The most wonderful time of the year: Get lit at these Brooklyn holiday lightings

man watching holiday lighting
Thanksgiving is over, and Christmas trees, menorahs and more will be lighting up all across Brooklyn in the next few weeks. Here’s where to watch and celebrate!
File photo by Paul Frangipane

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it comes a slew of Christmas and other holiday tree lightings across the borough. To help get you in the mood, Brooklyn Paper has put together a list of lighting ceremonies, coming to a nabe near you.

santa with christmas tree lighting
The next few weeks are chock-full of festive tree lightings — you might even be lucky enough to see Santa at the Brookfield Commons tree lighting! File photo by Todd Maisel

Saturday, Nov. 26

Park Slope tree lighting: The Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District is inviting everyone to the its annual tree lighting at the Fourth Street Plaza. Fun entertainment begins at 5 p.m. with dance performances by Sean Langford and Hannah Klinkman, letters and photos with Santa, snowflake arts and crafts, and face painting in partnership with Park Slope Parents. While you’re there, be sure to snag some treats from Buttermilk Bakeshop

Monday, Nov. 28 & Tuesday, Nov. 29

NIA Brooklyn tree lighting: NIA Brooklyn, councilmember Justin Brannan, state Senator Andrew Gounardes, and Assemblymember Peter J. Abbate, Jr., continue their tradition of bringing holiday cheer to southern Brooklyn with these two tree lightings! Enjoy some festive treats and songs from the NIA carolers, meet Santa Claus, and watch the lights come on! Head to the Shore Road Park Gazebo at 90th Street and Shore Road at 6pm on Nov. 28, or Dyker Park at 86th Street and 14th Avenue at 6pm on Nov. 29.

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Brooklyn Commons lighting: Brookfield Properties presents Light Up Brooklyn Commons, an evening of festive outdoor activities. Starting at 5:30 p.m., guests will have the chance to indulge in musical performances, holiday treats, explore an exhibition of carved ice sculptures by New York-based Okamoto Studio — then they can watch as Santa lights the Brooklyn Commons Christmas tree. The Rink at the Commons will also be open for ice skating during the event. All activities are free.

Stop by the DUMBO tree lighting ceremony for free family-friendly activities and entertainment from 4pm to 7pm.
Stop by the DUMBO tree lighting ceremony for free family-friendly activities and entertainment at 5:30pm. Hassan Mokadda

Thursday, Dec. 1

16th annual Dumbo tree lighting: The DUMBO Improvement District will host its annual tree lighting at the Pearl Street Triangle at 5:30 p.m. Attendees can expect an cozy night of free, festive and family-centered activities, including performances by Brooklyn-based performers, a toy and coat drive, hot cocoa and treats and animated video projections on the Manhattan Bridge that reinvent the holiday tree for the digital age.

Little ones can also snag a photo with Santa at a photobooth set up by Self Portrait Project and they can drop off letters for Santa at a special mailbox in the Pearl Street Triangle. According to event organizers, those who have a wishlist that can be sourced in Dumbo could receive a $100 worth of Dumbo Dollars to spend in the neighborhood as an early holiday gift.

Friday, Dec. 2

Tree lighting at the Lott House: Kickoff the season with a tree lighting ceremony at the historical Lott House in Marine Park at 1940 East 36th St. Join Friends of the Lott house starting at 6 p.m. for an evening of music, photos with a Dutch Santa called Sinterklaas, complimentary snacks and hot cocoa. 

Join Friends of the Lott house Friday, December 2 at 6 PM for an evening for festive fun.
Join Friends of the Lott house Friday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. for an evening for festive fun. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Lott House

Sunday, Dec. 4

Fort Greene holiday tree lighting: There will be hot cocoa to enjoy, live music and a chance to write a letter to Santa before the lighting of the tree at Fort Greene Park. You can also help the giving spirit by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for the Myrtle Avenue Toy Drive. Festivities kick off near the Myrtle Avenue and St. Edwards Street entrance at 4 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 8

Marine Park Festival of Lights, Christmas edition: The Marine Park Alliance offers an “all-hands-on-deck” Christmas event where attendees can help decorate and light up a tree. Meet at Bergen Beach Youth and Millennium Development at 4 p.m. to participate in this Christmas tradition that honors those who stay green all year long.

Thursday, Dec. 14

Grand Army Plaza Christmas tree lighting: Join the Diocese of Brooklyn at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch for its annual Christmas tree lighting. Usher in the Christmas spirit with Diocesan officials and parishioners from all over Brooklyn and Queens starting at 4 p.m. Following the lighting, the tree will remain lit 24/7 in bright lights until January.

grand army plaza tree lighting
Grand Army Plaza will be awash in festive lights from Dec. 14 all the way until January. File photo by Paul Frangipane

Brooklyn Heights Promenade tree lighting: Santa usually makes an appearance at the annual low-key Brooklyn Heights celebration, happening at the foot of Montague Street, with neighbors gathering for a countdown to the tree lighting. The party begins around 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18 

Brooklyn’s largest menorah lighting: Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah at the annual lighting of Brooklyn’s largest menorah at Grand Army Plaza. Celebrations begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, and continue each night of the Jewish holiday, including live music, latkes and gifts for any children that come out. According to the Chabad of Park Slope, coordinator of the event, Jews and non-Jews alike are invited to celebrate each night.

giant menorah lighting
Height light: The city’s tallest mayor lit Brooklyn’s largest menorah on Dec. 2 in celebration of the first night of Hanukkah. File photo by Trey Pentecost

Thursday, Dec. 22

Marine Park Festival of Lights, Hanukkah edition: The Marine Park Alliance will continue its storied Festival of Lights events, but with a Hanukkah twist on Dec. 22. Stop by the Carmine Carro Center at 5 p.m. to light a menorah, hear stories and learn the history of the eight-day celebration. 

Wednesday, Dec. 28

Festival of Lights, Kwanzaa edition: The Marine Park Alliance will host one last holiday lighting ceremony celebrating Kwanzaa on Dec. 28. Join organizers at the New Year’s celebration of African community values and light a kinara. The outdoor event begins at 5 p.m. and is free to the community.

Other lights to see

Atlantic Avenue is already aglow for the holiday season. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation teamed up with the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District to host its annual tree lighting — the first of the year in Brooklyn. Brooklynites who missed out on the festivities can still see the decked out tree, located outside of St. Cyril of Tutov Belarusian Church (401 Atlantic Ave.).

And if Christmas trees just aren’t your thing, you can check out Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s dazzling “Lightscape” exhibit, on display through Jan. 8, 2023.

Additional reporting by Susan De Vries