family-friendly NYC

NYC Sustainable Weekend Recommendations

Greening the Apple’s weekend recommendations are back for 2013! Start the year off on a green foot with some of these activities!

Electronic Waste Recycling at Tekserve— The Lower East Side Ecology Center is bringing one of its 10th Annual “After the Holidays” E-waste Events to Tekserve in Chelsea to help you responsibly recycle  all of your unwanted or broken gadgets. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors! Saturday, January 19, 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.

Emergency Preparedness Training in Prospect Park— Whether you are preparing for an extended journey through the woods or just want to be more prepared for any situation, an emergency preparedness program is perfect for you. Let the Urban Park Rangers help prepare you for the unexpected. Sunday, January 20, 1:00 p.m.

Health & Race Walking in Central Park— Still looking to turn over a new leaf in 2013? Join other New Yorkers as you get fit and enjoy Central Park’s winter landscapes. Saturday, January 19, 9:30 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Ice Skating in Van Cortland Park— If you haven’t been to the ice rink in Van Cortland Park this winter, what are you waiting for? Saturdays, 12:00 p.m.—10:00 p.m., Sundays, 12:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.

Tropical Paradise at the NY Botanical Gardens— Want to get out of the cold? Check out the Botanical Garden’s “Tropical Paradise,” featuring orange-yellow crotons, fuchsia bromeliads and more! You’ll feel like you’re on a tropical vacation without having to leave the City! Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00—6:00 p.m.

Winter Constellations and Stargazing— Winter’s long nights provide ample opportunity to stare into the sky and see stars.  Learn to recognize the constellations of winter, and then gaze into the night sky on the lawn in front of the Greenbelt Conservancy’s Nature Center to see which constellations you can find.  Registration required. Sunday, January 20, 5:30 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Eco-Friendly Weekend Activities – Special Holiday Edition!

It’s that time of year again! We want to wish everyone a fun and sustainable holiday season. Since the world didn’t end when the Mayan calendar said it would, we compiled some extra suggestions for how to spend your time in the New York City area for the rest of December. See you next year!

Christmas Morning Bike Ride: Neither rain nor snow nor holiday will keep the Five Borough Bike Club from their ride through three states. Approximately four hours of great fun and comradeship. George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, 178th St. at Ft. Washington Ave, Manhattan, 45 miles, C-14 pace. Ride ends at the Willis Ave Bridge in the Bronx. Leaders: Jesse Brown and Rodney Millard. Call 917-578-2244 with inquiries. Tuesday, December 25, 8:30 a.m. (see link above for other options available).

Ice Skate at Van Cortlandt Park: The caption says it all! Open daily during the holiday season.

Holiday Open House at the Queens County Farm Museum: Warm up the winter season with mulled cider, tours of our decorated historic farmhouse, and craft activities for children. The event takes place from Monday, December 26th until Wednesday, December 28th and is free of charge.

Midnight Run in Central Park – Celebrate the New Year with a toast to your health by participating in a four mile annual fun run. Monday, December 31, 10 p.m.

Needlecrafts: Before video games, movies, and television, indoor games and projects helped pass the long winter days. At Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, you can try your hand at needlepoint! Wednesday, December 26, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Presents to the Animals – It’s the last chance to see animals at the Prospect Park Zoo pounce on their presents of treat-filled bags and boxes. Saturday and Sunday, December 29-30, 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Volunteer – For many New Yorkers, it’s been a very tough year. Rather than just donating money, there are many ways you can donate time or other services. We’ve provided several ways you can get involved to help make sure that 2013 is a better year for everyone. (Note: The following list does not reflect EPA policy or endorsement.)

City Harvest – From nutrition education to food distribution, help make sure that all New Yorkers get well fed this holiday season.

Disaster Response – New York Cares is perhaps the city’s largest volunteer organization. Check out their special activities targeted toward ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

Friends of Firefighters – Volunteer to help firefighters and their families who may need extra support this holiday season.

