Timeout New York Kids

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NYC botanical garden and park guide: Fall 2012

Time Out Kids unveils its latest NYC botanical garden and park guide for fall 2012, with events your family won't want to miss this autumn.

  • Wave Hill Enchanted Forest

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Ghouls and Gourds

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Ghouls and Gourds

  • Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Photograph: Victor Chu

    Visitors explore Mario Batali's Kitchen Gardens in the Ruth Rea Howell Family...

  • NYBG Haunted Pumpkin Garden

  • NYBG Haunted Pumpkin Garden

  • Thain Family Forest at NYBG

  • Thain Family Forest at NYBG

Wave Hill Enchanted Forest

4. Tune in to fall migration
Twice a year, New York City is filled with myriad bird species on their way north or south for the winter. As seen from a bird's-eye view, Central Park beckons to them as one of few swaths of green on their Eastern Seaboard route, signaling a great spot to feed and rest (to learn more, check out the great new doc The Central Park Effect). On Sunday mornings from September through November, the new Birding for Families workshop in Central Park (10--11am; ages 5 and up) teaches participants how to use binoculars, several pairs of which can be borrowed, and spot birds in the wild. Among those you may encounter are hundreds of birds of prey (a.k.a. raptors), from hawks and eagles to falcons, kites and ospreys. Wave Hill celebrates the magnificent creatures with it annual Raptor Day (Oct 8 9:30am--4pm), where kids can watch live raptor shows, go on bird walks, check out discovery tables and even dissect an owl pellet. Prospect Park, another spot beloved by avians, hosts its own (Sept 30 noon--3pm), where bird handlers hold flight demonstrations, discuss wildlife rehabilitation and teach children about how our fine feathered friends evolved from dinosaurs. Early birds can continue their study the following weekend with the Brooklyn Bird Club--led Early Morning Birdwalk: Fall Migration (Oct 7 at 8am), also at Prospect Park. It introduces families to the concept of migration, taking them on a trek to look for birds and teaching them where the avians are heading and when they'll be back.

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