2022 Holiday Happenings: The PSP G​​uide

Here’s what you need to know for this holiday season in Brooklyn! We’re updating this page as new events cross our desk, so keep checking back.

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Holiday Activities:
     Upcoming
     Ongoing
Where to see Christmas Lights
Where to buy a Christmas Tree
Member Advice and Issues Explored
Past Events

 

Upcoming Events

     

Marine Park Festival of Lights: Kwanzaa
Wednesday, December 28th
5:00pm
Carmine Carro Center

Join us for Kwanzaa, a New Year's celebration of African community values, and light an accompanying kinara.

 

Kids Week with the Urban Park Rangers
December 26th - 30th

Even when school's out, our parks are still the city's natural classroom! Bring your kids to parks throughout the city for Kids Week during the break. With programs led by our Urban Park Rangers, kids will get to experience nature in a hands-on and fun way. They may never want to go back to class again! Ages 12 and under.

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Winter Recess in Prospect Park
December 27th - 30th

Make the most of winter break! Join Prospect Park Alliance for family friendly programming every day during winter recess.

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Ongoing Events


Governors Island Winter Village

The Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage in Colonels Row fea­tures fun activ­i­ties and win­ter vibes for vis­i­tors of all ages!

The Vil­lage includes a 7,500-square-foot ice skat­ing rink open Thurs­day-Sun­day and all NYC Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion hol­i­days, along with dai­ly attrac­tions and activ­i­ties includ­ing more than a dozen lawn games, sled and bike rentals from Blaz­ing Sad­dles, twin­kling lights and deli­cious sea­son­al food and drinks. The fire pits at the Win­ter Vil­lage are turned on Thursday-Sunday.

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Celebrate Kwanzaa at Brooklyn Children's Museum
December 26th - December 30th

Brooklyn Children’s Museum is celebrating its 15th annual Kwanzaa celebration, presented in partnership with Brooklyn-based Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation. Join in for 5 days of live music, dance demonstrations, spoken-word presentations, art-making, food, and more!

Kwanzaa 2019 at BCM photo credit Brooklyn Childrens Museum Winston Williams 3012.30.2019 edited 2048x1153

 

Journey To The East
October 21st - January 8th

SIUH Community Park, Staten Island, NY

The annual Winter Lantern Festival is back for a FOURTH year to transform SIUH Community Park (new venue) into an immersive world of light! This is one of four events Winter Lantern Festival will be hosting in New York. Journey To The East with friends and family to explore the wonders of over 1000 Chinese lanterns; all handmade by artisans. Our lanterns and light displays will light the night and bring warmth this holiday season!

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Illuminate the Farm at Queens County Farm Museum
November 11th - January 8th

Fridays through Sundays, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
December 23rd - January 1st
Daily, 5:00pm - 9:00pm (extended holiday week schedule)

Join us as NYC Winter Lantern Festival lights up the holiday season with over 1000 lights at the Queens Farm. This stunning array of hand-crafted lanterns creates an unforgettable immersive experience across 6 acres of our historic farmland. This experience will feature a dazzling display of lights and illuminated Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artisans with decades of dedication to their craft. Visitors can expect a luminescent display inspired by theme parks and Chinese myths and legends, along with illuminated tunnels, illuminated rideable swings, and much more.

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Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
November 16th - January 8th

An all-new illuminated trail returns to Brooklyn! Sold out in its first season, this year’s after-dark, illuminated spectacular features new works of art alongside returning favorites. Celebrate the beauty of nature in winter with family and friends on an enchanting trail featuring over a million dazzling lights.

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Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights
November 18th - January 8th

Join us for a family holiday festival at the Bronx Zoo. During the evenings, the park comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. The celebration includes festive entertainment, seasonal treats, the Holiday Train, and classic holiday music. The walk-through experience is a beloved tradition, enchanting and fun for all ages.

