Not interested in slugging it out with throngs of tourists for a peek at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting? Don’t worry, the Rock Center tree isn’t the only conifer in town this holiday season. There are plenty of alternative tree lightings in the Tri-State area to keep the good cheer close to home, no matter where you live.
Borough Hall Tree Lighting
Borough Hall Plaza, Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will lead the borough’s annual tree lighting ceremony with Santa Claus. ‘Tis the season to purchase holiday gifts and all attendees will receive a coupon for a 30 percent discount towards Brooklyn memorabilia at Borough Hall’s Brooklyn Tourist Center gift shop.
Christmas Tree and Holiday Train Show Exhibit
Nov. 19-Jan. 16, 2012 at 4 p.m.
Check out the Botanical Garden’s Christmas tree and then head over to the Holiday Train Show Exhibit at the Haupt Conservatory to see hundreds of model trains zooming past miniature versions of famous New York landmarks.
South Street Seaport Christmas Tree
Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.
Just east of the Financial District, the South Street Seaport’s 50-foot tree will become the centerpiece for a light-show spectacular. The evening will also feature several musical performances. Members of the Big Apple Circus will form a “Chorus Tree” and sing Christmas carol favorites.
Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
Nov. 28 at 5:30 p.m.
Enjoy free entertainment, food tastings and shopping in a festive stroll through the Upper West Side. The festival, with which MetroFocus parent company WNET is partnering as the media sponsor, kicks off with a tree lighting in Dante Park at Broadway & 63rd Street and continues along Broadway from the Time Warner Center to 68th Street.
Bryant Park Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Check out the holiday shops at Bryant Park and then head over to Citi Pond for the tree lighting ceremony. The night will be celebrated with live music, performances and ice skating.
Annual Holiday Lighting at Harlem Meer
110th Street, Central Park, Dec. 4 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
This tree lighting takes place on the north side of Central Park and includes activities like holiday craft-making and cookie decorating. The night culminates with Christmas caroling and photos with Santa.
Christmas in Richmond Town and Traditional Tree Lighting
441 Clarke Ave., Staten Island, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in historic Richmond Town with a night of lights, caroling, story-telling and baked goods. Don’t leave without a visit with Santa and a horse-drawn wagon ride around the Christmas Village.
Sunnyside Christmas Tree Lighting
Joe Sabba Park, Sunnyside, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Join the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce for their annual Christmas ceremony. Look out for appearances by the Sunnyside Drum Corps and Santa Claus himself. Then stick around for the Sunnyside Chamber Christmas dinner at Dazie’s Restaurant.
Hampton Bays Tree Lighting
140 West Main St., Hampton Bays, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m.
Free hot chocolate, cookies and even gifts for kids. After being dazzled by the lights, snap a photo with Santa Claus inside the nearby firehouse.
Horace Greeley House Tree Lighting
The New Castle Historical Society, 100 King St., Chappaqua, Dec. 3 at 4:20 p.m.
Holiday crafts and cheerful music bring history to life at the historic Horace Greeley House. Arrive as early as 1 p.m. to enjoy an old-fashion craft holiday workshop followed by a tree lighting at 4:20 p.m.
City Lights Bright Holiday Nights (and Christmas Tree Lighting)
Tibbits Park, North Broadway & Main Street, White Plains, Dec. 4 at 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season in the heart of White Plains. Festive music, free refreshments, winter games and a unique ice carving exhibit unite to create a fun-filled night. The festivities will conclude with a Christmas tree planting and lighting by White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach.
Newport Tree Lighting
Town Square in Newport, Jersey City, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.
Join Jersey City for the 10th Annual Tree Lighting ceremony and celebration of the re-opening of Newport Skates, the community’s only outdoor ice-skating rink. The tree lighting is followed by a free skate on the rink. Complimentary treats and hot beverages will be served throughout the evening.
Decorate the Eco-Tree
32 Prince St., Newark, N.J., Dec. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Skip the lights this year and go green! The Greater Newark Conservancy is hosting a decorating ceremony for a live tree growing in their garden. Instead of lights, participants will use nature-friendly decorations, like pine cones and popcorn. All are invited to enjoy free hot cider and cookies.
Tree Lighting and Holiday Boat Parade
Mystic River Park, Mystic, Conn., Nov. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Boaters are invited to deck their boats with lights and cheer for Mystic’s annual boat parade. The holiday vessels will make their way down the Mystic River for a spirited competition where the most spectacular vessels will receive prizes. The tree lighting will follow.
Bridget Leahy contributed reporting.