For kids ages 8 and under, it's hard to resist the magic of puppetry. Our favorite spot to see puppets come to life is in Central Park at the Swedish Cottage. This year our family made our annual trip to this historic building to see The Three Bears Holiday Bash.
The show involves three bears putting on a holiday show and awaiting the arrival of Santa. Drawing from the stories of Hanukkah, the Night Before Christmas, and Kwanzaa, The Three Bears Holiday Bash is a great way to get into the holiday season spirit. Our kids soon forgot the puppets weren't actors and were swept up in the fun. We sang along to classic Christmas tunes (and a Hanukah tune!) and cheered as the bears embraced the joy of the season.
All the action takes place in a sweet wooden house--right out of a storybook. The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre was brought into the park by Fredrick Law Olmsted in 1877. The Cottage is a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City. It's a charming building that time has seemed to forgotten--the space is outfitted with rows of benches and there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Our advice? Arrive a little early so your kids can get front-row seats. It's general admission with adults encouraged to sit on the back and sides of the theater. After the show, the puppeteers will come out and share a brief demonstration. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
Where to see it: The Swedish Cottage is located in Central Park at 79th Street and the West Drive (on the west side of the park), just south of the Delacorte Theater. By Subway: B or C train to 81st Street & Central Park West, entering the park at Fifth Avenue and heading west.
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When to visit: The show runs now until December 30th. A new show will start in January. Three Bears Performance Schedule:
Mondays - Fridays: 10:30 a.m. and noon
Wednesdays: 10:30 a.m., noon, and 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays: 1:00 p.m.
December 27 - 29: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
December 30: 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
No performances: Dec. 24, 25, 26, 31
What else to do: Visit the nearby Belvedere Castle (Free) for some of the best views in Central Park and NYC. Climb up the stairs and look out on one of the balconies at the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble. You'll feel like king or queen of the world! And then head to FAO Scwarz to check out the Zutano collection and maybe purchase a puppet of your own.
What to wear: Zutano's cozie hooded coat ($50) is a double layer fleece hoodie with elfin hood. The chocolate exterior and pool interior make it a great choice for boys or girls and a perfect layering piece. Plus the fabric won't take up space in your suitcase if you're traveling to NYC.
The holiday traditions in NYC post is sponsored by Zutano
Visit Zutano inside the historic FAO Schwarz Toy Store
767 5th Avenue New York, NY 10153