Holiday Trees & Traditions Spread Festive Cheer This Season

The holiday experiences in our area continue to awe and inspire city-goers. Whether you call New York City or the surrounding suburbs your home, or if you’re vacationing in the five boroughs – New York City is a delightful place to be this month!

Let’s talk trees. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is now aglow with colors of red, green and blue (and is lit until Jan. 7) but it’s not the only worthwhile tree in town! Consider checking out the trees at the South Street Seaport, Madison Square Park and Washington Square Park – all gorgeous and thrilling in their own right. Plus, these are beautiful areas to explore with friends and family, and there’s no shortage of winter-time activities taking place (the seaport’s outdoor ice skating rink is fantastic fun!).

For a unique spin on holiday tree-trimming, the American Museum of Natural History has once again brought back an annual tradition – the beautiful origami tree with over 8,000 colorful, hand-crafted decorations based on works in the museum halls. The origami tree is on display through Jan. 11.

A bit closer to our home in Queens (which was recently named by Lonely Planet as the top destination to visit in 2015!) is the Queens Botanical Garden where there aren’t just trees but wonderful December highlights worth your time this month.

Some festive and fun-filled holiday runs are taken place this weekend so don’t worry if you see an abundance of Santas or unattractive Christmas apparel in mass! The Ugly Sweater Run takes place Dec. 20 – it’s a 5K party so dress like you want to celebrate! In Rockaway Beach the Santa Shuttle 5K hits the ground running, also on Dec. 20 (registration fee includes a Santa suit).

If you love singing Christmas carols (or simply appreciate their melodic sound), head to Washington Square Park for holiday caroling under the Washington Square Arch on Dec. 24 at 5 pm.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is just one of the many spirited extravaganzas in the city this time of year. Check out the Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr! showing at the Snapple Theater Center in Times Square Dec. 20 through Jan. 3.

The festival of lights is currently underway, and they are shining bright for Hanukkah! Now through Dec. 23, a 32-foot, gold-colored menorah is lit nightly at Grand Army Plaza (Fifth Avenue and West 59th Street).

We are all familiar with the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions – to begin the year with a clean slate and motivation for a new direction, whether it’s personal, professional or otherwise. To guide you on that path, why don’t you begin with Good Riddance Day? Yes, there is such a thing taking place in Times Square on Dec. 28 at noon! As it says on the site, bring pictures or papers representing those forgettable memories of 2014 and “shred it and forget it!”

However you welcome in the New Year, we do hope that on your list of resolutions will be a stay with us in 2015!


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles and