Brooklyn prepares to get lit this holiday season with tree and menorah lightings

Celebrate the holidays in Brooklyn this year with tree and menorah lighting celebrations.
Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID

The holiday season is upon us, and Brooklyn is preparing for the festivities with a number of popular neighborhood Christmas tree lightings and other wintery events. From Park Slope to Downtown Brooklyn and more, here are some of the can’t-miss holiday events in the borough.

Saturday, Nov. 25

Fifth Avenue Tree Lighting: The Old Stone House in Park Slope at Washington Park’s tree lighting is a classic Christmas experience. With numerous performances by dance groups and musical entertainment starting at 4:30 p.m. the whole ceremony features an opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself before finally counting down the switch to flip for the Fifth Avenue Christmas tree to turn on the lights. Also at the festival will be steaming and delicious cups of Mexican hot chocolate and more treats.

Tuesday, Nov. 28:

Atlantic Avenue Tree Lighting: Kick off the holiday season in Boerum Hill with the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation’s annual tree lighting ceremony! The celebration begins outside St. Cyril of Turov church at 401 Atlantic Ave. at 6 p.m. Council Member Lincoln Restler will officiate the ceremony, and local Girl Scout troops will lead the official countdown! Performers from the Brooklyn High School for the Arts will close out the evening with some holiday classics. 

Wednesday, Nov. 29:

Light Up Brooklyn Commons: The tree lighting at Brooklyn Commons  is another family favorite event and this year the festivities will surely be another hit. Starting at 5 p.m., visitors can view exquisite ice sculpture carvings by Okamoto Studios as well as a live carving, sample delicious treats and watch Santa himself light up the Christmas tree.  

metrotech christmas tree
Santa himself will stop by to light up the Brooklyn Commons tree! File photo by Stefano Giovannini

Sunday, Dec. 3:

Fort Greene Tree Lighting: Fort Greene celebrates its 9th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in partnership with the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. Guests can enjoy delicious and cozy mugs of hot chocolate, sing along to festive songs and finally watch the tree light up from 4 – 5 p.m. outside of Myrtle Avenue and St. Edwards Street. 

Saturday, Dec. 2:

St. Nicholas Day Celebration: Join fellow revelers at the 22nd Annual Sinterklaas Day Celebration organized by the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum and NYC Parks. Children and caretakers can enjoy a visit from the famous Saint Nicholas where he will tell traditional tales of “The Baker’s Dozen” and more. Also available are fun colonial games, Dutch clog decoration stations and of course the Christmas tree lighting as the festivities run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Thursday, Dec. 7:

Menorah Lighting: Celebrate the first night of Chanukah with a lighting ceremony at the largest menorah in Brooklyn at Grand Army Plaza complete with fantastic live music, hot latkes and gifts. Celebrations begin at 5 p.m. and continue through all eight nights of the Jewish holiday with both Jews and non-Jews welcome to the celebration. 

menorah grand army plaza
The first candles on the world’s largest menorah will be lit on Dec. 7. File photo by Erica Price

Tuesday Dec. 26 through Saturday Dec. 30

Celebrate Kwanzaa: Join the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for its 16th annual lively celebration of Kwanzaa at the largest family Kwanzaa event in NYC. Guests can learn all about the cultural backgrounds and significance of the holiday and learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa through workshops, live performances, art projects, candle lighting and more! 

Other activities to check out:

If the holidays aren’t quite your thing but you’d still like to embrace the chilly season, Glide at the Brooklyn Bridge, a new ice-skating rink overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge with stunning views of the city, is now open. Check out the scenery and enjoy the late-autumn weather by taking to the ice at the rink anytime from 1 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.