I pray that you, my gentle readers, enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Did you take any hikes this week, especially the after-Thanksgiving or Black Friday hikes to counteract overeating or over imbibing? The Winter Wilderness Survival in Von Briesen Park with the Urban Park Rangers sounded like a fun family event. Did you attend any of the Tree Lighting ceremonies or Shop Small and Local on Small Business Saturday?

The Holiday Tree Lighting, sponsored by the Castleton Avenue Merchants Organization (CAMO) and St. Mary's Episcopal Church was held on Saturday evening. The Rev. H. Dagnall Free, Rector of St. Mary’s, welcomed the crowd as did District Attorney McMahon and North Shore Assemblyman Charles Fall. The tree lighting was well attended by parishioners of St. Mary’s, neighbors, businesses from the CAMO and friends. The Boy Scouts sold beautiful holiday wreaths; hot cocoa and cookies were served. Following are photos:

The following photos are from the Christmas Fair at All Saints Episcopal Church on Saturday.


Don’t forget to check out the list of Holiday/Christmas Fairs this week around Staten Iland at the end of my blog below!

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Bring the children to Itty Bitty Storytime on Wednesday 12/4 at 11:15 at the Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South Ave. They will enjoy interactive stories, lively songs, finger plays and rhymes, foster a love of reading and meet other little ones in the neighborhood.

Take an Adult Afternoon Hike on Wednesday from 1:303:30 at the Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley, 700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave. Enjoy the picturesque views of each park, as we point out a few of the unique features that make each park special. The pace of the hike will be determined by the pace of the group.

Children ages 2-8 can participate in Poco a Poco: Spanish Language Playgroup on Wednesday from 3-4 at the Staten Island Children's Museum, 1000 Richmond Terr. Conducted in Spanish, this program offers children a fun way to learn about Latin American culture through music, crafts, storytelling and more! Admission is FREE to the Museum from 3-4 on Wednesdays. All are welcome! Presentado en español, este programa ofrece a los niños de 2 a 8 años una oportunidad aprender por medio de los cuentos, el arte, las manualidadades, y mucho más. Los días miércoles, desde las 3–4. Entrada gratis.

Ages 13-18 can attend Robot 101 on Wednesday at 4 at the Richmondtown Library, 200 Clarke Ave. From ancient automatons to present day nano-bots to futuristic droids, we learn about the long history of robots in fairy tales, science fiction stories, manga, comics, toys and big budget films. After some history and basic drawing lessons, participants will learn how to design their own droid. Presented by Ivan Velez. No registration is required.

Bring your baby to Baby Storytime: Baby & Me on Thursday, 12/5 at 11 at the Tottenville Library, 7430 Amboy Rd. We will introduce the babies to the joys of movement, books, and song, and begin to build their early learning skills. Come prepared to sit with your baby on your lap.

The kiddies ages 3+ will enjoy Slime Making on Thursday at 3:30 at the Huguenot Library, 830 Huguenot Ave. Sign up by calling 718-984-4636 or visiting in person. If there are any spaces left, it will be first come, first served.

Don’t miss the Forest Avenue BID Annual Holiday Stroll on Thursday from 4-6. Join the merchants and stroll along the commercial corridor and holiday shop beginning at Hart Blvd. and ending at Broadway.

Join Borough President Oddo for the Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday at 6:30 outside on Borough Hall Plaza, (facing the St. George Ferry Terminal).  Sing along to Christmas carols while waiting for Santa's arrival.  He's going to help light the tree and hand out books to the children in attendance.

Bring your family and friends to Conference House Grand Illumination on Friday 12/6 at 7 at the Conference House, 298 Satterlee St. Welcome the holidays by singing Christmas carols while the historic house is illuminated from within. Enjoy free hot cider and cookies. This event is held completely outdoors, so please dress warmly!

Join NYC Parks for a special guided evening Holiday Lantern Walk immediately following the Illumination (see above) on Friday from 7:309 at Conference House Park., as you tour the moonlit park trails to view the park’s other historic houses (Rutan-Becket and H.H. Biddle) also decorated and illuminated for the holiday season. Warm refreshments to follow. Please note: RSVP is required; please call 917-417-6917 or email john.kilcullen@parks.nyc.gov.

