The holidays are upon us and Brooklyn has plenty of local traditions to get you into the wintry spirit. What local festivities make you feel merry and bright? Read on for a few favorite ways to enjoy the season in Brooklyn.
5. Ice Skating and Cocoa in Prospect Park
Ever since Prospect Park’s LeFrak skating rink opened in 2013, it’s become a wintertime Brooklyn staple. Admission is only $7 to $10, and skate rental is another $7. And what could be lovelier than taking a break from the ice with a warm cup of hot chocolate? Check the rink’s calendar to catch the annual Winter Ice Spectacular, a free figure-skating show.
4. Gawking at the Christmas Tree at Borough Hall
Brooklyn Borough Hall’s had an extravagant decorative display for decades. This year’s official tree lighting ceremony will take place on Tuesday, December 5 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. If you can’t make it, we suggest stopping by to take in the trimmings — even better if you snag a cup of hot cider from the Borough Hall Greenmarket on a Saturday, Tuesday or Thursday.
3. Seeing The Nutcracker
Brooklyn Nutcracker fans have a few options to choose from this year and while you still have time to snap up tickets for the performances, act fast as they all end their runs by mid December. There’s the Brooklyn Ballet’s tricked out Nutcracker, the Moscow Ballet at the Kings Theatre and the Gelsey Kirland Academy in Dumbo.
2. Visiting the Enormous Menorah at Grand Army Plaza
This giant 32-foot-tall menorah has presided over Grand Army Plaza since 1985. The first night of Hanukkah kicks off with an annual concert, and each evening’s candle-lighting ceremony — accomplished with the help of a cherry-picker — is accompanied by live music, hot latkes and gifts for the kids.
1. Ogling the Holiday Decorations in Dyker Heights
The neighborhood is renowned for its over-the-top holiday decorations, drawing a wagon train of car-bound gawkers and wide-eyed pedestrians every Christmas season. Each year’s display promises to be more insane than the last, with millions of twinkle lights, inflatable Santas, towering toy soldiers, jolly elves, luminous angels, and more. It’s a kitschy extravagant winter wonderland you’ll just have to see to believe. Brownstoner recommends visiting on a weeknight if you can swing it.
- Bedecked Brownstones, Cheery Santas and Other Holiday Scenes in Brooklyn (Photos)
- Where 19th Century Brooklynites Got Their Christmas Trees
- The Remarkable Rise of Philanthropist Lena Sittig and the Brooklyn Christmas Tree Society