The Best Holiday Festivities In Astoria
Every holiday season, our charming Astoria neighborhood is plentiful with festivities to light you up with joy and merriment. Whether you want to gaze up at holiday tree lightings, shop at seasonal markets featuring goods made by our diverse community, indulge in sweet treats, or imbibe festive cocktails to make you warm and cozy. We’ve got a curated list of the top activities to help you enjoy the warmth and magic of the holidays. So, get ready to bundle up, sip some hot cocoa, and let’s embark on a journey through Astoria’s winter wonderland of holiday joy and celebration.
Keep Shopping Small This Holiday Season
There’s no shortage of holiday markets in Astoria this year where you can shop for unique items made by local artisans that you cannot find anywhere else. This year, you can browse the stands at the 31st Avenue Open Street(but watch out for Krampus!), or kick the shopping experience up a notch and enjoy a craft beer as you shop at holiday markets at The Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden or Katch Astoria.
31st Avenue Open Street Holiday Markets
Yule Market & Holiday Pictures with Krampus – Sun, December 3, 12pm – 6pm Join Astoria Mystic Circle’s Yule Extravaganza! Capture festive memories with Krampus during a holiday photo session, explore witchy vendor offerings, and engage in a variety of winter skill-sharing activities.
QNSCollaborative Holiday Maker Market – Sat., December 9 & 10, 12pm – 8pm
QNSCollaborative presents a monthly Maker Market to benefit our friends at the Astoria Food Pantry. Featuring 60-plus local artisans with the best of the best creative goods: including ceramics, apparel, jewelry, snacks, personal care items, vintage and more.
Holiday Market at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden – December 10 & 17, 12pm – 6pm
The neighborhood’s quintessential beer garden will transform into an Astoria-centric artisan market that’s chock-full of handmade baked goods and vintage merchandise. Organized by The Astoria Market, the shopping event will take place in the Main Hall of the beer garden, where you can enjoy craft brews while browsing a plethora of home accessories, art, baked goods, clothing, toys, and jewelry.
Queens Craft Brigade Holiday Market at Katch Astoria – December 9, 12pm – 5pm
Queens Craft Brigade will bring together the best makers from the borough to create a highly curated holiday market at Katch Astoria. After wrapping up a bottomless brunch, grab a pint and head to the event space to shop for some local artwork, food, jewelry, fashion, and crafts.
Central Astoria’s 31st Ave Holiday Festival – December 2, 12pm – 3pm
Lastly, get ready for the ultimate winter extravaganza hosted by the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (CALDC). CALDC will turn 31st Avenue into a winter wonderland featuring tantalizing local street food, arts and crafts, and lots more to delight the whole family.
Embrace the Magic of the Season with Astoria’s Holiday Trees
Athens Square Park Holiday Tree
Gather around Athens Square Park to take in what is arguably one of the greatest displays of Christmas tree lights outside Manhattan! While the tree lighting ceremony has already taken place by the time of this publication, routine visits to this beloved holiday tree are guaranteed to fill your heart with the holiday spirit. Before you go, make the experience more warming by grabbing a coffee or hot cocoa and your favorite pastry from Il Fornaio Bakery across the street on the corner of 29th St. and 30th Ave.
30th St & 30th Ave
Central Astoria’s 11th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Astoria Park – December 3, 3pm – 5pm
But the magic doesn’t stop there! CALDC will gather at Astoria Park’s Great Lawn for its annual tree lighting and holiday celebration. The event will feature a Peppermint Party by the SUGARPLUMS, a Scholastic School Books giveaway, holiday arts and crafts making, and the grand finale – a visit from none other than Santa and his family!
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – December 1, 7pm
Raise a toast for the start of the holiday celebrations and gather for a festive evening of cheer in the Czech tradition. Immerse yourself in the enchantment as the Garden’s towering tree lights up the night, accompanied by the angelic voices of the children’s choir from the Czech and Slovak Language Center. Complementary hot chocolate will be available for kids as you sip on your favorite brews at this festive occasion.
Immersive Festive Events for the Kids
Gingerbread House Party at Art Strong – December 9, 10am – 11am
Step into the world of sweet creativity at Art Strong’s family-friendly Gingerbread House Party. During this party your child will design and create their very own gingerbread house to take home! Have your little one channel their inner architect and let their imagination run wild as they craft their very own edible masterpiece. There will be lots of colorful candy, frosting and other extras to make your child’s dream gingerbread house complete! They can also enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate while they create. Tickets are $45 and include one gingerbread house and entrance for 1 child + 1 parent/caregiver.