The kids will enjoy creating a Christmas Countdown Calendar on Saturday 12/7 from 9-12 at Home Depot, all Staten Island locations. Create your own countdown to the holidays, and have a blast with your child while doing it. Kids develop hands-on skills with sanding, nailing and applying stickers. With help from parents and store associates, your child will make a merry memory this holiday season. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. To register, visit https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/

Kids Club ages 3+ can participate in making a Clay Pot Bell on Saturday from 10-12 at Michael's, all Staten Island locations, 2795 Richmond Ave; 30 Barrett Ave.; 245 Bricktown Way. They craft, you shop! Sign up in store or online, or just drop in. Parent or guardian must remain on premises during the event. To register, visit http://www.michaels.com/classes or call Richmond Ave: 718-697-0252; Forest Ave: 718-720-0377; Charleston: 347-694-7203

Volunteer with the Stewardship Team in the Fairview Park Tree Planting on Saturday from 101 at Charleston Shopping Center, Target Parking Lot in Fairview Park, 2900 Veterans Rd. W.  Trees provide so many benefits to New Yorkers such as improved air and water quality, reduced pollution, and lower energy costs. Volunteers will be trained in proper planting techniques. Come dressed in sturdy boots or shoes, long pants and clothing that can get dirty. Please bring your own water bottle. Please note: Space is limited and registration is required for this event. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone.

Children ages 1-5 can participate in Music & Movement on Saturday at 11 at the New Dorp Library,  309 New Dorp Ln. where they sing, dance and reveal your inner musician. Our music time is dynamic and interactive, so come ready to participate in the fun. Registration required; call 718-351-2977.

Gather Around the Campfire on Saturday from 1-2:30 at Wolfe's Pond Park, 420 Cornelia Ave.  Our bright and talented Urban Park Rangers are what make our Weekend Adventure programs so amazing. Join us around a campfire for an afternoon of stories, songs, and fun activities.

Attend Farming Law Olmsted—At Home on Staten Island on Saturday from 2-4 at Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Blvd. Author Justin Martin will connect the pieces of Olmsted’s life, showing how his Staten Island interlude was crucial to his future endeavors, particular Central Park. Book signing and refreshments. This event is hosted by the Friends of the Olmsted-Beil House. For info, visit olmstedbeilhouse.org or write to info@olmstedbeilhouse.org

Join Staten Island Creative Community at Art on the Terrace Gallery, 776 Richmond Terr. on Saturday from 7-9 for the Opening Reception: Dreams & Enchantments, their last gallery exhibit of 2019 running through Sunday 12/29. Meet the artists, buy some great art, peruse the work available for sale in our Artisan Market and partake of refreshments.

On Saturday and Sunday 12/8 from 10-5, visit the Annual Christmas Holiday Train Show presented by the Richmond County Model Railroad Club at Clove Lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, 25 Fanning St. Free parking and admission, photos with Santa, fun for all ages. Festive holiday layouts, refreshments and door prizes. Complete train sets and Christmas cars will be raffled.

Tour the beautifully decorated Colonial Manor House during Colonial Christmas on Sunday, 12/8 from 10-4 at the Conference House, 298 Satterlee St. Enjoy live seasonal music, free hot cider and cookies. Shop for fine crafts and gifts in the Kitchen Marketplace, and also in the Visitors Center. Children may visit with “Father Christmas” who will give each child a free gift. Raffle drawings take place at 4 pm. Admission is $3.

In celebration of the Urban Park Rangers' 40th Anniversary year, join them for an 'Over the Hill' Hilltop Hike: Brookfield Park on Sunday from 11-12:30 at Arthur Kill Rd. and Brookfield Ave. in Brookfield Park. This hiking series features some of the steepest hills in NYC Parks. Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots are recommended on these moderate to vigorous hikes.

Attend an Advent Concert featuring G.F. Handel, J.S. Bach, Philip Stopford and Arvo Part at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 347 Davis Ave. on Sunday at 4. A light reception will follow.

