A Wacky Winter

From caroling with boomboxes to origami trees, these are some quirky winter activities for those looking to add a little bit of oomph to their holidays.

Unsilent Night: Caroling with a Quirk
Don’t get us wrong, caroling is cool. Really cool.  But Unsilent Night New York is cooler. Join hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people armed with boomboxes  as they walk from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park creating a  sound sculpture of many individual parts on December 18.

Creator Phil Kline says “Every year I present Unsilent Night, which is like a Christmas caroling party except we don’t sing, but rather carry boomboxes, each playing a separate tape or CD which is part of the piece.  In effect, we become a city-block-long stereo system.”

Give Santa Your List…in a Castle
Forego the mall Santas for Santa in Central Park. The jolly guy will be at the historic Belvedere Castle on December 23 and 24, so bring your list and your cameras!

Take Some Tours
Nature walks and fitness hikes are all the rage, but in New York, we like to have fun.

Take an evening candlelight tour of Washington Irving’s Sunnyside on December 18 or 26. Hear about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman as you are read excerpts from Irving’s Christmas tales and family letters. Join in song while a costumed guide plays an 1830s piano and sip on some hot cider beside a fire in the kitchen yard.

Time’s Up hosts a Lights in the Heights Ride where you’ll bike to Dyker Heights’ “miracle mile” of Christmas lights and decoration. Bring your bicycle bells to ring to the tune of Jingle Bells on December 19.

Money May Not Grow on Trees, but Origami Does
See the tree! No, not the Rockefeller Center tree…you can see that one from space. We’re talking about the American Museum of Natural History’s Origami Holiday Tree, where 500 origaments (that’s origami ornaments) hang from a 13-foot tree. This year’s theme is Discovery, featuring ornaments relate to a dinosaur dig, the Race to the End of the Earth exhibition, and the 10th anniversary of the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

Head to the Carnival…in a Bowling Alley
What?! A carnival in the dead of winter? That’s right and in a bowling alley, no less. Bowlmor Lanes presents Carnival, a 16,000 square foot wonderland of wire-walkers, sword-swallowers, cotton candy, and carnival games, all in a bowling alley/nightclub. Fun for the whole family!

Snowball Fight Club
Everybody loves a good snowball fight. In NYC, during the first large snowfall of the season, snowballers meet at a selected location and battle it out, with or without forts. Check out the NYC Snowball Fight Club on Facebook. Last year, a spontaneous snowball fight broke out in Times Square at 1:00 a.m. making headlines everywhere. Tweet it, people!

Spend New Year’s in New York
Anybody can head to Times Square and watch the ball drop. But how about you complete your night of dancing, costume parades, and fireworks with a four-mile midnight run? The New York Road Runners host the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run on December 31-January 1. If you’re more of a biker or a skater, the 12th Annual New Year’s Eve Bike Ride is for you. Now that’s really getting a jump on your New Year’s resolutions!

Be Freezin’ for  Reason
Yes, it’s cold outside. And yes, people are going swimming. On January 1, the Polar Bear Club’s New Year’s Day Polar Dip will help raise money to send children with life-threatening illnesses to Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind retreat in Maine. You’ve just gotta take the plunge at Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island.

Too scared to take a full plunge? Well, the Chicken Dip is for you. All you’ve got to do is get your feet wet.

Coney Island too far for you Westchesterites? Fret not. Take the Colin’s Crew Plunge in West Haven, CT on February 11, to help them raise $10,000 to send families to Camp Sunshine!