Virtual Around Town
Compiled by Janice Llanes Fabry
Rye Youth Council
Visit ryeyouthcouncil.org for new ways to connect and support one another. There are programs for kids, teens, families, and seniors.
While KidCast provides virtual playdates designed by teens for kids, the Grandfriend program connects teens to local senior citizens.
Free Mindful Meditation Zoom sessions are available for teens and adults Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-4:30. Elementary school children can talk about their feelings at “Check in With Ms. Jess” through Hangouts Meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-2:30.
A Parent Support Line to help and refer families to local mental health professionals is offered Monday-Friday from 10-4. Call 222-0988 or visit email@example.com.
The Rye Arts Center
The Center is bringing the community together with “Fryeday Not Live” at ryeartscenter.org. It shines the spotlight on performers of all ages and levels in the community, while raising funds for outreach programs.
In addition, watch “Ladies Comedy Night”, emceed by Rye’s Kim Berns. The community favorite is streaming on the website now.
Virtual art classes and music lessons, STEAM classes, and a free Python Coding Club are also available. Check out the Online Resource web page for kids’ activities, as well as museum and art project videos.
Virtual programs are posted daily on Facebook, @RyeRecreation, and Instagram, Rye_Recreation. Coming up is a Memorial Day Recognition and Celebration, as well as Superhero/Princess Acts of Kindness, the week of May 25.
A virtual program brochure at ryeny.gov/government/recreation-department lists a wide-range of classes, from athletics and fitness to math and science.
Families are invited to enjoy Bingo Fun and make their own Bingo cards, available on the website.
The Rye YMCA
The Rye Y is offering online resources and activities for kids, families, and adults at ryeymca.org. From there, check out the Rye Y at Home YouTube channel and their Facebook Live weekly schedule of exercise classes with Diana Vita.
Families can enjoy STEAM videos that include art projects, making slime, and creating gift boxes. Visit museums and national parks, too. Programming for kids includes: Story Times, Singing, Sports, Gymnastics, Swimming, and much more. Registration is required.
Free online fitness classes for adults include Master Trainer Home Workouts, 30 Days of Yoga, 360 Fitness Videos, and Meditation. There are also plenty of exercising and stretching options for seniors.
Volunteer opportunities are available. There’s a SoulRyeder mask cover sewing project and a Togetherhood project to knit and crochet infant caps and booties for expectant mothers.
Rye Nature Center
Two miles of hiking trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. There are plenty of nature videos and public programs like Science Palooza available, too.
Visit ryenaturecenter.org for ecology classes and hands-on fun. Look for weekly Mommy and Me classes and a three-part Backyard Wilderness skills series.
Visit wainwright.org to register and set up a Zoom account for daily virtual classes available mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
Zoom into Therapeutic Yoga and Energetic Flow with Iekelien Buurman; Kundalini Yoga with Kiret Deva Kaur; Qigong with Dana McAvity; Tai Chi with Stu Reis; Mindfulness Meditation with Jackie Frederick-Berner; and Heartfulness Meditation with Mary-Lynn Masi.
The organization that helps seniors stay-in-place in their communities is busier than ever. Volunteers new and old have stepped up. They’ve established a phone pal program with the Rye Youth Council, are arranging grocery and medicine deliveries, and staying in touch with seniors who are home-bound. “The phone is our tool,” says S.P.R.Y.E. Director Marie Johnson. “One of the biggest challenges for us remains locating paper products.”
The Rye Free Reading Room & The Rye Historical Society
These organizations have organized a collaborative effort to set up a public archive that will document the lives of residents and their trials and triumphs during the coronavirus global pandemic 2020. Starting this summer, visit www.covid19.ryelibrary.org to share personal experiences about navigating sheltering-in-place, working from home, distance learning, caring for oneself and one’s children, entertaining one another, facing difficulties, and appreciating small joys.
For more events at the Rye library from Zoom Kids and Grown-Up Game Nights and Wine Downs to Writers Block and New Parents support groups, visit ryelibrary.org. There are also social distancing book groups, lectures, and exhibits.
Community leaders are reading picture books to children through The Storytelling Project. Review the calendar for more Story Times and Music and Movement classes as well. Teens can take advantage of College Essay Workshops.
In addition, borrow passes to museums and cultural sites and try free downloads of music and e-books.
For events at the Rye Historical Society, visit ryehistory.org/education. There are plenty of online resources.
A Knapp House and Milton Cemetery Scavenger Hunt has been created as a hands-on learning experience for families with kids of all ages. It incorporates science, history, and math.
A Rye History Activity Guide offers activities for elementary-age children. With curriculum tie-ins to Native American history, Colonial/Revolutionary War history, and Rye’s evolution as a town, it aligns with the New York State Standards for Social Studies.
A virtual tour of the Square House takes visitors through the Tavern Room, bedrooms, warming kitchen, and front hall, and gives us greater understanding of our rich Colonial past.
Bird Homestead & Meeting House Conservancy
The Spring Enviro Film Series continues with the award-winning documentary, “The Biggest Little Farm,” streaming May 23 through May 24 at any time of day with a link and password to be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The widely acclaimed film chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and the dream of harvesting in harmony with nature. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, “The Biggest Little Farm” provides a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet.
The Conservancy presents this film in honor of the indigenous people who lived in the area around the Bird Homestead and Meeting House properties, then known as Poningo. Modern-day farmers have much to learn from their prescient ways.
Reviewer Kristen Hawkes calls the film, “a secular hymn to the earth.”
Note: Some scenes depicting the deaths of animals may be difficult for young children.
The Jay Heritage Center
Enjoy videos from your own home. There’s an “I Spy Rye” section on native Red Swamp Maples by Melissa Grieco. Green thumbs will enjoy an inspiring video with Central Park Conservancy Garden Designer Lynden Miller, who spoke at the Center’s 2017 Hearth and Earth Luncheon.
Join a virtual book club featuring Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson’s latest work of history, “The British Are Coming”, to be held May 28 at 6. Space is limited, register online.
Jay for Kids gives children the opportunity to make their own nature potions by providing instructions and all the ingredients needed. Inspiring books for kids about pandemics are also recommended.
Read Wildlife Sanctuary
The grounds of the 179-acre sanctuary adjacent to Rye Playland remain open. Enjoy the shoreline on Long Island Sound, Manursing Lake, marsh wetland, trails through a deciduous forest, a bamboo groove, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers.
Westchester Children’s Museum
Visit discoverwcm.org for weekly activities curated by the Museum’s educators, who believe children can learn anywhere, especially at home. Download free STEAM-based activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Kids look forward to weekly featured activities and at-home story times. You’ll find projects aplenty on Instagram and on Facebook @discoverwcm.
The Carver Center
Port Chester’s Carver Center Market continues to see an unprecedented increase in the need for emergency food relief during normal hours, or until supplies last on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1-5. It operates from the back entrance where pre-packaged bags of groceries are distributed. The Carver Market adheres to strict safety and self-distancing measures.
Donations to support the Center’s response to the Covid-19 crisis can be made through carvercenter.org.