Monday, December 22, 2014

The Rise Unveils Christmas Themed Workout

Bryant Park excitedly welcomed city-wide boot camp The Rise to the park as part of Bryant Park FitClub. The group's 6:30am workouts, Wednesdays on the Fountain Terrace, were so popular that the The Rise's stay was extended through the winter. Though the location changed from the Fountain Terrace to the Library Terrace, the workouts are just as high-fivey and smiley.
If getting out of bed for a pre-dawn workout doesn't make immediate sense to you, maybe this will entice you to join us one morning: the Rise's workouts are themed! And you're in luck--the next themed workout is on Christmas Eve, right here at the park. Sergeant Santa will lead the group through the high-insensity interval training (HIIT) exercises, including Mystery Gift (pick a tennis ball from a wrapped present; each ball has a different exercise on it), Candy Cane Burpees, and plenty of other exercises. Christmas puns, high-fives, ugly sweaters, and new friends are all highly encouraged
Last year's Christmas Eve workout took place at the Williamsburg Bridge. Sergeant Santa is front row, center.
The Rise has sweated during other theme workouts, too. Some recent ones are below. For more, see their Facebook page, which posts photos of each workout.

For the Fourth of July, Risers celebrated the nation's birthday by wearing party hats for the duration of the workout. 

For Halloween, Risers dressed as video game characters for the workout.

Boot Camp with The Rise
Wednesdays, 6:30am - 7am
October 8 - January 7 - Fifth Avenue Terrace
January 14 - May 1 - Fountain Terrace

Spend Your Christmas and New Year's in the Park

Have family coming to the city for the holidays? Or maybe you're looking for something fun to do to get in the holiday spirit? Well have no fear: Bank of America Winter Village will be open and fully operational on both Christmas and New Years!

Come check out our Norway Spruce lit up in red, white, and blue
Photo by Jusay Photography
Winter Village is at its best during the holidays, so come enjoy all it has to offer on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Years Day.

The Rink: 8am-10pm
As usual, The Rink will be open for free-admission ice skating all day, weather permitting. Bring your own skates or rent a pair of ours and enjoy skating to festive music with family and friends.

Celsius: 12pm-10am
Come grab a bite and hot drink at Celsius, Winter Village's very own pop-up restaurant and bar. Grab a seat under a heater outdoors or venture up to the second floor to look down over The Rink.

Holiday Shops: 11am-8pm
Holiday Shop vendors are given the choice whether to close or remain open on Christmas and New Year's days. A large percentage of vendors do choose to stay open for all or at least part of the days, so there will be more than enough post-holiday shopping to go around!

Le Carrousel: Take a the kids for a spin on their favorite animal. Holiday hours are listed below and can be found here and here:
December 24th: 10am-6pm
December 25th: 10am-6pm
December 26th: 10am-10pm
December 31st: 10am-6pm
January 1st: 10am-6pm

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shop the Season: Socks for Everyone

Anne from the executive office goes looking for funky feet fashions at Bank of America Winter Village Holiday Shops.

I dress like your stereotypical New Yorker: lots of black and gray; maybe some navy blue or a pattern or some sort (in muted colors of course). Socks are the one item of clothing where I really let my hair down. I have a no holds barred approach to them. I like them silly and colorful, and they make great gifts during the holiday season. Everyone needs socks. Join me in my obsession as I scout the offerings at two of the Shops: Soxeteer (kiosk B5) and Bergie's Super Socks (kiosk D4, D7).

If you are looking for socks for a dog lover, Soxeteer has you covered. The breeds take up the entire back wall of the kiosk and are arranged in alphabetical order. Soxeteer also carries NYC-themed socks, and other miscellaneous novelty socks. All are $10 each.

Pugs, Puggles, no Poodles

Cat lovers' tabby trio
Bergie's Super Socks, located on the Fountain Terrace,  has a great selection of adult and children's short and tall socks; slippers; and a few unconventional items. Most are in the $10-$12 range, and come in a huge variety of colors and patterns.

Selections for babies, kids, and toddlers
Two Founding Fathers and a Favorite President for the win

Socks aren't just for your feet. They are also for your libations: The "Wine Monkey" at $16 and beer coozie for $6.

Holiday Shops at Bank of America Winter Village
Weekdays, 11am - 8pm
Saturdays, 10am - 9pm
Sundays, 10am - 6pm

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shop the Season: Hand-Carved Housewares

Maureen from the executive office discovers the beauty of olive wood at Bank of America Winter Village Holiday Shops

As I strolled the Holiday Shops on my rounds of the park, one kiosk in particular kept catching my eye. Sitting atop the clean white shelving at Natural OliveWood, kiosk G9, are beautifully carved wooden housewares. I just had to take a peek inside to satisfy my curiosity.

Natural OliveWood is located on the 42nd Street side of the park, midway between Sixth Avenue and the New York Public Library.
Up close, the products look even better. I love cooking and entertaining, as do several of the people for whom I wanted to buy Christmas gifts. The kiosk's one-of-a-kind, hand-carved pieces fit the bill perfectly.

There are a variety of serving dishes, cheese boards, utensils, and more. Natural OliveWood has pieces in all sizes and at all price points, so you'll be sure to find that perfect gift. 
After I spoke to the proprietor, the gift seemed even better. The products come from a small family workshop in Tunisia, where each piece of olive wood is assessed for its characteristics and carved accordingly. Nonporous by nature and coated in a protective layer of olive oil, the chemical-free kitchen line is as safe as it is sustainable. Moreover, olive branches are a traditional symbol of peace and goodwill; the symbolism adds a special layer of meaning to a gift.

