Unbelievably, it’s that time of the year again. The holidays are just around the corner, and as the sweet smell of cookies warming in the oven starts to set in, and warm cozy sweaters start to come out, Brooklynites are certainly joining on the December fun.
From November 23, Black Friday, through Sunday, November 25, from 1 p.m. to 5, enjoy the free trolley rides in Sunset Park along Fifth Avenue. From 38th to 64th Streets, kick off the holiday shopping season by patronizing your favorite store during the Sidewalk Sales Days sponsored by Sunset Park BID. Santa Claus will be the special guest on-board.
Small Business Saturday encourages people to support local businesses and promote the diverse collection of locally-owned and operated businesses.
The Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, November 24, the Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance in partnership with the Myrtle Ave Brooklyn partnership will present free trolley rides for kids from noon to 4 p.m., plus two public Plazas on Fulton-Putnam Triangle at Grand Avenue where treats such as hot cider can be purchased. Join Santa Claus for hop-on hop-off fun, shopping, family art activities, live music performances and more from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tree Lightings Begin
On Tuesday, November 27at 7 p.m., the tree lightings begin as the 13th Avenue Merchants Association hosts its annual event on the corner of Bay Ridge Parkway and 13th Avenue. This year, the tree has been donated by Brooklyn Tans, and Trio Productions has provided the DJ. Join the merchants for an exciting evening full of lights.
Then, on Wednesday, November 28, get ready to celebrate the joyous season with a holiday tree lighting sponsored by the Shore Road Parks Conservancy. Be at the gazebo at 90th Street and Shore Road at 7:30 p.m. for toys, refreshments and to pay a special visit to Santa. Xaverian High School’s Glee Club will not be the only ones performing; the Guild for Exceptional Children Chorus and community musician Mary Carmosino will also enliven the crowd.
Also on November 28 at 5 p.m., the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership presents its Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting, at Albee Square Plaza (corner of Bond and Fulton Street) featuring performances by Brooklyn Ballet and Dancewave, plus a holiday sing-along and caroling by members of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance.
Then, on Thursday, November 29, the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (in cooperation with Our Lady of Perpetual Help) will be hosting a Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, where from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., children will get to meet Santa and also get to take a free picture with him to put on the Christmas tree.
From 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. entertainment by the Brooklyn Chinese American Association Youth Chorus (among other groups) will take place; and, finally at 6 p.m., the tree will be lit.
Also on November 29, the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation will host its annual Atlantic Avenue Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Belarusian Church (situated at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Bond Street). Set to begin at 6 p.m., some of the festivities include “Rolie Polie Guacamole,” the award-winning Brooklyn-based jam band that will play folk and rock songs made popular by the group’s large fan base amongst Brooklyn’s children. Would you like more information? Contact the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation by calling 718-875-8993.
Kicking Off December
Get to know emerging local booksellers, jump-start your holiday shopping and be surprised by books you didn’t even know you wanted at the Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair. Presented by Honey & Wax Booksellers, this fabulous event will take place at the Old Stone House, 336 Third Street on Saturday, December 1, from noon to 6 p.m.
The Brooklyn Borough Hall Annual Christmas Tree Lighting (Borough Hall Plaza, 209 Joralemon Street at Court Street ), hosted by Borough President Marty Markowitz, will take place on Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m.
How can we leave “The Nutcracker” out? A classic that fits the season, with its magical toy soldiers, its sparkling snowflakes and ballerinas, it will be featured at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) from December 7 until December 16. Tickets cost $25, and the show is appropriate for ages four and up. It will take place at Peter Jay Sharp Building at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. For tickets, visit: www.bam.org or www.abt.org.
The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony held every year by Community Board 17, where community members, elected officials and special guests from the community gather to pump up the holiday spirit and welcome the holidays, will take place on Friday, December 7, beginning at 6 p.m. at Paerdegat Park, Albany Avenue and East 40 Street. Call 718-467-3536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Crank up your holiday cheer in Prospect Park, on Saturday, December 8, at 9 a.m. Jingle Bell Jog participants run for a good cause; women and men of all levels unite to raise proceeds that benefit NYRR’s Youth Programs, which currently transform the lives of more than 115,000 underserved children. Visit http://www.nyrr.org/nyrr-2012-yearly-event-calendar for more information, and find out how to register.
