’Tis officially the season to deck the halls, and the Upper East Side has planned accordingly. First up? Two festive fêtes complete with tree-lighting ceremonies — both scheduled for Sunday, December 4.
Any revelers looking for a little outdoor action are encouraged to head east to Carl Schurz Park (at East 86th Street and East End Avenue) beginning at 5 p.m. An hour of traditional (and family-friendly) merriment is set to ensue, which includes carols, winter delicacies (think cocoa and candy canes) plus tree and menorah lightings. The cherry on top? Performances from Cantori New York, a popular local choir known for their expert renditions of classical tunes, and the Orbit Brass quintet. Surely, you can anticipate a slew of seasonal standards that will delight even the grinchiest member of your crew.
While the longstanding celebration will take place come rain, snow or sleet, the forecast for Sunday looks to be crisp and sunny. Though it will be dark by the time the shindig commences, we recommend an early arrival to snag a prime viewing position. 2019’s event had quite a turnout, if these Twitter snaps are anything to go by. No RSVPs are necessary, and there are plenty of solid neighborhood spots nearby to reserve for Sunday dinner — including Botte and Sandro’s.
Meanwhile, slightly further uptown, the Brick Presbyterian Church (at 62 East 92nd Street) will be hosting its 78th annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting and Carol Sing, commencing at 6:30 p.m. Held on the steps of the sanctuary, the more formal affair is preceded by a Hot Cocoa Social, which will also feature wine and hors d’oeuvres. Originally launched after the conclusion of World War II in 1945 by Mrs. Stephen C. Clark and other mothers of lost soldiers, the Park Avenue Tree Lighting serves as an interfaith memorial for any who have sacrificed their lives. The lights are sponsored by the Fund for Park Avenue, the organization known for maintaining the aesthetic of the iconic street — down to the signature flowers and trees. RSVPs are required and can be accessed here. The function ends at 7:30 p.m.