This year’s Sukkos follows the YU Torah To-Go journal that critiques “g’vir culture.” So, if you’re not the type of kosher consumer who’s taking your family on a chartered flight to an exotic Sukkos destination, or an all-inclusive resort where palm trees grow, here are the affordable local sights to visit. Every year, our Chol HaMoed Guide offers perennial favorites with updated exhibit information, along with lesser-known places in the city and nearby.


They’re in Queens

New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th Street, Corona

 The New York Hall of Science received this year’s National Science Board award for its participation in the AI Institute for Artificial and Natural Intelligence, for helping to further the understanding of the human brain. There are two exhibits on view at this time, along with its permanent displays: Powering the City on how energy is generated and distributed to power our lives; and Human Plus, which demonstrates how technology enables individuals to overcome physical obstacles.


Louis Armstrong House Museum

34-56 107th Street, Corona

 This museum defines the term “neighborhood celebrity.” From 1943 until his death in 1971, this townhouse was home to the world’s leading jazz musician, one who gave free lessons and bought ice cream for local children. The inside is nearly untouched from the day of his death. A guide pushes a button and Satchmo’s voice gives you tidbits on his life along with a few tunes from his cornet. It’s as if he never left the place.

Across the street from the historic house is a wall of undulating glass that opened earlier this year, hosting exhibits, events, and archives.


Queens County Farm Museum

73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park

Sure our borough has plenty of green rooftops, community gardens, backyard plots, and windowsill spices, but the largest and last true farm in the borough is in Floral Park, taking up 47 acres. In operation since 1697, this farm has livestock, heavy farm machinery, planting fields, and a vineyard. Events on its calendar include a children’s carnival, antique motor show, and a Native American pow-wow. Fall activities here include the corn maze and pumpkin picking.


King Manor Museum

150-03 Jamaica Avenue

 In the heart of downtown Jamaica is one of the oldest mansions in Queens, home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The park surrounding the King Manor is a 12-acre remnant of a 160-acre farm that belonged to Rufus King, the United States Senator, diplomat, and antislavery activist, who died in the 50th year of this country’s independence. The interior takes us back to the late 18th century, when Rufus King lived here.

Across from Rufus King Park, at 90-40 150th Street, is P.S. 182, but if you find the cornerstone, it offers a detail of local Jewish history. This was the original Yeshiva of Central Queens before it relocated to Kew Gardens Hills in the 1970s.


Bowne House

37-01 Bowne Street

The oldest standing dwelling in Queens, it dates to 1661 when Quaker colonist John Bowne settled in Flushing. He famously stood up for religious freedom when fellow members of his faith authored the Flushing Remonstrance addressing the Dutch authorities. Nine generations of Bownes lived in this home until it became a museum in 1945. Visitors can experience how they lived with period furniture and guides explaining what Flushing was like as an outpost. Unimaginable in the dense neighborhood that it had since become.


Lewis Latimer House

34-41 137th Street

Imagine a self-taught genius born to fugitive slaves who worked in the labs of Alexander Graham Bell, Hiram Maxim, and Thomas Edison. Lewis Latimer’s name did not appear on their patents, but he made their world-changing inventions possible. When he wasn’t tinkering with inventions, he painted, wrote essays, and lived in this Flushing house that was preserved and relocated to a park.


Socrates Sculpture Park

32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Astoria

In my childhood, when my parents shopped at the Costco in Astoria, I ventured to its neighbor, Socrates Sculpture Park, which has outdoor sculptures on the East River waterfront with views of Manhattan. Many of the sculptures are designed for interaction, to be touched, walked around, under, and through.


Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery

Sun Yat Sen Hall

8000 Utopia Parkway

On the beautiful campus of St. John’s University is a Chinese-style building that hosts its art gallery. Current exhibits include the Cevallos Brothers, three immigrants from Colombia whose storefront signs appear at many small businesses along Roosevelt Avenue. On view through December 9. The city’s public art program covers subway stations, schools, parks, and prisons. In 1985, artists Kit-Yin Snyder and Richard Haas were commissioned to make an art installation at the Manhattan Detention Center. It was removed in 2021 when the jail was closed. The gallery offers portions of this installation and discusses the role of public art and its controversies.


Laser Bounce Family Fun Center

80-28 Cooper Avenue, Glendale

Located in Atlas Park mall, under the Regal Cinemas, this indoor amusement center offers many options for young visitors: bouncy surfaces, ball pit, bowling, arcades, laser tag, and virtual reality. For our Long Island readers, Laser Bounce has a location in Levittown at 2710 Hempstead Turnpike. When the weather is as rainy as this past Yom Kippur, it is good to have a Laser Bounce close to home.


Beis HaSho’eivah Concert in KGH

Haym Salomon Square: Main Street at 72nd Drive

Here’s an uplifting concert that does not require seating at a Manhattan arena. Avi Perets will be leading the crowd for Simchas Beis HaSho’eivah on the evening of Tuesday, October 3, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Chabad of Flushing, Ohr Avner USA, Bukharian Jewish Community Center, Jewish Institute of Queens, and Yeshiva Lubavitch of Queens. The event had its origins as a water drawing ceremony in the Beis HaMikdash, accompanied by music and dancing. We await the rebuilding of its intended venue, and for now, celebrate in the streets of every Jewish community.


Take A Boat

If you are not comfortable taking the subway to Manhattan and the expansion of bike lanes means fewer parking spots in the city’s business districts, you can take a boat for the same cost as a bus or subway. It is an affordable, outdoor, and scenic way to get around the city. NYC Ferry has docks in Astoria, Hunters Point South, and Rockaway Park, connecting to Roosevelt Island, 34th Street, East River Park, Wall Street, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

My favorite route runs from Rockaway Park to Wall Street, which runs past Coney Island, below the Verrazzano Bridge, and past the Statue of Liberty on its way to the Financial District. At the tip of Manhattan, one can ride the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park, where marine life takes the role of sculptural horses. Across the street from this park is the free-admission Museum of the American Indian, where displays relating to indigenous Americans coexist with beaux arts architecture from the turn of the 20th century.


Little Island

West Side Highway at Gansevoort Street

West Village

Within walking distance of the High Line and the Whitney Museum is a privately financed concrete island elevated on pilings above the Hudson River. It offers winding trails with unique views of the city, but more likely it is a place to see the fashionable crowd of Manhattanites and foreign tourists excited about the city’s newest green spot. From the southern tip of Little Island, one can see construction on Gansevoort Peninsula, a former sanitation garage that is also on its way to becoming a park, the latest addition to the ribbon of green spaces on the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue

One of the world’s greatest art museums has something for everyone. In recent years, the museum brought the works and collections of seemingly unknown Americans to its halls, giving them the fame that they never enjoyed in life. On view at this rooftop is The Roof Garden Commission: Lauren Halsey, a monumental work that blends ancient Egyptian symbolism with the artist’s life in Los Angeles’ African American community. On view through October 22.

In honor of the working class, the exhibit Art for the Millions: American Culture and Politics in the 1930s has illustrations, paintings, and photos from the Great Depression, highlighting industrial labor. Among the artists in this exhibit are Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Sheeler, and Stuart Davis. On view through December 10.


United Nations

First Avenue at East 45th Street

We can complain about the inability of the United Nations to bring about world peace, which can happen only with the coming of Mashiach, and its systemic bias against Israel. Americans pay a sizable portion of this organization’s budget and New Yorkers put up with the security and parking spots given to diplomats representing nearly 200 countries. If we pay for it, we may as well see what’s inside its walls, behind that line of flags on First Avenue.

