This Weekend: Bird Song and Sing-Alongs in a Winter Wonderland

Author: admin  //  Category: landscaping ideas

Counting all the birds in the Garden sounds a bit like the Sisyphean task of counting all the grains of sand on a beach. But it’s not. It’s actually a yearly tradition that is fun for the whole family!

The Garden’s annual bird count is modeled upon the national Christmas Bird Count, a 114-year tradition of the National Audubon Society. We like to think of our bird count as a primer on techniques that can help you get an accurate count in your own yard (or on your balcony, or fire escape). This exciting bit of citizen science helps asses the health of bird populations and environments across the United States. So bring a pair of binoculars, wear some sturdy boots and warm gloves, and join us for this fun and educational event.

If bird song isn’t your thing, how about holiday sing-alongs? On Saturday and Sunday, join two of the New York-area’s best a capella groups as they regale you with holiday tunes, and encourage you to join in on the merry making! Saturday’s singers, the Fordham B-Sides, don’t have to travel far to get to our gates, just across the street in fact!

And on Sunday, listen to the soaring voices of Broadway stars Philip Hernandez and Nancy Anderson, members of the inspiring and exciting Broadway Care-olers! Mr. Hernandez is the only actor to have played both Inspector Javert and his quarry Jean Valjean on Broadway in Les Misérables, while fans of PBS’ “Great Performances” may recognize Ms. Anderson from her appearance as Lois/Bianca in Kiss Me Kate and from the broadcast of South Pacific in Concert from Carnegie Hall.

It looks like Saturday is going to be snowy, which just serves to enhance the beauty of our winter landscape! Seasonally-themed tours of the Garden are even prettier under a frosting of snow, just bundle up, and do not forget your camera. Photo ops abound! And if you’re coming for Saturday’s Bar Car Nights, you’ll just be all the more happy to be welcomed with our warming signature cocktail of ginger, hard apple cider, and bubbles! We hope to see you this weekend in our winter wonderland!


Saturday, December 14

Annual Bird Count – 11 a.m.

Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Collect data on resident bird populations and migratory species that help to assess the health of bird populations and to guide conservation action.

Winter Bark and Berry Tour – 12:30 p.m.

Meet at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Explore trees and shrubs for colorful berries. Now that the leaves are down, observe the exfoliating and sculptural aspects of tree bark throughout the Garden. The beauty of bark and berries is only enhanced by a dusting of snow, so don’t forget your camera for any artistic shots that may arise.

Garden Highlights Tour – 2:30 p.m.

Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Sights and scents flourish across the 250 acres of the Botanical Garden. Join a Garden Guide for a walking tour featuring highlights of the gardens and plant collections.

Holiday Film Screening – 2:30 p.m.

In the Ross Hall

Cap off your Holiday Train Show visit with a trip to the movies. Enjoy some of the most cherished holiday film classics as they were meant to be seen–on the big screen. And it’s included in the price your Garden admission!

White Christmas (1954) Not Rated

In this charming holiday musical, a successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. (Run time: 120 minutes)

Seasonal Serenades – 3:30 p.m.

In the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Celebrate the holiday spirit and enjoy live a cappella music, mixing classic and contemporary holiday favorites with current popular and alternative songs. After the performance, don’t miss the Holiday Tree Lighting at 4 p.m.! Performance times are subject to change; please consult the daily program during your visit. See the performance schedule.

Bar Car Nights – 7 – 10 p.m.

On these special nights for grown-ups at the Holiday Train Show, leisurely view the wondrous exhibition while sipping a complimentary cocktail. Get into the holiday spirit under the magical glow of thousands of twinkling lights–a perfect holiday date night! A professional photographer will be on hand to capture this special holiday memory, and the images will be available for download or purchase after your visit. And new this year, head outside to the Conservatory Courtyard to watch expert ice carvers from Okamoto Studios take giant blocks of ice and transform them into holiday works of art–trains, Garden landmarks, and more.

Add dinner to your perfect holiday outing at the limited-run Holiday Dining Pavilion: The Streets of New York, and enjoy Stephen STARR Events’ inventive New York-themed menu options. Or take your Bar Car Nights ticket to one of our restaurant partners offering exclusive discounts to Bar Car Night attendees.

Non-Member $30/Member $20 (Adults 21 and over) Advance tickets recommended; includes one free cocktail

Start the night off with a champagne pre-party at Shop in the Garden each night from 6 to 7 p.m.


Sunday, December 15

Plants of the Winter Solstice – 12:30 p.m.

Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Throughout civilization, many cultures have celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. On a walking tour with a Garden tour guide, find out how plants have played a part in this celebration.

Holiday Film Screening – 2:30 p.m.

In the Ross Hall

Cap off your Holiday Train Show visit with a trip to the movies. Enjoy some of the most cherished holiday film classics as they were meant to be seen–on the big screen. And it’s included in the price your Garden admission!

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Not Rated

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.(Run time: 96 minutes)

Forest Tour – 2:30 p.m.

Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Experience the beauty of the Garden’s 50-acre Thain Family Forest on this one-hour walking tour with an expertly trained Guide. You’ll learn facts about the trees, history, geology, and ecology of this original, uncut woodland.


Ongoing Children’s Programs

Holiday Adventures

In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden

The Holiday Train Show® continues in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where kids can embark on a journey through a variety of activity train station stops, including an artist’s station, an engineer’s station, and a builder’s station, as well as an educational display of Holiday Train Show® houses. Each weekend brings even more fun with Holiday Parades and Ralph Lee’s Artist Station, a craft studio for families featuring train landscapes and materials kids can use to create their own trains, people, and animals to inhabit the scene!

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