Christmas Tree Lightings in New York City
While New York may not be known for its illustrious evergreen trees throughout most of the year, that sure does change come December! From offices to apartment building lobbies to restaurants to hotels to museums, everywhere you look there are Christmas trees galore! We’ve rounded up places to see Christmas trees in Manhattan. Make sure to bundle up, charge you phone in advance for photos, and be prepared to embrace the crowds with a joyous spirit. After all, ’tis the season!
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If You Want To Attend A Christmas Tree Lighting
While several of the bigger trees have been lit for the season already, there’s still a few lightings you can attend! The tree at Washington Square Park will be lit on December 6th at 6pm, Madison Square Park’s tree will be lit December 7th at 4:55pm, and West Harlem Piers Park will be lit December 9th at 5:40pm. At these ceremonies you can expect seasonal songs and entertainment, and Santa will even be making his debut in Washington Square Park!
Ice Skating at an Iconic Tree
Ice skating is just as much a part of the season as Christmas trees, and there’s a few key places in the city you can go to enjoy both! Midtown’s Rockefeller Christmas tree hovers directly above their ice skating rink, and you’ll also be privy to the outdoor light and sound show at Sak’s Fifth Avenue… It’s really something special!
Or head on down to Bryant Park, where the Christmas Tree is situated right to the east of the ice skating rink. Here you have the added bonus of Bryant Park’s Christmas Village, where you can load up on locally made gifts, hot cocoa, and all the food your stomach can handle.
While you can expect long lines throughout the season for ice skating, here’s a little secret: you can go online and pay a bit more money for tickets, but it will reserve you a timed slot! Meaning you can show up at that time, skip the line, and go directly onto the ice!
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Christmas Tree In A Museum
The Upper East Side’s MET Museum is famous for their cherub tree, hosting hundreds of beautiful angels. You can also coordinate your visit with a holiday concert. Throughout the month of December, MetLiveArts invites renowned ensembles and musicians to perform a variety of pieces (times and details can be found on the MET’s website.)
Or for something a little different, go to the Upper West Side’s American Museum of Natural History, where you can enjoy the legendary origami tree that’s been gracing the museum every December for over 30 years. The origami on the tree is all folded by volunteers, who start 9 months ahead of time! The items they fold are inspired by things in the museum’s collections, and there will be people on hand to teach you how to fold your own, too!
If You’s Like to Honor a Pet
For any pet parents who have lost a beloved furry friend through the year, the secret Central Park Christmas Tree for Passed Pets is a spot you’ll appreciate. It offers a space for quiet reflection, and also plenty of branches to hang a photo, poem, or cherished toy from your dear little one. The exact location has purposely been kept a secret to avoid hoards of tourists and to keep it an intimate experience, but rumor has it that if you keep walking in the wooded area of the park, you’ll eventually run into it.
And don’t forget to enjoy the tree in the the lobby of your Glenwood apartment. You know what they say… There’s no place like home for the holidays!