Decoration, Lights, Events: Around Town

Also, watch our half hour special airing December 13th from 7:30pm-8pm!
December 9, 2008 12:14:52 PM PST
New York never shines brighter than at the holidays! Here are some fun events around the region to enjoy this winter.TREES

Top Christmas Trees in New York City
Check out these many Christmas trees, complete with lighting ceremonies all around New York City. Data provided by See details.Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree The most celebrated of New York City's Christmas trees, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a classic New York City destination for holiday visitors and residents alike.
Address: from 47th to 51st Sts. between 5th & 6th Avenues

Origami Christmas Tree at AMNH
For over 30 years the American Museum of Natural History has celebrated the holiday season with its origami tree, this year decorated with the theme of Fantastic Creatures: Mythic and Real and covered various exotic origami creatures from dragons and mermaids to narwhals and peacocks. They also have 2 19-foot Holiday Barosaurs lit up for viewing as well.
Address: Central Park West at 79th Street

Christmas Tree at the Met
Beginning November 25, the Museum's annual Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche display will once again be on view in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. The brightly lit, twenty-foot blue spruce--decorated with a collection of eighteenth-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs and a baroque crèche at its base--will be set in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid. Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Chorus Tree at South Street Seaport
The Friday after Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24th) marks the kickoff of a holiday tradition more commonly associated with quaint seaside villages than the historic streets of lower Manhattan. Yet for thousands of New Yorkers, the annual illumination of thousands of twinkling white lights affixed to the 50-plus-foot Seaport Chorus Tree, caroling by The Big Apple Chorus and the arrival of New York City's most acclaimed Santa (in his 18th season), are experiences not to be missed.
Address: South Street and Fulton Street

Cathedral of St. John the Divine Peace Tree
The Peace Tree in the Cathedral is decorated with 1000 paper cranes and other peace symbols. Children can participate in a workshop to learn to make the cranes, and there is also a walking tour of the Cathedral that highlights the pre-Christian origins of Christmas, as well as the ways the Cathedral celebrates the holidays. Address: 110th St. and Amsterdam Ave.

Park Avenue Trees
Anyone driving or walking on the Upper East Side should take a detour to view the 2.5 mile long stretch of Park Avenue that is illuminated by trees during the Holiday season. Address: Park Avenue from 97th Street to 48th Street


Time Warner Center Lights
Manhattan's newest mall is a fun stop for its high-end shopping alone, but their Holiday Under the Stars spectacular is a fabulous bonus. What is it? A light show?twelve large three-dimensional stars hang majestically above shoppers and change colors to piped-out holiday music.

Christmas Windows Walking Tour Map in NYC
A Christmas Walking Tour of Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue will light up your holiday season! On this 75-minute tour, hosted by a team of Christmas historians and architects, learn about Christmas history, decorations, Gotham legends, and the role New York has played in shaping today's Christmas culture. Guides will delight you as they show you hidden holiday treasures. Stroll through the streets of midtown Manhattan and learn about the rich history of the famed Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and festive 5th Avenue windows. Stroll past Big Apple treasures like St. Patrick's Cathedral, Cartier's, Saks 5th Avenue and hidden holiday decorations that even natives don't know about! The Big Apple is a unique blend of Dutch, English, German, Scottish and Americanized traditions -- hear all the stories on this unforgettable walk. Photo ops abound.
WHEN: November 28 through January 3 Tuesdays through Sundays at 5:30pm. No tours December 3, 24, 25, 31 and January 1.
MORE INFO: 877-NYC-TRIP (877-692-8747)

Holiday Lights Tour
WHAT: Take our NY SEE THE LIGHTS! Tour and see the holiday lights of New York City. During the Holidays, our night tour converts to the best holiday lights show in New York City. Get off the shuttle, go inside Grand Central Terminal, and see the magical lights show inside one of the most impressive buildings in the United States. Drive by Rockefeller Center and see New York City's giant Christmas tree. Cruise down 5th Avenue and see the world-famous window displays. See Macy's Department Store, home of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the other shops at Herald Square. We'll take you over to Brooklyn so you can look across the water at the magnificent New York City skyline from Fulton Ferry Landing. See the lights of Times Square. More neon per square foot than anywhere else in the world! See Madison Square Garden, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Canal Street, and Little Italy lit up at night. WHEN: November 15 and January 10

Christmas in Little Italy
Little Italy will be transformed into a Christmas Wonderland, its streets ablaze with Christmas lights and decorations, strolling carolers in costume, weekly parades and religious processions complete with colorful floats and marching bands. Licensed street vendors positioned along the festival's streets will join local merchants in selling holiday gifts and merchandise from brightly decorated tents.


