Holiday Fun for all! The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens

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Looking for something fun for the whole family this Holiday Season?  Then check out the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.

For this time of year the big event is the annual Holiday Train Show, now in its 25th year.  This show held inside the beautiful Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features large scale trains traveling through the gardens.  It is hit with people of all ages.

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The trains pass through a wonderland of 150 handmade buildings, each one representing a famous New York City landmark, bridge or building.  Each structure is carefully and skillfully constructed using bark,  twigs,leaves and other natural materials. It has to be seen to be believed.

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For the little ones there is a Thomas and Friends mini performance and advance tickets and reservations are needed for this show.

The Gardens also feature a “Bar Car Night” for those 21 and older. Enjoy an after-hours evening at the Holiday Train Show with ice carving demonstrations under the starlight, pop-up acts by some of NYC’s favorite street performers, and live entertainment.  

And in true “bar car” fashion, the evening will feature drink specials and a selection of spiked hot beverages.
Advance tickets are recommended for all events.

for tickets and information:  web:   http://www.nybg.org/home

 New York Botanical Gardens

2900 Southern Boulevard Bronx New York

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photo credits:  New York Botanical Gardens

 

 

 

You should be Dancing! Saturday Night Fever comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage

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Saturday Night Fever,the musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage.  This musical adaption of the 1977 movie which starred John Travolta was adapted for the stage and premiered in London in 1998 and on Broadway in 2000.  It has enjoyed numerous tours, and revivals around the world.  It now comes to Westchester and runs through January 29, 2017.

The story (inspired by  a 1975 article in New York Magazine by Nik Cohn) follows the life of 19 year old Tony Manero (Jacob Tischler) of Brooklyn, who lives with his family in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  He is stuck in a job with no future and is caught up in the economic malaise that was the late 1970s.  With his father laid off from his job and his brother questioning his path into the priesthood, Tony and his friends turn to dancing as their escape.

We follow Tony’s exploits as he displays his talents on the floor of the 2001 Odyssey club where he absorbs the admiration of his fellow club goers.  Here he meets Stephanie Mangano (Alexandra Matteo) a 20 year old dancer who has moved away from the neighborhood to Manhattan where she is looking to transform herself.  Tony is intrigued by her dancing ability and her boldness in leaving Brooklyn and her old life behind.  They find as they practice for a dance contest that they have more in common then they originally thought.

 

Tony’s gang of friends and his family are all woven into the story as well as Tony discovers he really is “going nowhere” and must make decisions about his future.

The musical score including all the Bee Gees hits (“Staying Alive”, “Jive Talking”, “You should be Dancing”, Night Fever” ) are all here including songs not in the movie.  The arrangements of some of the songs have been changed which makes them fresh and more interesting and in some cases the lyrics have more impact in the context of the story.

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Set design by Michael Bottari makes full use of the WBT stage and included are a bridge which spans the back of the stage and frames the story, the Manero’s kitchen which appears from below and then disappears below stage, the disco, and other locals from the story.

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The cast is large with both main players and ensemble singer/dancers.  Michelle Dawson who last appeared in Man of La Mancha returns to the WBT stage  lends her vocal talents to several musical numbers including “Nights on Broadway”.  Lead actors Jacob Tischler and Alexandra Matteo are excellent in every aspect of their performance and the chemistry between them is quite convincing.  Directed by Richard Stafford who does an excellent job bring the characters to life.

All in all a fun musical that is family friendly and is a treat not just for fans of the film but anyone who enjoys a story of struggle,self discovery  and of course great dancing.

Get out your dancing shoes and boogie over to the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford.

(all photos provided by Westchester Broadway Theater)

Tickets (includes dinner) run from $56 to $84 depending on performance date chosen.

For tickets:  

tel:  914 592-2222

http://www.broadwaytheater.com

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza  Elmsford New York

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Go Grape Stomping At Robibero Family Vineyards! Sept. 24 -25th

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Looking for a really fun and unique event?  Then go grape stomping at Robibero Family Vineyards in New Paltz at their annual Grape Stomping Festival.  This years festival will take place on Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th 2016 .  The winery is open from 11 am to 6 pm.

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At the event you will be able to take off your shoes and climb into a barrel filled with grapes and stomp away.  It is a great photo opportunity and something you will always remember.  No worries as there will be a station to wash off your feet after your stomping.

Your ticket price in addition to the stomping, a wine tasting of their fabulous wines in the tasting room or you may choose instead of the tasting to have a glass of wine and take home one logo glass.

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Tasting Room

Robibero produces premium artisan wines that are handcrafted in small batches.  Some of the wines available are Chardonnay, Reisling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and some delightful hybrid blends.  All the wine is made on site.  Bottles or cases are available for sale at the tasting room.

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Enjoy your wine on the deck overlooking the vineyard

There will be live music from 2pm to 5 pm both days.   Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the winery, but space is limited.

