LIGHT IN WINTER: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Celebrates Beauty in Darkness

November 2012–February 2013

LIGHT IN WINTER: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Celebrates Beauty in Darkness
BBG's beauty, serenity and vitality in winter inspires a new suite of seasonal programming for body and mind. Photo by Mike Ratliff.

Release Date: October 22, 2012

Brooklyn, NY—Perhaps more than anywhere else in New York, winter’s quiet beauty shines at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). For the first time, the Garden is presenting a series of activities and programs designed to highlight the subtler beauties of the season and celebrate people’s connection to nature in the quietest months of the year.

Inspired by winter traditions from around the globe, Light in Winter offers enlivening activities including bird walks, seasonal garden tours, winter yoga, children’s workshops, culinary classes for adults, and a four-day festival inspired by Swedish winter customs—all of which will foster community and fellowship in a sometimes solitary season.

Light in Winter activities are offered on an ongoing basis, with special programming on the first Sunday of each month and variously thereafter through the end of February 2013. More information is available at bbg.org/lightinwinter.

For interview requests and hi-res photos, email communications@bbg.org.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
NOVEMBER 2012–FEBRUARY 2013

ONGOING

Free Winter Weekday Admission
Tuesday–Fridays November 1–March 1 | 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (10 a.m. on weekends)
In winter, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a sanctuary of calm, enjoining visitors to look closely into the Garden’s subtle beauty. The striking bark and structure of trees come to the fore, and the Garden’s formal architecture reveals itself in a whole new way. The Japanese-Hill-and-Pond Garden and Rock Garden present dramatic winter perspectives outdoors, while the Aquatic House’s orchid collection and other displays of the Steinhardt Conservatory offer visitors an escape to tropical, desert, and temperate climes. Winter is also the best time to appreciate the intricate branch structure and skilled attention to pruning of the deciduous trees and conifers in the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum.

Terrace Café Warm Winter Menu
November 1–March 1 | 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
The Terrace Café has developed a seasonal menu featuring changing specials like root-vegetable potpie, sandwiches and panini featuring beets, sweet potatoes, and apples and other winter delicacies, and a daily savory soup.

Holiday Season at the Garden Shop
BBG’s new, expanded Garden Shop offers a suite of special holiday items for home, garden, and loved ones of all ages. During holiday hours, the shop stays open an extra 90 minutes—until 6 p.m.—to accommodate everyone on your list! Pick up a juniper bonsai, some lighted branches, a hanging terrarium, and other jewels for the season.
Holiday Hours: Friday, November 23 | 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturday, November 24 | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Friday, November 30: | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday, December 23 | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.


Members’ Double Discount Days: Sunday, November 25–December 4
BBG members receive 20 percent off their purchases at the Garden Shop during Double Discount Days.

NOVEMBER 2012

Frosty First Sundays
Sunday, November 4

On the first Sunday of each month, BBG invites visitors to invigorate themselves in the Garden with a host of daytime activities for all ages. Several activities change slightly from month to month in sync with the progression of the natural landscape and the plants and animals that inhabit it throughout the course of the season.

  • Bird Walk with Naturalist Brad Klein | 10 a.m.
    Some species are still passing through New York heading south, others are arriving from the far north to spend the winter in Brooklyn. We’ll identify migrant and resident birds, and look for other wildlife preparing for winter. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Discovery Workshop: Warm up for Winter | 10 a.m.–noon
    Make warming mulling spice mixes to bring home, cozy up with fall story time, and explore fall harvest plants. Meet in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium at the Visitor Center.

  • Guided Tour: Chase Away the Winter Blues | 1 p.m.
    Join licensed psychotherapist and veteran BBG guide Lynne Spevack, LCSW, for this hour-long outdoor narrated walk designed to relieve the winter doldrums. First in the series: Celebrating the Last Leaves of Autumn and the Return of Standard Time. As many as half of all New Yorkers find that the shorter days of winter leave them feeling sluggish and sleepy; many people become depressed. Exposure to daylight, even on a cloudy day, can help restore energy, alertness, and contentment. Enjoy a tour of the Garden's stunning fall foliage display as you learn how and why plants, animals, and humans respond to light and the changing seasons—and what you can do to maintain a sunny outlook through the dark, cold winter days ahead. Meet at Magnolia Plaza.

