Central Park Characters Archives - Central Park

Holiday Magic in the Heart of Central Park

Sea Lion

The holidays are right around the corner and the Central Park Zoo is celebrating the season with Winterfest – a holiday celebration that includes special performances, holiday lighting displays, and presents for the animals. During the first three Fridays and Saturdays in December (Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17) the zoo will stay open until 6:30 p.m. inviting visitors to stroll through the zoo and enjoy thousands of white lights, theater performances, and presents to the animals.

Lights and festive greenery line the pathways to winter-themed activities. At Winterfest, the polar bear and penguins will receive presents filled with their favorite treats including fish-sickles and fruits. Animal keepers and zoo guides will be available to talk to guests about the animals and answer questions.

Polar-themed performances by WCS’s Wildlife Theater and live animal encounters in the Zoo Gallery will headline this year’s Winterfest activities. Families can also make a special winter craft to take home.
The Central Park Zoo’s 4-D Theater will be showing The Polar Express™ 4-D Experience is based on the film
from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment and Planet Earth: Ice Worlds 4D Experience from BBC
Earth.

For a break from the chilly air, the Central Park Zoo’s Tropic Zone is a steamy 80 degrees all year long. Home to
tropical birds, lemurs, and more, it is the perfect place to take a break from the cold.
The Dancing Crane Café will be serving holiday treats, hot chocolate, and other festive fare. The Zootique will be
offering holiday discounts and is the perfect place to find wild gifts.

Winterfest Schedule: December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17.
2-6 p.m.-Wildlife Theater performances on the hour in the Zoo Gallery
2:30-5:30-Live Animal Encounters on the half hour in the Zoo Gallery
2-6:30 p.m. – Crafts in the Zoo Theater Classroom
3:15 p.m.-Presents to the penguins
5:30- Presents to the polar bear
Special Performances and Meet and Greet:

December 10 – If You Really Love Polar Bears – performance by Making Books Sing. 2 and 3 p.m. in the Zoo
Gallery
Dec. 18 – Sprout TV – Super Why and Character appearances at 2:00 in the Zoo Gallery.
Contact:
Sophie Bass: 718-265-3428; sbass@wcs.org
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

Charles A. Dana Discovery CenterCelebrate the beginning of the winter season with free programming throughout the Park.

Each December, the Central Park Conservancy marks the beginning of winter with the Women’s Committee’s annual Winter Holiday Lighting of the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (pictured), followed by a variety of free programming. Enjoy ornament-making crafts, solstice stargazing, Kwanzaa celebration, an interactive winter sword dancing performance, and lots more

Social Hour: Ornament Origami
Thursday, December 15
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Dana Discovery Center
Fold paper ornaments you’ll treasure forever at this ornament-origami workshop with author and famed origami genius Sok Song.  Ages 18+

Kwanzaa Celebration for Families
Friday, December 16
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Dana Discovery Center
Celebrate the harvest, family, community and culture by crafting a work inspired by nature and African art. Co-presented with the Museum for African Art.

Solstice Stargazing
Wednesday, December 21
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Belvedere Castle
Celebrate the first day of winter! View the night sky as guided by the Amateur Astronomers Association. Bring your own binoculars if you have them; telescope provided. Ages 10+

 Winter Holiday Crafts
Thursday, December 22
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Chess & Checkers House
Capture the smell of the winter holiday season through a fun paper gingerbread craft.

Evergreen Craft
Thursday, January 19
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Chess & Checkers House
Learn about the evergreen trees and shrubs that keep Central Park looking beautiful in winter while crafting your own wintery landscape.

Ice Festival @ Tavern
Saturday, February 11
11:00 – 3:00 pm
Tavern on the Green
Watch master carvers from Okamoto Studio turn blocks of ice into Central Park icons. Fun family activities will be offered.

Sword Dancing Family Performance
Saturday, February 18
1:00 pm & 3:00 pm
Dana Discovery Center
Be Amazed by dancers who weave swords into complex configurations as part of this ancient winter celebration.

The Three Bears Holiday Bash in Central Park

The Three Bears Holiday Bash

If you’re looking for holiday entertainment in the city that doesn’t require chorus girls, or a second mortgage, look no further than Central Park.  The City Parks Foundation is once again proud to announce the holiday launch of The Three Bears Holiday Bash, a marionette production at the historic Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park.

The Three Bears Holiday Bash, is a variety show that celebrates the holiday season in song, dance, and puppetry. This production quickly becomes a comedy of errors when Baby Bear invites Santa to star in Mama and Papa Bears’ annual holiday show.  Drawing from the stories of Hanukkah, the Night Before Christmas, and Kwanzaa, The Three Bears Holiday Bash is a great way to get in the season spirit.

“We are very excited to announce the return of The Three Bears Holiday Bash,” said David Rivel, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation.  “As one of the most fascinating children’s theatres in the country, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park is the perfect place to tell this vibrant seasonal story.”

SHOW TIMES & RESERVATIONS

Show times for The Three Bears Holiday Bash, beginning Tuesday, November 16, 2010 are Tuesday through Friday at 10:30am and 12:00pm, with an additional performance at 2:30 pm each Wednesday; and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm.  The production will run through December 30, 2010.

Reservations are required.  Tickets are $5/children and $8/adults.  Group rates are available for schools and other large groups.  For reservations, please visit the City Parks Foundation. For group rates, and information on birthday parties, please call 212-988-9093.

Swedish Cottage

The Cottage is located in Central Park at 81st Street and Central Park West, just south of the Delacorte Theater.  For more information, please visit www.CityParksFoundation.org.

Generously supported by: The Weininger Foundation; The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation; Historic House Trust.

ABOUT THE COTTAGE
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre was imported to the U.S. in 1876 as Sweden’s exhibit for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The enchanting Swedish architecture and craftsmanship of the structure, suggestive of a model schoolhouse, caught the eye of Fredrick Law Olmsted, who brought it to Central Park in 1877.

Beginning in 1947, the Cottage served as the home of a marionette theater troupe that traveled across the city performing on playgrounds and school auditoriums. Under the direction of City Parks Foundation, citywide puppet shows in parks continue to this day through the CityParks PuppetMobile.

In 1973 a permanent theater was constructed inside the Cottage, precisely designed for marionette performances. Since then, hundreds of thousands of children and families from around the world have enjoyed its original marionette productions. The Theatre’s productions are based on classic fairy tales and offer an enriching theatrical and educational experience for children ages 3-9. The Cottage is a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City.

ABOUT CITY PARKS FOUNDATION

City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. We work in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level.  Our programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City. For more information, please visit:www.CityParksFoundation.org.

Central Park’s Blacksmith

Central Park Forge

Central Park Forge

On the west side of  Central Park, around 86th Street, there burns a forge, and next to it stands Larry Hagberg, blacksmith. Larry performs this ancient craft to meet the NYC Parks department’s present-day needs. He heats steel and beats it into the day’s necessary form, whether it’s a lantern key, a bench divider, or his own personal artwork.

Watch Larry explain his craft on the PBS documentary “On The Clock”.


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