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The Origami Holiday Tree
November 21st - January 9th
American Museum of Natural History

The theme of this year’s 13-foot tree is Beautiful Bugs. Among the more than 1,000 origami pieces decorating the tree will be intricately designed models of long-legged grasshoppers, brilliantly colored butterflies, and iridescent beetles, as well as those depicting iconic Museum exhibits like the Blue Whale and Tyrannosaurus rex.

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Mulchfest
December 26th - January 10th
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2

After your holiday season, say goodbye to your tree and hello to mulch!

Join NYC Parks and Brooklyn Bridge Park to recycle your tree into wood chips that can be used to nourish your garden beds at home or here in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Drop off your tree early, or bring it the day of chipping, to watch your tree be turned into helpful mulch. Bags of mulch will be available to take home.

Drop your tree off at any of the following locations between December 26th – January 10th. Look for the designated areas near these locations:

  • The parking lot along Furman Street near Pier 2
  • Near Ample Hills Creamery at Fulton Ferry Landing
  • Near OddFellows Ice Cream at Pier 5
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade at the Fruit Street Sitting Area near Squibb Park

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GLOW at the New York Botanical Garden
November 18th - 19th, 23rd, 25th - 26th

December 2nd - 3rd, 9th - 11th, 15th - 17th, 22nd - 23rd, 26th - 30th
January 1st, 7th, 14th
5:00pm - 10:00pm

This holiday season, NYBG GLOW returns for its third year. Discover the beauty of our landscape and historic buildings after dark, breathtakingly illuminated across the Garden. Building upon sold-out evenings the past two years, NYBG GLOW expands across even more of the Garden’s magnificent collections with choreographed lights and sound.

 

Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden
November 19th - January 16th

NYBG’s Holiday Train Show—a favorite holiday tradition—has been making memories for over 30 years! See model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 190 replicas of New York landmarks, each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as birch bark, lotus pods, and cinnamon sticks.

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Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience
Through January 22nd

Westchester, NY

Walk into the depths of a dark forest and discover fantastic beasts and iconic wizarding world moments illuminated like never before.

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Statue of Liberty Museum

Check out Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty this winter break! Opened in 2019, the 26,000 square-foot museum is a destination unto itself. Beautifully designed, universally accessible, and housing an extraordinary and engaging collection of American heirlooms, the Museum enhances visits to the Island with interactive exhibits that enable visitors to explore the Statue’s grandeur without the need for additional advanced reservations or tickets.

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Cosmic CAMP: A Space Adventure
City Point

Incoming message from Ground Control: Your mission is to answer the call of Cosmic Camp, an out-of-this-world play space that takes you on an adventure through interactive games, physical challenges, and crazy cosmic-themed locations. Come as a family, leave as a crew!

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Member Advice and Issues Explored


The holidays can trigger many mixed emotions around family life, concepts of materialism, and understanding and practicing religion, not to manage added stress, financial concerns, and more. PSP members share advice about: 

Interfaith Holidays: Chrismukkah

Cheap and Cheerful Things to Do With Kids During the Holidays

How to Handle Holiday Stress

Reducing Stolen Packages in the Neighborhood

Santa Claus: Is he real?

Too Many Presents/Gifts

How To Thank Teachers at the Holidays & End of the Year

 

Past Events


5th Avenue Park Slope Tree Lighting
Saturday, November 26th
5:00pm - 6:00pm; tree lighting at 6:00pm
4th St Plaza at 5th Ave

In town for Thanksgiving? Head down to 5th Ave on Saturday for the Park Slope Tree Lighting! PSP will be present with snowflake art and face painting! ❄️

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Sinterklaas - Saint Nicholas Day
Saturday, December 3rd
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Wyckoff House Museum

Children will enjoy a visit from St. Nicholas as he arrives on horseback around 2:30PM. St. Nicholas will tell the traditional tale of The Bakers Dozen and children are invited to sign the Red Book. Sip hot cider, try your hand at colonial games, create a holiday pomander, decorate a Dutch clog for Sinterklaas, and dress the tree for the tree lighting that will close the day as the sun goes down.

