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The New York Public Library Christmas tree. There is a wall behind the tree which is tan brick with an archway. There are people walking in front of the tree. Photo courtesy New York Public Library

Where to find 14 of New York City's festive Christmas trees

'Tis the season for gawking at festive spruce trees

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If you're a fan of Christmas with a capital C, New York City is the place to be. This time of year, the city bristles with more giant evergreens than a forest in the taiga. Rockefeller Center's enormous Norway spruce is already lit, but it's far from the only evergreen game in town—read on for a handy guide to the biggest and brightest holiday trees in the city.

Looking for more things to do in NYC this season? Check out our pocket guide to New York City.

Or perhaps it’s ice-skating you’re after? Here’s a map of NYC’s best ice-skating rinks.

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1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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1000 5th Ave
New York, NY 10028
(212) 535-7710
Visit Website

It's no surprise that the Met's tree is probably the city's prettiest. This year's 20-foot-high blue spruce is hung with ornate Neapolitan angels, and the base of the tree is the setting for an elaborate Italian Nativity scene. As if that weren't enough, it's backed by an 18th-century choir screen that originally resided in Spain's Cathedral de Valladolid. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Holiday Tree. There is an elaborate nativity scene at the base of the tree. There are angel figurines and candles decorating the tree. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

2. American Museum of Natural History

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Central Park West & 79th St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5100
Visit Website

This venerable American Museum of Natural History goes all-out with a nondenominational holiday tree decorated with origami animals. This year's tree is laden with 800-plus folded-paper critters.

A child looks up at the American Museum of Natural History holiday tree. The tree is decorated with origami animals. NY Daily News via Getty Images

3. South Street Seaport

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89 South St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 732-8257
Visit Website

This lower Manhattan waterfront district celebrates the holidays with an outdoor light installation, an on-site Santa and a 30-foot tree festooned in gold, white, and silver ornaments, with a giant star on top. 

The South Street Seaport Christmas tree. The tree is tall and decorated with lights and ornaments. On both sides of the tree are various buildings. FilmMagic

4. New York Public Library

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476 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018
(917) 275-6975
Visit Website

For the most literary Christmas celebration in town, head to the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The library displays an old-school tree framed by an archway in Astor Hall, and in the McGraw Rotunda, Charles Dickens's personal annotated copy of "A Christmas Carol." You can also see the iconic library lions, Patience and Fortitude, festooned with wreaths outside of the Fifth Avenue building.

The New York Public Library Christmas tree. Getty Images

5. Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

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Bryant Park
New York, NY

There's no Christmas-ier park come December than Bryant Park, which gets transformed into a Winter Village complete with skating rink, open-air market and winter-themed restaurant. The tree that looms over it all is huge Norway spruce garlanded with thousands of lights and ornaments.

The Bank of America Winter Village Christmas tree at Bryant Park. The tree is decorated in lights and surrounded by holiday market stalls. Shutterstock.com

6. Rockefeller Center

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Rockefeller Center
New York, NY

The granddaddy of all Christmas trees has become as synonymous with New York at Christmas as Home Alone 2 and dodging shoppers on Fifth Avenue. This year’s tree is a Norway spruce from State College, Pennsylvania. Try to snag a spot skating in the rink below the tree, or just stand up on the sidelines and look up.…No, higher!

7. Dante Park

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Columbus Ave & W 63rd St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 639-9675
Visit Website

The Upper West Side's answer to Rockefeller Center's display is a slightly-less-enormous evergreen festooned in multicolored lights and ornaments. The tree is situated in Dante Park across from Lincoln Center's iconic Josie Robertson Plaza, so you can take in the view on your way to or from a show. 

#danteparknyc #lincolncenter

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8. Queens Botanical Garden

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43-50 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 886-3800
Visit Website

Flushing gets festive with the Queens Botanical Garden's annual holiday tree, which also includes crafts, a tour of the garden, and visits with Santa.

9. MetroTech Commons

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Though most of the showiest trees are in Manhattan, Brooklyn holds its own with this 30-foot-tall tree, glowing with thousands of twinkly lights. It's part of Downtown Brooklyn's larger holiday festivities.

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10. Historic Richmond Town

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441 Clarke Ave
Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 351-1611
Visit Website

Staten Island's historic farm museum doesn't skimp on the festive cheer: This year, in addition to the annual lighting of a Christmas tree, there will also be a market devoted to holiday crafts, tours of the cheerfully decorated village, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

11. New York Botanical Garden

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2900 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 817-8700
Visit Website

If you’re heading to the New York Botanical Garden for its annual holiday train show—this year, dedicated to Midtown landmarks—be sure to stop by the Leon Levy Visitors’ Center to see the garden’s festive holiday trees lit for the season.

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12. Washington Square Park

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This year’s Christmas tree in Washington Square Park is situated adjacent to Stanford White’s famed arch, in order to accommodate the Ai Weiwei exhibit “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” The whole shebang happens on December 6.

The Washington Square Park Christmas tree at night. The tree is underneath the Washington Square Park Arch. There is snow falling. It is night. There are city buildings in the background.

13. Tompkins Square Park

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E 10th St
New York, NY 10009
(718) 813-8971
Visit Website

In the East Village, Tompkins Square Park will host its own tree lighting on December 10 as part of the larger holiday events in the neighborhood (including a light display along East 7th Street).

