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The holidays are a great time to visit the Big Apple. There are special concerts and shows centered around the holidays, lights throughout the city and on many of the skyscrapers, and several spectacular Christmas trees to celebrate this happy time of year. Here are a few of the city’s best trees you won’t want to miss when visiting New York City during the holiday season.
Origami Tree at the American Museum of Natural History
Featuring approximately 800 intricate origami items, the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History has been an annual tradition for over thirty years. Folding begins in July, all completed by volunteers. This year’s theme is Museum Collections, and it will be exciting to see miniatures of hundreds of historical artifacts from the museum’s permanent halls and temporary exhibits. During the weeks leading up to Christmas there are volunteers on staff to teach visitors how to fold a few of the simpler origami shapes.
Seaport Chorus Tree
Actually a fake tree, this 44-foot-tall steel structure stands in the center of South Street Seaport on Pier 17. It is the focal point of a timed light show set to music provided by choirs surrounding the tree. The garlands and branches covered the steel frame are decorated with thousands of LED lights, making for quite a show. There are also a lot of shops and restaurants lining the pier so you can grab some dinner and do some shopping before the show.
Rockefeller Plaza—Famous Tree and Ice Skating
By far the most famous Christmas tree in the city, the tree at Rockefeller Plaza has been featured in dozens of movies as an iconic symbol of the holidays in New York City. Usually between 75 and 90 feet tall, the tree is decorated with over five miles of lights and the recognizable massive star. The lighting ceremony usually occurs the week after Thanksgiving and features the Radio City Rockettes. You also won’t want to miss ice skating at the Rockefeller Ice Rink while you’re there.
One interesting thing about the Rockefeller tree is that it is always donated. Several trees are offered for donation each year which must pass a rigorous inspection by the manager of Rockefeller Center garden before one is chosen to be the official Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. After each season the tree is milled and donated to Habitat for Humanity for use in humanitarian projects around the world.
Park Avenue Memorial Trees
Though they do make nice holiday decorations, the 104 firs that line Park Avenue have more meaning. First lit in 1945, the trees are still lit each year as a remembrance of those who lost their lives in WWII. The display is free to view and is a great addition to a nice nighttime stroll through the city.
Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Met
Originally donated to the museum in 1964, the more than two hundred Neapolitan crèche figures that make up the nativity setting on display have now been seen in the museum for nearly forty years. The combination of the giant tree and late-18th century figurines is unique, as it combines the Roman Catholic custom of elaborately decorated nativity figures with the Protest tradition of a candle-lit Christmas tree.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://smartcheaptravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/man-1.png[/author_image] [author_info]This article was provided by Dan Patterson. One way to enjoy Christmas in New York even more is to take a New York CityPASS with you. With the New York CityPASS you’ll get discounted admission to some of the top attractions. It’s one of the best ways to visit New York City.[/author_info] [/author]
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