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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Weekend Fun Guide

December 3 - 4

Here are some highlights of free and low-cost things to do in our parks this weekend. For more upcoming events, please visit our Events Calendar.

1. Head to a tree lighting in the park

carolers gather at a decorated Christmas tree against the backdrop of the Hell Gate bridge at night

The holidays are here! Celebrate the spirit of the season at upcoming tree lightings in parks across NYC. Vew the tree lighting schedule > 

2. Go looking for owls with our park rangers

an owl sits in an evergreen tree

Inwood Hill Park's natural forest is one of the best places in NYC to spot owls this time of year. On Saturday, join our Urban Park Rangers as they head out into the woods in search of owls living high up in the trees. Event info > 

3. Join a walking tour of the Bronx River's history

view of fall foliage in a park

Hear about the river's fascinating history in an ever-changing borough as you walk along its riverfront with the Bronx Co Historical Society. More info > 

4. Go ice skating at Bryant Park 

groups of people ice skate outdoors. A tall Christmas tree stands in the background.

The holiday tree is up and sparkling this weekend! Come to the rink to see it and enjoy skating on the ice. Admission is free! Bryant Prk rink info > 

5. Join a tour of the Heather Garden's evergreens

a view of a bridge beyond evergreen trees in a park

On Sunday, nature expert Leslie Day will lead a tour through the massive garden to evergreens that pre-date the park! Event info > 

6. Go hiking with our park rangers 

a nature trail winds along a tree path leading deeper into the winter woods

On Sunday, join our Urban Park Rangers on a two-hour, nature exploration hike through Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. More info > 

7. Swing dance at our holiday party

a man and a woman dance indoors

Come to St. John's Recreation Center this Saturday night for free swing dancing lessons, live performances by the Harlem Swing Dance Society, and a night of open dancing with music by the Stephanie Jeannot Band. Event info > 

8. Learn how to build shelter in the wild

shelter building

If you were stranded in the wilderness, would you know how to build shelter? Join our Urban Park Rangers' workshops to learn how you can build a place of refuge from materials found in nature. More info > 

9. Celebrate the holidays like the old timers


Stop by NYC's oldest house for traditional music, stories, and crafts, and learn how the Dutch tradition of Sinterklass evolved into the American tradition of Santa Claus. Event info > 

10. Join a tree ID hike

a park ranger shows a tree to park goers

How can you tell a tree's species when there are no leaves on the branches? Join our Rangers in Forest Park this Sunday to learn what other clues you can look for to help you identify a tree's species. Event info > 

11. Meet the artists of 'Whimsical Winter Wonder...'

a collage of various winter scenery

 Poe Visitor Center selected local and national artists to create works of art based on a "Whimsical Winter Wonder..." theme. See the exhibit and mingle with the artists at the opening reception on Saturday.  More info > 

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