For Mind and Body, Events and Programs by the Dozens in BPC

Just four of the myriad activities that are being offered this fall in Battery Park City. Photos: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Sep. 01, 2017


Battery Park City's menu of activities for children and adults seems to grow by the year. There are hundreds of events on this fall's calendar, most are free and sponsored by Battery Park City Parks. The choices range from a bookmaking workshop and gardening for preschoolers to figure drawing and boxing for adults. And that doesn't count the programs for preschoolers at the Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library. Here's just a sampling of what's coming up.


In the cozy children's room at Poets House (10 River Terrace), there is poetry reading—Tiny Poets Time—every Thursday starting at 10 a.m.

Art and Play for toddlers takes place on the lawns of Wagner Park (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)  and outside the Rockefeller Parkhouse (Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.) through the end of October. In Wagner Park, children play with toys and on equipment and sing songs and listen to stories. Outside the Parkhouse, the emphasis is on art projects using clay, paper, paint and everyday recyclable materials. For both programs, all toys and materials are provided.

For children 3- to 4-years-old, there is Soccer on Tuesdays from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m. in Rockefeller Park. Kids go through simple drills focusing on coordination and movement and have fun running and kicking the ball.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, a Bookmaking Workshop takes place at 11 a.m. in Rockefeller Park. A new program, it is led by bookmaker Elise Engler. Everyone leaves with a handmade book with their own story told through pictures. Finally, Stories & Songs offers live musical performances and storytelling with children adding music with rhythm instruments that are provided. The cost for this program is $335 for 14 sessions. (More information here.) The 40-minute classes, for 6 months to 3.5 years take place on Wednesday mornings, from 9:40 a.m. to 12 p.m. More information here.


The ever-popular chess, soccer, basketball and art and games are on tap this fall, plus a new program, a bird-watching club. Chess lessons for 5- to 7-year olds take place on Tuesdays, from. 3:30 to 4:25 p.m. at 6 River Terrace. The cost is $280 for 14 sessions. Classes for older kids are 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The teacher uses art projects and activities to help explain the logic behind the movements of the pieces. (The cost is $308.) More information here.

There is also Drop-In Chess on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Rockefeller Park through Sept. 27. Through October, children 5 and up can play Lawn Games on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Teardrop Park and on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Rockefeller Park. Both afternoon programs also offer Art Activities using clay, collage and paints.

Soccer for 5- to 7-year-olds (3:30 to 4:15 p.m.) and 8- to 11-year-olds (4:30 to 5:15 p.m.) is Tuesdays at Rockefeller Park with fun drills and scrimmages. Adjustable height hoops for kids of all sizes are used during Children's Basketball on Mondays at Rockefeller Park where kids work on their jump shots, develop on-court vision and play games. The program for ages 5 to 6 takes place from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.; ages 7 and up, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m.


Children 3 to 5 years of age learn about organic gardening with an accompanying adult in Young Sprouts Gardening, which takes place in the Children's Garden in Rockefeller Park on Tuesday from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. For 1st through 3rd graders, there is a Bird Watching Club on Mondays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at 6 River Terrace. (The fee is $200; more information here.) This is the first time the program is being held during the fall migration and participants will watch for the birds and learn about other birds that live in the park. Catch-and-Release Fishing is a favorite of kids but everyone is welcome to cast a line (which are provided) and learn about the fish that live in the Hudson River on Saturdays, Sept. 9 and 23 and Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wagner Park.


Friday Teen Nights at 6 River Terrace are reserved for 7th to 12th graders. Activities include table tennis, foosball, life-size chess or just listening to music. From Sept. 8 to Dec. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. A one-time DJ Workshop in which teens can learn from a master DJ and then try their own hand at spinning tunes takes place on Sept. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.


The three noon concerts at Wagner Park this fall are upbeat music bound to keep your foot tapping. Dan Zanes & Friends (Saturday, Sept. 9),  a Grammy Award winner, perform traditional acoustic folk music with a modern twist. The songs of Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke (Saturday, Sept. 23) are often humorous and celebrate styles ranging from surf to bluegrass. The Crusty Gentlemen (Saturday, Oct. 14) is a local bluegrass band started in Brooklyn that will perform some lively hillbilly tunes.


Three long-time popular art classes are back this year. Drawing materials (watercolors, pastels, chalk and charcoal) are provided and students of all levels are welcome. Elements of Nature Drawing in which the subject is the Hudson River, New York Harbor and the area's lush gardens takes place from Sept. 6 to Oct. 25 on Wednesdays, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at Wagner Park. A live model strikes a variety of poses at Figure al Fresco, which takes place from Sept. 6 to Oct. 25, on Wednesdays, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at South Cove. And Drawing in the Park in South Cove offers artists a chance to capture yet another view of the Hudson and the park's landscaping. Classes, from Sept. 9 to Oct. 28, take place on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In collaboration with Church Street School for Music & Art, the BPC Adult Chorus sings contemporary and classic songs and performs at community events. Everyone is welcome to join the group, at 6 River Terrace beginning on Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 6, from 1 to 2 p.m.


Through the end of September, yoga devotees (as well as novices) can enjoy their poses on the lawn in Wagner Park overlooking New York Harbor. Sunset Yoga takes place on Wednesdays, from 6 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 27. Bring your own mat. For those searching more cerebral serenity, there is Primordial Sound Meditation offered Monday mornings from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. at 6 River Terrace through Dec. 18. And to improve balance and strength as well as relieve stress,  a teacher leads a class in the venerable and gentle postures of Tai Chi on Fridays, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the Esplanade Plaza, through Oct. 27.


A scorekeeper is on hand for Afterwork Volleyball, but the games are friendly. Drop in on Wednesdays, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the Esplanade Plaza, through Sept. 27.  For those who like their exercise over music, two classes fit the bill. Learn new steps every week at Zumba Jumpstart while moving to salsa, merengue and hip hop. Every Tuesday, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. at 6 River Terrace, through Dec. 19, The instructor for the Group Exercise class on Mondays from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. at 6 River Terrace uses music as she leads students in rhythmic movement and aerobics, balance and coordination exercises, as well as strength training. From Sept. 11 to Dec. 18.


The Battery Park City also runs the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School at 345 Chambers Street. Annual membership is $199 for adults. There are discounts for seniors, youth and BPC residents. Members enjoy free Tai Chi, Hatha Yoga, Bounce Fit Cardio and Core Fitness Flow. There are also weekly Badminton Games and access to a weight and fitness room, and a mirrored and barred dance studio. Swim Lessons for all ages are offered in the school's heated, half Olympic-sized pool. You can also try out the facilities by getting a day pass. For information about the Community Center, click here.

Plus: A Garden Tour of Wagner Park on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. with a park horticulturist...two Friday Movie Nights at Rockefeller Park, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them on Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., and Ghostbusters on Oct. 13 at 7 Acappella Showcase on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. with six of the finest college groups singing a range of musical genres...Birdwatching (with binoculars and field guides available to borrow) on Saturdays, Sept 9 and Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Wagner Park with a naturalist/horticulturist. For yet more, go to