PSP's 2017 Guide to the Holidays

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IN THE GUIDE:

 

Where to meet Santa

Activities:

Ongoing

Upcoming

Where to see Christmas Lights?

Drives, Giving, and Volunteer Opportunities

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

Member advice and issues explored

THE 2017 HOLIDAY TIPS SURVEY - WE STILL NEED YOUR RESPONSES:

This holiday season, how are you appreciating the service providers in your life? We want to know then we can help guide folks so they don't scrimp on saying "Thanks."
Take the 2017 Holiday Tips Survey >

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WHERE TO MEET SANTA

 

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ONGOING SANTA PHOTO OPS:

 

Macy’s Santa Land

When: from November 24 - December 24
Where: 8th floor of Macy's Herald Square on 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
When: now - December 24, times vary; please see the schedule for details. Please note that Macy’s Santaland will close at 4pm (sharp!) on Christmas Eve.
What: Santa is stopping by Macy's! He's only here for a limited time and it's be reservation only!  You can reserve a spot on their Express Pass line free of charge online. Reservations are subject to availability and can only be made 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance.
What PSP Members say: "I do not recommend Macy's. We made a 10am appointment for Macy's Santa and when we arrived and checked in they pointed us to the end of the line which snaked way outside of Santaland entrance, down through the cookware, and around the corner. At which point I asked somebody what the wait time was and they said about 3 hours. Which to me looked more like 4 or 5 hours because I remember the inside from last year and how it snaked around quite a bit. So we left and went to Bloomingdales. Same thing we did last year. So after 2 years of being let down by Macy's, I cancelled my Macy's card and wrote a letter explaining that young children that need naps and meals can't wait in lines that are 3 plus hours long. We have been very happy with the Bloomingdale Santa's and the fact that there were only two people in line in front of us was even better. You are totally allowed to take your own photos and Santa is very cooperative. they also have a photographer there if you would like them to do it and buy a package with printed photos and digital download for very reasonable prices."
Cost: It’s free to visit and the professional photos are available for purchase, but they’re optional. Packages start at $20.99.
More info >

 

Bloomingdale's Santaland

When: November 24-Saturday, December 23, 10am-6pm, Monday-Saturday; 11am-6pm Sundays.
Where: Midtown East 1000 Third Avenue at East 59th Street
What: Bloomingdale's has its own Santaland on the fifth floor in the kids' section, and we hear lines are shorter than at Macy's in the past.
How much: Photo packages start at $22.
More info >

 

Photos with Santa + Free Gift  
Where: Kings Plaza Mall, 5100 Kings Plaza Brooklyn, NY 11234
When: Now through December 24
What: Visit Santa for photos and a free gift! Santa will be available for photos and visits at his winter home, located Upper Level, near Best Buy. Reservations available, but not required!
What PSP Members say: “Kings plaza mall last weekend and so was Santa! NO LINE! He's a great looking Santa, and they took 3 'poses' this year. My fav is one of my son whispering what he wants in Santa's ear. Great pics this year.”
More info >

 

Items of Interest
Where: 60 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
What: Skip the lines!  Schedule your appointment time with Santa in Items of Interest's comfy, intimate, neighborhood-shop setting. Their kindly elves and Santa sit in a perfectly staged setting, complete with stockings, presents, and of course a Christmas tree!  Their skilled photographer will take multiple photos, and (unlike the mall), you'll get all of them to take home with you on your very own jump drive, ready for you to print and/or create your online holiday cards!
What PSP Members say: "I had a really great, easy experience with my newborn last year at Items of Interest. You can schedule in advance online, and the Santa scene is much more homey and less chaotic than a Macy’s/mall environment" and "we went to Items of Items of Interest last year.  We really enjoyed it. I believe they've raised the price by$10 this year. We still plan on going again this year."
Cost: $29.95 and $39.95
More info >

 

Santa at ABC Carpet
Where: 888 Broadway New York, NY 10003
What: A handful of Saturdays and Sundays Santa visits ABC Carpet & Home.
What PSP Members say: "The Santa at ABC carpet and home is the best. Authentic as it gets. We've been going every year since our 8-year old was born. You take your own photos, though. No photographer is present."
More info >

 

OTHER UPCOMING "ONE-OFF" SANTA PHOTO OPS:

 

Photos with Santa
Where: Old Stone House, 336 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY
When: Devember 10, 10:30 a.m. - 12noon
What: Join us for our 3rd annual photo session with Santa, in partnership with Park Slope Parents and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.  Photos will be taken on a first come, first serve basis for $10.   Photographer Marc Goldberg will make his professional photos available on his website for purchase, and you’re welcome to snap your own photo as well.  Help support OSH’s great community programs all year round with a $35 donation, and you’ll get your photo session for free!
Cost: $10
More info >

 

