Friday, October 24, 2014

Visit #WinterVillage on Its First Open Weekend This Season


The lawn is an emerald in the summer. The rink is a diamond in the winter.

Our "gem" of a Winter Village is open for its first weekend in the season. Make a night of it this evening, enjoy the sound of your blades scraping the ice on Saturday, or taste the flavors of the world on Sunday. Better yet, join us for all three!

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Daily, 8am - 10pm
#WinterVillage

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ask Bryant Park: Where Can I Find Winter Village FAQs?

In the Ask Bryant Park Series we hope to shed light on some of the questions that members of the public frequently pose to us about the park. If you have a question you'd like us to cover in this series, write it on the bottom of this post or e-mail us at bpc@urbanmgt.com. 

When the  Bank of America Winter Village opens each year, we get a flurry of questions about the who, what, where, when and why of The Rink, the Holiday Shops, Celsius, pricing, and more. To make the whole process easier on our visitors, this year we have rolled out a new and improved Winter Village FAQ section on the website


To make things even easier for all you Winter Village visitors, we're posting the whole FAQ page here as well. Check it out before you arrive at the park to find out more about the little details you may find yourself thinking about later on in your visit. 


The new and improved FAQ page features all the Q&A's you may have about all things Winter Village. If for some reason your questions isn't answered by the page, give us a call at 212-661-6640 or email wintervillage@urbanmgt.com. 

Happy skaters on The Rink at last year's Winter Village
Photo by Erin Kestenbaum
Skating: 
How much does it cost to skate?
Admission to skate is free. Skate rentals are available for $15/pair ($19/pair Nov 26, 2014-Jan 4,2015). Click here for detailed information about pricing. 

What types and sizes of skates are available for rental?
- 80% of our rental skates are lace-up. We also have hockey skates.
- Sizes: Kids 8-4, Adults 5-15

Is The Rink open if it's raining or snowing?
The Rink will close during heavy rain or severe storms; for updates click here. The status of the rink is posted on the top left side of the site, and updated throughout the day.

How long can I skate on the ice?
Skating time limit is approximately 1.5 hours so that everyone can enjoy free public ice skating at The Rink.

Where can I leave my bags/shoes while skating?
Lockers are located inside the Skating Pavilion and are free of charge. All personal items must be stowed in a locker. Purses are not allowed on The Rink. Bring your own lock or purchase one inside the pavilion. Bag check service is also located inside the Skating Pavilion for a fee

How big are the free lockers in the Skating Pavilion?
Lockers are one square foot and hold a pair of shoes and a small personal item.

How many items can you fit in the bag check?
- The small bag check container is 22"x28". It is usually suitable for 2-3 people.
- The large bag check container is 30"x40" and is generally suitable for 3-5 people.

Can I use my phone or camera on The Rink?
Cell phones and cameras are not allowed on the ice. 

Can I make a reservation to skate?
You can make group reservations here. Solo skaters can buy a FastPass in order to skip the line.

Are skate lessons available?
Yes, click here for more info on skating lessons at The Rink.

Can I get my skates sharpened at The Rink?

Yes, skate sharpening is available inside the Skating Pavilion for a fee.

Can I play hockey at The Rink?
Hockey games are not allowed during normal rink hours.

What can I do while waiting for skaters?
- Sit rinkside on the deck
- Wait for friends and family inside the Skating Pavilion
- Stroll through the Holiday Shops
- Dine with rink views at Celsius
- Enjoy the firepit at Southwest Porch

I need socks for ms skates! Are they available purchase?

Not in the Skating Pavilion, but while the Holiday Shops are open (until Jan, 4, 2015) you can buy socks at Soxeteer and Bergies Super Socks.

Holiday Shops:

Are the Holiday Shops open on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day?
A large percentage of shops are open on holidays, but some will choose to close. 

Do the Shops take credit cards?

Yes, most of the Holiday Shops take credit cards.

Is there an ATM nearby?

Yes, an ATM is located inside the Skating Pavilion.

Are the Holiday Shops open during inclement weather?

The Holiday Shops will be open during normal rain or snowfall. They will close if the park is closed due to dangerous weather conditions, or if there is a severe storm.

How can I contact a Shops vendor?

If you are having trouble finding a vendor, please call 212-661-6640 and our Shops experts can help you. 

I want to be a vendor at the Holiday Shops. Who do I contact?

Please call 212-661-6640 or email info@upsilonventures.com. 

General:

I'd love to host a party at Winter Village. How do I do that?
There are several options for parties at Winter Village: plan a group skate, rent the Parka Lounge, book a party at Celsius, and more. Call 212-661-6640 for more information.

Is Celsius in the park year-round?

No, Celsius is a "pop-up" winter restaurant that complements The Rink at Winter Village.

Does Celsius take reservations?
Celsius does not take advance reservations. 

I want to make a reservation at the Bryant Park Grill. 

Please call the restaurant at 212-840-6500.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tasting Tuesdays Return to Winter Village

The opening of this season's Bank of America Winter Village Holiday Shops means a new crop of food options right here in the park. From chocolates to empanadas to cider to waffles, the Shops are filled with all kinds of food and drink to fuel your skating and shopping.

On Tasting Tuesdays, we offer you the chance to browse the Shops, sampling their food and drinks for free. This gives you the chance to pick our your favorite treats for the season and gives you a fun opportunity to walk around the shops with a snack in hand.

What could make this even better you ask? At the end of the event, check back in with our staff at the sign-in table and you'll receive a gift certificate to one of the Holiday Shop vendors (available while supplies last).

