Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Christmas Ice Skating
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center at Christmas. Photograph: Nikos Karonikolas

EVENTS at the Stavros Niarchos Center

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Where: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)
When: Throughout December 2018
Why Go: Great for architecture buffs & outdoor activities suitable for solos, couples & families

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is one of the largest and newest developments that Athens has seen since it hosted the Olympic Games. It is a remarkable architectural feat pioneered by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and brought to life by the extraordinary vision of Italian architect Renzo Piano. It now houses two of Greece’s most important public institutions; the Greek National Opera and the National Library of Greece. The SNFCC offers an array of outdoor activities for the public to enjoy the vast open spaces and also run tours throughout the week (in English and in Greek) of the Stavros Niarchos Park and inside the cultural centre which architectural enthusiasts will love. Sailing along the canal is a highlight for both adults and kids and is available in the warmer months as is ice skating in the cooler months. Here’s a summary of activities on this month in Athens:

 

ICE SKATING ON THE CANAL

Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Christmas Ice Skating

The Ice Rink is built over the Canal at the SNFCC. Photo: SNFCC/Pelagia Karanikola

Part of the the long canal of the SNFCC has been transformed into an ice-skating rink and is open to the public every day from now until 27 February 2019 (weather permitting), between 10:00am and 10:00pm free of charge. Each ice-skating session will last 40 minutes and visitors need to register in advance.

Pre-register here for Ice Skating.

Practical Information

  • maximum stay: 40 minutes.
  • Pre-registration will be available every Thursday at 12.00pm (noon) for the following week
  • In order for your pre-registration to be valid, you must arrive at the skating rink at least 20 minutes before your booking, otherwise, your spot will be re-allocated
  • Ice skates will be available or you can also bring your own.
  • The operation of the ice rink may be suspended or modified if the weather conditions are not suitable for skating. Please call the SNFCC from 9am daily for updates on +30 216 809 1000.

FREE MUSIC AT THE STAVROS NIARCHOS CENTER IN DECEMBER

Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Events Parklands

A free concert at the Stavros Niarchos Center Parklands. Photograph: courtesy of SNFCC

Why Athens Tip: Free Admission to all concerts

Holiday Tunes by the Athens Military Band Jazz Octet

Saturday 8 December | Agora from 11:30am

As part of the SNFCC’s Christmas music series, the Jazz Octet, consisting of members of the Athens Military Band, present a Christmas program featuring swing, Latin and Afro-American rhythms in a unique retrospective of jazz history.

Social Ballroom: Dancing into the Holidays

Thursday 13 December | Lighthouse from 8:30pm

Social Ballroom invites everyone, regardless of experience, to join the positive energy at a great salsa dance party. As always, the evening starts with an open class by Kiki and the Salsa Sinners, who promise to get you up and dancing to their tunes; the party begins at 21.30, featuring Latin Brass Connection band from Venezuela and their powerful riffs.

El Sistema Greece & Latin Brass Connection: Christmas Concert

Sunday 16 December | Lighthouse from 12:00pm (midday)

El Sistema Greece students and El Sistema Greece Youth Orchestra (ESGYO) join forces with Latin Brass Connection, consisting of members of the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar Trumpet Ensemble, in a Christmas concert featuring popular Latin American songs that will thrill the audience with their infectious salsa, rumba and merengue rhythms.

Christmas carols performed by the Kallithea Philharmonic

Monday 24 December & Sunday 30 December | Agora from 6:30pm

The Philharmonic of the municipality of Kallithea, conducted by Antonis Vavylousakis, will perform Christmas carols at the Agora.

Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols at the Stavros Niarchos Center in Athens. Photograph: Nikos & Pelagia Karonikolas

Jazz Chronicles Petros Klampanis Orchestrette

Sunday 30 December | Lighthouse from 9:00pm

In an intimate, chamber-music concert setting at the Lighthouse, Petros Klampanis presents his own compositions from across his discography, as well as covers of some of his favorite tunes – from jazz standards and indie to Greek traditional music – accompanied by a string sextet.

Mario Biondi live for New Years Eve

Monday 31 December | Stavros Niarchos Hall from 10:15pm

On New Year’s Eve, SNFCC welcomes Italian soul  – jazz singer Mario Biondi, who, with his trademark deep voice and powerful stage presence will captivate the audience, singing in Italian and in English. Admission is free but registration is required on a first in basis starting on 18/12. Register here for this event.

Berliner Philharmoniker’s New Year’s Eve Concert – Live Broadcast

Monday 31 December | Stavros Niarchos Hall from 6:15pm

On New Year’s Eve, SNFCC honors a longstanding tradition by broadcasting the Berliner Philharmoniker’s concert in high definition. The conductor of this New Year’s Eve concert is Daniel Barenboim, one of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s oldest friends, as he first appeared as a guest soloist on 12 June 1964. For this year’s New Year’s Eve concert, the conductor has selected music by Maurice Ravel, including his legendary Boléro, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – the latter’s festive Piano Concerto in D major K. 537, with the maestro himself as the piano soloist.

Admission is free but registration is required on a first in basis starting on 18/12. Register here for this event.

