All of New York City’s holiday tree lightings

November 27, 2023

From the very first public tree lighting ceremony in the country at Madison Square Park to the world’s most famous holiday tree at Rockefeller Center, New York City has a strong connection to the sparkling Christmas tradition. Holiday trees can be found across the city, all with their own unique style and festive flair. Ahead, see the spirit of the holidays come to life at tree lighting ceremonies happening at iconic NYC spots, from Bryant Park and Central Park to the New York Stock Exchange and the Bronx’s Little Italy.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park in 2022. Photo by Colin Miller.

Bryant Park

Tuesday, November 28
A favorite for both New Yorkers and tourists, Bryant Park’s Bank of America Winter Village offers the city’s largest free-admission ice-skating rink. In addition to the fun skating rink surrounded by Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers (including the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman branch of the New York Public Library), the park transforms into a winter wonderland, with an open-air holiday market and a festive ski lodge. Overlooking it all is a 48-foot-tall Christmas tree with more than 1,000 oversized ornaments and 12,000 lights.

Taking place on Tuesday, November 28, this year’s tree lighting ceremony will be hosted by Broadway performers Jessica Vosk and Mauricio Martínez. Enjoy live skating performances from Olympic skaters Mariah Bell, Karen Chen, Ryan Bradley, World Champion skating pair Alexa Knierim and Brandon Fraizer, and the world premiere of Ice Theatre of New York’s performance to Duke Ellington’s Jazz Nutcracker. The event is free to attend and kicks off at 6 p.m.; seating opens up at 4 p.m.

Photo courtesy of The Seaport

The Seaport

Tuesday, November 28
The historic waterfront neighborhood of the Seaport will become a holiday destination this season, with festive events, pop-ups, and other merry celebrations. The Rooftop at Pier 17 will be home to Santa’s headquarters, inspired by Disney’s The Santa Clause, Watermark at Pier 15 will feature an over-the-top winter-themed installation, and the Museum of Architecture is bringing The Gingerbread City, a gingerbread metropolis designed by 50 architects, to 25 Fulton Street.

The Seaport’s annual holiday tree lighting takes place on Tuesday, November 28 at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Water and Fulton Streets. The event will include live performances, adult-approved beverages from the Garden Bar, gingerbread cookie decorating with The Gingerbread City, photos with Santa, and holiday shopping from Hester Street Fair vendors.

Lotte New York Palace

Tuesday, November 28
Following a multi-year renovation of its facade, Lotte New York Palace has reopened its courtyard just in time for the holiday season. The iconic Midtown Manhattan hotel’s Christmas tree will be lit on Tuesday, November 28. Next to the impressive tree is a new outdoor bar, dubbed the Winter Bar at the Palace, which is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and serves up hot chocolate, hot buttered rum, and Hennessey hot toddies. Additional holiday programming at the hotel includes weekend visits from the Rockettes and Santa Claus.

Photo by Kaydn Ito on Unsplash

Rockefeller Center

Wednesday, November 29
The symbol of Christmas in New York City and the world, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been a tradition for 90 years. On Christmas Eve in 1931, construction workers at Rockefeller Center pooled their money together to buy a Christmas tree, a 20-foot balsam fir they decorated with handmade garland. The annual lighting event we know today started in 1933 and has grown more elaborate every year since. Today, the 80-foot spruce will be adorned with 50,000 lights and topped with a 900-pound Swarovski crystal-covered star topper.

This year’s event takes place on Wednesday, November 29. The tree lighting will be broadcast on NBC starting at 8 p.m. The tree is lit daily from 5 a.m. to midnight until January 13. On Christmas Day, the tree remains lit for 24 hours.

Photo by Billie Grace Ward on Flickr

The New York Stock Exchange

Thursday, November 30
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the New York Stock Exchange’s first Christmas tree lighting ceremony. In 1923, a tree was erected on Broad Street, coinciding with the first national tree lighting overseen by President Calvin Coolidge to promote the use of electric lights instead of candles. This year’s event takes place on Thursday, November 30 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature free hot chocolate and a variety of live performances, including all-women Brazilian drum line Fogo Azul, a brass band from Brooklyn, NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, PS 150 Children’s Choir, and more.

