Chol Hamoed Activity Guide
Chol Hamoed dates: Sunday, October 8-Wednesday, October 11
Chol Hamoed is the sacred time of year when work is meant to be put aside for a few days, and the holidays are meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. While relaxing at home can be great, there are also plenty of fun and interesting experiences to be had, all within a few hours of your home. Here is our new, improved guide to help you enjoy Chol Hamoed to the fullest.
(Monsey) Turtle Boo
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Fridays until 1 hour before Shabbat
Address: 175 East Central Avenue, Spring Valley, NY 10977
Call to see if reservations are necessary. Totally kosher facility, snack bar, something to eat for everyone.
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
National Historic Landmark depicts WW II history, the modern Navy, outer space, deep sea exploration and early aviation.
Open every day.
Address: Hudson River at W 46th St. and 12th Ave. Pier 86
Call or go online for prices.
Ellis Island and Liberty Island Boat Tour
Visit the former immigration center of Ellis Island and learn about our nation’s history in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, then venture to Liberty Island and climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Additionally, get a boat tour of New York Harbor.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Ferry Addresses: Castle Clinton in Battery Park, Manhattan, or Liberty State Park, 200 Morris St., Jersey City, NJ 07305
Escape the Room NYC
Gather family and friends for the ultimate team-building exercise—get locked in a puzzle room and solve the clues to escape together! Escape the Room, located in both downtown and midtown NYC, offers several different themed rooms. No skills are required, just curiosity and a desire to unlock the door before 60 minutes are up.
Admission: $28-$30 per person
Hours: Games start every 90 minutes or so, check website
Address: 24 West 25th St., New York, NY 10010, 107 Suffolk, New York, NY 10002
Visit the largest urban zoo in the country to see wondrous animal exhibits including Madagascar!, Congo Gorilla Forest, Tiger Mountain and African Plains. Witness penguin and sea lion feedings. Ride the zoo shuttle, watch a movie in the 4D theater, and ride the bug carousel (each $6, shuttle is weekends only).
Admission: $36.95 for adults, $26.95 for children 3-12, free for children 2 and under
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Address: 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10460
NY Tenement Museum
Learn about the lives of residents of New York City’s Lower East Side tenement apartments in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the residents were immigrants, and many were Jewish. Tour the actual tenement buildings that have been restored to look just as they did a century ago. The museum recommends both a guided tour of the buildings and a walking tour of the neighborhood to gain the best grasp of the immigrant experience.
Hours: Visitor Center: Sun-Tues, 10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Check website for tour times.
Address: 103 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
American Museum of Natural History
Explore the incredible and educational exhibitions at the Museum of Natural History. Take tours and learn more about dinosaurs, mummies, ancient cultures, the planets, and much more. Before you go, make sure to watch the movie “Night at the Museum” because it’ll be fun to see what you can recognize from the movie!
Admission: Pay-what-you-wish admission (recommended: children $13, adult $23)
Hours: 10 a.m.- 5:45 p.m.
Address: Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024
Hop on a ferry leaving from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan. The ferry will carry you to Governors Island, a retired military base for the U.S. Army and the Coast Guard. The island, which was recently opened to the public, serves as New York’s shared space for art and play. Rent a bike and explore the island, from the iconic Hammock Grove, to the play fountains and Slide Hill, to Fort Jay and Castle Williams. Get some dirt underneath your fingernails by visiting the farm animals in the Compost Learning Center and learning about agriculture at the Teaching Garden. Play a game of mini golf at the innovative Figment Mini Golf park.
Admission: Weekdays $2, Sunday free
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat-Sun: 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Ferry Addresses: Battery Maritime Building, 10 South Street. Pier 6, Atlantic Avenue and Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Have you ever wondered about the height of the tallest man ever, hoped to see an authentic albino giraffe or wanted to witness the portrait of Albert Einstein made from toast? Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a museum in which children and adults can immerse themselves into the world of the unbelievable. It is home to various exhibits portraying unusual and out-of-the-ordinary people, animals and artifacts. The experience is exciting, interesting and entertaining to kids and adults alike.
Admissions: Child (4-12) $18.36, adult (16+) $23.96 (online prices)
Hours: 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
Address: 234 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
The Uncommons NYC
Find yourself in NYC on Chol Hamoed with a few free hours? Visit the Uncommons, the city’s only boardgame cafe. Choose from an array of games: They’ve got it all, from the more conventional Scrabble or Clue, to games you may not have played before, such as Code Names or Resistance: Coup. Order a coffee, beer or another beverage as you let the games begin. Bringing in outside kosher food is permitted.
Hours: Sunday 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m., weekdays 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Address: 230 Thompson St, NY, NY 10012
Leave the Land of Large and enter an amazing new experience, located at the crossroads of the world, Times Square. A full city block wide, Gulliver’s Gate is a technologically advanced, interactive and immersive world of miniatures that will ignite your imagination and challenge your perspective.
Admission: Ages 3-12 and 65 and over: $27 at the box office or $22 online. Ages 13 to 64: $36 at the box office or $31 online.
