7 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Brooklyn

A Williamsburg couple carts off their tree. Photo by Mary Hautman


    The holidays are upon us. No matter how you celebrate, what local traditions make you feel merry and bright? Read on for a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the season in Brooklyn.

    Holiday Tradition Brooklyn

    Photo via LeFrak Center at Lakeside

    7. Ice Skating and Cocoa in Prospect Park
    Ever since Prospect Park’s $74,000,000 LeFrak skating rink opened in 2013, it’s become a wintertime Brooklyn staple. Admission is only $6 to $9, and skate rental is another $6. 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.

    Holiday Tradition Brooklyn

    Photo by JFGryphon via Flickr

    6. Spending an Afternoon at the Danish Seamen’s Church Holiday Market
    This uniquely old-fashioned Christmas church bazaar is a Brooklyn favorite. The popular annual event — typically held in November — features traditional Danish gifts and goodies, including doughnuts and candy, and both modern and traditional Christmas decorations. The market is free and open to the public on certain weekends at 102 Willow Street. You can find more information about it at the church’s website.

    Holiday Traditions Brooklyn

    The tree at Borough hall in 2011. Photo via McBrooklyn

    5. 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 was held on Monday, just before the rain hit. If you couldn’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.

    Holiday Tradition Brooklyn

    Photo from Cumbe

    4. Celebrating Kwanzaa With the Cumbe Center for African and Diaspora Dance
    Cumbe annually holds workshops and celebrations of the seven-day festival of African heritage and culture. This year, they’re holding special performances at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Stop by and honor the seven principles of Kwanzaa — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

    Scenes from Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet!. Photos via Brooklyn Ballet

    Scenes from Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! Photos via Brooklyn Ballet

    3. Seeing The Nutcracker
    Brooklyn Nutcracker fans had a few options to choose from this year. If you missed the Moscow Ballet’s performance at the Kings Theater and Brooklyn Ballet’s tricked-out Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! earlier this month, you can still catch performances of The Hard Nut (a weird and funny Nutcracker update) at BAM, or a more traditional take on The Nutcracker from Gelsey Kirkland Academy in Dumbo.

    Holiday Tradition Brooklyn

    Image via Chabad Park Slope

    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.

    Holiday Tradition Brooklyn

    Photo by Alex Fitzpatrick via Flickr

    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. This year’s display is more insane than ever, 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.

    What are your favorite local holiday traditions? Email them to tips@brownstoner.com and we’ll add them here.

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