Enjoy feasts, films, skating, carols and crafts this season
The 2019 holiday season is upon us and Nassau County is offering a wide range of festive and affordable activities throughout county parks, museums and other facilities, including an 1860s-style Thanksgiving, personalized letters from Santa, gingerbread cookie workshops, a holiday celebration for military families, and free performances by a symphony orchestra, to name a few.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums manages more than 70 parks, preserves, museums, historic properties and athletic facilities spanning 6,000 acres. While parks fill with residents, sports leagues, concertgoers and campers during warmer weather, the county has organized a variety of activities to entertain residents of all ages throughout the holiday and winter season.
“Continuing to enhance our parks and expand their fun and unique seasonal programs is key to making Nassau a better place for people to live, work and play,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I want to encourage families to celebrate the season right here in Nassau County and take advantage of all the holiday happenings and winter activities we have to offer.”
Outlined below is the lineup of upcoming holiday and winter season activities and entertainment. For more information, visit the Nassau County Events Calendar at www.nassaucountyny.gov/calendar.aspx.
Nov. 21 through Dec. 14
Children of Nassau County will once again be able to send their holiday lists directly to Old St. Nick at the North Pole via a special network of Santa’s Mailboxes at Nassau County Parks. All children who send letters to Santa will receive a reply in the form of a “Santa-Gram” from the North Pole, with Santa’s elves at the Parks Department pitching in to send cheery but noncommittal letters in response to children’s letters. To assure a reply, each letter must contain the child’s name and address, written legibly. There is no postage necessary for the Santa letters. The “Santa-Grams” will be sent before the holiday.
Colorful red and green mailboxes will be accessible from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the administration buildings of the following parks: Cantiague Park in Hicksville, Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn-North Hills, Grant Park in Hewlett, Rev. Arthur Mackey, Sr. Park in Roosevelt, Wantagh Park in Wantagh, and at Eisenhower Park’s Special Activities Building at Parking Field No. 8, the Nassau Aquatic Center at Parking Field No. 1A, as well as Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Old Bethpage. The letters can also be dropped off at the Parks Department’s Administration Building in Eisenhower Park, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Events at Garvies Point Museum & Preserve
50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove • 516-571-8010 • www.garviespointmuseum.com
Natural Ornament Workshop
Dec. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kids can create beautiful ornaments from woods, water and other natural elements. Free with admission.
Christmas Bird Count
Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Put your bird-watchings kills to work by counting birds around the preserve. Free with admission.
Cocoa & Crafts
Dec. 26 through 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Crafts include pinecone critters, bird feeders and more along with a different movie each day and complimentary hot cocoa. Free with admission.
Events at Tackapausha Museum & Preserve
2225 Washington Ave., Seaford • 516-571-7443 • tackapausha.com
Free Movie Screenings with Submission (movies repeat throughout the day)
- Nov. 29 – A Murder of Crows (documentary about crows/corvids)
- Dec. 27 – Besieged Fortress (documentary about insects)
Holiday Wildlife Celebration
Dec. 14, at 1 p.m.
Live animal presentations, crafts and family fun will be provided by the South Shore Audubon Society.
Events at Cantiague Park
480 W. John St. Hicksville • 516-571-7056
Holiday Party for Military Families
Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Active duty military and their families can enjoy free pictures with Santa, toys, raffle prizes, lunch, ice skating, and more at the Cantiague Park Ice Rink. For tickets and more information, call 516-572-0396
Events at Cradle of Aviation Museum
Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City • 516-572-4111 • www.cradleofaviation.org
Holiday Pops at the Cradle
Dec. 8, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The award-winning Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Louis Panacciulli will perform songs of the season, as well as other popular titles, with a sing-along at the conclusion. Free admission, but limited seating. Tickets are required and can be secured by calling 516-572-0201.
Events at Old Bethpage Village Restoration
1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage • 516-572-8401 • www.obvrnassau.com
1863 Thanksgiving Holiday Celebration
Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission at 3 p.m.)
Historical cooking demonstrations include a turkey roasted over an open fire and decorated pumpkin pies baked in a beehive oven. Also, traditional fiddle music, historic legends and more. Foods used in demonstrations are not available to patrons.
Admission: $14 adults, $8 senior citizens (60+) and children 5 to 12 years old; children 4 and under are free.
Dec. 14 and 15, at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Decorate a jumbo gingerbread cookie. Plus, historic crafts like paper piercing, tassel doll making, quill pen writing letters to Santa. Tickets are required in advance for each time slot and can be purchased at obvrnassau.com.
Prices: $30 per cookie including one historic craft; additional crafts are $5 each.
Dec. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last admission is at 8:30 p.m.)
Enjoy an evening walk through historic Old Bethpage Village and visit 19th-century buildings lit by candlelight, Civil War-era Christmas songs, contra-dancing, stories of Christmases past, an 1866 decorated Christmas tree, a traditional bonfire, hot apple cider, holiday brass quartet, fiddle music, craft show, an appearance by Olaf from Frozen and new this year: an illuminated path to visit Santa at his North Pole workshop. The tickets are valid for one day. Advanced tickets are available for purchase at obvrnassau.com. Adult tickets are discounted online.
Admission Prices: $14 adults $10 online, $8 for senior citizens (60+) and children (5 to 12 years old); children 4 and under are free.
Events at the African American Museum
110 N Franklin St, Hempstead • 516-572-0730 • theaamuseum.org
Dec. 7, at 6 p.m.
Handel’s Messiah will be performed by the Chancel Choir of the Presbyterian Church of Saint Albans. Museum admission is $5.