In New York then hit the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park or take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, still one of the best bargains in New York City.
Of course there are some long standing Chol Hamoed traditions. Plan a day trip to Six Flags (either the theme park or the safari) in not so far away Jackson, New Jersey. Take in a Mets game at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon, Monday and Tuesday nights and for those who like to cut it close on Erev Yom Tov, Wednesday afternoon. While as of this writing the multitude of Chol Hamoed concerts have not yet been announced, just flip the pages of this newspaper and you are sure to find several. Visit the Bronx Zoo, which is free on Wednesdays, but always fills up super early on Wednesday Chol Hamoed for obvious reasons but is still the best place to play Jewish Geography. Sadly, the circus is not in town this year on Pesach.
Some other ideas? Grab a double decker bus around Manhattan. Take the Yankee Stadium tour and get to sit in the dugout and visit the locker room. Ride the Circle Line around Manhattan. Visit the Sony Wonder Technology Lab in Midtown, which is free, but closed on Mondays and pretty much impossible to get into on Chol Hamoed without an advance reservation.
Don’t feel the need to come up with wild adventures every day. Get together with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles and spend some time catching up. Plan a family game day or night or have everyone grab their blankets and pillow and snuggle up together with a DVD or pull out the old family videos and have a good laugh. If you are truly desperate for good ideas find the one person you know who always finds the best activities and call them up to find out what they are planning. If they don’t mind you tagging along with them could be tons of fun.
Most of all, try not to get stressed out about Chol Hamoed. Do the best you can and invite everyone else to pitch in. There is no reason you need to do all the work by yourself. Recruit help to sweep the floor, wash the dishes, set the table or even cook a meal so that you can enjoy quality time with your family and friends.
Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full scale productions. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.