‘Tis the season to enjoy the twinkling lights decorating holiday trees in NYC, beginning this weekend. The best tree lighting ceremonies include entertainment, photos with Santa for the little ones, and even hot chocolate.
Saturday, Nov 26: Park Slope Fifth Avenue – This annual tree lighting ceremony includes live music, puppeteers, and the kiddies can pose for photos with Santa Claus, Fifth Avenue and 4th St, Brooklyn; 6:30–8pm.
Monday, Nov 28: Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Center – This 17-year-old celebration ranges over several blocks of the Upper West Side. It begins with the lighting of the holiday tree in Dante Park (Broadway and 63rd St) and continues with artists, musicians, dancers and street performers at various locations to Columbus Circle. Also, more than 30 of Lincoln Center’s restaurants will offer food tastings for $1 to $4, and local stores will be providing more festive cheer and activities throughout the evening as well. Columbus Ave and 63rd St; 5:30–9pm.
Tuesday, Nov 29: Seaport District – This is the 33rd annual tree lighting ceremony, with live musical performances and photos ops with Santa, followed by the luminous lighting of the district’s 60-foot tree. 19 Fulton St; 6:30–7:30pm.
Wednesday, Nov 30: Rockefeller Center – This is the biggie, known around the world as the symbol of the holidays in New York City. Rockefeller Center’s tree lighting ceremony always includes celebrity performances, including an ice skating show, ad the ceremony is broadcast live y NBC, whose home overlooks the tree, so you’ll want to get there early to secure a spot. The towering Norway Spruce is decorated with thousands of energy-efficient LEDs and watched over by an honor guard of twinkling angels. Rockefeller Plaza between W 48th and 51st Sts; 7–9pm.
Wednesday, Nov. 30: High Line Hotel, Chelsea – The High Line Hotel is the former home of Clement Clarke Moore, author of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (A Visit from St. Nicholas), and this annual celebration welcomes neighborhood families and guests for caroling, ginger great treats, hot chocolate, and a visit from both Santa and Mrs. Claus. 180 Tenth Ave. at 20th St., 4:30PM-7PM.
Thursday, Dec. 1 – Holiday Lighting in Central Park – Oohs and ahas for kids of all ages. Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside Central Park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Ave, 5:30-6:30pm
Friday, Dec 2: Bryant Park Tree Lighting and Skate-tacular – Expect a theatrical ice-skating show with performances by Olympic star Johnny Weir and others. Bryant Park, Sixth Ave between 40th and 42nd Sts; 6pm. Note that the ice skating rink is closed starting at 1pm to prepare for the festivities.
Friday Dec 2: Fort Hamilton – Enjoy the tree lighting, and then wander over to the nearby the Dyker Heights Christmas lights for more 101st St and Fort Hamilton Pkwy; 4–9pm.
Friday, Dec. 2: Bryant Park Tree Lighting and Skate-tacular – Starts at 6pm. Note that the ice skating rink is closed starting at 1pm to prepare for the festivities.
Friday, Dec. 2: East Harlem Holiday Tree Lighting – Franklin Plaza, Third Avenue and 106th Street, at 6:30pm
Friday, Dec. 2: Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony – Blackwell Plaza, 500 Main St., at 7pm
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Madison Square Park – Tree lighting, Santa and more. Madison Square Park, 23rd St. at Fifth Ave., 5:30-7:30pm
Wednesday, Dec 7: Washington Square Park – This 91-year-old tradition features holiday sing-a-longs with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet and a visit from Santa. 1 Washington Sq E; 6–7pm.
Saturday, Dec 10: Holiday on the Hudson – Bundle up because this celebration is along the Hudson River. The party starts with a performance and swing dance lesson by the Harlem Swing Dance Society (wear comfortable shoes to dance), and after the tree is lit, there are Christmas carols performed by Barnard Bacchante, and more. Hot chocolate will be served (while supplies last), so make sure to bring your own mug. West Harlem Piers, 125th St. and Marginal Ave., 4:30-6:30pm