Free Santa Visit at Sidecar
Where: 560 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
When: Saturday, December 16, 3 - 5 p.m.
Where: Sidecar
What: Santa Visits on #theother5th are sponsored by the merchants through the BID. Meet Santa, take a photo with your child or children and get a candy cane in our local stores on #theother5th. Carolers will also be walking 5th Ave every Saturday 3-5pm before the holidays from December 2nd.
More info >

 

Free Santa Visit at Du Jour Bakery
Where: Du Jour Bakery, 365 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
When: Saturday, December 23rd, 4 - 5 p.m.
What: Santa Visits on #theother5th are sponsored by the merchants through the BID. Meet Santa, take a photo with your child or children and get a candy cane in our local stores on #theother5th. Carolers will also be walking 5th Ave every Saturday 3-5pm before the holidays from December 2nd.
More info >

 

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

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ONGOING HOLIDAY EVENTS:

Holiday Nostalgia Rides
When: Sunday, November 26th, December 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th!
What: In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Second Avenue Subway, this year’s Holiday Nostalgia Train will run along the F line between 2nd Av and Lexington Avenue / 63rd Street and via the Q line between Lexington Avenue / 63rd Street and 96th Street on the Upper East Side. The special eight-car subway train of  R1-9 cars from the 1930s is complete with rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent bulb lighting, drop-sash style windows, vintage roll signs, and original advertisements.
Where and more details: The Holiday Nostalgia Train departs from the 2nd Av subway station on the F line at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm and from the 96th Street subway station on the Q line at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm.
Cost: Don’t miss your chance to travel through time – for just the cost of a MetroCard swipe!
More info >

 

Holiday Train Show®
Where: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126   
When: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 – Monday, January 15, 2018
What: Catch magical model trains zipping through 150 landmarks re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of fairy lights. Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming along among familiar sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center on nearly a half-mile of track. This year’s exhibition showcases Midtown Manhattan’s iconic skyscrapers and other architectural wonders, featuring new replicas of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building, and St. Bartholomew’s Church.
Cost: prices vary depending on weekday or weekend. One adult ticket costs $23 or $30, students $20 or $28, children 2-12 $10 or $18. This is the cost PER ticket.
More info >

 

UPCOMING HOLIDAY EVENTS:

 

Holiday Tree Lighting at Carroll Park
When: Friday, December 8, 6-7 p.m.
Where: 245 Carroll St, Brooklyn, NY
What: Join Court Street Merchants Association, Friends of Carroll Park, elected officials, friends, neighbors, and maybe even a fat man in a red suit when we flip the switch on our holiday decor! Countdown and carols will happen at the Louis Valentino, Jr. Ballfield, followed immediately by food and fun in the Robert Acito Park House. We will also be collecting goods for our City Harvest holiday food drive, so please grab a can or box of non-perishable food en route!
More info >

Southwest Brooklyn Tree Lighting and Toy Drive
When; Friday December 8, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Human Compass Garden at the corner of Columbia and Sackett Streets

What: Take a photo with Santa. Refreshments from local restaurants. Only new and unopened toys will be accepted. Questions contact Elyse at .
More info >

 

 

The Annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Grand Army Plaza
Where: Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
When: December 12, 6 p.m.
What:  Did you know that the largest Menorah is located in Brooklyn, New York? It has been towering over Grand Army Plaza since 1984. The annual Menorah lighting ceremony is a must for Jews and non-Jews alike. Every night the celebration is accompanied with live music and hot latkes for all.  Special gifts are distributed to every child. Making this a family celebration and a must on everyone's calendar. 
More info >

 

Menorah on 5th
Where: Fourth St and Fifth Ave
When: December 18, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
What: Join the Chabad of Park Slope for a local Menorah Lighting in partnership with the 5th Avenue BID.  Chabad of Park Slope is creating a fun community experience with Donuts, Latkes and Dreidel gifts for the children.
More info >

 

Brooklyn Brandenburgers Holiday Concert
When: Saturday, December 16, 7 p.m.
& December 17, 2 p.m.
Where: Old Stone House, 336 Third Street
What: OSH's
beloved house band, the Brooklyn Brandenburgers, will perform their annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 16 at 7 pm, and Sunday, December 17 at 2 pm, featuring music by Georg Philipp Telemann, W. A. Mozart, Gene Glickman, Astor Piazzolla, Arthur Foote, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. Children under 16 are free. $10 tickets on-line at Brown Paper Tickets
More info >

 

New Year's Eve Fireworks: One Brooklyn
When: Sunday, December 31, 11 p.m.
What: Join Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Prospect Park Alliance for Brooklyn's most spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration at Prospect Park's iconic Grand Army Plaza. This free event includes live entertainment by Brooklyn's own Quintessential Playlist starting at 10:30 pm, followed by fireworks at the stroke of midnight. The event, now in its 38th year, attracts tens of thousands of revelers to Prospect Park, making it one of the city's most popular celebrations. This event is free and open to the public.
More info >