Some highlights from last year's Tasting Tuesdays samplings
How: 
Participating is simple: there is no pre-registration or ticket required to take part in Tasting Tuesdays. All you have do is visit the sign-in table at the Southwest Porch (located in the park, near the corner of 40th Street and 6th Avenue). There, you will receive a bracelet entitling you to all the free samples your heart (and stomach) desire.

Where:
When you stop by the sign-in table, you will be given a map of the Holiday Shops showing which Shops are participating in the event. This way, you'll be able to amble among the Shops at your own pace and pick your own route.

When:
True to their name, Tasting Tuesdays will take place every Tuesday from 5pm-7pm. Participation is first come first served.

Tasting Tuesdays
Tuesdays: Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18
5pm-7pm
Various Holiday Shops
Meet at the Southwest Porch to check in
#WinterVillage

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Winter Village 2014 Holiday Shops Map and Directory Released

It's that most wonderful time of the year...the time when our list of vendors in the Bank of America Winter Village Holiday Shops is released!

This year's featured lineup of 127 Holiday Shops vendors is a combination of veterans and new favorites. There is truly something for everyone on your list, even the most difficult-to-shop-for individual. If you're not a shopper, you'll enjoy the expanded lunch opportunities in the neighborhood as the food kiosks open for business. At any rate, wandering the neat rows of shops is a pleasant experience.


Those in the know about wintervillage.org may have noticed that the map and directory has been live for several weeks now, as we've been quietly updating the page in preparation for the big announcement!

We'll feature a link to the Holiday Shops Map and Directory all season on the blog, at the top right hand corner of the page. If you choose to visit through the wintervillage.org page, you can access in-depth information about each of the Shops on the Directory page, and a clickable map on the Map page.

The Holiday Shops will be open for your enjoyment until January 4.

Monday, October 20, 2014

'wichcraft Grilled Cheese Kiosk Opens for Business

It's that special time of year again when 'wichcraft Grilled Cheese returns to the park. It has taken residence in the kiosk on the 40th Street side of the park near Le Carrousel and the Bryant Park Games Area. The Bryant Park Blog swung by to take a look at their menu and try it out - and we were not disappointed.

After seeing the kiosk closed for the changeover from pop-up gelato shop, we're pleased to say that the grilled cheese kiosk is open for business! 
The menu is short and sweet, offering three types of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. The price is right at just over $7 for a sandwich and $5 for a large cup of soup. For those of you who enjoy dipping your grilled cheese in your soup, 'wichcraft is offering a combo deal: $11.25 for soup and an entire sandwich.

"The Classic" grilled cheese option features creamy Cheddar cheese on hearty ciabatta bread. The crust was perfectly crunchy with a soft inside, just what you want from a classic grilled cheese.
The Gruyere sandwich was the more complex one of the bunch. With sweet grilled onions and Gruyere cheese, this sandwich is full of mouth-watering flavor. 
The last of the three features Mozzarella and tomato nestled between toasty ciabatta bread. The melty Mozzarella and tangy tomato make for an Italian twist on a grilled cheese.  
Last but not least, the tomato soup warmed us up and also served as the perfect dip for our grilled cheeses. What more could you want after a long day of shopping and skating than some hearty comfort food and warm soup?
Grilled cheese & soup kiosk is up and running on the 40th Street Allee!
Next time you're in the park, whether you're skating, shopping, people watching (or all three!), make sure to stop by the 'wichcraft Grilled Cheese kiosk for some melty, cheesy, toasty sandwiches and soup.

'wichcraft grilled cheese & soup kiosk
Mon-Sat: 11am-8pm
Sun: 11am-6pm

Friday, October 17, 2014

Singin' in the Rain

Yesterday, we took a walk in the park during the dreary morning rain. The park is even beautiful when the ground is wet. Here is some proof.

The Giant Elephant Ears planted on the 42nd Street side of the park, next to the New York Public Library, look even brighter in comparison to the dreary weather.

Same thing with the begonias, which have been a park fixture all summer. Their rosy tone is even more beautiful next to the wet bluestone.
The Bryant Park Grill is covered in lush ivy and framed at the base by planters overflowing with foliage. A truly breathtaking venue!
Autumn leaves plastered to the ground glittered like flecks of gold in a stream. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Less Thank A Week Left Until Winter Village Opening Day

We updated you on Bank of America Winter Village construction about a week ago, so you're due for another briefing. As you can see, the rainy weather isn't putting a damper on our busy preparations for the Winter Village.

Opening Day is next Tuesday, October 21. Get those skates out of the back of your closet! And don't forget to check out wintervillage.org and stay tuned to the blog for the latest and greatest in Winter Village happenings and information.

The entry pylons, located at park entrances, are in place to greet guests and give information about Winter Village.


Do you recognize these decals from a returning Holiday Shops favorite? Yep, Max Brenner Chocolate is back in its usual spot, kiosk I2 on the 42nd Street side of the park. Over the next week, other Holiday Shops will start customizing their kiosks.

Celsius is fully framed, and wall installation is partially complete. 


The skate entrance has gained its signature arch. The walls on either side leading to the Pavilion will receive a charming graphic treatment shortly. 

The Celsius roof is being put to good use today, as it keeps the rain out of the soon-to-be restaurant. You can also see some colorful dasher boards have been installed, and the light towers to the left of Celsius have been installed; they will illuminate the rink. 

The Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain is fully framed by Holiday Shops. Imagine the warm light spilling from the Holiday Shops and making the water in the fountain dance and shimmer.