Silver Moon Bakery
WHAT: For 3 years, our Buche de Noel, the traditional Yule Log,?appeared on the Food Network's Best Foods?For the Holidays?- of course, we were flattered, but even without their attention, know how delicious and beautiful it is.
CONTACT INFO: 212.866.4717


Macy's Santaland®
Located on the 8th floor of Macy's Herald Square, Macy's Santaland® is a magical holiday wonderland designed to delight children of all ages. Every year Santa is in residence to hear the holiday wishes of children from all over the world. Over 300,000 people visit Santaland® each year. Admission is free.

The Bronx Activities

WHAT: The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum ( will host its Annual Winter Family Day. Decorated in the theme of the Nutcracker, the Museum will offer a puppet show, craft projects, gift items for purchase, hay rides with songs and professional pictures with Kris Kringle ($20 per photo extra). Cost is $20 per child over 6 and adults are free. Seating for the puppet show is limited.
WHEN: On Saturday December 6, from 10am to 2pm
WHAT: Wild Winterland The celebration will include holiday activities between 11.30am and 3.30pm such as storytelling at the Children's Zoo, reindeer on Astor Court, ice carving demonstrations, costumed characters, choral performances and sea lion feedings.
WHEN Saturday, December 6 - Sunday, January 4 2009


Lighting up Brooklyn, the Lights of Dyker Heights ( is an impressive display of lights and decorations on homes that dazzles around 100,000 visitors during the holiday season. Located between 83rd and 86th Streets from 11th to 13th Avenues, adjacent to Bay Ridge, the Lights of Dyker Heights are included in the Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour ( which covers this glowing spectacle and more throughout December, 2008, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting December 5 until Sunday, December 28.

Further south in Brooklyn, the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Club ( New Year's Day Swim has been a New York City tradition since 1903. The event attracts swarms of spectators to watch the hundreds of swimmers take an icy dip in the Atlantic to raise money for charity. Similarly in Staten Island, on December 7, 2008 the Polar Plunge will see thousands plunge into the winter waters to raise money for the Special Olympics ( from Great Kills Beach at National Gateway Park.

Staten Island

Throughout December, children are invited to explore many holiday traditions at the Staten Island Children's Museum ( Every Friday from December 5-December 26, at King Kullens Kidz Cook, young chefs can learn recipes and practice their culinary skills. Cooking starts at 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm and events include learning how to make Christmas Strufoli, Eid Treats, Hanukah Gourmet Latkes and Kwanzaa Sweet Potato Fritters. Other weekend workshops throughout December focusing on various holidays include Origami Christmas Ornaments, Celebrate Eid, Hanukkah Menorah and the Kwaanza tradition African Mud Cloth.


At the Queens Zoo (, the holidays come early with Wild Holiday Party; Presents to the Animals every weekend in December leading up to Christmas Day where visitors are invited to watch the zoo's residents devour holiday treats.

Queens County Farm Museum
December 6 & 13 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. Saturdays
Wreath-Making Shops
Make a beautiful evergreen wreath at our enjoyable workshops. All material provided, you only need top bring a garden shear. To register call 718-347-3276, ext 10 (advanced payment required)


The Polar Rink - American Museum of Natural History
79th Street at Columbus Ave.
Come enjoy the American Museum of Natural History's new state-of-the-art skating rink, now open through February 28, 2009. Located on the Arthur Ross Terrace on the Museum's north side, The Polar Rink offers magnificent views of the glowing Rose Center for Earth and Space and is surrounded by Theodore Roosevelt Park. Skaters will glide around a 17-foot-tall polar bear festooned with pine boughs and twinkling lights. Non-skaters will enjoy the splendor of The Polar Rink from surrounding benches on the Terrace under trees adorned with lights, or from the glassed-in North Galleria adjacent to the rink, where hot cocoa and snacks are served.