Photo credit: Julia ChangChristmas and the holiday season is one of my favorite times in NYC—with the beautiful holiday window displays, ice skating in the park and the amazing crowds that the City attracts. NYC is truly energized at this time of year. As I look ahead, and plan my own activities for this holiday season, I realize that I have a holiday treasure right at my door, in the heart of midtown Manhattan—at The New York Public Library.
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, known to most as the Library's main branch on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, is a quintessential New York City icon housing outstanding research collections in the humanities and social sciences as well as a circulating children's collection.
As you reach the Library's steps, first give a wave to the pride of NYPL, Patience and Fortitude, the world-renowned pair of marble lions in front of the building. Then, as you enter, you come upon the exquisite NYPL holiday tree which goes on display after Thanksgiving.
There are daily tours of the Library which helpfully point out the myriad things to see and do. Each room is unique and rich in history. Some highlights include: The beautiful Rose Main Reading Room, the premier map room and the Children's Center at 42nd Street—where the original Winnie the Pooh and his best friends are on display.
Make sure you do not miss our Three Faiths Exhibition (which the New York Times calls "stunning") featuring the three great Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the Scriptorium, an interactive center on the making of ancient books where visitors will have the opportunity to make their own bookmarks with calligraphic materials.
Holiday programs for children are scheduled throughout all of our 90 neighborhood libraries. Further, back by popular demand is a special workshop allowing visitors to design Gingerbread Houses. Other touring event highlights include: Christmas Around the World, Chanukah: Festival of Lights and A Christmas Carol.
Everyone is invited to the inaugural of our new KIDS LIVE series which kicks off our holiday season with a special performance by StarFish on December 4.
Added to all that, during the winter break (December 27-31), NYPL offers events for children and their families every day at the Children's Center at 42nd Street, the Bronx Library Center and the Richmondtown Library in Staten Island. Special performances include the Paper Bag Players, Jim West and his giant puppet friends and music concerts for the entire family.
Also, you will want to stop at the NYPL Library Shop to pick up some distinctive gifts for the holiday including our popular and highly-requested "Lion" holiday cards.
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