Holiday Events in Central Park

Central Park is a perfect place to spend a holiday visit to New York City, and there are some great activities planned around the park this year – of course you can’t miss with my favorite, which is ice skating at Wollman Rink. Any sort athletic ability on skates is completely optional.

Wild Holiday Party – Watch the animals receive presents at the Central Park Zoo Saturday/Sunday – December 1­–2, 8–9, 15–16, & 22–23 Come watch the animals feast on holiday fare during four special weekend events. The polar bears will tear open peanut-buttery gifts; snow monkeys will un-decorate edible trees; and Children’s Zoo residents will receive veggies and hay!

Holiday Programs for the Whole Family:

Chess & Checkers House Wednesday, December 26:Kwanzaa Crafts Thursday, December 27: Hanukkah Crafts Friday, December 28: Christmas Crafts

Belvedere Castle Sunday, December 2: The Story of Hanukkah with Robin Brady Sunday, December 9: Make-Your-Own Menorah Thursday, December 20: Stargazing and Constellation Storytelling Saturday, December 22:Meet Saint Nicholas and Christmas Crafts Sunday, December 23: Meet Saint Nicholas and Christmas Crafts

Dana Discovery Center Sunday, December 9:Holiday Lighting Thursday, December 27: Kwanzaa Crafts Sunday, December 30:Kwanzaa Storytelling

Holiday Runs in Central Park: Emerald Nuts Midnight Run – Monday, December 31 / DJ Music and Dancing • 10:00 p.m. / Costume Parade and Contest • 11:00 p.m. / Fireworks and 4M Race • Midnight / Central Park, New York

NYRR Holiday 4-Mile / Kids Play Party – Saturday, December 15 / 4M • 9:30 a.m. . . . → Read More: Holiday Events in Central Park

54th Annual Swine Bowl

The first Swine Bowl took place in 1954 when a group of Westchester teenagers decided late one autumn to play a game mocking high school football. They’ve had so much fun over the years that even after going their separate ways to college they felt a need to reassemble on the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year since

The inception of the name of the contest is not clear, which makes sense because either are the rules. The one overwhelming imperative is that everyone has a good time, and if yesterday’s game is any indication this dictum was followed with relentless enthusiasm.

The game now draws third generation family members of the original participants, and some of the originators of the game return annually and one, Richard Greeman, makes it to the game from the south of France, where he lives in retirement.

“Most of the originals show up every year,” said Dan Breslaw, one of those originals. He lives in West Corinth, Vt., and says that the only games he missed were during the six years he lived in Alaska. “I could never have predicted when we started that we’d be doing this at the age of 70,” he said.

Thanks to Clyde Haberman of the Times for source material for this article