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Brooklyn Christmas Events - Highlights

Christmas Fun for Everyone

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Have fun in Brooklyn this Christmas. You can see huge Christmas trees and one of the world's biggest menorah's being lit up. Catch a performance of a holiday classic (or a take off on same). Go shopping for gifts your loved ones won't see in the malls. And, relax in Brooklyn's less congested, more human-paced environment during this busy holiday season. Here are some nice events to consider this Christmas season.

1. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

Don't miss this over-the-top neighborhood display of Christmas lights in the tiny, close-knit Italian neighborhood of Dyker Heights. It's a Brooklyn classic. read more.

2. Holiday Markets

You can skip the big department stores, and shop locally in Brooklyn holiday markets. There's quite a variety. In Prospect Heights and Park Slope local merchants have a special weekend or evening promotion during which mom-and-pop stores offer customers free wine or cookies, discounts on merchandise, and special bargains. You can get fabulous imported Scandinavian goods at a two-weekend market in Bay Ridge. Or, explore a few different vintage markets; the best known is Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene. There are artists all over Brooklyn, and many sell their wares at Christmas markets throughout December. You can find affordable gifts that are not mass-produced, not made in China, and not likely to be something you'll ever see in a mall.

3. Christmas for Kids in Brooklyn

Christmas is a magical time for kids. Take them to child friendly holiday fairs at Brooklyn schools, a sing-along or a low-key, fun Christmas show or puppet show right here in Brooklyn. Or, head to Prospect Park for a variety of free programs.

4. Great Christmas Shows in Brooklyn: Barclays and Others

From the mega-venue the Barclays Center to a little local puppet show, you can find really interesting holiday entertainment in Brooklyn. Get the schedule of Christmas shows in Brooklyn this year.

5. PAST: Hanukah Menorah Lighting - The World's Almost Tallest Menorah

Talk about memorable. Come watch as a huge, 30-foot tall menorah is lit to mark the beginning of the holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the “Festival of Lights.” (The Manhattan menorah is only two feet taller.)

Get there early and watch as the rabbi and a public official (sometimes it's the Mayor of New York, sometimes Brooklyn's Borough President) get in a cherry picker cab and go up, up, to the top of this huge menorah.

The festivities include hot potato pancakes, the traditional jelly donuts, and upbeat music. The event is organized by the Chabad organization, which undertakes the public lighting of menorahs in 551 cities in 28 countries across the globe.

Find out when and where to attend the public lighting of the menorah.

6. PAST: Christmas Tree Lightings Here, There, Everywhere, with Santas & Fun

The tree at Rockefeller Center may be thrilling, but the crowds are crazy. For a cozier event, head toward one of Brooklyn's many local tree lightings, scheduled over a two or three week period from Thanksgiving to Christmas. You'll find a warm neighborhood vibe, free fun and caroling and of course Santa.

7. PAST: SantaCon in Brooklyn

Don't miss the Santacon event: it's part costume party and part charity event, and part pub crawl. Find out about when and where Santacon takes place this year!

8. PAST: The Nutcracker at BAM

What could be more wonderful than a performance of The Nutcracker? For several years now, the American Ballet Theater has staged its classic performance of this classic ballet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene. With music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by ABT's own Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, and performed with a live orchestra, this promises to be a memorable Christmas performance. Children (of all ages) will be thrilled by both sets and the costumes, both designed by the same geniuses who created The Lion King.
  • Recommended age is at least 4 years old; everyone must have a ticket.
  • The show runs from December 7-16, 2012, with limited matinee performances. Book in advance for the best seats.
  • Prices run from $15 for partial view seats, up to $90.

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