Christmas Party at the Victory Garden Cafe – December 10, 3pm
The Victory Garden Cafe will be holding one of the merriest of Christmas parties for the whole family. The afternoon will feature a special holiday menu while the little ones embark on a plentiful amount of Christmas activities. There will be a special visit from Santa, a telling of heartwarming holiday tales, holiday craft making, and holiday games for a chance to win festive treats and prizes.
Celebrate Christmas Eve on Sesame Street – December 23, 1pm & December 24, 12:30pm
At The Museum Of The Moving Image (MoMI), home to The Jim Henson Exhibition, MoMI will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Sesame Street’s Christmas Eve special with a screening for the whole family to enjoy. In this beloved 1978 special, Big Bird deals with a major question—how does Santa fit down the chimney?—and Bert and Ernie face their own gift-giving dilemma. This special holiday screening will be preceded by a brief compilation of Henson holiday clips. Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above.
Sweeten the Season with Treats From These Astoria Bakeries
Il Fornaio Bakery Cafe
With two charming locations on 30th Avenue, this classic Italian bakery offers a variety of hand-crafted cakes, cupcakes, as well as delectable Italian pastries like mascarpone-filled cannoli’s, rainbow cookies, and homemade Italian cookies. Il Fornaio is the perfect way to add a touch of Italian sweetness to your Christmas celebrations.
LaGuli Pastry Shop
Nestled on Ditmars Blvd., LaGuli is a testament to time, standing as one of the oldest family-run Italian bakeries in Astoria. Since 1937, the Notaro family has been serving the same family recipes originally brought from Palermo, Italy, for all of Astoria to enjoy. This holiday season, stop by LaGuli’s for that sweet taste of nostalgia. The storefront and interior woodwork, shelves and terrazzo floor are original, and so are the delectable pastries, cookies and cakes, all made from scratch on the premises.
Martha’s Country Bakery
This NYC stalwart, with a location tucked on Ditmars Blvd. and 37th St., has everything for your dessert needs this holiday season. From layer cakes to pies, cookies, pastries, strudels, tarts, and puddings, Martha’s Country Bakery has got you covered. Martha’s is also a haven for coffee lovers and hot chocolate enthusiasts alike. Their comprehensive coffee menu features an array of roasted brews and espresso drinks made to order. Their hot chocolate menu includes decadent twists on this classic favorite, such as their Red Velvet Hot Chocolate and Nutella Hot Chocolate.
For A Gift That’s Unique, Shop at These Astoria Boutiques
Need help curating the perfect holiday gift assortments for your stockings? Gift Box will help you do just that. Make your gifts extra personalized and special this year with this boutique’s curated gift boxes that come with handmade artisan goods, organic cosmetics, crafts and more from local artists. From candles, to Astoria-themed decor, silly cat mugs, and stationery that illustrate NYC’s grit with a humorous wit, this shop is bound to have the perfect gift for everyone.
This boutique has woven itself into the neighborhood’s fabric for almost a decade. Its unique decor, stationery, clothing, kid’s gifts, and affordable lifestyle goods are from local makers and up-and-coming brands. Its flagship store invites you to infuse your Christmas shopping with local charm, where you can shop their charming collection of Astoria-themes totes and mugs, holiday candles, cocktail kits, kitchenware and home decor. To round out your holiday gift shopping, head to Lockwood’s neighboring stationary store next door, Lockwood Paper, for holiday cards and gift bags designed by local artists. Then around the corner on Broadway, head to Lockwood Style, a woman’s boutique, to make sure your bestest gal pal, girlfriend, or significant other stays warm and this season with their fashionable sweaters, snuggly pajamas and cozy socks.
This Latina-owned business on 34th Avenue features items made by local artists, collectibles exclusively from Mexico, anime collectibles, humorous coffee mugs, vintage clothing and more. This shop regularly hosts popups with local vendors, so expect to see some over the holiday season this year where you can find unique gifts you won’t see anywhere else.
At this newcomer on 24th Ave. and 29th St., you’ll feel like you’re shopping for high Mediterranean fashion without leaving Astoria. This luxury resortwear brand, with roots from Greece, curates the latest fashion and essentials from around the world. The shop features products crafted by designers not only from Greece, but also from Italy and Spain. What makes Hará unique from the rest is that many of the designers and labels featured in the store are seldom found in NYC, let alone the United States. At Hará you’ll find resort wear for men and women (perfect gifts for those who travel regularly to warmer locations during the winter), home goods, and beauty products. Some seasonal fashion highlights include Orr sweaters for men and oversized cardigans for women.