Upcoming Weekend Activities

Temperatures are dropping in NYC, but these fun local picks give us an excuse to brave the cold (and guarantee a good time for the whole family). Did we miss something notable? Let us know in the comments section.

5th Annual Columbia Waterfront District Tree Lighting Ceremony: Come and have your picture taken with Santa. There will be free refreshments from neighborhood restaurants and live Christmas jazz music. Plus, it’s free! Located at the Human Compass Garden in Brooklyn on Friday, December 9, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Birding: Winter Waterfowl: New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. From falcons and salamanders, to deer and seals, wildlife viewing opportunities exist year-round in all of our parks and beaches. Wildlife viewing is a perfect activity for any age. 72nd Road and Grand Central Parkway Service Road, Queens, December 11, 10:00 a.m.

Castle & Its Kingdom: Take a walk around the lands dominated by Belvedere Castle, situated high on Vista Rock. Visit the tiny 55-acre realm on an eclectic tour of history and nature. For directions, please call (212) 772-0210. Saturday, December 10, 2:30 p.m. –3:30 p.m. 

Electronic Waste Recycling Event:  The Ecology Center is holding an electronic waste (“e-waste”) recycling event in Park Slope to responsibly recycle unwanted or broken electronics from New York City residents. Saturday, December 10, 10:00 a.m. –4:00 p.m.

Greenbelt Conservancy’s First Annual Trail Run Festival: Join these guys for what will surely be a great day of trail running for all levels. Choose a 50K, 25K, 10K, or 5K course. Saturday, December 10. Race times vary, check site for start times.

Leaf Clean-Up Begins: Give back this holiday season! Leaf clean-up in Westerleigh Park (Staten Island) is a great way to pitch in. Gloves, tools, coffee and donuts will be supplied. Saturday, December 10, 9:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.

National Grid Earthworks: Light It Up! Plugging it in or using batteries is easy enough, but what about solar panels or other ways? Explore alternative energy and circuits to build your own light and sound show! Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Sunday, December 11, 1:30 p.m., ages 4 and up.

The Unfinished Grid: Speculations for Manhattan: Architects, landscape architects and urban designers discuss Manhattan’s street grid as a catalyst for thinking about the present and future of New York City. Saturday, December 10, 4:00 p.m.

Vigorous Fitness Hike from Inwood Hill Nature Center: Urban Park Ranger hiking guides will introduce you to the hidden gems of New York City and places often off limits to the general public. On our hikes, you may explore nature, discover our City’s rich history and diverse culture, or just unplug from the world to clear your head. Sunday, December 11, 10:00 a.m.