Christmas Trees of New York

By | November 23, 2020

New York City had the first Christmas tree with electric lights. Thomas Edison’s business partner, who was also the founder of the Electric Light and Power Company (Edison & Co.), is said to have decorated and erected his Christmas trees in 1882. We offer a list of festive lights and decorations as well as Christmas trees that you can see in the city. 

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

There is no shortage of Christmas attractions in Manhattan, but the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is the focal point of New York City’s Christmas celebrations, inviting visitors and residents alike to gather around the tree to reflect on the holiday season and view the lights and decorations. The next day, the tree is lit by candles and is now one of the most popular Christmas trees in the world, alongside the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. 

The Rockefeller Christmas tree, which arrives at the square in early November and is hung by Swarovski stars on the tree in mid-November, is lit for the first time on Christmas Eve. The free tree lighting, which is open to all citizens, will take place on Wednesday 4 December 2019. 

However, access to the venue is possible if you come first and are served first, and crowds usually fill the streets well before the ceremony begins. The ceremony will include a live performance to entertain the Rockefeller crowd and the millions of viewers who will watch the live broadcast on television. During the Christmas season, you will be able to enjoy a spectacle, even if you miss it, but the tree will remain on display from the end of November to mid-January. 

American Museum of Natural History

This tree, made in partnership with Origami USA, will be on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City until January 1, 2017. This year, they are celebrating the anniversary of the first Christmas tree in U.S. history with a special exhibition. 

2019 is the theme of “T. rex and the Friends of Crafts History,” and this year the tree and origami ornaments were designed specifically for this theme. The tree model was inspired by the American Museum of Natural History’s tradition of paying tribute to the historic animal they first discovered, named, and exhibited. This origami Christmas tree is decorated with hand-folded paper models of T.rex, a giant tarantula from the museum’s collection. In partnership with the New York Department of Environmental Protection (NYSDEC) and other partners, volunteers from the OrigAMI USA will be on-site to teach visitors how to fold and make OrigAMI in a series of holiday workshops. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

This 20-foot-tall blue spruce depicts an 18th-century Neapolitan angel and cherub, flanked by a baroque nativity scene at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Nativity Scene is on display from late November to early January and is part of the museum’s annual Christmas tree exhibition. 

St. John the Divine

St. John the Divine Cathedral celebrates Christmas with its uniquely decorated Christmas tree, located on the second floor of St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in New York City. The installation is the centerpiece of an installation made possible by a $1.5 million grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This 20-foot blue spruce in the Bronx is adorned with a collection of recorded Christmas music and a nativity scene, all decorated as part of its annual Christmas exhibit. 

The Peace Tree

Children can participate in workshops by building cranes, and those who travel to the Upper East Side this holiday season can also take a detour to the beautifully lit tree where it lights up the streets. The Peace Tree has been part of the Cathedral’s life since the 1980s and was consecrated in the 1990s as a monument to St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of New York. You can see some of the ways in which this cathedral celebrates the holidays. 

The official lighting ceremony takes place on Sunday, December 8th, and the tree is lit for the first time ever on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. This tradition began as a way to honor those who lost their lives in the war, but the burning tree is still a symbol of peace and the price paid for it. The tree, which is made possible by donations to the Park Avenue Fund, commemorates the sacrifices made during World War II. 

The official lighting ceremony takes place on Sunday, December 8th, and the tree is lit for the first time ever on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. This tradition began as a way to honor those who lost their lives in the war, but the burning tree is still a symbol of peace and the price paid for it. The tree, which is made possible by donations to the Park Avenue Fund, commemorates the sacrifices made during World War II. 

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