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New York Christmas Tree Lightings

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While the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree may be one of the most famous holiday events in NYC, there are many other wonderful lightings to attend throughout December.

Below we list the top Christmas Tree lighting events updated for 2021. Once lit, you can visit these trees of many sizes and styles, until the end of December. Some even stay lit until early January.


BEST CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS IN NEW YORK CITY

1. Winter Village at Bryant Park

December 6, 2021, at 6 p.m. at West 42nd Street and Sixth Ave. In addition to visiting the tree, you can shop at the holiday stalls at Winter Village or go ice-skating in the park!


2. New York Stock Exchange  

December 1, 2021, at 4:15 pm at the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street.

The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree in front of the New York Stock Exchange dates back to 1923!

With the adjacent Stock Exchange building lit in red and green, this Christmas tree and the Wall Street area are worth a visit this time of year.


3. Central Park

December 2, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues.

This is one of the few Christmas trees standing in a natural habitat in NYC! See the tree and then take a stroll in Central Park.

Exploring the park, especially when there is a light coating of snow, can be a magical experience.


4. Washington Square Park Arch

December 8, 2021, at 6 p.m. at Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North.

Framed by the iconic arch in Washington Square Park, this Christmas tree is Instagram-worthy!

The park is always festive and even more so over the holidays, so be sure to stop by!


5. South Street Seaport District

December 2, 2021, at 6:45 p.m. at 19 Fulton Street.

Though the Christmas tree in the South Street Seaport will not blow you away, this charming historic district is ideal for strolling at night during the holiday season.

You can shop the small stores, get some warm cocoa and look out at the scenic East River and the Brooklyn shoreline.


6. Lincoln Center

This year, the annual Winter's Eve Christmas tree lighting ceremony is on pause. There will be a splendid Christmas tree at Dante Square.

Even better, there will be a special light installation called Tumbling Lights. These whimsical light sculptures will be turned on over a number of dates.

You can also enjoy a month-long series of pop-up family-friendly activities and musical performances. Check this website to find out more.


7. DUMBO in Brooklyn

December 2, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. at the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge at 155 Water Street, Brooklyn.

Come for the tree lighting, but stay for the "Carols, Calypso, and Cocoa!" Festivities begin at 4 pm and last until 7 pm.

Before or after, explore DUMBO and its charming cobblestoned streets. The skyline views of Manhattan from DUMBO are unsurpassed.

For a guided experience, consider our combined Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO tour!


8. West Harlem Piers

December 4, 2021, 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. at 125th Street and Marginal Street in West Harlem.

As part of the annual Holidays on the Hudson, a tree is lit and other festivities take place. At the Harlem Meer in Central Park, you can see its one-of-a-kind flotilla of small Christmas trees floating on the water.

Harlem is always happening and at Christmas, the energy is off the charts. Read our post on Things to Do in Harlem.

Also, you may want to go see one of the several Christmas shows and choir performances in Harlem.


9. Madison Square Park

December 9, 2021, from 4-5:30 p.m at Madison Ave. and 23rd Street.

With the iconic Flatiron Building in the background, the Christmas Tree at Madison Square Park is picture-perfect. Top off the experience with a holiday shake and burger at the original Shake Shack location right in the park!


10. Tavern on the Green 

November 30, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Central Park West & 67th Street.

This five-star restaurant and its grounds draped with lights are enchanting year-round. Add a 20-foot Christmas tree, with more than 2,000 ornaments and 10,000 lights and you have a recipe for a mesmerizing sight!


OTHER CHRISTMAS TREES TO SEE

While these trees don't have annually scheduled lightings, they are certainly beautiful and many are in neighborhoods you might like to visit!

About The Author

Courtney

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: January 7th, 2022
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