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10 Top Free Things to do in Brooklyn on the Holidays

By November 20, 2019August 8th, 2023Blog

Christmas holiday lighting party

The holidays are nearly here and the team at Fresh Orthodontics is ready to celebrate! Thankfully, living and working in Brooklyn means there are plenty of opportunities for holiday fun and we plan on taking full advantage.

Want to get in on the excitement?

Well, we’re sharing 10 fun and free things to do in Brooklyn for the holidays:


1. Holiday Lighting Party: Downtown Brooklyn Gets Lit!  – Head to Albee Square (corner of Fulton and Bond) on Thursday, November 21 at 5pm for a free holiday lighting party. This event will kick off the holidays in Brooklyn with live performances and a countdown to turning on the holiday lights.

2. Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar – The annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar will return on Sundays, December 1, December 8 and December 15 from 11am to 5pm at 501 Union in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The event features the best local makers, making it the ideal place to do your holiday shopping. You’ll find handmade goods, food and drinks, crafts, activities for kids and music. Mingle with your neighbors, support area artists and makers, and have a blast.

3. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights – The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights are probably one of the most anticipated Brooklyn holiday activities. The neighborhood has the most over-the-top decorations. There was even a documentary about the spectacle called Dyker Lights. Anyway, the lights typically go up the weekend after Thanksgiving but are at their full glory around mid-December. It’s best to take public transportation since it gets swamped and parking will be nearly impossible to come by. You can see the famed Brooklyn holiday lights from 11th to 13th Avenues from 83rd to 86th Streets in Dyker Heights.

4. Peruse a Brooklyn Holiday Market – You can find a Brooklyn holiday market pretty much any weekend during the winter. One of our favorites is the CaribBeing Holiday Market Experience, which runs from December 4 through December 29, Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 8pm, as well as Monday, December 23 from 11am to 8pm and Tuesday, December 24 from 11am to 4pm at The Plaza at 300 Ashland. You’ll find handcrafted and one-of-a-kind gifts from Caribbean makers and artists, as well as food samplings and “meet the makers” events. For book lovers, don’t miss the Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair at the Old Stone House at Washington Park (336 3rd Street) on Saturday, December 7 from 11am to 5pm. Used and rare book dealers will gather at the annual holiday market to sell one-of-a-kind books, knick knacks, ephemera and gifts.

5. Jingle Fest! Holiday Concert & Cookie Swap – The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music will host its annual Jingle Fest! Holiday Concert and Cookie Swap at All Saints Episcopal Church (286-88 7th Avenue, Between 6th and 7th Streets) on Saturday, December 7 at 3pm. Okay, so this technically isn’t one of the entirely free things to do in Brooklyn for the holidays but you can earn one free ticket per family by making (or buying) cookies, brownies or bars and bringing them to the cookie swap. The event features a holiday family concert, cookies, hot chocolate, cider and photos with Santa. When you arrive, you’ll give your cookies to a staff member and all of the cookies will be put on display. Families will receive a container to take home a few cookies of their choosing. Just be sure to label your cookies with any pertinent information like gluten-free, nuts, vegan, etc. You can get your tickets here.

6. Family Christmas Bird Count – This free Brooklyn holiday event for families is actually a tradition that’s more than 100 years in the making! Attendees of all ages can take part in the nationwide bird census, which helps conservationists track the health of bird populations. Groups will meet at the Audubon Center (101 East Drive) in Prospect Park on Sunday, December 15 with counts leaving at 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm.

7. Make Music New York: Winter Solstice Procession – On Saturday, December 21, the longest night of the year, celebrate the first day of winter with one of the best annual holiday events in NYC. There will be a number of parades across all five boroughs, including Brooklyn, where attendees will sing, dance and march through neighborhoods and parks. So far this year, the (B)MERRY Music Parade will proceed through Brownsville, Brooklyn from 11:30am to 1pm starting at 400 Rockaway Avenue. Flatfoot Flatbush will be held from 4:30 to 7pm and will traverse Prospect Heights, along Flatbush Avenue and will even have an after-party. Stay tuned to the website for event information.

8. Largest Menorah – The Chabad of Park Slope’s largest menorah will grace the Grand Army Plaza again this year with lightings held each night of Hanukkah. The first lighting of the over 32-foot menorah will be on Sunday, December 22 with a live kickoff concert to be held at 4pm. You can see the full schedule here. The events will feature live music, latkes and gifts for the kiddos.

9. Winter Recess in Prospect Park – The Prospect Park Alliance has a ton of free things to do in Brooklyn with kids for the holidays, including their winter recess programming. Every day from Thursday, December 26 through Sunday, December 29, you’ll find activities ranging from nature explorations to holiday craft at Lefferts Historic House. Check out the schedule here.

10. New Year’s Fireworks at Prospect Park – Round out your Brooklyn holiday activities by ringing in the New Year at Grand Army Plaza on Flatbush Avenue with a spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration on Tuesday, December 31. The family-friendly, free event will take place rain or shine from 10:30pm to 12:30am. Now in its 40th year, the celebration will feature live entertainment followed by fireworks when the clock strikes midnight.


We hope you have a fantastic holiday season! If gifting yourself or your child a healthy, beautiful smile is also on your holiday agenda this year, book a complimentary consultation with our Park Slope orthodontist, Dr. Ankush Khanna, today.