Hours: October-May: Seven days a week: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Address: 216 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036 (between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)
The Roosevelt Island Tramway
The tramway was opened in 1976 as a means to shuttle residents to and from Manhattan. The tram holds 125 persons and is the only commuter cable car in North America. It travels a distance of 3,100 feet at an average speed of 16 mph in 4 ½ minutes, at a maximum height of 250 feet.
Address: 591 Main St. Roosevelt Island, NY 10044; Manhattan Terminal at E 60th St. and 2nd Ave.
Phone: 212 832 4543
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
Comprehensive three-hour tour that loops completely around Manhattan accompanied by lively narration. There is also a two-hour Semi-Circle Cruise. For something completely different, which kids love, try the Beast, a 30-minute speedboat ride.
Address: Pier 83, W 42nd St. at 12th Avenue
Statue of Liberty
Ferry available from Battery Park.
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Many interesting exhibits check online to see the schedule.
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. daily except Shabbat and holidays
Address: 36 Battery Park Pl.
Lots of fun for the entire family—try the zoo!
Address: 59th St. to 110th St.
New bathrooms have made the news. Fresh flowers and attendants enhance the look.
Address: Behind the NY Public Library between 40th and 42nd Streets & 5th and 6th Ave.
Free activities for kids. Check online.
Address: Battery St. to South St.
Grand Central Terminal
Built as a magnificent example of art. Sixty integrated railroad tracks act as a transport hub for over 500,000 people daily. Tours of the terminal are available. Beautifully lit at holiday time.
Address: 87 E 42nd St. at Park Ave.
Empire State Building
One of the world’s most famous skyscrapers. Observation decks are on the 86th and 102nd floors. On a clear day visibility should be 80 miles.
Address: 350 5th Ave. at 34th St.
Hours: 8 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
New York Water Taxi
Buy an all-day pass and spend the day on the water with stops wherever you choose.
Staten Island Ferry
Admission: Still Free!
Runs every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Address: Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan
Legoland Discovery Center Westchester
Take your family to the “indoor LEGO playground” with two rides, several themed LEGO building areas and a 4D theater. See giant LEGO models, get a “factory tour” and learn from the best builders around in the Master Building Academy.
Admissions: $16-30. Check online.
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Address: 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710
Jewish Children’s Museum
Programs for all children in an educational and entertaining format.
Address: 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
PEZ Visitor Center
Tour the PEZ candy museum! View the production area in which the candies are made, watch videos that detail the dispenser-making process, and see the world’s largest collection of PEZ memorabilia. Admission includes $2 credit towards any merchandise purchased. Kosher PEZ candies will be traded for non-Kosher candies if the situation arises.
Admissions: $4-5, children under 3 free
Hours: Sunday 12-5 p.m., Mon-Tues 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Address: 35 Prindle Hill Rd, Orange, CT 06477
IT Adventure Indoor Ropes Course
Visit the largest indoor ropes course in the world! Climb the 60’-high ropes course, jump off the 50’ free fall, and go down a 200’ zip line. A separate Climb It attraction provides four additional climbing walls, each with its own challenge. Includes Little It for children under 48’’—a replica of the full size course. Also featuring a Liquid Fireworks show! Adventure for the whole family.
Admission: $25-30, additional $10 for Climb It, $8 for Little It
Hours: Sun 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Mon-Tues 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Address: 40 Sargent Dr. Long Wharf, New Haven, CT 06511
Visit the Maritime Aquarium to observe hundreds of sea creatures and learn about the ocean. Wander through the homes of octopuses, jellyfish, sharks, and more along with some land dwellers, such as meerkats and poison dart frogs. Watch an IMAX movie in the largest theater in Connecticut! Admission includes the full aquarium and an IMAX movie. Activity sheets and a scavenger hunt can be found on the website for kids to enjoy.
Admission: $15.95-22.95. Children under 3 free.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Address: 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT 06854
Turtle Back Zoo
See animals from all over the world, including giraffes, kangaroos, penguins, Komodo dragons, ostriches, bald eagles and sea lions. Included in the price of admission is a dinosaur-themed playground, and other attractions include pony rides and an endangered-species carousel, both $2. Next door to the zoo are the TreeTop Adventure Course, with a world-class aerial obstacle course and a zip line for older kids and adults, and Mini Golf Safari, with an African-themed mini-golf course.
Admission: $12-15. Children under 2 free.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Address: 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052
Six Flags Great Adventure
An amusement park for the whole family to enjoy! Experience the thrill of roller coasters, including Kingda Ka, the tallest coaster in the world. There is a variety of rides, from family friendly to kid friendly to thrill-seeking. Included with admission is the Safari Off-Road Adventure, which includes a tour of over 1,200 animals observed from an open-air truck.
Admission: $48.99 for children under 54’’, $76.99 general admission (discounted if bought online). Contact NCSY for Tuesday, October 10, special admission package with sukkah and kosher food.
