reservations and no special holiday cover charge for watching the fireworks at 230 Fifth Avenue.  Just get there early enough to stake your spot between the potted plants with a view of the Hudson River.

Hudson Terrace — This place is already sold out for July Fourth 2013, so you might want to book now for 2014.  Hudson Terrace is at 621 W. 46th St., between 11th and 12th.

Jimmy at The James — This rooftop bar has its own website, but no information about July Fourth, so there’s no way to know if it’s already sold out like Hudson Terrace.  The phone is 212-201-9118, but you won’t be able to speak to anybody — there’s only a recorded message telling you they don’t take reservations, and directing you to email events@thejames.com. Jimmy is at The James is at 15 Thompson St. in Soho.

Gansevoort Hotel Rooftop – Gorgeous pool, gorgeous view, and nothing on the hotel website to tell you whether the rooftop in Soho is sold out already or closed for a corporate event. So I phoned, and was told “we’re not currently accepting any more reservations”.

Ink 48 – This boutique hotel at 48th and Eleventh has several levels of floor-to-ceiling glass, including The Press Lounge.  But it’s closed for a corporate event.

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Apr 052013
 

The week of April 22-26, 2013 is National Parks Week, and as always, entry to all U.S. National Parks and other historic sites operated by the National Park Service is FREE for the week.  Take advantage by visiting the National Parks in New York City and nearby, including the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace at 28 East 30th St., Grants Tomb, Gateway National Park in Brooklyn and Queens, and the Vanderbilt Mansion Historical Site in Hyde Park, in the Hudson Valley.  And, of course, national parks a bit further away, including Yellowstone and Yosemite

  • Remember, the Statue of Liberty is closed through July 4th, and Ellis Island is closed until further notice, because of the damage caused by Hurriacne Sandy, also called Supestorm Sandy, last October

Click here for the entire list of fee-free national parks.  The U.S. National Park Service operates millions of acres of picture-postcard views and educational experiences in hundreds of national parks, historic sites, and heritage areas.  An annual pass for a carload is $80, or  $10 for a lifetime pass for seniors.    There are additional fee-free national park days and weekends in 2013 after National Parks Week -

  • August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
  • September 28 – -National Public Lands Day
  • November 9-11 – Veterans Day weekend

This is less than in 2012.  Blame sequestration.

 

 

June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), September 29 (National Public Lands Day), and November 10 to 12 (Veterans Day weekend). Many park-related hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and tour operators offer special discounts on fee-free days, too.

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Mar 042013
 

Jewish_450pPassover 2013 begins at sundown, Sunday, March 24th.  Don’t wait until then to send out your Passover cards.  Chabad lets you send FREE virtual greetings to friends and family for Pesach, There are virtual cards suitable for children, for grownups, even an invitation to join your Seder.  As I said, free.

Passover continues for eight days and ends at sundown on Tuesday, April 2nd. That means Passover 2013 overlaps Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day.

The Chabad website also has a list of local Seders to attend nationwide.  Here is the link to New York City seders at synagogues and community centers.

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Dec 272012
 

nyconthecheap, Kwanzaa in NYCCelebrate Kwanzaa at the African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan, where some 15,000 men, women and children were buried in the 1700s and 1800s. It’s a perfect place to commemorate African-American heritage and culture. There are FREE family-friendly events throughout the day on Friday, December 28th, including lectures on the history and meaning of the burial ground by National Park Service Rangers.

10:30AM: Traditional African Wire Doll Making by Ivelisse Pabon de Landron. Learn about the island of Puerto Rico and its Black traditional doll making craft.

11AM: Reflections of Honor and Glory. Enjoy an informative tour of the site’s commemorative artwork guided by a National Park Service Ranger.

NOON: “Nguzo Saba” — The Meaning and Principles of Kwanzaa. This presentation, led by Cyril Innis, Jr., provides a comprehensive overview of this unique holiday’s principles and meaning.

12:30PM: “The Black Nutcracker.” Uptown Dance Academy will present a modernized rendition of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic featuring an eclectic musical blend and a range of dance styles. (75 minutes)

2PM: Kwanzaa Workshop Learn about the cultural philosophy of Kwanzaa and Adinkra symbols as well as the ritual of Umma Nhuru Utumwa (Swahili for “people free from slavery.”)family: Default Sans

3PM: Ranger-led tour of African Burial Ground memorial

All events and activities are free and open to the public, but reservations are required for Kwanzaa programs. To RSVP call (212) 238-4367, or the National Park Service website.  And dress warmly, since this is outdoors.

Sorry, this deal or event is no longer available.

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Dec 072012
 

Here’s how to light a Hanukkah Menorah without candles or a menorah — click on the Virtual Hanukkah Menorah website, from the Union of Reform Judaism. Click on the link the appropriate night of the eight nights of Hanukkah, and the screen shows the Hanukkah blessings in Hebrew, transliteration and in English, which you can sing along with a recorded cantorial voice. Click out of the blessings,  and your mouse turns into a candle to light the other candles of the virtual menorah. Very cool website.

Hanukkah 2012 begins at sundown tomorrow, Saturday, December 8th, 2012. You can also attend the lighting of the world’s largest Menorah each night on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.  Click here for the times, which vary.

Happy Hanuklah.

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