Photo courtesy of Central Park Conservancy

Central Park

Thursday, November 30
Central Park is a must-visit year-round, but there’s something extra magical about the park during the holiday season. For the 27th year, the Central Park Conservancy will illuminate a beautiful flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer, just inside the park at 110th Street. The annual tree lighting kicks off on November 30 at 5:30 p.m. and will feature a Santa meet-and-greet, caroling on the plaza, hot cocoa, and the lighting of the flotilla of trees.

East Harlem

Friday, December 1
Celebrating its 20th year, the East Harlem Holiday Tree returns this year to Franklin Plaza at 106th Street and Third Avenue. Hosted by the Union Settlement Association, the tree lighting takes place on Friday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. This year, residents were asked to help decorate the tree with ornaments reflective of their culture and heritage, as a “visual testament” of the neighborhood’s diverse community.

2022 tree lighting at Ciccarone Park. Photo courtesy of Belmont BID

Bronx’s Little Italy

Saturday, December 2
The annual tree lighting in the Bronx’s Little Italy returns to Arthur Avenue on Saturday, December 2. Hosted by the Belmont Business Improvement District, the event takes place in Ciccarone Park and includes photo-ops with Santa, holiday carols, and Italian cookies and hot chocolate. In partnership with the Children’s Cancer Society of America, there will also be a toy giveaway.

Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr

Madison Square Park

Wednesday, December 6
Madison Square Park is home to the oldest Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the country. In December 1912, a 60-foot-tall tree from the Adirondacks arrived via horse-drawn truck to the park and was decorated with 2,300 colored electric bulbs. A Christmas Eve lighting ceremony attracted 25,000 visitors, marking the first event of its kind in the U.S. and sparking a holiday tradition nationwide.

Celebrate the 111th anniversary of the nation’s first public holiday with an event hosted by the Madison Square Park Conservancy on Wednesday, December 6. The free festivities include baked goods, hot cocoa, and live performances from the Tin Pan Alley American Music Project and the NYL Singers from the New York Life Insurance Company. The tree lighting begins at 5 p.m.

Photo by Charley Lhasa on Flickr

Washington Square Park

Wednesday, December 6
Another longtime New York City tradition, the holiday tree lighting in Washington Square Park dates back to 1924. Hosted by the Washington Square Association, this year’s ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday, December 6, will include the lighting of a 45-foot tree located just south of the historic Arch at the foot of Fifth Avenue. Enjoy holiday caroling and a visit from Santa Claus. The tree will be lit for the season daily from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Dumbo Tree Lighting 2021. Photo by Hassan Mokaddam


Thursday, December 7
Dumbo is going all out for the holiday season this year. Enjoy ice skating under the Brooklyn Bridge, a life-sized gingerbread house at Empire Stores, gigantic holiday projections across the neighborhood, and three separate holiday markets and pop-up shops.

On December 7, the Dumbo Improvement District will host a holiday tree and menorah lighting event that will include a visit from Santa Claus and his elves, live performances, and hot cocoa and sweet treats. The festivities start at 4 p.m. with the tree lighting taking place at 5:30 p.m.

Hendrick I. Lott House

Friday, December 8
One of New York City’s oldest homes is ringing in the holiday season with a tree lighting of its own. The Hendrick I. Lott House in Marine Park, Brooklyn dates to 1720 and is one of the few Dutch-American houses remaining in New York City. While the farmhouse exterior has been renovated, the interiors remain untouched. The historic home’s annual tree lighting takes place on Friday, December 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, holiday music, and a photo op with Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa).


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  1. J

    Why’d you leave out Fox tree?

  2. S

    Hi, you did not mention the MET Christmas tree display which is one of the very spectacular and famous Christmas trees in New York City.

    Regards and happy holidays!

  3. A

    Thank for Picture………