Ongoing fun for the holidays Part 1

New York City kicks into full holiday gear on Thanksgiving Day, when it hosts the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Being a young single mother of two I well know the limits of the wallet. Hanging out with your little ones can actually empty your pockets. So I gathered together a couple of ongoing events that will help you save for those holiday gifts. And for (Black Friday!). Some special “must see” sights and activities you won’t want to miss that are family-friendly and affordable include: Macy’s Department Store Holiday Window Displays .

Saks Fifth Avenue (across from Rockefeller Center) is known for its festive snowflake décor, with lights and animated effects synchronized to music. Bloomingdale’s and Barneys New York also dazzle onlookers with their wintery holiday window presentations, but it’s Macy’s at Herald Square that is world-famous for its elaborate window displays. Each year Macy’s features an annual holiday theme, like “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Polar Express.”
We can spend several hours visiting these mesmerizing and extravagant major department stores displays!! The kidz love looking at the intricate details of the decorations. When I view these window displays it reminds me  the Look-A likes Christmas book …. the more you look the more you see.

Here’s a  schedule of when windows debut in 2010

Dylan’s Candy Bar – Currently on display
Henri Bendel – Currently on display
Lord & Taylor – Currently on display
Barneys – Currently on display
Bergdorf Goodman – Thursday, November 18
Macy’s – Thursday, November 18
Bloomingdale’s – Thursday, November 18
Saks Fifth Avenue – Monday, November 22
Tiffany & Co. – Monday, November 22
Anthropologie – Monday, November 22
Steuben Glass – Tuesday, November 30
Cartier – To be determined

Make it a Day Trip! Grab an unlimited Metro card (before the price goes up…again) and just …GO!! make it an event of your own. Ask your kids which exhibit they liked most, have them sketch some of them, take pictures!! Have fun. Of course we have to keep our mouths from drooling @ the fantastically expensive but still fantastic clothes and (my week spot)…SHOES. 😉

The Bronx Zoo

A trip to The Bronx Zoo is fun for everyone anytime of the year. For the holidays, however, The Bronx Zoo transforms into a holiday wonderland. All of the Zoo’s buildings and trees get covered with festive lights, plus more than 140 lighted and animated animal sculptures  appear throughout the Zoo as part of the annual Holiday Lights Festival.During the holiday season, The Bronx Zoo offers extended nighttime hours along with special evening events,  like sea lion feedings. Live reindeer are also on hand. There’s also a state-of-the-art theatre which presents The Polar Express 4-D Experience, and horse drawn carriage rides; two family holiday favorites at the Zoo. Admission: $16.00 (adults) and $12.00 (kids). Some activities, like the 4-D movie and carriage rides are extra. The Bronx Zoo posts a special holiday schedule or call (718) 367-1010.

New York Botanical Gardens

And no matter how many times we ride the subway, which is daily, more than twice a day, my son is always fascinated by the trains: the noises they make, the tunnels, everything. If you or your kids love trains , then you are in luck! Because this is the season when the trains are put on exhibit in the most special way for the whole family to enjoy.
The Holiday Train Show will be on display at the Botanical Gardens from Nov. 20 through Jan 9. One of the most popular holiday exhibits of the year, the garden is adorned with scenes that display iconic landmarks of NYC in a miniature world.
Complimenting this exhibit is the Gingerbread Adventures in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Visitors, big and small, will learn about the origin of gingerbread and the plants that give its unique flavor. You’ll get to enjoy the sights of amazing gingerbread houses decorated by some of New York’s own pastry chefs, including Mark Tasker from Balthazar Bakery, Kate Sullivan of Cake Alchemy, and Kate Sullivan of Cake Power. Delicious snacks included! Check out The New York Botanical Gardens website for a complete list of activities, schedule, and ticket prices.

New York Transit Museum

And the New York Transit Museum’s 8th Annual Train Show is now on display at Grand Central Terminal in the NYTM Annex till January 18th. It’s a small space, full of festive lights and colors, and lots and lots of trains! They host a huge display of New York’s regional commuter rail network in miniature form rolling through a Manhattan cityscape towards Santa’s workshop at the North Pole.
Showcased trains include the Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, commuter trains and New York City Subway cars on a bi-level 34-foot long layout. As an added bonus, New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad rail cars will also be included in the layout’s rolling stock. Get a close up look at classic trains, Lionel Trains from the Museum’s Lawrence Scripps Collection of Vintage Trains which will also be on static display in Plexiglas cases lining the gallery walls. It’s tons f fun to watch, kids absolutely love it, and best of all, it’s FREE!

Of course, you can always visit the New York Transit Museum any time of the year. Located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermehorn Street, this museum is a collection and exhibition of the history of urban public transportation history. Visitors travel back in time as they walk through the various displays of train cars and past images that reflect the changes and growth in the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. And they have kewl kiddie workshops too! Just Check out their website for more information.

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