Holiday Gifts: Memberships That Give All Year

Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn
Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn

It’s that time of year again and giving the perfect present is something that makes the giver feel good, too. We strive to do our best during the holidays, while trying not to overextend ourselves. One main goal during the season is to ring in the New Year without having to worry that we might not be able to pay our credit card bills in a timely manner. The question remains what kind of gift can we give not just to our children, but to relatives and friends that will be unique and enlighten?

Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

The gift of membership will not only continue to give throughout the year, but will also educate. Nassau County has many options, including Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Old Bethpage Village Restoration and the Nassau Museum of Art in Roslyn.

Michelle Benes, head of memberships for Planting Fields Arboretum, explains what membership buys, “Planting Fields Foundation Memberships offer the park, mansion, gardens and greenhouses. Together, they’re a unique and beautiful part of Long Island’s history.”

A snow-covered Old Bethpage Village Restoration
A snow-covered Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Benes continues and says, “In December, memberships include an array of activities, from our annual tree lighting with a visit from Santa, Holiday Weekend at Coe Hall where you can see Santa, make an old-fashion gingerbread house, watch a special production of Frosty The Snowman in the Great Hall, attend a holiday sleepover which includes an ice cream bar and a flashlight tour, and more. The Planting Fields experience is like the cherry on top of the cake. It’s a must-have during the holiday season. This gift of membership will ensure a little magic all year long for the whole family.”

Old Bethpage Village Restoration has been a staple on Long Island since 1970. The mid 19th-century colonial village comes to life—blacksmiths and farm workers, dressed in period clothing, a general store, a mill, colonial homes and churches, Civil War reenactments, and more. Pre-Civil War buildings, each with historical significance, mark the 209-acre landmark park.

Holiday memberships include gingerbread workshops and glimmering holiday candlelight evenings, where the village is awash in the warm flickering glow of candles. It’s a perfect way to spend a crisp December night—sitting, relaxing and listening to a brass quartet while sipping hot-mill cider.

Planting Fields Arboretum’s greenhouse is full of poinsettias.
Planting Fields Arboretum’s greenhouse is full of poinsettias.

Ranked among the nation’s most important suburban art museums, Nassau Museum of Art (NCMA) is a spectacular 145-acre property located on Long Island’s fabled gold coast. It boasts a sculpture garden, a historic formal garden, woodlands and major rotating exhibitions. Tara Keblish, Nassau County Museum of Art membership manager says, “The museum is offering a special discount now through the end of the year on all new memberships. Currently, they’re hosting a collection entitled China Then and Now.”

This year, the alternative to rock-hard fruit cakes, stale cookie tins and ill-fitting sweaters are just a click away with membership to some of Long Island’s quintessential treasures. The gift of membership not only enlightens, but offers quality family time as well as nearby getaways that may just serve as a reminder that provocative is a welcome change to material goods this holiday season.

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