On its guided tours, visitors can learn about the modernist architecture, art installations, and its history. Look for the Peace Windows stained-glass installation by Marc Chagall. Visitors can see the Security Council, General Assembly Hall, Economic and Social Council, and the Trusteeship Council Chambers. Stand in the halls where some of history’s proudest and most shameful speeches and resolutions took place.


Roosevelt Island

A thin sliver of land between Queens and Manhattan, Roosevelt Island is a former asylum and hospital campus transformed into a neighborhood of residential towers, parks, technology campus, and a scenic state park at its southern tip. Take the F train to the Roosevelt Island station, then the Tramway cable car to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This two-mile island that is only 800 feet in width is ideal for biking and jogging, with Manhattan Island on one side and Queens on the other. The newest artistic feature on this island is The Girl Puzzle, a sculpture on Lighthouse Point honoring muckraking journalist Nellie Bly, who famously snuck into the asylum on Roosevelt Island in 1885, documenting its horrible conditions.


One Vanderbilt

1 Vanderbilt Avenue

The glassy skyscraper towering next to Grand Central Terminal has the newest observation deck in Manhattan, titled The Summit. To reach it, visitors take a glass elevator with views of the city as they rise to nearly 1,400 feet above 42nd Street. One can stand on a glass floor that juts out of the top floor and see the nearby Empire State Building from a unique angle that nearly rivals its height. Ideal for sunsets.

Next door, inside Grand Central Terminal, there is the Transit Museum Store that offers exhibits on the history of the subway and plenty of model trains, toys, and children’s books about it. Our Long Island readers can take the train to Grand Central Terminal, see its new mosaic installations, and then take the elevator to the top without having to go outdoors.


Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

The beaux arts landmark has its permanent collection of ancient historical art from around the world, a colonial Dutch farmhouse transported inside the museum, and its ancient Egyptian collection. If the Metropolitan Museum is too crowded or distant, some of its impressionist masters can be seen here in the exhibit Monet to Morisot: The Real and Imagined in European Art, on view through November 12. The exhibit Climate in Crisis: Environmental Change in the Indigenous Americas shows how Native American cultures and artists respond to climate change through art. On view through November 19.


Building 92 at Brooklyn Navy Yard

63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn

From 1801 through 1966, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was the arsenal of democracy that produced fearsome battleships and weapons that preserved our independence, saved the union, projected American power, and defended our allies. After the Navy left Brooklyn, this complex became a hub of light industry and tech innovation. This free admission museum offers displays on the history and present use of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As it is within a short drive from Williamsburg, there are plenty of sukkos nearby where one can have lunch and shop for kosher items.


New York Transit Museum

99 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn

Located inside a subway station that was abandoned in 1946 and reopened 30 years later as a museum, its tracks hold more than a century of historic rolling stock. Step inside these old subway cars to see advertisements from decades past. On the mezzanine level are displays and artifacts relating to the construction of the country’s largest and only 24-hour transit system.


Bronx Children’s Museum

2 Exterior Street, Bronx

Brooklyn has a children’s museum, and Manhattan too; and now there’s one for the Bronx, located near Yankee Stadium. The 13,650-square-foot Bronx Children’s Museum opened last December inside a former powerhouse, with interactive displays on urban waterways, nature, and neighborhoods. The castle-like building is situated in Mill Pond Park, a waterfront space on the Harlem River reclaimed from industry next to the Bronx Terminal Market shopping center. The excitement of visiting a new museum makes this one a worthy choice for Chol HaMoed.



Jewish Content


Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street

The historic synagogue of the Lower East Side reopened last summer with its stunning architecture and exhibits relating to life in the immigrant neighborhood. On display at this time is A Collage of Customs, Iconic Jewish Woodcuts Revised for the Twenty-First Century, an exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed artist and writer Mark Podwal. The works are illustrations of contemporary life inspired by woodcut depictions from the 16th century Sefer HaMinhagim (Book of Customs). On view through November 19.


Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

Earlier this month, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda visited this center to honor YIVO’s role in preserving Jewish history in his country as the organization approaches its centennial in 2025. He participated in unveiling memorial plaques for ghetto inmates Avrom Sutzkever and Shmerke Kaczerginski, who risked their lives to save valuable Yiddish documents; and Lithuanian librarian Antanas Ulpis, who later kept these items from being destroyed by the Soviets.

This center hosts five vital institutions that document the stories of Jews in America through art, artifacts, and literature: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Yeshiva University Museum, YIVO, and Leo Baeck Institute, each with their own exhibits and opportunities to research our past.

Currently on view: Palestinian Yiddish: A Look at Yiddish in the Land of Israel Before 1948, with examples on how the language was used among Zionists and anti-Zionists in the pre-state yishuv.

At the American Sephardi Federation, is Re-Creation: Judaica by Moroccan Muslim Artisans, examining the artistic connections between Jews and Muslims in this kingdom. It is timely as relations between Morocco and the Jewish world continue to grow, even as its Jewish population is in decline.

In the Yeshiva University Museum is an exhibit on eight centuries of illustrated manuscripts relating to Maimonides. All of these exhibits are on view through December 31.


Beyond the City


American Dream Mall

One American Dream Way

East Rutherford, NJ

After hearing about it from her classmates in school and bunkmates in camp, my family took the trip to the American Dream mall in the Meadowlands. Even when it’s not Chol HaMoed, this destination mall is filled with frum families eager to taste popular American foods with a hechsher, and satisfaction that this mall was built by the Ghermezian family, whose philanthropy sustains many educational projects in the Jewish community.

Did we feel like paying for an indoor amusement park when it is sunny outside, or a water park that is only a fraction of Mountain Creek and Splish Splash? Nor did we feel that the novelty of an indoor ski slope was worth the price when we could wait a few months until the slopes of the Catskills and Poconos reopen.

For a family on a budget seeking unique thrills, the indoor skating rink, mini-golf, and candy store would be worth experiencing. If you have friends in Lakewood, Monsey, or west of the City, this mall could be a good place to meet up and have fun. Last year, this mall had a sukkah on site, and I expect one this year considering its popularity with Orthodox Jews.


American Merchant Marine Museum

300 Steamboat Road, Great Neck

Near the tip of the Great Neck peninsula is the scenic campus of the American Merchant Marine Academy and next to its a historic mansion that serves as its museum. Inside are artifacts and artworks relating to the seafaring profession. The museum grounds overlook the Long Island Sound, with views of the Stepping Stones and Execution Rocks lighthouses that stand in the middle of this waterway. Public hours here are limited from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. In this upscale community, Ashkenazi and Persian synagogues such as the Young Israel of Great Neck, the Great Neck Synagogue, Shaarei Shalom, Shaarei Zion, and Ahavat Shalom, are truly an architectural experience. Daven at any of these shuls after visiting this museum.


Long Island Jewish History Museum

100 Crescent Beach Rd, Glen Cove

A former Gold Coast mansion on Long Island’s north shore, the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center welcomed the Long Island Jewish History Museum to its building this month. On display is the exhibit Earning A Living: 300 Years of Jewish Businesses on Long Island, which profiles over 60 businesses: pioneering farmers, manufacturers, and retailers whose success attracted more Jews to the east of the City. The founder of this new museum-inside-a-museum is Brad Kolodny, who founded the Jewish Historical Society of Long Island.



Cradle of Aviation Museum

Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City

A former hangar transformed into a museum of air and space technology. Currently it has exhibits on drones and the early “flying boats” of the late Pan American Airlines. The latter is produced by the Pan Am Museum Foundation, a nonprofit created by former employees and airplane enthusiasts to preserve the history of this pioneering airline company.



