The winter solstice, which occurred this past Sunday, Dec. 21, marked the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. To be specific, winter officially began at 6:03 p.m. when the Northern Hemisphere was pointed at its furthest distance from the sun. Although December 21st may have been the longest night and the shortest day, the good news is that from now until the summer solstice, the days will get longer (and hopefully warmer).
If you’re the type who enjoys the winter weather, then you’ll want to read on to find out about the different types of winter activities that take place throughout Staten Island. Even if you’re not winter’s biggest fan, you may want to check out some of the indoor activities listed below, especially if you’re in the mood for getting out of the house or you’re desperate to find something fun for the kids to do. You may just find the perfect solution to getting yourself (and the kids) out doing something fun and creative this winter.
Staten Island Skating Pavilion
3080 Arthur Kill Road
Visit Website | 718-948-4800
As one of the only indoor rinks in the city, the Staten Island Skating Pavilion offers public skating sessions on weekends (more during school breaks), lessons, events, games, hockey leagues and even birthday parties.
WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink
Clove Lakes Park- Victory Boulevard west of Clove Road
Visit Website | 718-720-1010
Take advantage of the cold weather at Staten Island’s only outdoor skating rink, which has become increasingly popular with local families. The rink also offers skating lessons, public sessions and birthday party packages.
Staten Island Sledding
Although the small hill at Clove Lakes Park (at the corner of Slosson and Martlings) is known as the “official” sledding spot on Staten Island, but there are plenty of other places to get a sled run in. Many kids (and adults) love sledding down “Dead Man’s Hill” in Silver Lake Park, or taking a ride on the hills on the La tourette Golf Course. Either way, many memories will be made on these sleigh-riding hills.
Another Venue for Skaters (that is, skate-boarders)
354 Front Street
For teens and young adults, Staten Island’s 5050 Skatepark is the place to be. As the only indoor skatepark in the city, this is a great place for teens (or anyone else) who needs the indoor space to work on their scooter, skateboard or BMX bike tricks. There are open sessions, beginner sessions and one-on-one lessons as well. Visit www.5050skatepark.com for more details.
Staten Island Children’s Museum
1000 Richmond Terrace
Telephone: 718-273-2060 / Fax: 718-273-2836
Located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Staten Island Children’s Museum offers a variety of hands-on educational exhibits such as Block Harbor, House: About It, Portia’s Playhouse, Great Explorations, Bugs and Insects, Ladder 11, Sea of Boats, and DB’s Fantastic Machines. It also provides special programming for children of all ages on a regular basis, such as daily activities like Storytime, weekday programs like Kidz Cook, toddler programs like Artist in Me and weekend family workshops like Up 4 Art. Perfect for anyone feeling cooped-up indoors!
St. George Theatre
35 Hyatt Street
There is nothing like catching a show at the iconic St. George Theatre. This upcoming week you won’t want to miss “Frosty the Snowman,” presented on December 29, 2014. The theater will also be hosting a series of intimate performances in the mezzanine lounge, ranging from music, illusion, jam nights, original works, cabaret and comedy. Visit www.stgeorgetheatre.com for more details.
Staten Island Museum
75 Stuyvesant Place
Hosting both indoor and outdoor adventures, the Staten Island Museum is a place for thinkers, doers, explorers and anyone with even just a touch of curiosity. This month the museum is hosting a variety of workshops, including family art workshops, outdoor adventures and bird walks, and even science programs. Visit their website at www.statenislandmuseum.org for more information about upcoming events.
Tibetan Art Museum
338 Lighthouse Ave
Perfectly nestled on the side of Lighthouse Hill, the Tibetan Art Museum presents the art and culture of Tibet and the Himalayas in order to educate and inspire. Besides offering a variety of exhibits and programs, the museum will also open its doors on weekends in February for guided meditation. Visit their website at www.tibetanmuseum.org for more information.
Staten Island Greenbelt
700 Rockland Avenue
Staten Island’s Greenbelt has loads of programs available for adults and children of all ages, all year round. If you’re a runner and want a change of scenery, take advantage of the group trail runs the Greenbelt is offering. Or, get your children involved in all of the President’s week activities that will be taking place during their week off from school. Adult artists, little tots and anyone looking to increase their knowledge of the natural world or enjoy Staten Island’s trails should take advantage of these Greenbelt programs. For a list of upcoming events taking place at the Greenbelt, visit their website at www.sigreenbelt.org.
Historic Richmond Town
451 Clarke Avenue
Visit Website | 718-351-1611
Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island’s living history village and museum complex, is alive and kickin’ even in the dead of winter. It’s time to relax by the fire while listening to some of the best folk and acoustic songwriters and musicians in the country. Check the Richmond Town website at www.historicrichmondtown.org for information on the upcoming tavern concerts that will surely transport you back to a simpler time.
Mariners Harbor Library
206 South Ave
Staten Island, NY, 10303
The state-of-the-art Mariners Harbor Library is the first New York Public Library branch to open since the Battery Park City Library opened in 2010. Designed with an exterior of mostly windows and skylights, the 10,000 square foot library is bright and spacious. With no walls, the layout encourages an open community feel. The library contains approximately 17,000 books, DVDs and periodicals, 38 desktop computers, 10 laptops and FREE Wi-Fi. It’s also ADA accessible, has a children’s-only bathroom, a community room, and a garden and terrace. Like all library branches, it regularly hosts programs for all ages, including storytimes, crafts, movie nights, exercise classes and even FREE after-school homework help. To find out more information about New York Public Library offerings, visit http://www.nypl.org/locations/.
Tap into your Creative Side
Staten Island Makerspace
Founded in 2013, SI Makerspace is a non-profit, community co-working space for makers, builders, tinkerers, hardware developers, hobbyists, artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone with a curious mind who wants to make something. For those looking to pursue a hobby or just try something new, SI Makerspace offers memberships to individuals to use the tools and equipment in their facility, and a variety of workshops for adults and children. For more information about their upcoming workshops, visit http://www.makerspace.nyc.
Of course, these aren’t the only things happening on Staten Island this winter. The Staten Island Zoo, Staten Island Parks, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center are among my favorite places to visit- even when the cold sets in. If you are looking to buy a home or any type of real estate on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Take a look at my website for helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, photos , local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips.
Have a wonderful holiday from my family to yours!