  • Winter Yoga | 3 p.m.
    Sarah Schumann, owner of Prospect Heights’ Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center, will lead a class that emphasizes warming and opening the body through yoga postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and guided meditation. This 45-minute drop-in class, encourages you to slow down, savor the moment, and find the light of community. Meet in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium at the Visitor Center.

  • Garden Shop Tasting: Hot Chocolate and Cider | 1–3 p.m.
    Rev up for an outdoor visit, or indulge yourself after one, with a taste of rich hot chocolate and caramel apple cider from the Perky Moose Beverage Company. Browse the Garden Shop’s stock of treats—edible and otherwise—for the winter season.

  • Adult Workshop: How Not to Kill Your Houseplant | 2–4:30 p.m.
    After this class, you’ll never again wonder about fundamental questions of indoor plant care such as whether you watered too much or too little or when to repot your plants. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

Saturday, November 10
Waltz of the Flowers with American Ballet Theater | 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Explore the world of The Nutcracker in a special workshop for children ages 5 through 12, presented by teaching artists from American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Magical waltzing flowers and busy bumble bees will receive basic ballet instruction and explore flowering plants with BBG educators. No dance experience necessary; online preregistration required here. Meet in the Steinhardt Conservatory.

Sunday, November 11
Adult Workshop: Extracts, Infusions, and Bitters: Cooking and Baking | 10:30–Noon
Enliven your kitchen with the unique flavors of fresh botanicals. This class begins with a tour of cooking herbs and spices found at BBG, along with a discussion about when they became popular, or fell out of favor, in the American diet. Back in the classroom, learn to make a variety of herbally infused ingredients, including botanical vinegars and an extract for baking to take home. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

Garden Shop Tasting: The Jam Stand | 1–3 p.m.
Sample juicy offerings from the Brooklyn-based Jam Stand, and make selections from the shop’s special assortment of jams for purchase.

Sunday, November 18
Adult Workshop: Cooking with Wild Foods and Weeds | 1–4 p.m.
Get tips on foraging, growing, harvesting, and eating four seasons’ worth of wild herbs, vegetables, and berries-including innovative recipes. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

DECEMBER 2012
Frosty First Sundays
Sunday, December 2

On the first Sunday of each month, BBG invites visitors to invigorate themselves in the Garden with a host of daytime activities for all ages. Several activities change slightly from month to month in sync with the progression of the natural landscape and the plants and animals that inhabit it throughout the course of the season.
  • Bird Walk with Naturalist Brad Klein | 10 a.m.
    Winter is the best time to start bird watching, when our resident species predominate and before the confusing tropical birds of spring begin passing through. We’ll look for local denizens like juncos, tree sparrows, pine siskins, and common redpolls.

  • Discovery Workshop: Winter Wildcrafting | 10 a.m.–noon
    Learn about how animals snuggle down for winter, search for animal hideouts, and craft your very own tiny creature houses. Meet in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium at the Visitor Center.

  • Guided Tour: Chase Away the Winter Blues | 1 p.m.
    December’s tour—After the Leaves Have Fallen: The Subtle Beauty of the Deciduous Trees of Winter—provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Walk the Garden to counteract holiday-season overindulgence while keeping the blues at bay. This walk is held rain, snow, or shine; dress warmly and wear comfortable walking shoes. Meet at Magnolia Plaza.

  • Winter Yoga | 3 p.m.
    Meet in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium at the Visitor Center.

  • Garden Shop Tasting: Brooklyn Salsa Company | 1–3 p.m.
    Light up your taste buds with samples from the borough’s premier salsa makers.

Monday, December 3
Registration for Winter Children’s Garden Opens | 9 a.m.
Harvest in the winter? Yes you can, at BBG! Come to our winter gardening sessions to pick vegetables growing under row covers, explore plants and animals outdoors, and travel to other climates of the world in our greenhouses. Register at bbg.org/learn/children.

Friday, December 21
Wandering Winter Solstice Concert with Make Music New York | Noon–1 p.m.
Celebrate the start of winter throughout the Garden with Make Music NY as it presents Winterreise (winter journey), a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert that sets to music 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller. Free with Garden admission.