2245 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale

I have not visited Adventureland since I was in summer camp. Long Island’s longest operating amusement park struck me as a street fair permanently moored in place with rides that are standard across the country, such as a swinging pirate ship, carousel, and log flume. I had no idea that in 2015, it welcomed Turbulence, a new roller coaster that has become its star attraction. This new ride serves as an extra reason to revisit this blast from the past.


Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Preserve

249 Buckley Road, Holtsville

City schoolchildren are fortunate to have trips to zoos in each of the five boroughs, and if you’ve wondered where their suburban peers get to see animals, it’s at the Holtsville Ecology Site in Suffolk County. A former landfill transformed into a park, its zoo residents include a bobcat, buffalo, bald eagle, American black bear, and farm animals. Next to the zoo is a greenhouse with tropical plants and hiking trails atop the hill covering up decades of trash. The park is a precursor to other landfills-turned parks such as Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn, Freshkills Park on Staten Island, and Norman Levy Preserve in Nassau County.


Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Have you ever stood on the boardwalk at Coney Island and wondered what’s there to see across the bay on the New Jersey side? A few minutes off the Garden State Parkway on the drive to Lakewood is the Sandy Hook peninsula that juts into the ocean and faces Brooklyn to its north. For nearly three centuries, this spit of land has been vital to the city’s defense and navigation. On the grounds of this decommissioned military base turned national park is a lighthouse dating to 1764. Military installations at Sandy Hook cover periods from the War of 1812 through the Cold War. Between the batteries are unspoiled sand dunes and forests, where one can hike for an entire day.


Edward Hopper House Museum

82 North Broadway, Nyack

On the drive to Monsey is the picturesque town of Nyack, which has the look of an artist’s village overlooking the Hudson River. The most famous painter that lived in Nyack is Edward Hopper, the realist master of subdued drama. On display are his early works, scenes of Nyack from his lifetime, and furniture from his time. The museum is a short bike ride from the new Tappan Zee Bridge, which offers overlooks and informative signage along its 3.1-mile stretch.


Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

3 West Sunnyside Lane, Irvington

On the drive to Monsey, this Hudson Valley mansion is close to the Tappan Zee Bridge. The village’s namesake is the resident of the Sunnyside mansion, Washington Irving, who is regarded as the “founding father of American literature.” The home features art and artifacts relating to Irving’s life and writings, and its grounds are ideal for viewing fall foliage and the great river that inspired the great writer.


Urban Air Adventure Park

396 Ryders Lane, Milltown

1600 St. Georges Avenue, Avenel

69 Wesley Street, South Hackensack

When rain and wind interfere with fall foliage and the temperature is too chilly for a walk, Urban Air Adventure Park offers three indoor locations in New Jersey. The family-friendly facility offers ample space for bouncing, climbing, virtual reality, and sports.


New Jersey State Museum

205 West State Street, Trenton

If you’re traveling to Philadelphia or Cherry Hill, the capital city of New Jersey is a few minutes off the turnpike. Like the capital of our state, Trenton is a small city defined by its political role. Another similarity is having a state museum inside a modernist building. The exhibit New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence has 95 artists depicting their responses to the world reopening after the pandemic. With its 130 miles of coastline, the exhibit Jaw Dropping World of Sharks is ideal for this state. It speaks of the fear, cultural significance, and biology of these non-kosher predatory fish.




100 Hershey Drive, Hershey, PA

Since 1906, this 121-acre theme park has been a leading attraction in Pennsylvania, where the beloved chocolatier offers a factory tour, water park, zoo, and roller coasters. Most Jolly Ranchers candies are not kosher, unless they have a hechsher, but the 105-foot-high Jolly Rancher Remix coaster offers colorful theme rides based on flavors, with lights, tunnels, and music, as it flips six times on its ride. On the way to Hershey, one can drive through Philadelphia, with its Revolutionary War history and the National Museum of American Jewish history, or Easton with the Crayola factory. A short distance to the west of Hershey is Harrisburg, the capital city of Pennsylvania.