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Salvatore & Co. Holiday Party
Saturday, December 3rd

10:00am - 5:00pm
581 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10017

Join us at the store for free photos with Santa, food and drinks. Adults and children welcome.

What PSP members are saying:

"If you are looking for a way to take your Santa family photos without crowds, there is a large jewelry store on 5th Avenue at the top of the diamond district, Salvatore & Co, holding an all day Santa free family photo day event.

Many years ago when we were looking at engagement ring jewelry, they had the most competitive prices. Will clean your jewelry for free if you bring it in. While the owner is lovely, I am not affiliated with them. I have been to their annual Holiday event before to be able to recommend it."

 

Light Up Brooklyn Commons
Wednesday, November 30th
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Attendees can explore an exhibition of exquisitely carved ice sculptures in the theme of “Mystic Creatures,” by the talented NY-based Okamoto Studio, behold a joyful performance by Brooklyn United, sample holiday treats, and watch with wonder as Santa lights the treasured Brooklyn Commons Christmas tree. The Rink at Brooklyn Commons also spreads the holiday cheer with free ice skating during the time of the event.* The evening’s activities are all free and open to the public.

 

NIA Brooklyn Tree Lighting
Monday, November 28th: 6:00pm at Shore Road Park Gazebo, 90th Street and Shore Road
Tuesday, November 29th: 6:00pm at Dyker Park, 86th Street and 14th Avenue

NIA Brooklyn, councilmember Justin Brannan, state Senator Andrew Gounardes, and Assemblymember Peter J. Abbate, Jr. gather for two tree lightings featuring treats, songs, and a visit from Santa Claus!

 

DUMBO Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 1st
5:30pm
Pearl Street Triangle

The DUMBO Improvement District hosts its 16th annual tree lighting, featuring free family activities, performances, hot chocolate, animated video projects, local performances, and a photobooth with Santa!

 

Annual Central Park Holiday Lighting
Thursday, December 1st

5:30pm
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (East Side at 110th Street)

Celebrate the season with our 26th Annual Holiday Lighting in Central Park! Meet Santa and friends, sing carols on the Plaza, and warm up with hot cocoa while enjoying a variety of seasonal activities. The event concludes with lighting a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer.

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Lott House Tree Lighting
Friday, December 2nd
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Hendrick I. Lott House, 1940 East 36th Street

Kids can get their photos taken with Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa) and receive a small gift. Photos are free.
There will also be complimentary refreshments and hot cocoa with holiday music!

 

Grand Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday, December 2nd
7:00pm
142-82 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica NY

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Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 5th Annual Holiday Market
Saturday, December 3rd

Sunday, December 4th
12:00pm - 5:00pm

Enjoy a mix of handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind home décor pieces, and rare fashion finds from local artisans and designers. Featuring 80+ vendors, the shopping section is the perfect place to pick-up gifts for everyone on your list.

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Fort Greene Holiday Tree Lighting
Sunday, December 4th

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Fort Greene Park – Myrtle & St Edwards Entrance

Gather with neighbors at the northwest corner of Fort Greene Park, near the Myrtle Ave and St Edward’s St entrance to enjoy:

☕️ FREE hot cocoa
🎶 Live holiday music
📫 Letter writing to Santa
🎄 Lighting of the big tree!
🧸️ And don’t forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Myrtle Ave Toy Drive, benefiting families at Fort Greene’s Ingersoll and Whitman Houses!

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Marine Park Festival of Lights: Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
Thursday, December 8th
4:00pm
Bergen Beach Youth & Millenium Development at Carro Center, Fillmore Ave. & Madison Pl.

Help decorate and light up a tree in Christmas tradition to honor those that stay green all year.

 

Carroll Park Holiday Tree Lighting
Friday, December 9th
6:00pm
Court Street end of the ball field

There just might be a visit from a bearded gent in a red suit!

 

BKCM Holiday Caroling
Saturday, December 10th

2:00pm - 3:30pm

A beloved Brooklyn Conservatory of Music tradition — holiday caroling! Please join us as we spread cheer throughout the neighborhood. All ages, voices, and faiths are welcome.