Sunday December 23
Garden Shop Tasting: Tea | 1–3 p.m.
During your holiday gift hunting at the Garden Shop, warm up with a taste of the latest offering from Bag Ladies Tea: Birdwatching Is My Cup of Tea, an English breakfast blend that invites contemplation of winter’s winged creatures.

JANUARY 2013

Frosty First Sundays
Sunday, January 6

On the first Sunday of each month, BBG invites visitors to invigorate themselves in the Garden with a host of daytime activities for all ages. Several activities change slightly from month to month in sync with the progression of the natural landscape and the plants and animals that inhabit it throughout the course of the season.
  • Bird Walk with Naturalist Brad Klein | 10 a.m.
    For birders who keep a checklist of the species they see each year, now’s the time to begin counting. We'll venture out in the cold and hope for a winter surprise… maybe a long-eared owl!

  • Discovery Workshop: Winter Blooms | 10 a.m.–noon
    Explore blooming bulbs and branches and pot up your own paperwhite bulb to bring flowers into your home. Meet in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium at the Visitor Center.

  • Guided Tour: Chase Away the Winter Blues | 1 p.m.
    On January’s tour—Getting Your New Year’s Resolutions Under Way in the Sensuous Winter Garden: Focus on Color, Texture, Shape, and Sound—learn how and why healthy lifestyle habits like walking outdoors can propel your pledge to conquer vices like overeating, smoking, laziness, and procrastination. Meet at Magnolia Plaza.

  • Winter Yoga | 3 p.m.
Sunday, January 20
Adult Workshop: Terrarium Design | 1–3 p.m.
Learn how to build and maintain verdant miniature environments in glass containers. The class covers basic design, construction, and maintenance; each student creates two original terrariums using ferns, mosses, and cacti and other succulents. Containers and planting materials provided. Additional section offered Sunday, January 27. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

Illuminated Weekend
Saturday–Sunday, January 26–27
Enjoy two weekends aglow with midwinter delights at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Cozy up, Swedish-style, in our Mitten Lounge and enjoy mulled wine, Stockholm hot chocolate, pepparkakor cookies, and the sounds of Northern Lights Radio spinning some of your favorite tunes. Jan 26: noon–9 p.m., Jan 27: noon–5:30 p.m. Free with Garden admission.

  • Decorate your own winter luminary and join a lantern walk under the stars with live music, stilt walkers, and giant puppets from Mortal Beasts & Deities. Cap your evening with BBG’s Ljus och Musik (Lights and Music) after-party for all ages (January 26 only).
  • Partake in a Pippi Longstocking–inspired handstand workshop for adults (kids can help coach), led by the staff of acrobatics studio Lava.
  • Listen as storyteller Robin Bady recounts Swedish tales and stories about light, accompanied by live music.
  • Learn to count in Swedish with Professor Magnus Ö Lingonberry, who will also lead rousing schoolyard games like följa John (Simon says), rött ljus, grönt ljus (red light, green light), and hela havet stormar (musical chairs).
  • Tweens and teens can chill out with snacks and music while creating their own friendship bracelets, led by Brooklyn Craft Workshop.
  • Join an outdoor walk to spot winter birds around Brooklyn Botanic Garden with naturalist Brad Klein.
  • Help Urban River Arts create a glowing mandela of recycled objects that expands with every addition by visitors.
  • Families can explore the Garden’s evergreen trees, investigate pinecones, and make a pine needle pillow to take home.
  • Curl up on the rug in our Light Bright Corner and play a round of checkers, dominoes, or Connect Four.
FEBRUARY 2013

Saturdays in February
Adult Class: Winter Vegetables Fermentation | 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Winter is a great time to make delicious, nutritious pickles. Turn locally available winter produce, including cabbage, hearty greens, and root vegetables, into nuka pickles, sauerkraut, brined vegetables, and kimchi. Each week we’ll get a new process started and watch it progress. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

Frosty First Sundays
Sunday, February 3

On the first Sunday of each month, BBG invites visitors to invigorate themselves in the Garden with a host of daytime activities for all ages. Several activities change slightly from month to month in sync with the progression of the natural landscape and the plants and animals that inhabit it throughout the course of the season.
  • Bird Walk with Naturalist Brad Klein | 10 a.m.
    It's too early for the true spring migration, but we’ll watch for the earliest of the early migrants, as well as species that overwinter in NYC if the weather is mild, such as the hermit thrush, yellow-rumped warbler, and fox sparrow.

