Holiday on ice: A week's worth of fun, indoors & out

New York Post
December 26, 2009

by Jacqueline Burt

Baby, it's cold outside! Not that there's anything wrong with that, if you're into the whole winter wonderland thing.

But even if you'd rather be spending the holidays somewhere warm and sunny, there's no reason to hole up at home with the thermostat on high. We found enough fun stuff – indoors and out – to warm up the whole family and keep them hopping through Christmas week.

CHILL OUT

Work off some of that figgy pudding at The Pond at Bryant Park. Not only is the skating free, the surroundings are glorious. Through Wednesday, you can skate from 8 a.m. to midnight – after that, it's open until 10 p.m. Who knows? You might glide into the New Year in such great shape that you won't need to make any resolutions. No skates? Rent 'em for $12. Bryant Park is between Fifth and Sixth avenues and 40th and 42nd streets; 212-661-6640.

You can work your inner Michelle Kwan at Bryant Park or check out some acrobtic freestylin' at the Union Square Theater.

Want even more exercise? Take today's Whimsical Walk through Central Park, where a guide will point out some of the park's particularly kid-centric monuments, like the granite Mother Goose and bronze Balto the sled dog. It's free at 1 p.m. Meet at the Delacorte Clock in the Central Park Zoo, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street; 212-628-2345.

They're less permanent than the statues in the park, but ice sculptures are so much more than just buffet table centerpieces. At the Bronx Zoo's first Salute to Wildlife Ice Carving Competition, 15 professional ice carvers will be given four hours and 600 pounds of ice to create frozen masterpieces inspired by the zoo residents. Sunday, 11 a.m.; $15 for adults, $11 for kids. Fordham Road and the Bronx River Parkway; 718-367-1010.

From ice critters to extinct creatures: Dino expert Richie Mirissis will show off his collection of artifacts at the Staten Island Zoo's Dinosaurs and More. Children will get to dig through a pit for real fossils and make clay models of their discoveries. Monday, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; $8 for adults, $5 for kids. 614 Broadway, between Frost Avenue and Victory Boulevard; 718-442-3100.

A poinsettia grows in Brooklyn, as do winterberries, olive trees and many more blooming examples of hearty cold-weather flora. Take a break from bare branches at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where admission is free Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 900 Washington Ave., at Eastern Parkway; 718-623-7200.

WARM UP

The hottest dance ticket in town – certainly for the tween set – is "Groovaloo Freestyle," a beat-driven blend of hip-hop, spoken word and acrobatics. You may have seen its young, 18-member troupe on the season finale of "So You Think You Can Dance?" Kids who come in groups of eight or more are invited to get onstage after the show and shake it. For showtimes, visit groovaloo.com; $25 to $69. The Union Square Theater, 100 E. 17th St., at Park Avenue South; 212-307-4100.

The wildly popular "Pinkalicious, The Musical" – based on the best-selling children's book – is still going strong. Apparently, there's no shortage of young audience members who sympathize with the title character's plight, an obsessive love of the color pink. Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m., $29.50. The Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker St., between Lafayette and Mott streets; 212-579-0528.

From pink, pink and pink to red, green and black: The spotlight is on Kwanzaa at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, where kids plant seeds and make art to honor the ancient African harvest as part of the World of Celebrations festival. While you're there, decorate white peace doves, make Mayan hot chocolate and play with toys from around the globe. Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $7.50. 145 Brooklyn Ave., at St. Mark's Avenue; 718-735-4400.

African dance/drumming troupe The Seventh Principle brings still more Kwanzaa fun to the Children's Museum of Manhattan, with performances at 2 and 3 p.m. tomorrow. That's just part of the museum's busy recess lineup. Today at 2 and 3 p.m., hear the kids from the Highbridge Voices Chamber Choir in back-to-back concerts; on Tuesday, catch the Flaming Idiots (in a rare moment away from their show at the New Victory Theater) from 11 a.m. to noon; Justin the Magician will put in appearances that afternoon at 2 and 3 p.m.; 212 W. 83rd St., between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway; 212-721-1223.