Holiday Volunteer Projects – Several food prep and package delivery activities for individuals, families and large groups.

NYC Service – Launched by the mayor, this citywide initiative helps coordinate volunteer initiatives.

Occupy Sandy Recovery – Sign up for volunteer opportunities with this on the ground organization.

Red Hook Initiative – Help out in this Brooklyn neighborhood that was affected by the recent storm.

Roberto Clemente Park Cleanup – Head to the Bronx to volunteer at this ongoing park cleanup opportunity. Wednesday, January 2, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Volunteer in Staten Island – Some of the communities in Staten Island are going to be recovering from Sandy for a long time. Target your time in a hard-hit area by checking out this extensive list.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Sustainable New York City Weekend Events

Have you completed all of your holiday shopping? There are plenty of green activities both indoor and out this coming weekend to keep you busy!

Christmas Bird Count – Spend the pre-holiday weekend out in nature, all while doing your part to support the bird population. The Christmas Bird Count is a nationwide bird census that helps conservation researchers track the long-term health of bird populations. Saturday, December 15, 12 & 3 p.m., and Sunday December 16, 3 p.m.

Columbus Avenue Holiday Market: The Columbus Avenue Holiday Market will again be held out of the historic, beautiful, and well known Church of St. Paul the Apostle located right on Columbus Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets. The holiday market event will be situated in St. Paul’s 9,000 sq ft Hall with its high ceilings and exquisite grand doors just a few steps down from the sidewalk level. Check out the 60 plus vendors that will be featuring their unique handcrafted and vintage wares out of the spacious 9000 square foot auditorium. You’re sure to find amazing holiday gifts such as art, jewelry, toys, chocolates, body care, handbags, clothing, stationary, scarves and hats, pottery, and more! Saturday, December 15, 12 –6 p.m.

Conference House Woodlands Storm Cleanup: Join Natural Areas Volunteers in storm cleanup of the woodlands at Conference House Park. Your help is needed to restore the forest and clear out the storm debris. Please follow this link to pledge a day of service. Note that registration is necessary. Saturday, December 15, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Degenerate Craft Fair: Sustainable, crafty and handmade gifts with an artistic flair. Saturday, December 15, 12-9 p.m. and Sunday, December 16, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Ice Skate at Van Cortlandt Park: The caption says it all! Saturday, December 15, 12 –10 p.m., and Sunday, December 16, 12 –8 p.m.

Manhattan Adirondacks Tour: Olmsted and Vaux designed the North Woods to replicate the forests of the Adirondack Mountains, with their crystal streams, tumbling cascades, rustic bridges, and picturesque pools right in New York City’s backyard. For directions, please call 212-860-1370. Tour meets at: The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues. Saturday, December 15, 12:30 –1:30 p.m.

New York Transit Museum Holiday Train Show: Head to Grand Central Terminal to check out the 11th Annual Holiday Train Show. Weekdays, 8 a.m. –8p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. –6 p.m.

The Wild Garden: Discovering Central Park Woodlands Exhibit– Use this hands-on exhibit to illuminate the history, ecology, and management of the woodlands and learn why these landscapes are so essential to the purpose of Central Park. The exhibit includes a digital interactive app highlighting historic photos and revealing hidden features. Exhibit introductions are available by appointment for groups of 10 or more; call 212-860-1370 for more information. Saturday, December 15, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

What the Dickens: Second Annual A Christmas Carol Marathon: Housing Works Bookstore hosts the second marathon reading of the holiday classic by Charles Dickens and featuring a roster of local authors. Begins Sunday, December 18, 1 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Green HALLOWEEN: NYC Weekend Activities

Plan now for the last weekend in October with some spooky activities that will help reduce your carbon footprint and get you in Halloween mode.

Bats at the Belvedere: Learn about the bats native to Central Park in this interactive lecture. Friday, October 26, 5-6:30 p.m.