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Enjoy a beautiful day in the Hudson Valley and after the winery check out the cool shops and great restaurants in downtown New Paltz.

See you there!

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Robibero Family Winery

714 Albany Post Road  New Paltz New York           tel:  845-255-9463

http://www.robiberofamilyvineyards.com

 

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City Clipper: Sail away to adventure in New York Harbor

 

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Sail away on a two masted schooner for hours of adventure and relaxation.  It is not in the Caribbean, or some other exotic locale, but right in New York Harbor.   Manhattan by Sail offers a fantastic opportunity to see New York City on  vintage sailing vessels.  As you sail on these tall ships you will be transported to another time as you ply the waters of New York Harbor.  This is a unique escape that will make you feel that you are not in New York but rather on vacation in the islands. Although there are other tour boats that are available for sightseeing around Manhattan, this adventure is unique.

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The City Clipper prior to sail

We decided on a two hour excursion on the City Clipper, a restored 158 foot long sailing schooner equipped with two steel masts and two top sails and six fore and aft sails.  The ship was built prior to the Civil War  but has been renovated over the years and now has a steel hull, a long open deck seating for passengers and a full bar in the center of the vessel that serves drinks and snacks to the guests on board (additional cost).

We took advantage of the Twilight Sail which leaves from Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan and cruises for two hours in New York Harbor as the sun sets over New Jersey.  It was a warm and gorgeous summer evening as the City Clipper pulled away from its slip at the Battery and made its way into the harbor.  With a good wind on the water that day, the crew decided to hoist the sails and guests are able to assist in this task.

 

 

 

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Helping hoist the sails

The schooner turned away from Manhattan and navigated around Governors Island and plied the waters between that island and the Borough of Brooklyn.  This was a unique perspective and one not often seen by New Yorkers and visitors alike.   The ship made a graceful arc south of Governors Island to catch a wonderful sunset behind the Statue of Liberty as well as other ships that were enjoying the waters that evening.

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There are great photo opportunities at all points of the sail.

 

We really enjoyed the slow and quiet cruise under sail as well as the cocktails available at the cash bar.  The bar staff was friendly and helped keep the mood lively.  As the sun dropped into the west the schooner turned back toward the city and the lights of Jersey City, Battery Park, and  The Freedom Tower provided a memorable light show for all aboard.

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If you are looking for an unique excursion and a few hours of fun, you should experience a classic sail on the City Clipper.

for more information, sailing times and pricing please visit:

https://www.manhattanbysail.com/

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Lightscapes an adventure in light at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton


 

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Looking for a unique experience?   You should visit Lightscapes, a magical and incredible nighttime display of lights at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton on Hudson.   Lightscapes is an outdoor walk through the grounds of this historic property which has been transformed into a fantasy filled light garden.

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Walk through the tunnel of light that changes color, pass the fairy garden of lights and mushrooms,  more.   You cross the bridge over the river of light and enter the Colorwheel castle, then exit  to fields of lighted butterflies, a praying mantis, ladybugs and other fantastic lighted creations.  It is quite the marvel.

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The tour winds it way through the grounds of the Manor until it reaches the manor house itself which is lit in an amazing display of light that is synchronized to music.  Outside the manor is a fantastic field of lit tulips truly amazes.

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This is an event not to miss, and if you have been to the Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze (also held here) you will know the level of quality and creativity that is involved in hosting these events.

 

 

LIGHTSCAPES takes place rain or shine and admission is by timed ticket only. Remaining dates are May 27- 30, June 3-5, and June 10-12.

Online tickets are $20 for adults ($25 Saturdays), $16 for children 3-17 ($20 Saturdays), and free for children under 3 and Historic Hudson Valley members. Tickets are $2 more when purchased on site or over the phone.

Van Cortlandt Manor is at 525 South Riverside Ave. in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, just off Route 9.

Tickets and info: 914-366-6900, www.hudsonvalley.org.

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ArtsBash: food, fun and art returns to White Plains

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ArtsBash has returned to ArtsWestchester in White Plains.   On Friday, May 20 2016 from 6pm to 9pm a party will be  held to support ArtsWestchester.  The evening will include food from 30+ top local restaurants, craft beers, and of course there will be plenty of art on display and open artists studios.

Tickets for the event start at $75

In addition, there is a separate Family ArtsBash held on Saturday May 21st from 1-5pm.  This event is FREE, and is a full afternoon of fun including,  lots of children’s art workshops, art exhibits and open artists studios.

Some of the events on Family Arts Bash are : Fish Prints, Clay creations, Lego Stop Animation, Model Making, Face Painting, Digital Animation and more.

For more information and tickets:

https://artswestchester.org/support-the-arts/special-events/artsbash/

ArtsWestchester

31 Mamaroneck Avenue White Plains New York

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