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For Your Calendar: Holiday fun is taking over Brooklyn

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the most eventful. From tree lightings to meeting Saint Nick, Brooklyn is filled with events through the end of the year that will spread holiday cheer.

The Sunset Park BID will be offering free trolley rides along Fifth Avenue, from 38th to 64th Streets making all B63 stops. The dates are Friday, November 29, Sunday December 1, Saturday December 21, Sunday December 22, and Monday December 23, beginning each date at 1 p.m. Santa Claus will be the special guest on-board.

Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue will play host to the Festival Fifth Holiday Bash on Saturday, November 30, the same day as Small Business Saturday. Watch Santa ride an antique car, listen to holiday musical performances from the M.S. 51 chorus of kids, carolers and Rolie Polie Guacamole. The evening kicks off with the tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. There will also be extended shopping hours.

Also on the schedule for November 30 is the annual Nordic Market hosted by the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, at 6909 Third Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be traditional Scandinavian items for sale as well as vintage goods, Santa will be on hand and there will be holiday-themed performances. The market will also be held on Saturday, December 7.

On Sunday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m., Visitation Academy’s Nativity Scene’s annual tree lighting will be held at 90th Street and Ridge Boulevard.

Celebrate the holidays at Metrotech Commons’ Annual Tree Lighting on December 2 at 5:30 p.m. Appearances by Santa Claus and a surprise Brooklyn Nets member are scheduled. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Metrotech Center is located between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue and Willoughby Street and Tech Place.

Also on December 2, at 7 p.m., the 13th Avenue Merchants Association will hold its annual tree lighting at Bay Ridge Parkway and 13th Avenue.

On Tuesday, December 3, the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation hosts its annual Tree Lighting Party from 6-8 p.m. Slated to perform are Rolie Polie Guacamole, DanceWave and Children from P.S. 38. Those who attend can also enjoy tasty treats. Santa will also be in attendance to greet the children.

And on Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gazebo at Shore Road and 90th Street, the Shore Road Conservancy will host its holiday tree lighting. There will be performances by the Xaverian High School Glee Club and Band, the Guild for Exceptional Children Chorus and community musician Mary Carmosino. Also enjoy light refreshments.

On Tuesday, December 5, enjoy a holiday filled afternoon/evening when the Sunset Park Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District presents its Holiday Tree Lighting at OLPH Basilica, 60th and 5th Avenue. The festivities begin 3 p.m. where kids will be pictures with Santa. Starting at 4 p.m. families can enjoy free entertainment as the countdown to the lighting of the tree, which will be at 6 p.m.

Shop ‘till you drop! On Saturday, December 7 from noon to 6 p.m. visit the Brooklyn Vintage Holiday Book Fair at the Old Stone House, 336 Third Street, which is presented by Honey & Wax. Support your local business and get some holiday shopping done for your loved ones or even yourself.

On December 7, get ready to run, run like Rudolph at Prospect Park for the annual Jingle Jog. The race, which starts at 9:30 a.m., is a fundraiser for NYRR youth programs. Receive free gifts, hot cocoa and be entered in holiday raffles for prizes such as gift certificates to local businesses and Knicks tickets.

Also for the kids, enjoy a brand new event called the Reindeer Run. The half-mile run for the youngsters will also be hold on December 7, but will start at 8:30 a.m. and will include free giveaways. For more information on both events, visit www.nyrr.org/races-and-events.

The Brooklyn Borough Hall Annual Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by Borough President Marty Markowitz, will take place on Tuesday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m. at 209 Joralemon Street. Join in the holiday cheer.

State Senator Marty Golden will be spreading the holiday spirit by hosting a pair of annual tree lightings. The first lighting will be held on December 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Lady Moody Square, Van Sicklen Street and Avenue U.

The second lighting will be held at McKinley Park, Bay Ridge Parkway and Fort Hamilton Parkway on Wednesday, December 11, starting at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy Christmas with friends, family, free hot chocolate and a visit from Santa Claus for the kids. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to donate a toy for Toys for Tots, which will be collected at the events.

The Scandinavian East Coast Museum will hold its annual Lucia event in conjunction with the Ridge Creative Center at the First Free Evangelical Church, 6501 Sixth Avenue, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 13. There will be the traditional Lucia procession (parents interested in having their children participate should call the museum in advance at 718-748-5950), as well as arts and crafts and cookie-making.

Take in a traditional holiday show at the Peter Jay Sharp Building at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. From December 13-22, American Ballet Theatre is presenting “The Nutcracker.” This year’s iteration of the storied show will feature a live orchestra, with sets and costumes by Tony Award-winner Richard Hudson. To purchase tickets, which start at just $25, visit www.bam.org/nutcracker.

Bird is the word! On Saturday, December 14 at noon and 3 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m., the Audubon Center will be holding its Christmas Bird Count. This tradition, which is over 100 years old, is a nationwide bird census that helps conservation researchers track the long-term health of bird populations.

He’s making a list and checking it twice. Santa Claus returns to North Flatbush Avenue on Saturday, December 14 from 2-4 p.m. Thanks to The North Flatbush Avenue BID, children will be able to ride the Santa Trolley, as well as get their faces painted and get their photos taken with the man in red. The trolley will stop along out along North Flatbush Avenue, making stops along the corridor.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum will host numerous holiday events throughout the month of December, including the PlayLab Workshop: Reindeer on the Go on Saturday, December 21 at 11:30 a.m. Kids will get the opportunity to listen to stories about reindeer in popular culture and make a reindeer-inspired craft to take home. For the full schedule, go to brooklynkids.org.

It is better to give than receive. Living proof is the 26th Annual Holiday Gift Drive held by Community Board 7 in Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace and Greenwood Heights. Donations of new, unwrapped toys and clothes for children can be dropped off at CB7’s offices, 4201 Fourth Avenue (entrance on 43rd Street), Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Through December 31, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium and Prospect Park Zoo will also hold a Holiday Toy Drive to benefit those that were affected by Superstorm Sandy. Those who donate will receive a free ticket to the New York Aquarium. Toys can be dropped off at the New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, Applebee’s at 1217 Surf Ave., and Tom’s Diner at 1229 Boardwalk West in Coney Island.

They have become so famous that tourists from all over the country come to be awed. The Dyker Heights houses are elaborately decorated and always full of visitors during the holiday season. Homes in Marine Park, Bensonhurst, Carroll Gardens and Mill Basin are also nicely decorated during the season. Check those out as well.

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