There is something magical about a Christmas tree. The sparkle, the lights and the beautiful tree topper make this a fantastic symbol to admire as we kick-off the holiday season. In addition to dressing your own tree you can also enjoy numerous tree lighting ceremonies throughout the city. The most renowned is the Rockefeller Center tree but we uncovered tons of other ceremonies like the tree lighting in Carroll Park, and the fabulous Madison Square Park’s Tree lighting ceremony. With over 20 tree lighting ceremonies located throughout the city, we are sure that you will find the perfect one for you and your family! Enjoy.
Monday, November 26th at 5 pm – Rain or Snow
Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
Winter’s Eve kicks off with a neighborhood tree lighting ceremony with world renowned singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, cast members of Avenue Q, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, WABC-TV’s Sade Baderinwa, and special guest Laurie Berkner from 5:00pm – 6:00pm. Winter’s Eve continues through the evening and features free entertainment, food tastings, in-store activities and shopping around and about Lincoln Square. Sidewalks along Broadway from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th Street will be alive with live music, performers, street musicians, jugglers, stilt-walkers and more, making for a festive fun-filled stroll through the streets of this dynamic Upper West Side neighborhood.
Details: The celebration begins with a neighborhood tree lighting ceremony at Dante Park at Broadway & 63rd Street and continues along Broadway from Time Warner Center to 68th Street. BY SUBWAY: Take the 1, A, B, C, or D train to 59th Street/Columbus Circle or the 1 train to 66th Street and Broadway.
Tuesday, November 27th at 6 pm
Winter Garden at the World Financial Center Tree Lighting and Nutcracker Performance
The holiday season kicks off with a performance of the Nutcracker and then the annual lighting celebration with 50,000 brilliant lights. The New York Ballet’s Nutcracker performances are at 12:30pm & 6pm. It’s an hour long peformance and is sweet. The Tuesday evening performance commences with the annual Winter Garden lighting, a spectacular moment where the beautiful atrium is illuminated with 50,000 brilliant lights. Support provided by State Street.
Details: 220 Vesey St at West Street. For additional information, please click here.
November 29th at 7:00pm-8:00pm Waiting for info
Bryant Park Tree Lighting
This fun tree lighting ceremony includes live entertainment, live acts on ice, and music. Details: Bryant Park, 42nd Street. For additional information, please click here.
Wednesday, November 28th from 7:00pm-9:00pm
Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony
The infamous Rockefeller Center tree will be lit with 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights. This annual event will also be taped and includes several live performances. This is truly a gorgeous tree to watch but the ceremony is always packed and it runs a little late for parents with younger children. We suggest that you watch the live performance and check it out at some point during December – specifically during the day. The tree is open from 5:30AM to 9:30PM daily through early January 7 2013 (and 24 hours on Christmas Day).
Details: Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Manhattan. For additional information, please click here. The 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 with live and taped performances from 7–9 PM, at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues. Tens of thousands will crowd the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions will watch it live across the globe. The Tree will remain lit and can be viewed until 11pm on January 7th, 2013.
Thursday, November 29th from 6:00pm-8:00pm
Atlantic Avenue Holiday Tree Lighting and Party
This annual event sponsored by the Atlantic Avenue LDC will include performances by Rolie Polie Guacamole and PS 38 & 261. New Toy/Book Drive for distribution at local public housing for children impacted by Hurricane Sandy; Special Guests include Santa Claus; tasty treats provided by local restaurants and stores. Hosted by Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corp.
Details: Belarusian Church, 401 Atlantic Avenue, corner Bond Street, in Boerum Hill
Monday, December 2nd at 6:30 pm
Park Avenue Memorial Trees
This lovely tree ceremony honors the brave men and women who have lost their lives defending their country. The tradition of lighting fir trees on Park Avenue each winter began in 1945 when a small group of Park Avenue families, led by Mrs. Stephen C. Clark, the wife of an heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, lit trees to honor the men and women who died in WWII. Today the illuminated trees serve as a memorial to all who have lost their lives defending our country. The trees are lit following a ceremony outside the Brick Presbyterian Church (Park Avenue & 91st Street) that serves both as a reminder of the original meaning of the lights and a celebration of the holiday season. This is a beautiful ceremony, that when I attended it 10 years ago, included beautiful singing that was very meaningful. Details: Brick Presbyterian Church, 62 E. 92nd St., at Park Avenue.
Tuesday, December 4th from 3:30 pm- 5:30 pm
Madison Sq. Parks’ Tree Lighting
Beginning in 1912, Madison Square was home to the first public holiday tree in the nation. It is the centennial celebration for of Mad. Sq. Holiday on December 4, 2012! Festive revelry will include holiday entertainment from The New York Life Singers and family fave, Audra Rox, treats from Hill Country Barbecue Market, holiday crafting with MSPC, and much more. Festivities start at 3:30pm with the Tree of Light ceremony commencing at 4:30pm. Don’t forget to drop by their history booth to learn more about the Tree of Light and be a part of our the new tradition by making a wish on our wishing tree!
Details: Madison Square Holiday will take place in the Northern Plaza of Madison Square Park. Enter the park on 25th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Wednesday, December 5th at 6:00pm
Fifth Avenue Tree Lighting
Enjoy the tree lighting plus Santa and his helpers will be on-hand as well as music from Rolie Polie Guacamole and the MS 51 Chorus.
Details: 3rd Street and 5th Avenue. For additional information, please click here.
Friday, December 7th at 6:00pm
Christmas Tree Lighting in Carroll Park
Come to the Court Street end of the Valentino Ball Field to gather for the annual holiday tree lighting. Party at the park house to follow! Last year, there was singing, elves, gifts for the children and free refreshments and munchies and a visit from Santa. TBD if that will happen again this year. I’ll update!
Details: Valentino Ballfield and the Robert Acito Park House, Court St., Smith St., between Carroll Street and President Street, Brooklyn.
Friday, December 7th from 6-7:30 pm
Carroll Gardens Christmas Tree Lighting
Join the Carroll Gardens Association for their 5th annual Christmas Tree lighting! Santa Claus comes to spread holiday cheer, as well as hand out toys to neighborhood children. The Less Magnetic Band will be playing its Christmas jazz music repertoire. Local businesses and restaurants will donate refreshments.
Details: Human Compass Garden at the corner of Columbia and Sackett Streets. 201 Columbia St, Carroll Gardens.
Saturday, December 8th from 4- 7 pm (Rain date: Sunday, December 9th at 4pm)
Transit Garden Holiday Tree Lighting
Enjoy the neighborhood Transit Garden Holiday tree lighting with snacks, warm refreshments and even drinks for the grown-ups. Please bring a snack (cookies, hors d’oeuvres, etc) to share with friends and neighbors. Santa will also make an appearance!
Details: 2nd place and Smith street–across fr south exit of Carroll st stop F/G.
Tuesday, December 4th at 6:00pm NO word yet on date/time
Washington Square Park
This 40-foot tree under the Washington Square Arch will be lit along with a lively concert.
Details: Fifth Avenue at Waverly Place. For additional information, please click here.