Did you visit the Living Nativity at Salem Evangelical Church last week, listen to Choral music or breathed fresh air at one of our parks or nature areas. 

My grandson, Gerard, ever the aficionado of prehistoric creatures, and at age 3, can pronounce the names of every dinosaur, is in for a treat!  “Dinosaur Encounters” debuted at the Staten Island Zoo yesterday.  Eight animatronic dinos will be at the Zoo for four months until April 1.  Triggered by motion detectors, the beasts move heads and tails and grunt and growl hoarsely.  The exhibit is free with regular admission.  

Saturday, 12/20 and Sunday, 12/21, the Staten Island Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" at 1 and 5 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd. Call 718-980-0500 for tickets. 

This is your last chance to see Staten Island Shakespearean Theater’s “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” at the historic Conference House, Hylan Blvd. and Satterlee St. in Tottenville, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  For tickets, visit www.showclix.com or call 1-888-71TICKETS.

On Saturday, 12/20, 10-2, you can participate in a Forest Restoration Workshop to remove invasive vines from shrubs and saplings at the Gretta Moulton tract in High Rock. Meet in the Nevada Avenue parking lot at High Rock. If you do not have your own, Protectors will supply gloves and pruners (and refreshments). After a two-hour work session, enjoy a short walk over nearby trails. Call Don Recklies at 718-768-9036 or Chuck Perry at 718-667-1393 for more info. 

Stroll along the multi-use trail next to Fresh Kills on Saturday, below the hills of LaTourette Golf Course, and return along the Blue Trail.  Hike will begin at 2 p.m.Parking is available at the end of Old Mill Rd., behind St. Andrew’s Church. Call Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

On Sunday, at 11:00, meet at Meisner Dam at Meisner Ave. and Manor Rd. Parking is available along the road to Eger Nursing Home. Walk a 3.2-mile loop and earn about the ecology of serpentine barrens in a wild valley. E-mail Hillel Lofaso at hillel5757@gmail.com or call 718-477-0545.

On Sunday, 12/21 at 1:00 p.m., at Clove Lakes Park, meet Park Rangers who will teach you the basics of wildlife tracking.  You will be skilled in recognizing the difference between raccoon and common housecat tracks. This is a great activity for children of all ages.  Meet in Clove Lakes parking lot off Clove Rd. Call 718-967-3542 for information.

Let’s not forget all the pets that are looking for homes.  Saturday you can visit PETCO in Charleston Shopping Center for cat and dog adoptions from noon-3.  At PETCO on 2795 Richmond Ave., New Springville, from noon-4 as well as at Petsmart, 1520 Forest Ave. from 2-5 on Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday.

Louie's Legacy will be at Petsmart, 1520 Forest Ave., from 11-3 Saturday, and Sunday, from noon-3. Adoption fees on felines will be reduced to $50 for kittens and $40 for adult cats.

On Sunday from noon-3, Fur Friends in Need will be at PETCO in Charleston Shopping Center, 2752 Veterans Road West.

Please take a moment to remember those in need while you are doing holiday shopping.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the necessities in life.  Project Hospitality is asking for donations of new scarves, hats, gloves, socks, hooded sweatshirts, thermals and other cold weather clothing between now and January 6.  The items will be distributed to the homeless and other Staten Islanders in need of warm clothes.  Items will be accepted at the administrative offices, 100 Park Ave., from 9-5, Monday through Friday.  For more information, call 718-448-1522, ext. 134.

I pray you remember the reason for the season.  Be kind to your family, your neighbors, those strangers who cut you off in traffic and try to love one another.  If you would like to share your comments, your stories, your activities, call me at 646-258-9696, write me below or at joan.coogan@gmail.com

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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