Huey Morgan DJ Set (Fun Lovin’ Criminals) for NYE

Monday 31 December | Agora from 11:30pm until the early hours of January 1st 2019

On New Year’s Eve, the frontman of Fun Lovin’ Criminals will DJ in the new year with music from Chic to Donna Summer and Kool and the Gang to James Brown via Grandmaster Flash and The Jackson 5 and more recent flavors like Jurassic 5, Cypress Hill and Michael Kiwanuka, Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party is the sound of funk, soul, disco and hip hop jams battling it out on the dancefloor, a riotous celebration of the good times to bring in the New Year.

 

FREE TOURS OF THE STAVROS NIARCHOS CENTER PARK

Events Stavros Niarchos Centre Tours

Enjoy a guided tour through the Stavros Niarchos Park. Photograph: SNFCC – Yiorgis Yerolymbos

A modern Mediterranean landscape that has been designed in accordance with the principles of sustainability. This ecosystem acknowledges its surroundings, a place that is in constant evolution. The tour involves continuous walking around the Stavros Niarchos Park and the use of stairs. Estimated walking distance is calculated at 1 km.

Tours: Every Thursday in English at 4:00pm. Otherwise daily tours in Greek at 4:00pm

Meeting point: Visitors Center (Evripidou & Doiranis, Kallithea)

Tour duration: 90 minutes

Number of participants per tour: 20

Pre-registration is required except for children under 8 years old – Register Here

*The tours at the Stavros Niarchos Park will be conducted subject to good weather conditions.

*Visitors are advised to wear walking shoes and bring with them mosquito repellent.

 

FREE TOURS INSIDE THE STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION CULTURAL CENTER

Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Greek National Opera Seats

Take a guided tour though the SNFCC’S theatres and library. Photograph: Why Athens

Visitors are guided through the state-of-the-art building complex the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera as well as the interior and exterior public space surrounding the buildings.

Tours times: Various days at 10:00am in English & 12:00pm, 4:30pm & 6:00pm in Greek

Meeting Point: SNFCC Agora (map below)
Tour duration: 90 minutes

Pre-registration is required except for children under 8 years old – Register Here

 

SAILING THE CANAL AT THE SNFCC

Events Stavros Niarchos Centre Tours Canal Sailing

Sailing the canal at the SNFCC. Photograph: SNFCC – Yiorgis Yerolymbos

The Kalamaki Yacht Club presents a series of interactive sailing events on different types of boats, both in the Canal and on shore, for innovative educational activities for children and adults.

Registration required, and they fill up fast each month! Register Here

Sailing dates are on each Saturday and Sunday between 9am and 1pm.

*check the booking page for the correct age group and time available for your particular day

Meeting point: Canal

Why Athens Tip: Registration is only accepted one week prior to requested date.

 

KAYAKING THE CANAL AT THE SNFCC

Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Events Kayaking

Family Kayaking at the Stavros Niarchos Center. Photograph: Katerina Liakopoulou

The Hellenic Canoe-Kayak Federation runs a free program to introduce kayaking as a family friendly activity in the protected canal of the Stavros Niarchos Center. The program is for children up to 12 years of age + adults. Don’t forget to bring a spare change of clothes!

Registration is required, and note that due to popularity, registration is allowed one week in advance of the booking.

They fill up fast each week but it is worth trying! You can register Here

Kayaking dates are on each Saturday and Sunday between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

Meeting point: Canal

Why Athens Tip: Registration is only accepted one week prior to requested date.

 

BIKE HIRE AROUND THE SNFCC

Stavros Niarchos Center Bicycles

Rent and ride bikes around the enormous park and canal. Photograph: courtesy SNFCC

Daily 9:00am – 9:00pm

Adult and children’s bikes are available for short-term hire from three stations within the SNFCC including;

  • At the Visitor’s Center (where Children’s Bikes are also available)
  • At the Canal (Agora)
  • At the Rear Agora

Pre-registration or purchasing a bike card is required. Further info is available here.

 

EXHIBITIONS AT THE STAVROS NIARCHOS CENTER

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT THE STAVROS NIARCHOS PARK

On until 31 December

Stavros Niarchos Center Athens Christmas Lights

One of the Christmas lighting installations at the SNFCC. Photograph: Nikos & Pelagia Karonikolas

This Christmas time, the Stavros Niarchos Park is full of light and sounds, through a series of interactive installations forming a magical winter wonderland.

Four of these installations are presented for the first time in Greece, while three have been designed specifically for the SNFCC. The project has been curated by the Athens Digital Arts Festival (ADAF).

Explore the Stavros Niarchos Park, walk past or thorough the installations, discover the light frames, upload your selfies and immerse yourselves in a unique holiday festival of lights.

 

Winners Cup for the Marathon from the first modern Olympics in 1896

Spyridon Louis Cup Niarchos Center Athens

The first prize from 1896 Olympic Games for the marathon presented to Spyridon Louis of Greece. Photograph: Christie’s

Stop by the foyer of the SNFCC where you will find the Silver Cup that was awarded at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 to the Marathon champion of the time, the Greek runner Spyridon Louis.

 

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre Visitor Map

Events Stavros Niarchos Centre Tours Map