Also on December 8, head to Cannonball Park, 101st Street and Fourth Avenue, between noon and 4 p.m., to help Santa Stuff-a-Bus. Sponsored by Congressmember Michael Grimm and State Senator Marty Golden, the event – which features a bus that goes up and down local shopping strips before heading to the park — aims to collect toys for children in need.
Christmas in Canarsie
On Sunday, December 9, the scene shifts to Canarsie where the Seddio family unveils its annual holiday display at 5 p.m. sharp at 9306 Flatlands Avenue. With over 100,000 lights and more than 100 animated figures, the 47-year-old tradition, started by Frank Guarino, has been nurtured for years by Frank Seddio, a former assemblymember and now the head of the Kings County Democratic Party.
This year’s festivities will include performances by P.S. 115’s chorus, the choir from Mary Queen of Heaven Church and Pan Fusion Steel Band, as well as a special guest appearance by Santa Claus. The display is dedicated this year to the memory of Auxiliary Police Officer Francky Aleger.
Then, on Thursday, December 13, join the staff and students of Christ Church’s after school program at 3:30 p.m. for a celebration of the Santa Lucia Festival that is co-sponsored by the Scandinavian East Coast Museum (SECM).
A Swedish tradition, the annual festival of light is highlighted by a procession led by Lucia, who wears a red sash and a crown of candles, and carries saffron buns that represent the sun on one of the shortest days of the year. Highlights of the free event include the singing of traditional Swedish songs, cookie-making and crafts projects, as well as krumkaker. For further information, call 718-745-1551.
Then, on Saturday, December 15, the SECM will host its annual Christmas Market, outside Nordic Deli, 6909 Third Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Besides traditional Scandinavian goods, there will be performances in the spirit of the season.
Make history and join a tradition of over 100 years in the making. The Audubon Center invites Brooklynites to participate in its annual Christmas Bird Count– a nationwide bird census that helps conservation researchers track the long-term health of bird populations.
The bird count is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 15 this year, at 12 p.m. and at 3 p.m., and on Sunday, December 16 at 3 p.m. The Audubon Center is located inside the Lincoln Road/Ocean Avenue entrance. For more information, call 718-287-3400.
It’s not as cold as in the North Pole, so see him before he goes back there! Santa will be around on December 15 from 1 to 4 p.m., on Flatbush Avenue, courtesy of the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District. From Park Place to Bergen Street, the right jolly old elf will be handing out candy canes, and discount merchants coupons! Yes, coupons so take advantage and save while shopping.
On Thursday, December 20, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (145 Brooklyn Avenue) will be the scene for several holiday happenings. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a special performance by Holiday Circus — a unique production that combines world-class circus performers together with the magic of the holiday season. Holiday Circus will enchant, astonish and thrill audiences with amazing displays of circus artistry.
Then, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Lobby Sleigh, take part in Santa’s visit and tell him all the things that you want for Christmas. This special photo opportunity costs only $5 and allows the youngsters some personal up close and personal time with the special visitor from the North Pole.
Lastly, W.O.R.D. UP! presents a unique opportunity for lifelong learners to share and enjoy the power of literacy. Join them at the Lobby Sleigh at 6:30 p.m. for a special holiday reading with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Due to popular demand, museum officials recommend arriving early to W.O.R.D UP! as seating is on first-come, first-served basis. Call 718 735-4400 for further information.
Finally, for some over-the-top Christmas displays, head to Dyker Heights, where driving around the area will leave you speechless. All colors, all shapes, reindeers, Santas, lit trees, nativities, snowmen, anything you can possibly think of, you will find in the 80s between 10th and 12th Avenues.
Homes in Marine Park, Bensonhurst, Carroll Gardens and Mill Basin also go all out for the holidays, so make sure you pay them a visit.
The observations for the holiday season hosted each year by State Senator Marty Golden had not been scheduled as of print date.