The official start of the holiday season is when Santa Claus stopped in Herald Square at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This week the tree in Rockefeller Center will be lit. You can save a trip into the city by watching it on television. Or stay local as nearly every town on Long Island has its own special tree-lighting tradition. We even have a tree that is next to an ice-skating rink.
Get into the spirit of the season with your neighbors at these events. Some towns offer free hot chocolate with musical performances and joyous caroling. Others offer a special appearance of Santa Claus and reading of “'Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Don't forget to bring your camera. Many are also accepting new toy donations.
Here are some places in Nassau and Suffolk Counties where you can watch Christmas trees lit up in all their splendor.
- St. James 25th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony December 1st at 4 p.m.
- Annual Holiday Lighting of the Big Duck - November 28th at 7PM
- Tree Lighting in the Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard - December 1st at 4PM
- Babylon Town Hall's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony November 30th at 7 p.m.
- Belmont State Lake Park Tree Lighting Festival - December 1st at 4:15PM
- First Night and Tree Lighting Old Westbury Gardens - December 1st at 6:30PM (sold out)
- 8th Annual Tree Lighting and Visit from Santa at Planting Fields Arboretum - December 7th at 5PM
- Stony Brook Holiday Festival - December 2nd at 1PM
- RXR Plaza Uniondale December 2nd
- Bellmore Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Extravaganza - December 7th at 7PM
- Hempstead Town Hall - December 4th at 4PM
- Good Samaritan Hospital - December 8th at 4PM
- Inn at Great Neck - December 6th at 5PM
- Charles Dickens Festival Port Jefferson - Weekend of November 30th
We'd love to hear about your favorite town tree celebration on Long Island.com Forum.