Arrive promptly at 2pm to the BKCM Garden for warm, festive drinks and a chance to warm up your voice before spreading out around Park Slope. 

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NYPD 84th Precinct: Visits from Santa
Sunday, December 4th - Sunday, December 11th

The 84th Precinct chauffeurs Santa, with stops in various Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Schedule:
12/4 at 12:00pm, 139 Smith Street
12/4 at 2:00pm, 217 Court Street
12/4 at 5:00pm, 195 Smith Street
12/4 at 6:30pm, 68 Bergen Street
12/7 at 3:00pm, 201 Court Street
12/7 at 5:30pm, 191 Smith Street
12/8 4:30pm, 129 Boerum Place
12/8 at 6:00pm, Old Fulton and Furman / Pier 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park
12/11 at 11:30am, 151 Atlantic Avenue
12/11 at 3:00pm, 159 Bridge Park Drive / Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park
12/11 at 6:30pm, 1 John Street
12/11 at 14 Old Fulton Street at Pier 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park

 

Holy Apostles Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 11th
4:00pm
612 Greenwood Avenue

The musicians of the Holy Apostles Brooklyn are performing their first-ever Christmas concert. Please join us in launching this annual tradition of neighborhood Christmas concerts and listen to all-time favorite Christmas music - fun carols from Broadway musicals, movies, and classics, as well as the premiere of “Christmas in Brooklyn” by the Brooklyn-based songwriters Julia Gannon and Matthew Lowy. By donation.

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Santa at The Dram Shop
Saturday, December 17th
3:00pm - 6:00pm
The Dram Shop, 339 9th Street

Say hi to Santa and shop the Brooklyn Makers' Market!

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Santa Visit at JJ Byrne
Saturday, December 17th
4:00pm - 9:00pm
JJ Byrne Playground

Join Santa for an afternoon of picture taking, wreath making, holiday cheer, and spectacular tree lighting!

 

Grand Army Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting
Wednesday, December 14th
4:00pm - 6:00pm

This year, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Christmas Tree will be lit on Thursday, December 14 at 4 pm at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch. The public is invited to join Diocesan officials and parishioners from all over Brooklyn and Queens for this special occasion. The tree will remain lit 24/7 in red lights—the only such tree in NYC—until January. This annual tradition of displaying the Christmas Tree and Nativity Creche brings the spirit and joy of the Christmas season to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn community. 

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Brooklyn Heights Annual Tree Lighting
Wednesday, December 14th
5:30pm
Brooklyn Heights Promenade @ Montague Street

The holidays are here! Come celebrate with your neighbors at the annual Brooklyn Heights Tree Lighting ceremony

 

Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra Kids Holiday Concert
Saturday, December 17th

11:00am
St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church

Mozart for Munchkins creates a relaxed, interactive and engaging environment where children and their families can experience and enjoy the wonders of classical music with a hint of jazz and bluegrass.  Children of all ages are welcome to observe, explore, discover, crawl, sing and dance to their heart’s content, while parents, grandparents, and caregivers sit back, relax and enjoy the concert.

 

Christmas Carols in the Park
Saturday, December 17th
3:30pm - 5:00pm
15th Street/Prospect Park West entrance of Prospect Park

Enjoy Live Music, S'mores, Hot Cider, Cocoa & Kids Crafts!

 

BKCM Kwanzaa Celebration
Saturday, December 17th
4:00pm - 5:30pm
BKCM Concert Hall (58 7th Ave)

All are invited to a family songwriting workshop centered on the principles of Kwanzaa. This event is best suited for kids ages 8 to 14 years old. Parents are welcome too!

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Gingerbread House Decorating with One Girl Cookies
Sundays, December 4th, 11th, & 18th
CityPoint

Kids ages 3 to 12 are invited to decorate and design their own gingerbread houses and dreidel cookies with royal icing colors and decorative elements such as sanding sugar and candy. Participants will be able to take home their creation in boxes we provide and One Girl Cookies will be on site to support the decorating process.

