NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of New Yorkers saw the city’s most famous park transform into a winter wonderland Saturday.
Ten-year-old Jaden Isles is just one of the New Yorkers taking advantage of a man-made snow-scape known as Winter Jam.
“Usually we have to travel to places that are usually snowy, and this is kind of amazing because it’s a one-time thing,” Jaden told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway. “We’re going to snow sled!”
Others opted to use a snow tube, and some even donned snow shoes.
“I just wanted to be in the snow,” one child said.
“Here we’ve created a ski area in the middle of New York in Central Park. We made snow, we brought the snow guns in. We made snow for three nights. Everybody remembers a couple weeks ago it was cold,” said Scott Brandi, with Ski NY.
That wasn’t the case Saturday. With the temperature at a balmy 43 degrees, the turnout at the Rumsey Playfield event was bigger than ever.
“Just out enjoying the relatively warm weather,” Tom Hennessy, of the Upper West Side, said.
— Tara Jakeway (@tarajakewaytv) February 1, 2020
An abnormally dry January made the 8-foot deep snow mound on the east side of Central Park an impressive feat.
“We blew out a ton of snow. This morning at 6 a.m., we were out grooming,” Brandi said.
The pop-up event, a joint venture by Ski NY and the city Parks Department, gave New Yorkers a taste of those age-old white winter activities.
Artists sawed away at ice blocks with the iconic Midtown skyline as a backdrop. Eventually, New York landmarks took shape while kids made their own snow creations feet away.
“Our coaching staff is out here to help people, so it’s actually an ideal spot to learn how to ski, believe it or not,” Liz Lezzetti said.
At the annual Winter Jam Event, you can get a lesson and even slap on some skis. The best part is that it’s all free.
The one-day event did ended at 3 p.m. Saturday, but the idea is to encourage New Yorkers to visit one of the local mountains in the coming winter weeks.