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Holiday Fun With Seasonal Exhibits All Around Town

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, November 28, 2017

Baby, it’s cold outside! Let ZEALnyc get you warmed up and ready for the holidays with festivities at some of our favorite cultural spots. Most of our listings are included with the purchase of a paid admission, others require a separate low cost ticket, and all are a great way to spend a day out in New York City. Make plans with friends and family to enjoy some Christmas past in the present, and maybe you’ll discover a future tradition!

The 16th Annual Holiday Train Show – Grand Central Terminal, 42nd Street and Park Avenue, Shuttle Passage

Perfect little models of real trains, making a clicky-clack sound as they whirl around a track…it’s magical. Visit the NY Transit Museum’s shop in Grand Central Terminal to tap into the simple joys of this classic holiday event. Running through February 4, 2018, M-F: 8-8, Sa-Su: 10-6, free admission. For more details click here.

A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House, Charles Dickens in New York, 1867 – Old Merchant’s House, 29 East 4th Street

Starring John Kevin Jones as Mr. Dickens, this dramatic retelling of the famous novel is a wonderful way to get into the holiday mood. Arrive early to share a toast of mulled wine or cider with the celebrated author before his performance. Performances run November 30 – December 27. $45 – $75 at various times. For more information click here; to buy tickets click here.

Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas – The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street

The history of Dickens’ most popular novel is explored in this exhibit, with original manuscripts, letters, photographs and even the podium he used when performing his dramatic readings. The Morgan also offers a tour at 3pm, Tues – Sun, free with paid admission. Other events are listed on their website; running through January 14, 2018. For more information click here.

Holiday Tours and Historic Cooking Workshop – Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden, 421 East 61st Street

Picture it: Christmas time in New York City, 1830. The air is full of delightful scents and beautiful music, a table is set with delicious food, and soft candlelight illuminates holiday decorations on display at this New York City treasure. Experience this trip back to a simpler time with a special evening tour or learn how to create some 19th century culinary favorites at a cooking workshop. The Holiday Candlelight Tours will be on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2 (6:15pm and 7:30pm); to buy tickets click here.

Historic Cooking Workshop: Sugar Plums and Wassail, Tuesday, December 12 (6:30 pm). For the workshop call 212-838-6878 to purchase tickets (adults: $25, members and students: $20). For more details click here.

Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Some people say it isn’t Christmas until you visit the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. We say you can’t start the season until you go to The Met and look at their 20 foot tall blue spruce tree in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. With over 200 pieces from an 18th century Nativity scene, this exhibit is what the holiday is all about. Exhibit runs through January 7, 2018, free with paid admission. For details click here.

Origami Holiday Tree – American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street

Before crowdsourcing was a thing, the AMNH was doing it with their take on Christmas tree decorations. Volunteers from around the world contribute these origami masterpieces to a 19 foot tall tree (in the Astor Turret, 4th floor) for all to enjoy. The ingenuity of amateur and professional creators in describing this year’s theme of ‘Unfolding the Senses’ is sure to delight and amaze visitors. Running through January 7, 2018, free with paid admission. For details click here.

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection – The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street

Starting at the entrance to the museum, this charming display of toys from the past never fails to enchant. With trains, models and figures arranged throughout the first floor, this collection is a favorite whatever your age. October 27, 2017 – February 25, 2018, free with paid admission. For more information click here. There will be a docent led gallery tour on Saturday, December 16 at 3pm; to buy tickets click here.

Kingsland Homestead / Queens Historical Society

30th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour: Honoring the Fight for Women’s Rights – Queens Historical Society, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing

Sponsored by the Queens Historical Society, this tour shows off seven locations important to Queens and US history: Kingsland Homestead (where the QHS is located); Voelker Orth MuseumLewis H. Latimer House; Flushing Town Hall Friends Meeting House; Bowne House; and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. In keeping with the theme of the centennial of the US women’s suffrage movement, each venue will have a display linking a prominent woman directly or indirectly to the location or its history. Many of these sites are fully decorated for the holiday season and will have additional special events during the tour and throughout December. You can visit as many of the sites as you like on tour day, in any order with the all inclusive ticket. To find out more about these places, visit the individual websites. Sunday, December 10 from 1-5pm (advance purchase: $15, day of tour: $20, children under 12: $5) For more details click here; to buy tickets for the tour click here.



Cover: Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens. For more information on the Holiday Train Show at NYBG click here.


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