Attend the Annadale Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday (cancelled last week due to inclement weather) from 5-7 at 820 Annadale Rd. next to Richmond County Savings Bank featuring a train ride for the kids, holiday characters, face painting, bouncy houses, DJ, live performance by Miss Caroline’s Dance Elite and, of course, the arrival of Santa and your very own photo. Brought to you by Councilman Joe Borelli, Hudson Wealth Management and The South Shore BID, this event is free to the public and all are invited.

Every evening, you can visit the DiMartino home at 107 Sharrotts Rd. to enjoy the most spectacular Winter Wonderland Holiday Display and favorite for kids of all ages. Joe DiMartino erected this wonder in memory of his wife Debra Ann who died on 9/11. All proceeds are donated to the SIUH Foundation, Inc. to support Pediatric Oncology. To date, more than $200,000 has been donated to Staten Island University Hospital in Debra’s name. While you are visiting, drop a cash donation of any amount or a check made payable to “SIUH Foundation, Inc.” into the donation box. This year, DiMartino has set up credit card scanners along with an active Venmo account for donations. Visit “Lights for Life” on Facebook and/or read https://www.silive.com/entertainment/2019/11/staten-island-homeowner-shows-off-elaborate-christmas-display-collects-donations-for-charity.html for more info and how Joe DiMartino makes our Christmas season just a little more joyous.

Award-winning Italian Tenor Michéal Castaldo and Friends will perform "The Spirit of Christmas - A Concert with Michéal Castaldo” - a traditional Christmas concert with Italian and International flair on Saturday 12/14 at 7 at New Dorp Moravian Church, 2205 Richmond Rd. Special Guests: Tenor: Andrew Kay, Soprano: Kaitlin Kleinau, Organist: Dylan Sauerwald and NDMC Children's Choir performers. Immediately following the concert, refreshments and an olive oil tasting will be served in the Church Social Hall with a meet and greet with the artist. This concert is a fundraiser and community outreach for New Dorp Moravian Church with sponsorship from around the island! For info and tickets, please purchase online at: https://ndmc1763.booktix.com or at the door.

Holiday/Christmas Fairs

St. Clare’s Church, 110 Nelson Ave. Wednesday 12/4 from 8-2

P.S. 58,77 Marsh Ave. Wednesday 12/4 from 6-9

St. Teresa School, 1632 Victory Blvd., Thursday 12/5 from 8-3, Saturday 12/7 from 12-7 and Sunday 12/8 from 10-3

P.S. 53, 330 Durant Ave. Thursday 12/5 from 6-8 and Friday 12/6 from 8-1:30

P.S. 26, 4108 Victory Blvd., Friday 12/6 from 8:30 to 8:30

Trinity Lutheran Church Stapleton, 309 St Paul’s Ave., Saturday 12/7 from 9-2

Immanuel Union Church, 693 Jewett Ave., Saturday 12/7 from 9-3

Christ Lutheran Church of SI, 121 Cleveland Ave., Saturday 12/7 from 9-3

Unitarian Church of Staten Island, 312 Fillmore St., Saturday 12/7 from 10-4

Staten Island Technical H.S., 485 Clawson St., Saturday 12/7 from 10-4

P.S. 56, 250 Kramer Ave., Saturday 12/7 from 10-4:30

MakerSpace Holiday Maker Market, 450 Front St., Saturday 12/7 from 11-4

Culture Shop, Noble Maritime Collection, 1000 Richmond Terr., Bldg. D., Saturday 12/7 from 11-4

Art Lab, 1000 Richmond Terr. #10, Saturday, 12/7 from 11-4

Port Richmond High School, 85 St. Joseph’s Ave., Saturday 12/7 from 12-4

St. Christopher Church, 15 Lisbon Pl., Saturday 12/7 from 12-6

JCC, 1466 Manor Rd., Sunday 12/8 from 10-4

Monsignor Farrell, 2900 Amboy Rd. Sunday 12/8 from 10-5

Jacques Marchais Museum, 338 Lighthouse Ave., Sunday 12/8 from 1-5

New Dorp H.S. PTA, 465 New Dorp Ln., Monday 12/9 from 9-4

P37R The David Marquis School of the Arts, 15 Fairfield St., Monday 12/9 from 6-9, Tuesday 12/10 & Wednesday 12/11 from 9-2

I welcome comments and photos at events you have attended. If you want to share events for me to post, email, text or call.

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