 

Chanukah on 5th Ave
Sunday, December 18th
2:30pm - 3:30pm
JJ Byrne Park

All are welcome to this free Chanukah event featuring crafts, giant games, latkes and donuts, donut decorating, menorah lighting, and music!

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Chanukah Glow Party
Sunday, December 18th
4:00pm
Kiddie Korner Preschool, 117 Remsen St.

Families are invited to Kiddie Korner for delicious treats and festive games. Dress in white or neon so you will GLOW! Immediately following the party (at 5:00pm) we will attend the giant menorah lighting at Borough Hall together!

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The Youth and Family Great Hannukah Sing-Along
Sunday, December 18th
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Congregation Beth Elohim

Celebrate Hanukkah’s first night with our Youth and Family Great Hanukkah Sing-Along, starring Debbie Brukman and friends. From “Five Little Latkes” to “I Have A Little Dreidel,” we’ll be singing all of our Hanukkah favorites.

 

Menorah Lighting & Chanukah Party
Sunday, December 18th

5:30pm - 6:30pm
Myrtle Plaza

Come celebrate with Chabad of Clinton Hill & Pratt and enjoy sufganiyot, live music & fun for the entire family at Myrtle Plaza! (Myrtle Avenue at Steuben)

 

Santa on Sundays at City Point
Sunday, December 18th
11:00am - 2:00pm

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is visiting on Sundays for #selfies and sit downs. Free admission; fun for all ages!

 

Macy’s Santaland [SOLD OUT as of 12/20]
November 25th - December 24th

Macy's Herald Square, 8th Floor

Here’s your chance to visit the busiest man of the season inside our Herald Square store.
Book your time to join the line—it’s the only way to meet & snap a photo with Santa in person.

Cost: Admission is free, but a reservation is required. Professional photos are available for purchase, but are optional. Photo packages start at $39.99.

What PSP members are saying:

"We went last night! Much shorter line than usual (though still 30 minutes). Masks are mandatory, even for pics - but we did see some people pulling them down for quick photos. No distancing in line, though there were marks on the floor to. Santa wears a mask and sits behind a desk, and doesn't come out for photos - the kid sits in front of the desk.
It felt safe enough and my son LOVED it!" (2021)

"I do not recommend Macy's. We made a 10am appointment for Macy's Santa and when we arrived and checked in they pointed us to the end of the line which snaked way outside of Santaland entrance, down through the cookware, and around the corner. At which point I asked somebody what the wait time was and they said about 3 hours. Which to me looked more like 4 or 5 hours because I remember the inside from last year and how it snaked around quite a bit. So we left and went to Bloomingdales. Same thing we did last year. So after 2 years of being let down by Macy's, I cancelled my Macy's card and wrote a letter explaining that young children that need naps and meals can't wait in lines that are 3 plus hours long. We have been very happy with the Bloomingdale Santa's and the fact that there were only two people in line in front of us was even better. You are totally allowed to take your own photos and Santa is very cooperative. they also have a photographer there if you would like them to do it and buy a package with printed photos and digital download for very reasonable prices."

"You can take your own pictures head on at Santa Land. I always wait until they take their pictures then ask if I can take my own. They always step aside so I can go in the middle and take my own. You just have to ask! I even carry my gigantic camera (I’m a professional photographer) and have never had anyone say anything to me about it. My pictures are always great and I never have to buy theirs. Also, the new reservation only thing worked out great this year! It was so quick and easy for us (although we did go early in the season so it might be busier later)."

"I did the same. I took my own pics after they took theirs. You just ask them if they don't mine if I take a pic. Honestly, my pics come out way better than theirs.”

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Breakfast with Santa
Through December 24th
Stella 34 Trattoria, Macy's Herald Square

This holiday season: give your family a magical morning in the store that brought you the Miracle on 34th Street.

It starts with a festive breakfast feast with exclusive Empire State Building views, complete with take-home treats for children and prosecco mimosas for adults. Then, you'll meet Santa Claus and take a keepsake photo with him and his elves - an experience that truly brings Christmas to life for any child!

