High Line Kids Winter Scavenger Hunt

Family Feather Flurry brought together nearly 40 children and their caregivers for a winter scavenger hunt on the High Line, followed by crafts and storytelling at Posman Books.

On Sunday, February 5, children and caregivers joined us for the Family Feather Flurry, a High Line Kids scavenger hunt that explored the High Line’s winter landscape from a bird’s perspective. Following clues about the High Line’s unique plants and flowers, families made their way toward West 16th Street. From there everyone headed to the program’s next stop, Posman Books in Chelsea Market, to decorate their bird puppets and listen to stories.

Enjoy photos from the event and download the High Line scavenger hunt for your kids after the jump.

The High Line’s plantings were designed to have beautiful foliage throughout the year. This means that in late winter you’ll find grasses with dried seed heads, hearty perennials bearing berries or even winter blooms, and thick dried plant material throughout the planting beds. Not only does this offer interesting texture and color in our winter landscape, but this creates the perfect habitat for local birds.

Even more than other years, Sarah Sze’s High Line Art sculpture Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat) has created an urban oasis on the High Line for city birds. High Line staff stock the sculpture’s dishes and stands daily with fruit and seeds, creating a delicious spread for birds. Stop by during the morning hours to catch a flurry of feathered activity around the sculpture.

Drawing inspiration from Sarah Sze’s sculpture Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat), High Line School & Youth Program Manager Emily Pinkowitz created a kids’ scavenger hunt that explored winter bird habitats on the High Line. Maryanne Stubbs, a High Line Seasonal Gardener, park ranger, and bird enthusiast helped with information on High Line birds.
Leading up to the program, High Line staff and volunteers Katerina Adair, Francia Chandler, Tom Morris, and Ingrid Coughlin, helped cut out felt birds and create the puppets.
On the day of the event, families gathered at the 22nd Street Seating Steps. Here, Emily teaches the group some High Line basics before sending them off on the scavenger hunt.
Some junior nature-enthusiasts and seasoned birders brought their own tools to help with the scavenger hunt. Spotted among the crowd were a magnifying glass, and sets of binoculars.
Each child received a printed scavenger hunt with clues and a felt bird puppet.
With bird puppets on their hands, kids “flapped” down the High Line, following clues to find the best places in the park for birds.
A young visitor searches for trees that would be nice for a bird looking for shelter from cold winter weather.
The scavenger hunt was a fun way to explore the park from a different perspective. Some kids worked in teams, others went solo — everyone worked through the clues at their own pace.
The berries of winterberry holly make the perfect winter meal for a hungry bird.
Some kids charged on, leading their parents to the next clue. Here, a team works together to find dried seeds on High Line bushes that act as a good food source for birds in the winter.
Strolling south between beds caregivers and children moved south along the High Line, getting closer to the final gathering spot.
Caregivers and kids all beaming at the successful completion of the scavenger hunt.
High Line Volunteer Abigail Cadle-Wilson was indispensable during Family Feather Flurry. Here, she answers a question posed by a young program participant.
The group gathers near the Chelsea Market Passage at the end of the scavenger hunt. Here, Emily points out the roosting location of a peregrine falcon that hunts along the High Line.
With Emily leading the way, everyone makes their way to Posman Books where more fun awaits.
At Posman Books, crafting supplies were ready. First, Emily shows some examples of birds to get the group inspired.
The plain felt bird puppets were a jumping point for unleashing kids’ creativity.
Using photos of real birds and their own imaginations, kids set to work decorating their puppets using markers, jewels, colored feathers, glitter glue, and other craft supplies.
The whole group worked hard decorating. Each child’s puppet was a unique artistic creation — some with wild colored plumes, others bejeweled, and yet others resembling real birds.
The program ended with storytelling. Here, Emily reads from the hilarious book The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! Thanks to our partners at Posman for picking out this great book.
The fully-decorated bird puppets dried during storytelling and each child was able to take their personalized creation home.

Download your own High Line Kids winter scavenger hunt.

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