Get Lit at These Hudson Valley Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Start the holiday season with festive parades, mesmerizing firework displays, and twinkle light spectacles.


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Photo by Ethan Harrison

 

It’s that time of year again...leaves are off the trees, snow is starting to falland holiday shopping lists seem endless. But before the hustle and bustle of getting last-minute gifts and ingredients for holiday dishes overwhelms you, take a moment to enjoy the season by attending one of the Hudson Valley’s spectacular light-filled events.   

 

Albany County 

 

 

Holiday Tree Lighting & Fireworks Festival 

Empire State Plaza, Albany 
December 2, 1 - 6 p.m. 

The New York State Holiday Tree is ready to be lit at Empire State Plaza with a full firework celebration. Make it a holiday-themed day trip by attending the Taste of NY Holiday Market and the Great Train Extravaganza happening on the same day.    

 

The City of Albany Tree Lighting 

Academy Park, Albany  
November 305 - 8 p.m. 

Come out to City Hall for a special tree lighting ceremony in Academy Park. After the ceremony, go inside City Hall to take in the extraordinary holiday decorations, listen to live music, and enjoy refreshments.   

 

Columbia County 

 

Hillsdale Tree Lighting  

Village Square 
December 1, 5 p.m. 

Starting at Hillsdale Fire Department, kids of all ages can take a hayride to Cullin Park, where the lighting of the town tree takes place. Once guests arrive at the park, Santa appears to light the tree. Families can then return to the firehouse, where presents and goodies will be distributed. 

 

Dutchess County 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#merrychristmas from #beaconny photo credit @wolfingtons @esbenavente #bicycletree

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Bicycle Christmas Tree Lighting 

Polhill Park/Beacon Visitors Center 
December 8, 4 p.m.  

The City of Beacon and BeaconArts partner for the seventh time to put on a community tree lighting ceremony. The Second Saturday festivities start at 4 p.m. and the bicycle Christmas tree will be lit at 5 p.m. when Santa arrives. Anyone who brings their own mug will be served hot cider or cocoa.     

 

Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Parade of Lights 

Kick off the holiday festivities with activities, entertainment, and local food vendors. The parade starts upon Santa’s arrival. During the day, the man in red will make his way to the Rhinebeck Bank parking lot where the parade ends, with the lighting ceremony to follow shortly afterward. 

Rhinebeck Bank Parking Plaza 
November 253 - 6 p.m.  

 

Town Decorating Day and Parade of Lights 

November 24, 12 p.m.  

Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, and a special visit from Santa at this Pine Plains event. Spend the afternoon decorating the town with friends and family members, then stick around for the parade with Santa himself.  

   

 

Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks 

Downtown Poughkeepsie  
November 30, 6:30 p.m.  

Celebrate Christmas with two tree lightings and a firework display. The parade stops at two locations in the City of Poughkeepsie for a special dual tree lighting ceremony. Once the ceremonies conclude, a winter firework show takes place at the Poughkeepsie waterfront.  

 

Greene County 

 

Windham's Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration 

5379 Route 23, Windham 
December 1, 4:30 - 6 p.m.  

The Catskills are a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. This Greene County celebration will have hot chocolate, carriage rides, toys, food, and, of course, a visit from Santa. After the ceremony at Centre Church, take a trip into town and visit the small shops.  

 

Orange County 

 

Holiday Tree Lighting  

Pine Island Town Park 
December 5, 5 p.m. 

Visitors to the Pine Island Christmas Tree Lighting can spend time eating cookies and sipping on hot beverages while awaiting the lighting of the tree. Anyone who enjoys caroling can join the carolers in the singing of seasonal classics.   

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Middletown Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parade 

Festival Square  
November 23, 6 p.m.  

The City of Middletown and  The Business Improvement District host an annual tree lighting ceremony and parade for the community. The parade ends in Festival Square, where Santa lights the tree. After the ceremony, a free screening of It’s a Wonderful Life shows at the Paramount Theatre 

 

Cornwall Tree Lighting 

Main St, Cornwall   
December 2, 3 p.m. 

Spend the afternoon in Cornwall participating in holiday-themed events before the lighting of the tree. To-dos include horse and carriage rides, treats at businesses along Main Street, and musical performances and caroling. End the evening with Santa at Highland Engine Company and enjoy refreshments while you are there.  

 

Woodbury Commons Tree Lighting 

Most visit the Woodbury Commons around this time of year for Christmas shopping, but the outdoor shopping center is also home to a spectacular tree lighting ceremony. Watch holiday performances, eat and drink refreshments, even get a chance to meet Santa, while awaiting the lighting. 

 

Putnam County 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Cold Spring Tree Lighting Ceremony 

1660 Rte 25A, Cold Spring Harbor 
December 1, 5 - 7 p.m. 

The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium puts on a special ceremony to light the Hatchery’s tree. Although admission is free, the venue appreciates donations. Hot chocolate, cookies, and tea will be served before Santa arrives to light the tree.  

  

Holiday on the Lake: Parade and Tree Lighting 

December 1 
Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. and lighting starts at 7:30 p.m.  

This all-day event is packed with a holiday pancake breakfast, crafts, sing-alongs, hayrides, face painting, live music, and a parade and tree lighting event. The Parade of Lights will have over 40 floats and groups participating, while the tree lighting will have caroling and special guest to light the tree.  

    

Rockland County  

 

Holiday Lights 

15 Cedar St, Nyack  
December 1, 4 - 6 p.m. 

The Nyack Chamber of Commerce puts on another spectacular event, this time with hot chocolate, a visit from Santa, music by a live band and caroling group, and a tree lighting. Santa will be on hand to give presents to children at the end of the ceremony.   

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tree Lighting at Shops at Nanuet 

Fashion Dr, Nanuet  
November 30, 6 - 9 p.m.  

Live entertainment, fun-filled activities, and food trucks await visitors before Santa’s arrival on a fire truck to light the Christmas tree.  

 

Ulster County

 

Kingston’s Annual Tree Lighting 

238 Clinton Ave, Kingston 
November 23, 6 - 8 p.m.  

Firefighters of Kingston partner with Santa to kick off the holiday season with the lighting of Academy Green’s Christmas Tree. Any kids are 12 and under can enter the raffle to win a gift at the end of the ceremony, as well. 

  

 

New Paltz Community Tree Lighting  

81 Huguenot St, New Paltz 
November 30 and December 1Tree lighting on November 30 at 7 p.m. 

This two-day event features tours of Historic Huguenot Street, horse wagon rides, farm animals, and a craft fair. The Paper Lantern Light Parade starts at the Reformed Church and makes its way to the Deyo House where the tree lighting ceremony begins. During the ceremony, the Huguenot Heralds, an a cappella group from Huguenot Street, sings Christmas carols.   


Related: Pick Your Perfect Pine at a Hudson Valley Christmas Tree Farm

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