holiday guide 2018

Where to See Holiday Lights in New York City

Rockefeller Center. Photo: Stan Honda/NBCUniversal

Rockefeller Center
30 Rockefeller Plaza, at 50th St.; 212-332-6868
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of the holidays in the city, Rockefeller Center’s tree draws heaps of onlookers every year. Start the season off at the lighting ceremony, which will feature live musical performances and be broadcast around the world.
Lighting ceremony: Nov. 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On display: Nov. 28 to Jan. 7; daily, 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; lights are on 24 hours on Christmas Day and from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve
Ice-skating: Oct. 8 to early Apr., Daily, 8:30 a.m. to midnight (with 30-minute breaks every 90 minutes)

Park Avenue Memorial Trees
Brick Presbyterian Church, 62 E. 92nd St., at Park Ave.; 212-705-4237
Since 1945, the trees along the Park Avenue malls have been lit in honor of those who have died fighting for our country. A moving symbol of peace and a reminder of those who never returned for the holidays, the trees will again be lit following a ceremony at the Brick Presbyterian Church.
Lighting ceremony: Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m.
On display: Dec. 2 to Jan. 15

New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd., at Bronx Park Rd., the Bronx; 718-817-8700
Come for the famous train show, stay for the elaborate conifer display and holiday choir.
Lighting ceremony: Nov. 20 to mid-January; Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (7 p.m. on select days); closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

American Museum of Natural History 
Central Park W., at 79th St.; 212-769-5100
Drawing inspiration from the museum’s stunning exhibitions and collections, the American Museum of Natural History’s Origami Holiday Tree will again delight visitors this year. Volunteers prepare the ornaments months in advance, ensuring the tree is as striking as possible.
On display: Nov. 19 to Jan. 13, daily, 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Bryant Park
42nd St. at Sixth Ave.; 212-661-8870
Though less famous than its nearby cousin, the tree lighting at Bryant Park’s popular Winter Village is nonetheless an enchanting holiday event, featuring musical performances, ice skating, and the renowned gift market.
Lighting ceremony: Dec. 4, 6 p.m.
On display: Dec. 4 to Jan. 3, 24 hours
Ice-skating: Oct. 27 to Mar. 3, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Holiday market: Oct. 27 to Jan. 2; Mon. to Fri., 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. to Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Cir.; 212-823-6300
The Time Warner Center will again host its “Holiday Under the Stars” event, which features 12 14-foot crystal stars that hang from the ceiling, with nonstop holiday music completing the festive atmosphere. And the first five Monday evenings of the run will also feature the free “Broadway Under the Stars” event, where performers from Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress, School of Rock, and more swing by to perform songs from their shows.
On display: Nov. 12 to Jan. 3; 5 p.m. to midnight

Dante Park
Broadway at 63rd St.; 212-581-3774
Lincoln Square’s Winter’s Eve is one of the largest holiday events in New York City and its official beginning is marked by a tree-lighting ceremony at Dante Park. This year, the lighting ceremony will feature performances by Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, food, and more.
Lighting ceremony: Broadway at 63rd St., Nov. 27, 5:30 9 p.m.
On display: Nov. 26 to late Jan.

The World’s Largest Menorah
Grand Army Plaza, Flatbush Ave. at Eastern Pkwy.
Park Slope has been home to the world’s largest menorah since 1985. Standing at 32 feet tall, there’s a lighting ceremony every night of Hanukkah, with live music, food, and gifts.
Lighting ceremony: Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 13 to Dec. 14, 6 p.m.; Dec. 15, 3:30 p.m.; Dec. 16, 7 p.m.; Dec. 17, 5 p.m.; Dec. 18 to Dec. 19, 6 p.m.

Carl Schurz Park 
E. 86th St. and East End Ave.; 212-459-4455
This Upper East Side haven will be continuing its family-oriented tree lighting ceremony this year, complete with hot chocolate and caroling.
Lighting ceremony: Dec. 2, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
On display: Dec. 2 to mid-Jan.

Riverside Park
West Harlem Piers Park, W. 125th St. and Marginal St.; 212-408-0219
The Riverside Park Conservancy will be hosting its seventh annual holiday-tree-lighting ceremony, dubbed “Holiday on the Hudson.” A new and treasured tradition favorite among locals, it features live music and craft stations.
Lighting ceremony: Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
On display: Dec. 8 to mid-Jan.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
83rd St. to 86th St. btwn. 11th Ave. and 13th Ave.; Dyker Heights
This Brooklyn neighborhood is famous for its elaborate holiday decorations, drawing crowds from all around who gather to walk the streets and marvel.
On display: Late Nov. to early Jan., after sundown

Where to See Holiday Lights in New York City