Macy's Sunday Story Time: Sleepy Hollow and the Road You'd Better Not Follow

Sun, 10/27/2013 - 11:30
Sun, October 27th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 3–7. 

Sleepy Hollow and the Road You'd Better Not Follow by Donna Davies
Walk with Ned and his friend through the eerie village of Sleepy Hollow. Will they find the legendary Hessian soldier, the Headless Horseman, in this old Dutch town? Or will he find them? Join us for this modern day rendition of Washington Irving's classic to find out!

From the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, through fiction and through fact, hear tales of NYC and the people who made it great.

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Spirits of Hallowe'ens Past

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 17:00 to 19:00
Thu, October 31st, 2013 | 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Dress up like your favorite historical character and come to where curious kids celebrate Halloween! Meet the headless horseman, listen to Gilded Age ghost stories, visit fortune tellers, and taste test historic candy. Special musical performances of Haunted History Tales by master spooky storyteller, Jonathan Kruk, will entertain families throughout the evening.

Free with Museum admission.


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It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus

November 25, 2011
January 08, 2012

Though legend has it that Santa Claus hails from the North Pole, he was actually a New Yorker who came into the world on West 23rd Street in what is now the trendy Chelsea neighborhood.

Thomas Nast and George Webster. Santa Claus and his works. New York: McLoughlin Bros., ca 1870. New-York Historical Society, YC1870.Web.

The modern Santa was born in the imagination of Clement Clarke Moore, a scholar who penned a whimsical poem about St. Nicholas, the patron of old Dutch New York, for the amusement of his six children at Christmastime. Soon after the publication of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"—popularly known today by its opening line, "Twas the night before Christmas…""—St. Nicholas became a popular feature of American Christmas celebrations. Moore's poem permanently connected St. Nicholas to Christmas, and led to our idea of Santa Claus.

Santa's popularity, appearance and many of the holiday traditions that surround him owe much to the imaginative work of two other New Yorkers: Washington Irving, the creator of Knickerbocker's History of New York, and Thomas Nast, an artist whose drawings of Santa were reproduced all over the country in the years following the Civil War.

To celebrate the winter season, the New-York Historical Society is presenting It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus, an installation tracing the modern image of Santa Claus, the red-suited, pot-bellied descendant of the medieval bishop St. Nicholas of Myra, which emerged only decades after the first Congress met in 1788 in Federal Hall in New York.  The exhibition features Robert Weir's 1837 painting of a rather sly St. Nicholas and Thomas Nast's Harper's Weekly cartoons of Santa. Clement Clarke Moore's desk is on display in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.


 Video excerpt: The Santa Files with John Sergant (c) 2010 Fine Stripe Productions.

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