‘Tis the season for tree – and menorah – lighting. If you’re a fan of that moment when a holiday tree’s lights first shine bright, or when a giant menorah marks which day of Hanukkah it is, New York City has plenty to offer you
Here’s a list of some of the places where tree lightings will take place across New York City.
Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting – November 28
Arguably the most famous of the tree lightings – it’s televised on NBC from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. – it traditionally takes place on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This year’s tree is a 72-foot Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y.
Central Park – November 29, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The 22nd annual event will take place inside the park at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center by 110th Street. A free event that features hot cocoa, cookies and the chance to meet with Santa, it ends with the lighting of a flotilla of trees.
Grand Illumination at the Conference House – November 30, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The historic Conference House on Staten Island is illuminated from within at this event, which also features hot cider and cookies, and the signing of Christmas carols.
Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting at Astoria Park – December 1, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The tree lighting will come at the end (5 p.m.) of a festival that also includes train rides and refreshments.
Christmas in the Garden at the Queens Botanical Garden – December 2, noon – 5:30 p.m.
Another tree lighting that takes place at the end of an event featuring various holiday activities, including holiday craft-making and photos with Santa (for a fee).
Celebrate Chanukah at the Park, Washington Square Park – December 2-9, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
A menorah in Washington Square Park will be lit this year for all eight days of Hanukkah. The first day is December 2.
Menorah Lightings at Grand Army Plaza (in Manhattan) and Grand Army Plaza (in Brooklyn), December 2-9
There are two areas known as Grand Army Plaza within New York City. One is an oval with an arch at the northern tip of Prospect Park; the other stretches from between 58th and 60th streets, just west of Fifth Avenue. Both of them will light large menorahs for each day of Hanukkah. The one in Manhattan is called the “world’s largest menorah”; the one in Brooklyn calls itself the “largest menorah in Brooklyn.”
Tree Lighting Skate-tacular at Bryant Park, December 4, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
PHOTO: The Bryant Park Christmas Tree in 2014. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
An annual event that features a celebrity narrator reading a Christmas tale. The tree is lit at the end of the story. Alan Cumming is this year’s host. Olympic figure skaters will also be featured at the event.
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Washington Square Park – December 5, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Another annual tradition that takes place under the park’s arch. Features singing of holiday songs and an appearance by Santa himself.
Tree Lighting Ceremony at La Isla Garden, December 10, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
A first-year event that will also feature holiday music and hot chocolate.
Looking for more events in New York City? Check out our Community Calendar.