Canine Costume Carnival: Why should humans get to have all the fun? Bring your furry friend to Rockaway Freeway/ Beach 84 (in Rockaway Freeway), Queens for a costume contest in celebration of Halloween. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes in large and small dog categories. Don’t have a dog? You can still go watch! Saturday, October 27, 11 a.m. –1 p.m.

Central Park Pumpkin Festival: Join NYC Parks for Pumpkin Festival, New York City’s annual celebration of the fall harvest season in leafy Central Park! Saturday, October 27, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Central Park band shell.

Children’s Fall Festival at the Queens County Farm: Celebrate autumn with Halloween fun for all ages. Visit the Haunted House ($4), play traditional games like trinkets-in-the-haystack and sack races, or take a pony ride. Costumes encouraged! Sunday, October 28, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy Floral Park, NY 11004, Queens

Family Art Project: The Masked Parade of the Hairy Insects: Use materials of all shapes and sizes to create funny, fuzzy insect masks. Add a handmade musical insect instrument as demonstrated by visiting artist and musician Lisa Karrar. Then with Lisa’s lead, take your ladybug, worker ant or daddy long-legs for a stroll, as we assemble for a fall parade. Sunday, Oct 28 – 10 a.m. –1 p.m.

Newtown Creek Bike Tour — Cruising the Queens Side: Did you know the largest land-based oil spill in US history happened in Greenpoint? Did you know that the creek was a dumping ground for sulphuric acid in the late 1800′s? Know what pollutes our neighborhood creek today? Ever thought environmental standards were a waste of governmental resources? Curious what Superfund status means for a modern working creek? Come and tour industrial North Brooklyn and learn about “black mayonnaise” and the other nastiness that lurks beneath the surface of Newtown Creek and discuss the future of this rapidly developing neighborhood. Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m. –5 p.m.

Textile Recycling Greenmarkets: Check out the link provided for a location near you. Saturday and Sunday options are available at many of the locations.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Your Sustainable NYC Weekend is Here

This weekend is brimming with crisp autumn fun! Grab your sweater, windbreaker, or parka and hit the city streets!

Castle and its Kingdom Tour – Take a walk around the lands dominated by Central Park’s Belvedere Castle. Visit the tiny 55-acre realm on an eclectic tour of history and nature. Saturday, October 20, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Community Paddle and Bike Loan – Join the Bronx River Alliance for a free paddle or free bike ride along the greenway. Free, no registration required. Saturday, October 20, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Electronic Waste Recycling Day in Cobble Hill – The Lower East Side Ecology Center is holding an e-waste recycling event at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill to help you responsibly recycle all of your unwanted or broken gadgets. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors! Sunday, October 21, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Halloween Costume Swap – Find a fun new-to-you costume or donate your clean, gently used costumes to the swap. The swap is free, so give and take as you’d like! Saturday, October 20, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

MillionTreesNYC Tree Giveaway Event – Head over to Woodlawn Cemetery this Sunday for their tree giveaway. Rain or shine! Sunday, October 21, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Red Hook Harvest Festival – Celebrate the harvest of Brooklyn’s largest community farm! Featuring foods from local restaurants, pumpkin carving, farm animals, games, farm tours, music, local fruits and veggies at the Red Hook Farmers Market, and much more! Saturday, October 20, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Sustainable Holiday Weekend Activities

There’s no excuse to stay put this weekend. The Federal Government is off for Columbus Day on October 8, so you will note that we’ve included some events for Monday as well. If we’ve left something fun out, let us know in the comments section.

Boo at the Zoo: Enjoy family and kids’ activities, including magic shows, scary stories, costume parades, a hay maze, pumpkin painting and more. Saturdays and Sundays at the Bronx Zoo for the month of October.

Brooklyn Flea: The Flea features hundreds of top vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food. Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Fort Greene (176 Lafayette Ave. btw. Clermont and Vanderbilt Ave). Sunday, October 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Williamsburg (East River Waterfront (btw. North 6 and 7 St).

Columbus Day Parade: Monday, October 8, 11:30 a.m-3 p.m.

