Dozens of New York City parks will glow with holiday displays this year, bringing some much-needed cheer to all five boroughs. The city’s Parks Department last week released an interactive map that marks all of the menorah and Christmas tree lightings at parks and administrative buildings in the city by borough. The agency is encouraging New Yorkers to stay local and enjoy the illuminated green spaces in their neighborhoods.
Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army Greater New York Division
With the need for support services at an all-time high coupled with a lack of foot traffic at retail stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Salvation Army has had to think outside the kettle this holiday season. While typically the charity group relies on its bell-ringers stationed outside of stores with red kettles to raise money for those in need, this year the Salvation Army is calling for digital donations. To bring attention to its online fundraising campaign, the group unveiled on Tuesday a giant 32-foot red kettle in Times Square.
ShopIN.nyc’s VP of Marketing, Andrew Tider, picking up an order from Shirley Bryant, co-owner of Geometry Kids; Photo courtesy of ShopIN.nyc
Shopping local this holiday season is more important than ever as small businesses across New York City struggle to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. A startup company is making it easier to stay home and avoid Amazon and other major online retailers by offering same-day delivery from Brooklyn-based stores. ShopIN.nyc is a one-stop-shop for every-day items like household supplies and pantry staples and even special occasion gifts and holiday decor, all from small businesses in Brooklyn.
Photos courtesy of Cameron Blaylock
A new public art installation opened on Monday in the Flatiron Public Plaza as part of the neighborhood’s annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” holiday programming. Designed by firm Studio Cooke John, the Point of Action installation consists of nine metal pavilions surrounded by six-foot concentric circles with ropes that part, creating a “spotlight” and allowing passersby to connect with one another. The firm’s work was selected as this year’s winning design by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute.
All photos courtesy of Eugene Gologursky/ Getty Images
The first department store in New York City to ever display holiday windows continued its long-standing tradition this week. Macy’s on Thursday unveiled its 2020 holiday windows at its flagship Herald Square store with the theme “Give, Love, Believe.” According to the store, the windows are a tribute to the city’s frontline workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has taken its rightful place in Midtown. This year, a 75-foot tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce from Oneonta, N.Y. will serve as the centerpiece for the famous event. Donated by Daddy Al’s General Store, the approximately 80-year-old tree last week was cut down, hoisted by a crane, and delivered by flatbed truck to Manhattan on Saturday. The public cannot attend the tree lighting ceremony this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the live event will be broadcast nationally on December 2.
Photo by Ethan Covey for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
This year has been tough on all New Yorkers, but especially those unemployed, hungry, and experiencing homelessness. While every holiday season is a chance to give back to your community, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made helping those in need this year more important than ever. Ahead, find out where to volunteer and donate across the city, whether it’s contributing to Thanksgiving food drives, delivering holiday meals, making greeting cards for seniors, or donating to coat drives. Please note, each organization has put in place protocols related to COVID-19 that need to be followed, including mask and social distancing requirements.
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center may be the most popular conifer in New York City, with 125 million people visiting the tree each year, but it certainly is not the only one. Every holiday season, spruces adorned with colorful lights and ornaments pop up across the five boroughs. The city’s many holiday trees each offer a unique take on the tradition, which began in NYC in 1912 when the first public Christmas tree was erected in Madison Square Park. For those looking to skip the Midtown crowds this year, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best holiday trees and lighting ceremonies, from the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History to the flotilla of trees in Central Park’s Harlem Meer.
The holidays are always a special time in New York City, with tons of events and attractions to keep busy from Thanksgiving to New Years. But most festivities don’t take place over 1,200 feet in the sky. One World Observatory does just that during their “Winter ONEderland” event, which transforms their 102nd-floor observatory into a magical winter oasis beginning on Nov. 26. Starting with a snowy ride to the top of One WTC, the event features interactive multi-media installations, visits from Santa, and holiday-themed fare and beverages.
One of the many signs that it’s Christmastime in the city is the sight, sound and scent of the city’s sidewalk tree vendors. The annual arrival of the (mostly) jovial tree purveyors reminds us that bell-ringing Santas, office secret Santas, and bar-crawling Santas aren’t far behind. Each year thousands of trees are sold to New Yorkers to help them deck the halls for the season. But what about the people who sell those trees? A new documentary film, “Tree Man,” gives us a peek at the lives of the city’s tree sellers, many of whom leave families behind to camp out in sometimes harsh living conditions for the sake of their business.