  • Discovery Workshop: Winter Trees | 10 a.m.–noon
    Investigate winter evergreens and incredible cones and make a fragrant pine needle pillow to take home. Meet in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium at the Visitor Center.

  • Guided Tour: Chase Away the Winter Blues | 1 p.m.
    Lunar New Year in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is February’s tour. This is the perfect chance to explore this renowned BBG garden’s “bones”—the plant and hardscape elements that contribute to its year-round appeal. On this tour you’ll enjoy the soothing, contemplative atmosphere of the Garden in winter as you learn about the stylistic elements that distinguish Eastern and Western gardening styles. Meet at Magnolia Plaza.

  • Winter Yoga | 3 p.m.
Illuminated Weekend
Saturday–Sunday, February 2-3
Enjoy two weekends aglow with midwinter delights at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Cozy up, Swedish-style, in our Mitten Lounge and enjoy mulled wine, Stockholm hot chocolate, pepparkakor cookies, and the sounds of Northern Lights Radio spinning some of your favorite tunes. Jan 26: noon–9 p.m., Jan 27: noon–5:30 p.m. Free with Garden admission.

  • Decorate your own winter luminary and join a lantern walk under the stars with live music, stilt walkers, and giant puppets from Mortal Beasts & Deities. Cap your evening with BBG’s Ljus och Musik (Lights and Music) after-party for all ages (January 26 only).
  • Partake in a Pippi Longstocking–inspired handstand workshop for adults (kids can help coach), led by the staff of acrobatics studio Lava.
  • Listen as storyteller Robin Bady recounts Swedish tales and stories about light, accompanied by live music.
  • Learn to count in Swedish with Professor Magnus Ö Lingonberry, who will also lead rousing schoolyard games like följa John (Simon says), rött ljus, grönt ljus (red light, green light), and hela havet stormar (musical chairs).
  • Tweens and teens can chill out with snacks and music while creating their own friendship bracelets, led by Brooklyn Craft Workshop.
  • Join an outdoor walk to spot winter birds around Brooklyn Botanic Garden with naturalist Brad Klein.
  • Help Urban River Arts create a glowing mandela of recycled objects that expands with every addition by visitors.
  • Families can explore the Garden’s evergreen trees, investigate pinecones, and make a pine needle pillow to take home.
  • Curl up on the rug in our Light Bright Corner and play a round of checkers, dominoes, or Connect Four.

Saturday, February 9
Linnaean Libation League: Black, White, and Evergreen Ball | 8–11 p.m.
Inspired by the colors and contrasts of the landscape—and Truman Capote’s legendary 1966 Black and White Ball at the Plaza Hotel—BBG’s Linnaean Libation League presents a soiree that channels the glamour of ’60s New York amid elegant textures and forms of the winter garden. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres of the era, dance to a live band, and toast to the evergreen plants that enliven the stark city landscape in the cold season. Guests are asked to dress in black and white—the Garden will provide the green. For more information, visit bbg.org/LLL.

Sunday, February 10
Adult Workshop: Growing Herbs Indoors | 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Growing herbs indoors lets you pick fresh, flavorful ingredients year-round, whether or not you have a garden! Learn which herbs do best indoors and how to care for them. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

Adult Workshop: Herbal Aphrodisiacs | 2–5 p.m.
People have used plants to relax their mood, increase sensation, and excite desire since the beginning of recorded human history. Discover the lore and contemporary uses of exotic stimulants like damiana to relaxants such as kava kava. Find out the real reason behind the custom of giving roses on romantic occasions. Learn how to source and prepare these potent plants, and take home a sample to try. Preregistration required; visit bbg.org/learn or call 718-623-7220.

Monday, February 18–Friday, February 22
Discovery Drop-in Week | 10 a.m.–Noon
Enjoy the February school break at the Garden, where Discovery Garden docents and staff lead kids ages 3 to 10 in exploring the world’s deserts and rainforests in the Steinhardt Conservatory and discovering amazing plants through fun, hands-on activities. Kids also get to pot up their own plant to bring home! Meet in the Steinhardt Conservatory.
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