‘Tis the season to e jolly, and enjoy all that NYC has to offer at the holiday, including the wonderful Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs all over town. Here’s the schedule for the tree and menorah lighting ceremonies.
These lighting festivities and holiday street festivals are always FREE to attend, and the ceremonies are rain or shine, or snow.
- Mon., Nov. 30:
Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square takes over Broadway between Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center with family-friendly performances by Broadway stars, food and more, including a tree lighting ceremony Winter’s Eve performance schedule.
- Tues., Dec. 1:
Bryant Park Tree Lighting Skate-Tacular includes an ice skating show featuring Olympic medalists Nancy Kerrigan, Brian Boitano, Johnny Weir and Davis & White and the tree lighting, beginning at 6pm. Tree Lighting Skate-tacular webpage
South St. Seaport Tree Lighting and FREE photos with Santa, at Pier 17. Photos are 5pm to 8pm, except for the tree-lighting countdown at 7pm. Seaport tree lighting webpage.
- Wed., Dec. 2nd:
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting may be the world’s most spectacular tree lighting ceremony, entirely appropriate for the world’s most famous holiday tree. Join the Radio City Rockettes, ice skaters, musicians and singers for this ceremony on TV (7pm to 9pm on NBC, whose home is 30 Rock), or in person. The Rock Center tree stays lit through January 6th
- Fri., Dec. 4th:
Central Park Holiday Tree with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, to take photos with the kids. Families can sing with carolers, watch an ice carving demonstration, and enjoy free cookies and hot cocoa. At the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at the Harlem Meer. Enter Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, 5:30pm to 7pm.
- Sat., Dec. 5:
Community Holiday Tree Lighting at Astoria Park Lawn (in Astoria Park) , Queens, with activities and entertainment for the entire family. 1pm to 5pm.
Snug Harbor Holiday Tree Lighting with participation from Snug Harbor, the Noble Maritime Collection, Staten Island Museum, ArtLab and a tree lighting followed by a special concert. 11am to 6pm at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. (718) 425-3504
- Hannukah 2015 Menorah Lightings
Sun., Dec. 6 nightly through Sun. Dec. 13: World’s Largest Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza, 59th St. and Fifth Ave. (across from The Plaza hotel) At sundown each night for the eight nights of Hanukkah. Gather around the 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon. Lightings at 5:30pm, though Friday’s is around 3:30pm and Saturday’s at 8pm, bookending the Sabbath. The lighting of the Hannukah Menorah NYC is accompanied by folk dancing and sufganiyot (holiday jelly donuts).
Sun., Dec. 6 nightly through Sun., Dec. 13: Brooklyn’s Largest Menorah Lighting, also at Grand Army Plaza, but the one in Prospect Park, also nightly at 5:30pm except on Friday when it’s at 3:30pm before the Sabbath, and Saturday at 8pm, after the Sabbath.
- Tues., Dec. 8:
Madison Square Holiday Tree lighting features a musical performance by Sing for Hope youth chorus and sample treats from local eateries Hill Country Kitchen and Almond Restaurant. 3:30pm to 5:30pm at the North Plaza.
- Sat., Dec. 12:
Summer on the Hudson: Holiday on the Hudson at West 125 Street (in West Harlem Piers), 4pm to 6pm, with live music, decoration making and more.
- Sat., Dec. 19:
Christmas Lighting of the Tree 2015 at Westerleigh Park, Staten Island. 6pm to 8pm, with a special guest Santa for the kids.