 

DRIVES AND GIVING/ VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

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Little Essentials' Holiday Toy and Diaper Drive
What: Little Essentials is one of PSP's favorite not-for-profit partners. They are a community response to a community need, helping families with children under 4 who live at or below the poverty line. We’ve worked with them for 6 years, ever since Sandie had her living room chock full of donated items from her baby group friends to donate to people less fortunate. If your baby group is getting together (which is awesome by the way) have a Little Essentials Toy Drive as part of your celebration. If you can have a toy drive at your office, wonderful.  They need more than 500 toys for their needy families.
What they need: Dolls /Action Figures; Sports Gear (Footballs/Soccer Balls/Bballs); Dress-up sets; Purses and Totes Bags; Craft & Jewelry Sets; Board Games/Card Games; Puzzles; Educational Baby Toys; Building Blocks/ Legos; Books for All Ages (Board/Picture/Chapter); Art Supplies (Sketch Pads/Markers/Crayons);or Musical Toy Instruments
Where: Drop toys off at their warehouse in Tribeca if you can (email Elissa Young to arrange drop off: " target="_blank">elissayoung@littleessentials.org). Or, if you need to drop them here in Brooklyn you can do so at my doorman at 438 12th Street between December 5th and 12th (9am – 8pm).
More info >

 

Sheltering Arms - 3 ways ways to help!
What: Help break the cycle of poverty through Sheltering Arms, a non-profit that strengthens the education, well-being, and development of vulnerable children, youth, and families in New York City. Here are 3 ways to help:
Buy from the Children's Gift Registry:
One way to help is by purchasing an item for a child in need through their gift registry. Your gift will be sent directly to the facility. Use their online gift registry to select an item to give. At checkout, remember to check "this order contains a gift" and write your name, email, and "Park Slope Parents" in the message. Then, select "Sheltering Arms' Gift Registry Address" for shipping. Need a donation letter? Email " target="_blank">winterwonders@shelteringarmsny.org
More info > 
Help out at a Wrapping Party:
You can also attend one or both of their two wrapping parties! They need volunteers to sort, wrap, and track gifts for our children, many of whom will receive a present for the very first time this holiday season. Complete the volunteer form here to let them know you’re interested in sorting and wrapping presents.
When: Wednesday, December 13th, 6:30pm-8:30pm (adults only) and  Saturday, December 16th, 11:00am-2:00pm (families encouraged!)

 

Lantern Gift Drive
What: Have Tweens or Teens? The Lantern GIFT DRIVE is for you. Could you imagine if you were homeless (or threatened with homelessness) and you’re between 14-24 years old? Lantern community services help their older kids, tweens, and teens. Lantern Community Services champions the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness. The families we serve struggle on very low incomes, and many of our youth don’t have families to turn to at all. With your help, we’ll make sure that every single one of them receives a gift. 
What they need: Buy any item from the Lantern Holiday Gift List. Make it personal by letting your kids help pick out items based on what they like. Select Lantern as the shipping address: Lantern Community Services Holiday Gift Drive, Clover Hall, Lantern CS, c/o Alicia Sweeney, Program Director, 333 Kosciuszko Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11221, United States.
Please note: Lantern is a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit and we would love to give you a letter acknowledging your donation, for your tax records. Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t pass on your details to us, so if you want to receive your letter, go to https://goo.gl/forms/nNw26gKiiECwP7e13 and fill out our form.

 

100 Suits for 100 Men
What: Assemblymember Bobby Carroll's District Office is a temporary collection location for the non-profit 100 Suits for 100 Men. This community program serves men and women in need of business attire for the job search process. The mission of 100 Suits for 100 Men is “to help underprivileged men and women improve their role in society, build dignity and self-esteem, foster self-sufficiency, dispel stereotypes, and promote community involvement in order to build each other up.”  100 Suits for 100 Men seeks Business Attire in both Men’s and Women’s sizes from XS to 6X along with belts, briefcases, purses, ties and shoes. You can drop off donations at Assemblymember Carroll’s District Office in Park Slope. 
Where: 416 7th Avenue (between 13th and 14th Streets) between 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

MEMBER ADVICE AND ISSUES EXPLORED

 

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The holidays can trigger many mixed emotions around family life, concepts of materialism, understanding and practicing religion, not to manage added stress, financial concerns, and more. PSP members share advice about: 

Interfaith Holidays: Chrismukkah

Cheap and Cheerful Things to Do With Kids During the Holidays

How to Handle Holiday Stress

Reducing Stolen Packages in the Neighborhood

Santa Claus: Is he real?

Too Many Presents/Gifts

How To Thank Teachers at the Holidays & End of the Year