Updated: Dec 13, 2020
When one thinks of Christmas in NYC, one immediately thinks of Rockefeller Center, the ice skating rink in Central Park, or the ornate decorations along 5th Avenue. However, have you ever thought about Brooklyn as a center for Christmas? Not me either until this year!
Are you wondering what is there to do in Brooklyn in December? Here are my suggestions to have a jolly Christmas holiday season experience in Brooklyn! This is perfect for those who live in Brooklyn or looking for a different Christmas experience.
Table of Contents
1. Shop at one of these Christmas Markets
Start your day shopping for gifts for loved ones (and don't forget to treat yoself too!)
I Am Caribbeing Holiday Market: You already know I am all for 100% Caribbean & Black-Owned! This annual holiday market (4th year now!) features Caribbean and LatinX brands from NYC and “Back Home” selling a range of food, beauty, jewelry, and hand-crafted good. This year it is in Prospect Park
Oasis Market Holiday Pop Up: Looking for another Black-Owned market, check this curated 3-week Holiday boutique, featuring goods from 20+ Black-Owned businesses to shop from! Find everything from clothing, jewelry, candles, skincare, home goods, teas, snacks, and more, while supporting some amazing, local, Black-owned brands.
Holiday Market at City Point: Taking place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the holiday season, this market features local craftspeople, artisans and entrepreneurs with a special goal to amplify the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQIA entrepreneurs
Holiday Village at MetroTech Commons: The open-air holiday market’s focus is on local artisans, accessories, home goods, beauty products, jewelry, plants, and artisanal distillers, and is located directly in front of the Metro Tech Commons Christmas tree. It is open from Thursdays- Sundays.
Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market: Although this exists all year, during the holidays, they offer more holiday-themed decorations and gifts. This year, it is in DUMBO instead of Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Annual Holiday Market: This is the perfect place to find unique Brooklyn-made gifts from over 30 vendors ranging from fashion, art and design, and home goods. There are even ornament engraving and screen-printed bags and prints
Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar: A fairly new market, this bazaar brings top delicious food and drinks, music, craft activities, and homemade goods in one place!
2. Sip some hot chocolate
Now that you shopped until you dropped,
take a break by sipping some hot chocolate at one of these spots!
The Chocolate Room (51 Fifth Ave, Park Slope and 269 Court St., Cobble Hill): They serve several rich chocolate treats using different variations of Chocolate. I love coming here to grab a cup of their Mexican spicy hot chocolate!
Martha’s Country Bakery (263 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg): They have some amazing pastries. What better way to enjoy them than pairing it with hot chocolate! They have several hot chocolate options including Red Velvet, peanut butter, and Mexican hot chocolate.
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain (513 Henry St, Carroll Gardens): Their hot chocolate is specially made with their own blend of cocoa. You can top yours off with house-made marshmallow fluff, fresh whipped cream, or flavor it with caramel.
3. Watch a Holiday Show
Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like watching a holiday show.
There are typically a few options in Brooklyn!
The Hip Hop Nutcracker: This is a modern version of the Nutcracker, incorporating hip-hop choreography at the historic Kings Theater. It's a great way to watch the Nutcracker without the traditional ballet if that is not your thing! This year it is virtual because of the pandemic
A Brooklyn Tabernacle Show: Yearly, the Brooklyn Tabernacle puts on a yearly festive show for free. However, you need to get a hold of those free tickets from the church.
The Brooklyn Nutcracker in the Jewel Box: This offers people nine free opportunities to experience the production outside Brooklyn Ballet’s home studio space for the whole family to enjoy. It will include solos and small socially distant groups of dancers recreating the culturally integrated Nutcracker dances that are a signature part of Brooklyn Ballet’s performances.
4. Rock Around a Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Center tree is not the only beautiful Christmas tree. There are several big trees in Brooklyn that also have their own tree lighting ceremonies. If you are able to plan around it, visit the tree during one of those lighting ceremonies.
MetroTech Christmas Tree: Located in MetroTech Commons, in front of 2 MetroTech Center between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue, and Willoughby Street and Tech Place. This is Brooklyn's Largest Christmas tree at 55-ft
Brooklyn Borough Hall Christmas Tree: Located at Brooklyn Borough Hall. 209 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, NY 11201. This year there is not a big tree but a much smaller one on the side
Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza Christmas Tree: Located at Grand Army Plaza
DUMBO Holiday Tree: Located at the Archway under Manhattan Bridge.
Atlantic Avenue Tree: Located at St. Cyril of Turov Belarusian Orthodox Church, 401 Atlantic Avenue (at corner of Bond Street), Boerum Hill.
Hendrick I. Lott House Tree: Located at 1940 East 36th Street between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S, in Marine Park
Fort Greene Holiday Tree: Located at northwest corner of Fort Greene Park, near the Myrtle Ave & St Edwards St entrance.
Bay Ridge Tree: Located at Shore Road Park at 90th Street and Shore Road
Greenwood Park Tree: Located at Greenwood Park (555 7th Ave.)
5. Wander around a Holiday Decorated Home or Neighborhood
Dyker Heights (between 11th to 13th Avenues from 83rd to 86th Streets): Although this is really far out in Brooklyn and near Staten Island, the trek is well worth it. Yearly, over 100,000 people -- both New Yorkers and tourists -- flock to Dyker Heights to check out the over the top house displays spread throughout the neighborhood. In addition to displays, some houses have performers and sell/give away sweet treats
Seddio House in Canarsie (Flatlands Avenue and East 93rd Street): Since 1963, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman and 59th Assembly District Leader Frank Seddio annually decorates his family house -- it has become known as Canarsie’s Christmas house. Typically there are over 50,000 lights, 200 animated figures, and numerous other decorations costing around $350,000. Last year, there were musical performances by the chorus of a local public school and choir of a local church. Every year, the event honors a different member of the community.
6. Take a Photo with Santa
Kings Plaza Mall: You can schedule in advance an appointment to meet with Santa located on Level 2 near Zara daily through Christmas Eve. Meeting Santa is free!
7. Visit Holiday Store Decorations
Although they may not be elaborate as the decorations in Manhattan, there are still decorations to put you into the Christmas spirit!
Macy's in Downtown Brooklyn
Kings Plaza Shopping Center
City Point Mall
8. Take a Caribbean Holiday Drink or Ice Cream Making Class
Creme & Cocoa Creamery, a black-owned, Caribbean owned ice cream creamery, are hosting two classes this holiday season!
Kremas Drink Class: During the 1.5 hour class on Monday evenings in December, you will learn how to make the popular and delicious Haitian Kremas rum Holiday Drink. You will take home a bottle of Kremas. Please note rum will be used.
Kremas Ice Cream Making Class: During the two-hour class on Sunday afternoons in December, you will learn about Kremas, the Haitian rum Holiday Drink, and make it into ice cream as well as take home a bottle. You will also take home your very own pint of ice cream. Please note this is a french style ice cream making class and it contains eggs.