Hester Street Fair: Located at the corner of Hester and Essex Street, the fair celebrates the culture and rich history of the Lower East Side neighborhood. Open every Saturday from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.

NYC Greenmarkets: Check out this full listing of daily Greenmarkets for a location near you!

The Spooktacular Pumpkin Party at The New York Botanical Garden: Dance with master puppeteer Ralph Lee’s costumed creatures and meet the largest bat in the world, the Gigantic Flying Fox of Malaysia, in the Haunted Pumpkin Garden. Spooky storytelling and live performances by Fisher Price’s Little People Live! are also in the mix at this Halloween bash. Ages 5 and up. Saturday, Sunday and Monday (see schedule for times).

Volunteer with Added Value at Red Hook Community Farm: Fall is an incredible time to come out to the farm and work side by side with your neighbors, youth leaders and urban farm corps members. Sow seeds, harvest produce, build our youth garden and enjoy the local and regional produce at the Red Hook Farmers’ Market. Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on across all five boroughs this weekend, so grab that Metrocard and get to it!

Autumn Moon Festival – This annual event celebrates the Chinese Festival of the Autumn Moon, when the full moon is at its fullest and brightest. This year’s event will also recognize other Asian harvest festivals such as Japan’s Fukushima Autumn, Thailand’s Loy Krathong Festival and Vietnam’s Tet Trung Thu. Admission: $10 for adults, $6 for seniors & students. Children five and under are admitted free. Saturday, September 29, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Electronic Waste Recycling Day at Coop City – The Lower East Side Ecology Center is holding an electronic waste recycling event in Coop City this Saturday to help all New Yorkers recycle all their unwanted or broken gadgets. Help spread the word! Saturday, September 29, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Fall 2012 Overlook Concerts: Blues – Come enjoy an afternoon in Riverside Park and enjoy talent from the Columbia University Music Performance Department, the Manhattan School of Music Community Partnerships Program, and French Cookin’ Blues Band. Sunday, September 30, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Introduction to Birdwatching – Always wanted to learn more about bird watching, but aren’t sure about how to get started? Now’s your chance! The Prospect Park Alliance is hosting a free tour that will teach you about the 250 species of birds that call Prospect Park home. Saturday, September 29, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Maker Faire – Enjoy technology and doing things your own way? If so, Maker Faire is for you! This two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, is an all-out celebration of the Maker movement. Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30

National Drug Take-Back Day – Before you hit the town on Saturday, make sure your unwanted, unused prescription drugs are properly disposed of. You’ll be helping keep your family and your environment safe. Saturday, September 29, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

National Estuary Day – Come enjoy the Hudson River and learn how you can give back to this invaluable ecosystem! Take part in catch and release fishing and kid-friendly experiments that will help you learn about the Hudson Estuary and the animals that call it home. Saturday, September 29, 11:00 a.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Eco-Friendly Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

Now that the storms have passed, welcome the fall season by getting outdoors this weekend!

Breukelen Country Fair: Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum offers an afternoon of farm activities for the family. Learn about heritage seeds, solar energy and heirloom vegetables at New York City’s oldest house. Saturday, September 22, 1-5 p.m.

Dance Safari: Explore Riverside Park and search out five site specific modern dance pieces on a guided Dance Safari walk. Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Free Nature Walk on Staten Island: Walk through woodland ecosystems with experienced naturalists. Saturday, September 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Plant Propagation Workshop: Led by New York Restoration Project staff, this workshop will cover the basics of plant propagation including taking cuttings, sowing seeds, plant divisions and more. Supplies are provided and the event is free. Sunday, September 23, 1-3:30 p.m.

Poetry and Sculpture: Storm King Art Center and the Poets House present an outdoor reading on Governors Island amid large steel sculptures. Saturday, September 22, 2 p.m.