The honey pots (left) and salt cellars (right) are attractive on their own; better yet, they are useful.

Utilitarian items like spatulas and spoons look like works of art when carved of uniquely grained olive wood. At just $10 each, the utensils are perfect stocking stuffers.

The gorgeous cheese boards and cheese knives made me want to throw a cocktail party.
I selected my gift items (I don't want to tell you what I bought, in case the recipient reads this post!) but I can assure you that I am excited to give them. Each purchase comes with a business card-sized instruction set for maintaining the wood, so I know that it will look as beautiful a year from now as it did when I gave the gift.

Holiday Shops at Bank of America Winter Village
Weekdays, 11am - 8pm
Saturdays, 10am - 9pm
Sundays, 10am - 6pm

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shop the Season: Gifts for Kids at Heart

Amanda from the executive office discovers her inner child at Bank of America Winter Village Holiday Shops

It’s tough to strike the right note when buying a gift for an adult who is truly a kid at heart. If you go the comedic route, your gift could be funny but not functional, and generally anything in the housewares or apparel categories comes across a bit too square. I’ve scouted the Holiday Shops at Bank of America Winter Village for the best gifts for kids at heart.

No one is too old to cozy up in jammies with a glass of hot chocolate. The Snooze Shack (kiosk C5) carries the tradition long into adulthood with fleece footie pajamas in every size and style. Dress up as Batman, cover yourself in cats, or go for classic plaid.

Footie pajamas: not just for kids. 
Plastic action figures are a thing of the past in the grown-up world of make-believe. The artisans at Metal Park (kiosk G1) bring well-known characters to life by refashioning recycled motorcycle parts and scrap metal. R2-D2, Yoda and other Star Wars characters are favorites among our staff.

These figurines are great for a desk or bookshelf.

Challenge yourself with the Bryant Park Square Dance Puzzle available at Bryant Park Shop (kiosk F9) or online. At 1,000 pieces, it will take you a while to reassemble this image of a signature, do-si-do-filled Bryant Park event.

Enjoy Square Dance all year round. 

Keep your guests entertained at your next event with the Kubiya Games (kiosk L1) Don’t Break It puzzle. It uses an ancient brainteaser to keep a wine bottle under wraps. If wine isn’t your thing, Kubiya offers numerous games for 1-2 players, from difficulty level 1-5, and for ages 18 months and up.

Brainteasers make wine taste better.
Holiday Shops at Bank of America Winter Village
Weekdays, 11am - 8pm
Saturdays, 10am - 9pm
Sundays, 10am - 6pm

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa Swings by Bryant Park

Starting Friday at 1pm, the big man himself -- Santa! -- stops by Bank of America Winter Village for photo opportunities and caroling.

For the first 45 minutes of the event, the New York Holiday Choristers bring their four-part harmonies to different areas of the park for the Santa Parade.

Santa will take his position at Santa's Corner -- featuring a beautifully painted, custom throne -- at 1:45pm for photos. There are two ways to snap a photo. Bring your own camera or cell phone, and snap your own pic; or we'll take a photo on our camera and upload it to our Flickr page ( so you can download it later at home.

Santa was last at the park for Tree Lighting.
Photo by Angelito Jusay
To make the first day of the event extra special, and to put some gas in your holiday shopping tank, there will be a raffle of hundred-dollar gift certificates to four Holiday Shops: Cliff Belts, kiosk J12; Lucy & Leo, kiosk J7; Kizmet Yogawear, kiosk J5; and Mistura Timepieces, kiosk L6. Place your raffle ticket in the bucket corresponding to the item you'd like to win. Drawing is at 3:30pm; must be present to win. Limit one entry per person.

Santa's Corner
Friday, December 19 to Wednesday, December 24
1pm - 4pm
The Deck

Santa's Corner Gift Certificate Raffle
Friday, December 19
2:30pm - 3:30pm
The Deck

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shop the Season: Bryant Park Shop Collaborations

Aside from creating a signature Bryant Park NYC line and carrying New York City Parks Department merchandise, in support of the Community Parks Initiative, the Bryant Park Shop has expanded its product line by partnering with other hot brands.

We hope you'll love the results of our team efforts. Shop online or in person at our Bryant Park Shop kiosk (F9, on the 42nd Street side of the park).
We've expanded our children's clothing line with Teres Kids. Le Carrousel t-shirts are now available in long-sleeved versions. 
The new shirts are available in charcoal and teal

We partnered with Fifth & Madison, to create a signature Bryant Park home fragrance
The fragrance is available as a reed diffuser or candle. 
The Bryant Park Necktie, created in partnership with Vineyard Vines, features a whimsical print of our Bryant Park Bistro Chairs.  

The Lawn Green Earrings, created in partnership with Brooklyn-based Silverella, mimic the thousands of blades of grass on the lawn.  

(Kiosk F9, on the 42nd Street side of the park)
Weekdays, 11am - 8pm
Saturdays, 10am - 9pm
Sundays, 10am - 6pm

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Movies at the Southwest Porch

Another of our great holiday traditions has returned to the park. Holiday Movies at the Porch began on Monday, and continues for the next two Monday evenings. The 7pm screenings start at the Southwest Porch, where there is a fire pit and heaters to keep you warm. 'wichcraft offers a special during the screenings: purchase any entree and beer or wine for $17.

The crowd gathers 'round the TV and Christmas Tree at Monday evening's screening of A Christmas Story.   
The fire pit (foreground) and heat lamps (background) will warm you, if the holiday cheer is not quite enough to battle the cold temperatures. 

Holiday Movies at the Southwest Porch
December 15: Babes in Toyland (1961)
December 22: Miracle of 34th Street (1947)