Cost: Pricing begins at $45 for children and $65 for adults (plus tax and gratuity) and varies based on the date, time, and seating category selected.

What PSP members are saying:

"I highly recommend breakfast with Santa at Macy's if you're willing to splurge. We did it annually when my kids were very young, up until Covid shut it down -- but it's back this year. You need to make a reservation. It's fun - every family gets individual time with the Macy's Santa, there's no massive line, the breakfast is good, kids get little cookie gift bags to bring home. It's a fun family tradition and we always look at the windows after."

 

Photos with Santa + Free Gift
November 18th - December 24th

Kings Plaza Mall in Mill Basin

The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be here starting November 18 and is located at level 2, near Zara.

Cost: A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase. 

What PSP members are saying:

“NO LINE! He's a great looking Santa, and they took 3 'poses' this year. My fav is one of my son whispering what he wants in Santa's ear. Great pics this year.”

 

Santa Land in the Atlantic Terminal Mall
November 26th - December 24th
Santa Land Parade: Saturday, December 3rd

The Coolest Santa EVER… is located @ Santa Land in the Atlantic Terminal Mall, downstairs by DSW!  Santa Land has been a staple in the community for over 15 years!

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Santa's Corner at Bryant Park Winter Village
December 16th - December 22nd

10:00am - 12:00pm

Santa stops by Bank of America Winter Village for free photo opportunities.

There are two ways to snap a photo with Santa. Bring your own camera or cell phone, and you can snap your own pic; or elves will take a photo that can be downloaded from our Flickr page.

What PSP members are saying:

"The Bryant Park Winter Village typically has a nice Santa, outdoors and with not much of a line. It's a nice, low-key way to do it. Also it's a fun place to stroll around, with hot chocolate, treats, a giant tree and ice skating to look at (though the skating is prohibitively expensive)."

 

Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting
Kickoff Concert & Lighting Celebration:

Sunday, December 18, 4 pm
Additional Lighting Celebrations:
December 19–22, 6 pm
December 23, 3:30 pm
December 24, 7:15 pm
December 25, 5:00 pm

The Largest Menorah in Brooklyn has been towering over New York since 1985 and is a must on everyone’s calendar, Jews and non-Jews alike. Every night of Chanukah, thousands celebrate with the accompaniment of live music and hot latkes for all. Special gifts are distributed to every child. With the assistance of a 60-foot boom lift, Rabbi Shimon Hecht, accompanied by community leaders, philanthropists and special guests light this humongous Menorah. TLM is a leading symbol of Chanukah, publicly reaffirming the celebration of the Jewish community’s freedom, inspired by the Maccabean victory of right over might and light over darkness. The Menorah lighting celebration and concert are all free of charge.

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Marine Park Festival of Lights: Chanukah
Thursday, December 22nd
5:00pm
Carmine Carro Center

Together we'll light a menorah and hear the story of a miracle and its eight-day celebration.

 

Chanukah @ Industry City
Thursday, December 22nd
5:00pm
Industry City's Ice Skating Rink, 51 35th Street

Featuring LED Menorah lighting, Hot Latkes, Donuts, Fire show, Music and gifts for the children!

 

Borough Hall Holiday Market
November 28th - December 26th
11:00am - 8:00pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street

Outdoor market presenter Urbanspace is thrilled to announce its first holiday market in Brooklyn. The market features more than 50 Brooklyn-based artisans, food and beverage operators, and vintage and antique collectors, selling one of a kind pieces and more to create a Brooklyn-centric market mix.

 

Chanukah Family Fest
December 19th - December 26th
Jewish Children's Museum

Get into the holiday spirit by decorating a mouth-watering holiday donut. Discover the art of olive oil making in a fascinating and interactive workshop. Don’t forget to get crafty and make your very own dreidel game, and step into a world of wonder as you explore the museum’s unique Jewish exhibits. Advanced reservation required.

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