Queens County Fair: A traditional county fair with blue ribbon competitions in livestock, home crafts and more. Sustainable activities include planting tips, recycling ideas and composting information. Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Scarecrow Making: Art in the Park gets ready for fall with friendly scarecrow making in Madison Square Park. Saturday, September 22, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sneak Peak at Fresh Kills Park: Get an overview of what NYC’s biggest new park will have to offer. Head out to Staten Island for a full day of activities from kayaking to kite flying and witness the transformation of the 2,200-acre Fresh Kills Landfill. Sunday, September 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

92 Y Street Fest: Bring the family to this kid-friendly celebration of culture and health and wellness on the Upper East Side. Sunday, September 23, noon-5 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Upcoming Weekend Activities – Last List of the Summer!

Labor Day Weekend is here! Make sure to enjoy the unofficial end of summer with one of these exciting outdoor activities. Come winter, you’re going to want these warm memories!

Bilingual English/Spanish Tree Care Workshop: Million Trees NYC offers its tree care class and planting session en español. Monday, September 3, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Bryant Park Ping Pong: Paddles and balls provided free of charge to all skill levels. If you’re good enough, you may even draw a crowd to watch your ping pong skills! Saturday, September 1, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Free Kayaking:  Enjoy a 15-minute trial paddle on the South Beach Boardwalk in Staten Island! You’ll be provided with sit-on-top kayaks, life jackets and paddling tips on land and water. Saturday, September 1, noon – 4 p.m.

Garden Walking Tour in Fort Tryon Park: Take a tour of the “Park for All Seasons.” Learn about the park’s history, future and secrets from a member of For Tryon’s expert horticulture staff. Sunday, September 2, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Locavore Challenge: Sign up and challenge yourself to a month of eating locally. Who knew New York could taste so good? Starts Saturday, September 1.

NYC Parks Summer Movie Series: Happy Feet 2: Pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and gather up your family for an outdoor showing of “Happy Feet 2” at St. Mary’s Park. Saturday, September 1, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sculpture Workshop: A classic family-friendly workshop in the Socrates Sculpture Garden. Saturday, September 1, noon – 3 p.m.

Summer on the Hudson: Lunchtime Listen: If you’re around West Harlem Piers Park tomorrow, stop by with your lunch and enjoy the country-western-swing-accordion-folk group Tres Amigos. Friday, August 31, noon – 1 p.m.

Unicycle Fest: Head out to Governor’s Island this weekend to watch and learn how to ride one wheel. September 1-2, noon – 5 p.m.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Your NYC Sustainable Weekend Activities are Here!

From bike rides to park visits, this weekend promises to be a good one. Slather on some sun screen and take advantage of the concrete jungle!

Active Design Community Bike Tour: Join Velo City’s Bikesplorers and the Alliance as they tour the Bronx River Greenay and the surrounding community. The tour is a free youth-lead tour which will demonstrate the Bikesplorers’ understanding of the realtionship between active design, health outcomes in the community, and the built environment along the Bronx River corridor. Visit Velo City’s Facebook page for more information by clicking here. Feel free to RSVP by emailing events@velocity-rides.org. Saturday, August 18, 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

Creatures! Family Day at Solar One Park. Learn how creatures from single-cell organisms to bunnies and butterflies coexist with humans. Saturday, August 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Family Art Project: Take advantage of the free Saturday morning admission to Wave Hill Gardens and check out a family art project while you’re there. Saturday, August 18, 10 a.m. – noon.

Harlem Week: It’s much more than a week! Head to Harlem for music, film, food, arts and crafts and more. Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19, noon – 7 p.m.

Restoration Tree Stewardship: Come out to the Alley Pond Golf Center in Queens and pitch in alongside other volunteers to mulch, water and remove invasive plants around trees. Registration required. Friday, August 17, 10  a.m. to 1 p.m.

Science on the River: Check out Hudson River Park’s free environmental science festival at Pier 84! Take part in recycled crafts organized by Children’s Museum of the Arts, go fishing with the staff of the Hudson River Park, and witness the majesty of live hawk flights courtesy of Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience. For a full agenda click here. Saturday, August 18th, 11am-4pm, all ages welcome.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.