The Bronx has lots to offer this holiday season

Ice carving demonstration featured in last year’s Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo, changed to the Wild Winterland exhibit this year, and included as just one of many free and low-cost opportunities announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg for people to enjoy this season.

During these difficult economic times, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces fun-filled events that are free to low-cost for Bronxites, New Yorkers, and tourists to enjoy, while keeping the holiday spirit alive.

“We have invested heavily in New York City’s museums, theaters, and parks over the years, and now, especially now, all New Yorkers should take advantage of them,” noted Bloomberg. “These institutions are yours to enjoy.”

Families looking for a musical delight may enjoy visiting the ‘Bronx Arts Ensemble Holiday Music Concert’ featured at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, located at 895 Shore Road, on Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, at noon.

This free event will include costumed singers and a double reed band that will be illustrating the story of the Dutch Sinterklass, a colonial celebration hosted by the Historic House Trust. People wishing to see the show should call (718) 601-7399 for tickets.

The Bronx Musem of the Art will also be hosting a Family Affair Holiday Party’ on Saturday, December 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Though this event is free people are encouraged to register by calling (718) 681-6000 ext. 151.

Activities will be available for children from 5 to 11 years of age, along with their families, such as art-making workshops, refreshments and snacks, and guided tours of the renown ‘Street Art, Street Life’ exhibition, documenting art from the 1950s until present time.

Bronxites looking to make their shopping experience a bit more upbeat, might visit the Fordham Road Business Improvement Districts 4th Annual ‘Sparkling the Heart of Fordham.’

On Friday, December 5, at 7 p.m., on E. Fordham and E. Kingsbridge roads, the BID will be hosting a lighting ceremony and musical performances by two choirs from The Learning Tree Cultural Preparatory School and the Fordham University Gospel Choir. While the street is closed to traffic, refreshments and snacks will be available in two heated tents. Santa Claus will be making a special appearance to bring attending children free gifts and a picture.

This event will begin the two-week holiday discount program for the public to save 10% at 65 stores by presenting an advertisement from the paper, online coupon, or metro card. For more information visit

And of course no holiday event list is complete without mention of the services offered by the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo.

The general grounds of the Botanical Garden are free for the public on Wednesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, allowing a stroll through the beautiful gardens to enjoy the season’s beauties. The Henry Moore Sculpture exhibit, Holiday Train Show and Gingerbread Adventures require $20 admission for adults and $10 for children.

The Bronx Zoo’s Wild Winterland will be Pay-As-You-Wish donation for admission on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Here children and adults have the chance to visit the reindeer, watch the penguins, view ice sculptures and a variety of other holiday activities.

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