New York Botanical Garden
Bronx River Pkwy., at Fordham Rd., Bronx; 718-817-8700
Though the train show and gingerbread house display are the main attractions, the 26-foot-tall Fraser firs are nothing to sneeze at.
Lighting ceremony: November 17, 4–5:15 p.m.
On display: November 17–January 13; Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park W., at 79th St.; 212-769-5100
A team of volunteers starts working in July to create some 500 origami figures for this one. This year's tree is inspired by the "Spiders Alive!," "Creatures of Light," and upcoming "Whales: Giants of the Deep" exhibits and features some of the largest and most impressive animals found in the museum.
Lighting ceremony: There's no official event; usually museum employees just gather informally as it's switched on for the first time.
On display: November 19–January 6, daily, 10 a.m.–5:45 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Days
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St.; 212-879-5500
If your taste is more romantic than gigantic, the twenty-foot-tall spruce at the Met is adorned with 50 eighteenth-century Neapolitan angels and flanked by hundreds of crèche figures.
Lighting ceremonies: November 27–January 6; Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday, 4:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.
On display: November 20–January 6; Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
42nd St., at Sixth Ave.; 212-768-4242
Once you've gotten a look at the tree, visit Celsius, the on-site restaurant and bar, then burn off the calories on the admission-free skating rink.
Lighting ceremony: November 27, 7–8 p.m.
On display: November 27–January 7, 24 hours
Ice-skating: October 27–February 26; Sunday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 8 a.m.–midnight
Holiday market: October 27–January 8; Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
30 Rockefeller Plaza, at 50th St.; 212-332-6868
The lighting of the city’s most famous tree—which was first erected during the height of the Depression, before Rockefeller Center was even completed—marks the unofficial start of the winter holidays, particularly for tourists.
Lighting ceremony: November 28, 7 p.m.–9 p.m.
On display: November 28–January 7; daily, 5:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m.; lights are on 24 hours on Christmas Day; 5:30 a.m.–9 p.m. on New Year's Eve.
Ice-skating: November 4–January 6, Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–10:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–midnight; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.–10 p.m. (with 30-minute breaks every 90 minutes)
Park Avenue Memorial Trees
Brick Presbyterian Church, 62 E. 92nd St., at Park Ave.; 212-705-4237
Every year since 1945, the trees that line Park Avenue have been lit to honor those who lost their lives defending our country. This year's trees will be lit after a ceremony at the Brick Presbyterian Church.
Lighting ceremony: December 2, 6:30 p.m.
On display: December 2–January 17
Madison Square Park
Madison Ave., at 23rd St.; 212-538-1884
Though not the city's most famous tree-lighting ceremony, America's first community Christmas tree was lit in Madison Square Park on Christmas Eve in 1912.
Lighting ceremony: December 4, 3:30–5 p.m.
On display: December 4–January 1
New York Stock Exchange
18 Broad St., at Exchange Pl.; 212-656-3000
The NYSE tree-lighting ceremony has been a downtown New York tradition since 1923. This year's 45-foot-tall spruce, adorned with 3,500 white LED lights and 1,000 multicolor ornaments, will light up while a local choir sings carols.
Lighting ceremony: December 4, 4:45 p.m.
On display: December 4–second week of January
Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave., at Waverly Pl.
Sing carols with friends and family while watching this year's lighting of a 40-foot fir under the Washington Square Arch.
Lighting ceremony: December 5, 6 p.m.
On display: December 5–January 1
Winter Garden Holiday Lights
West St., nr. Vesey St.; 212-417-7000
Forty-five-foot-tall palm trees might sound more like spring break than holiday season, but the Winter Garden still gets in the spirit by hanging a whopping 100,000 twinkling lights overhead.
Lighting ceremony: November 27, 6 p.m.
On display: November 27–January 1, 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
83rd St. to 86th St between Eleventh Ave. and Thirteenth Ave.; Dyker Heights
Dyker Heights is known for its over-the-top holiday decorations, and the light displays get more and more elaborate each year.
On display: Late November to early January, after sundown
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Lenox Ave., at 110th St.; 212-860-1370
This Victorian-inspired event features caroling, crafts, and photos with Santa Claus, as well as the lighting of the Discovery Center near Harlem Meer.
Lighting ceremony: December 2, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
On display: December 2–December 31