Hours: Sunday-Monday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (not open Tues, Wed or Thurs unless prearranged with NCSY for Tuesday)
Address: 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527
Paterson Great Falls
A new addition to the National Park Service, Paterson Great Falls includes the Great Falls of the Passaic River, raceways built in the late 18th century, and the Paterson Museum. See the waterfall that powered an industrial city dating back to the 18th century, established by Alexander Hamilton. Guided tours are led daily by the National Park Service. You may also choose to visit the nearby Paterson Museum, which contains a variety of exhibits relating to the history of Paterson.
Admission: Free ($2 suggested donation for the museum)
Hours: Tours available Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Welcome Center hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Museum hours: Sunday 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., weekdays 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Address: 72 McBride Ave, Paterson, NJ 07501
Circle Line Statue of Liberty Ferry From Liberty State Park
Located only 2,000 feet from the Statue of Liberty. Information available about the statue and Ellis Island. Take advantage of playground, liberty walk, lookout point and nature trail.
Address: Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City
Van Saun Park and Bergen County Zoo
Within its 146 acres, Van Saun County Park offers a wide range of activities that is sure to please the entire family. Some of its popular attractions include the nationally accredited Bergen County Zoological Park, the historic Washington Spring Garden, train, carousel, pony rides, several age-appropriate playgrounds and picnic and fishing areas.
Admission: $4 for adults (county residents) 15-61; $2 for children (county residents) 3-14, children under 3 free; $2 for seniors
Hours: Open seven days a week 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Address: 216 Forest Ave, Paramus
Visit Glassworks Studio to create your own design out of glass. A bowl, a platter, a picture frame or a suncatcher—you can choose your own shape, colors and design. Glassworks Studio is great for adults and children, even offering specific projects for children under 7. Reservations are not required, but suggested, as Glassworks is usually quite busy during Chol Hamoed.
Admission: $23-135 (depending on which project you choose)
Hours: Open every day 12-6 p.m.
Address: 151 South St. Morristown, NJ 07960
Liberty Science Center
Enjoy an animal encounter, experience a rainforest adventure, learn about beekeeping, listen to Curious George stories, participate in Kid Construction and have fun with the touch tank and at the fish-feeding frenzy. These are just some of the activities LSC visitors can expect during Chol Hamoed week. Check out the LSC’s calendar on their website for additional daily events: http://lsc.org/see-whats-happening/events-calendar/.
Admission: Child (age 2 -12) $17.75, adult $21.75, senior (age 62+) $18.75
Hours: Tues-Fri 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Open Columbus Day 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Address: 222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure
Safe, fun, affordable activities for the entire family.
Address: 69 Wesley Street, Hackensack
Obstacles high off the ground as well as right at your feet. Rock climbing, wall climbing etc.
Address: 266 Union Street, Northvale
Address: 260 Grand Ave, Englewood
Hours: Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Escape Room New Jersey
Solve the mystery and have loads of fun doing it!
Address: 157 A Main Street, Hackensack
Phone: 201 815 1784
Catch Air Indoor Playground
Hours: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Address: 224 Rte 4 E at Forest, Paramus, lower level of ShopRite
Independence National Historical Park (INHP)
Known as “America’s Most Historic Square Mile,” INHP is home to several attractions that are key in the history of America. View the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed), the President’s House outdoor museum, the National Constitution Center and much more. If you are interested in history or are a proud American, INHP can’t be missed.
Admission: Varies by attraction, several (including Liberty Bell and Independence Hall) are free
Hours: Varies by attraction
Address: 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Website: Varies by attraction (visitphilly.com is a good place to start)
Visit nearly 1,000 acres of beautiful gardens. Located mostly outdoors, there are also several indoor components, including a four-acre Conservatory and the Pierre du Pont House. Tour the gardens with a guide, or just walk through at your own pace, appreciating the nature. Highlights include the Rose Garden, Waterlily Display, and Chimes Tower and Waterfall.
Admissions: $12-23. Children under 4 free.
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Call to check hours.
Address: 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Known for being equally disturbing and informative, the Mütter Museum focuses on medical history and the human body. View Albert Einstein’s brain, the Hyrtl Skull Collection of 139 human skulls, Lisa Nilsson’s Connective Tissue paper art and an exhibit tracing the history of spinal medicine. The museum aims to give visitors an appreciation for the human body and medical treatments, while also seeing the beauty beneath.
Admission: $13-18. Children under 5 free, $2 discount on Mon-Tues.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Address: 19 S 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Observe art from across the world in one of the country’s largest art museums. Over 240,000 pieces are included in the museum’s collection, with works that were hundreds of years and miles apart all brought together in one location. Highlights include the Sculpture Garden, Marcel Duchamp’s controversial “Fountain” and works by renowned artists such as Picasso and Monet.
Admissions: $14-20. Children under 12 free, first Sunday of the month pay-what-you-wish.
Hours: Tues-Sun 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (closed Mon)
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Address: 100 Hersheypark Drive
Hours: Sunday, October 8, only with tickets pre-purchased through www.lancastersukkot.com. Phone: 866-946-9977