The Tompkins Square Park holiday tree in the evening. The tree is decorated with lights. EV Grieve

14. New York Stock Exchange

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New York Stock Exchange
New York, NY 10005

If ever you needed a reminder about the commercialization of Christmas, the tree at the New York Stock Exchange—which has made this a tradition for more than 90 years at this point—will suffice. It’s festooned with twinkly lights and complements the red-and-green color scheme on the NYSE building itself.

The New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree. The tree is decorated with lights and sits across from the New York Stock Exchange building which is illuminated in red and green light. Getty Images

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1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Holiday Tree. There is an elaborate nativity scene at the base of the tree. There are angel figurines and candles decorating the tree. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

It's no surprise that the Met's tree is probably the city's prettiest. This year's 20-foot-high blue spruce is hung with ornate Neapolitan angels, and the base of the tree is the setting for an elaborate Italian Nativity scene. As if that weren't enough, it's backed by an 18th-century choir screen that originally resided in Spain's Cathedral de Valladolid. 

1000 5th Ave
New York, NY 10028

2. American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024
A child looks up at the American Museum of Natural History holiday tree. The tree is decorated with origami animals. NY Daily News via Getty Images

This venerable American Museum of Natural History goes all-out with a nondenominational holiday tree decorated with origami animals. This year's tree is laden with 800-plus folded-paper critters.

Central Park West & 79th St
New York, NY 10024

3. South Street Seaport

89 South St, New York, NY 10038
The South Street Seaport Christmas tree. The tree is tall and decorated with lights and ornaments. On both sides of the tree are various buildings. FilmMagic

This lower Manhattan waterfront district celebrates the holidays with an outdoor light installation, an on-site Santa and a 30-foot tree festooned in gold, white, and silver ornaments, with a giant star on top. 

89 South St
New York, NY 10038

4. New York Public Library

476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018
The New York Public Library Christmas tree. Getty Images

For the most literary Christmas celebration in town, head to the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The library displays an old-school tree framed by an archway in Astor Hall, and in the McGraw Rotunda, Charles Dickens's personal annotated copy of "A Christmas Carol." You can also see the iconic library lions, Patience and Fortitude, festooned with wreaths outside of the Fifth Avenue building.

476 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018

5. Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Bryant Park, New York, NY
The Bank of America Winter Village Christmas tree at Bryant Park. The tree is decorated in lights and surrounded by holiday market stalls. Shutterstock.com

There's no Christmas-ier park come December than Bryant Park, which gets transformed into a Winter Village complete with skating rink, open-air market and winter-themed restaurant. The tree that looms over it all is huge Norway spruce garlanded with thousands of lights and ornaments.

Bryant Park
New York, NY

6. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center, New York, NY

The granddaddy of all Christmas trees has become as synonymous with New York at Christmas as Home Alone 2 and dodging shoppers on Fifth Avenue. This year’s tree is a Norway spruce from State College, Pennsylvania. Try to snag a spot skating in the rink below the tree, or just stand up on the sidelines and look up.…No, higher!

Rockefeller Center
New York, NY

7. Dante Park

Columbus Ave & W 63rd St, New York, NY 10023

The Upper West Side's answer to Rockefeller Center's display is a slightly-less-enormous evergreen festooned in multicolored lights and ornaments. The tree is situated in Dante Park across from Lincoln Center's iconic Josie Robertson Plaza, so you can take in the view on your way to or from a show. 

Columbus Ave & W 63rd St
New York, NY 10023

8. Queens Botanical Garden

43-50 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355

Flushing gets festive with the Queens Botanical Garden's annual holiday tree, which also includes crafts, a tour of the garden, and visits with Santa.

43-50 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

9. MetroTech Commons

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Though most of the showiest trees are in Manhattan, Brooklyn holds its own with this 30-foot-tall tree, glowing with thousands of twinkly lights. It's part of Downtown Brooklyn's larger holiday festivities.

10. Historic Richmond Town

441 Clarke Ave, Staten Island, NY 10306

Staten Island's historic farm museum doesn't skimp on the festive cheer: This year, in addition to the annual lighting of a Christmas tree, there will also be a market devoted to holiday crafts, tours of the cheerfully decorated village, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

441 Clarke Ave
Staten Island, NY 10306

11. New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

If you’re heading to the New York Botanical Garden for its annual holiday train show—this year, dedicated to Midtown landmarks—be sure to stop by the Leon Levy Visitors’ Center to see the garden’s festive holiday trees lit for the season.

2900 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10458

12. Washington Square Park

New York, NY 10012
The Washington Square Park Christmas tree at night. The tree is underneath the Washington Square Park Arch. There is snow falling. It is night. There are city buildings in the background.

This year’s Christmas tree in Washington Square Park is situated adjacent to Stanford White’s famed arch, in order to accommodate the Ai Weiwei exhibit “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” The whole shebang happens on December 6.

13. Tompkins Square Park

E 10th St, New York, NY 10009
The Tompkins Square Park holiday tree in the evening. The tree is decorated with lights. EV Grieve

In the East Village, Tompkins Square Park will host its own tree lighting on December 10 as part of the larger holiday events in the neighborhood (including a light display along East 7th Street).

E 10th St
New York, NY 10009

14. New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange, New York, NY 10005
The New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree. The tree is decorated with lights and sits across from the New York Stock Exchange building which is illuminated in red and green light. Getty Images

If ever you needed a reminder about the commercialization of Christmas, the tree at the New York Stock Exchange—which has made this a tradition for more than 90 years at this point—will suffice. It’s festooned with twinkly lights and complements the red-and-green color scheme on the NYSE building itself.

New York Stock Exchange
New York, NY 10005