What to Do (Safely!) During Winter Break

By Ashley Mieses

2020 has been one heck of a year. The remote fall semester is coming to an end and you might wonder, what can you possibly do while still remaining socially distant? Well, luckily in New York City there are many options for outdoor activities still going on, despite the pandemic. It is December, the most wonderful time of the year. The city is filled with beautiful lights and holiday cheer. Let’s check out what we possibly can get into for some safe and fun adventures!

The iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit up on December 2 and is now open for guest. However, this year they have put certain restrictions, due to the pandemic. According to ABC News, there will be a five-minute viewing limit for the tree, masks will be required, and security will be enforcing people to maintain six feet for social distancing. People will be able to scan a QR code to see what the wait time is like. Groups of four will be put together in a pod. If your group is bigger than that, you will be split into two pods. Viewing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is free of charge.

Mayor de Blasio, says that these new rules must be taken to prevent COVID cases from continuing to rise. “This is what we need to do to protect everyone. It’s a different approach but it is an approach that will keep people safe,” said the Mayor DeBlasio.

“It was crazy to see no one close to the tree,” said Lauren, a student at QCC who recently went . “They have the section closed off to the public. I felt safe, I didn’t feel like I was a sardine, and that’s how every year before this I feel. So that was nice.”

Speaking of Rockefeller center, the ice-skating rink there is also open to the public and will remain open up until January 21, 2021. “Due to health concerns, there’s a limit on the number of skaters allowed at one time. Tickets are available through appointment-only with daily hours between 9 a.m and midnight,” reports ABC news. Skating at the rink at Rockefeller Center costs $25-$35 for adults and children (6 and over). Toddlers ticket prices are $10. The ticket price also depends on the date and time you choose to go.

“I was in shock to see how spacious and how empty the rink was. I mean I did go on a Thursday, so I’m not sure if that has to do with it,” said Lauren. “It just feels surreal to see the rink so empty. I would recommend anyone to come. It feels safe, and it outdoors.”

There are other skating rinks available to the public, as well, including Winter Village at Bryant Park Rink, Industry City Ice Rink, and Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. All are following social distant requirements.

At Hudson Yards, located between 10th and 12th Avenue from West 30th Street to West 34th Street, you can shop or eat at restaurants. Right now, because of the holiday season, the Vessel which is located at the Hudson yards is beautifully decorated with white lights all over and hot air balloons, making the new neighborhood seem magical. Many New Yorkers have been going to see and experience the holiday cheer. The Hudson Yards website states that the entrance is free, however you do need to get tickets and enter during your assigned time slot.

Another fun activity to do while on winter break is going to the Luminocity Festival at Randall’s Island. Showclix, a website that focuses on ticket selling, says, “LuminoCity Festival is a month-long immersive art experience that brings to life beautiful sculptures, with designs inspired by magic, nature and the world around us.” LuminoCity’s Festival prices are $29 for general admission, $25 for Seniors, $25 for students and $17 for children 3-12. The official LuminoCity festivals website shows all the safety guidelines they are taking due to COVID. There will be strict time slots and a capacity of tickets will be enforced, masks must be worn, they will check temperatures, regular cleaning will be happening during the day.

“When I went, there was a lot of people. I didn’t feel uncomfortable because there was a lot of space between everyone, said Amy, a QCC alumnus who went last weekend. “I did see some people take their masks off to take pictures, but they would put it back on quickly. It was nice to bring my kids they really enjoyed all the sculptures.”

There you have it, fellow Tigers, my offering of some activities to keep you busy during the winter break. Stay safe and have fun!

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