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Make the season bright: Here’s where to check out amazing holiday light displays around New York City

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The home of Lucy Spata on 84th Street in Dyker Heights carries on the tradition of impressive holiday displays in the southern Brooklyn neighborhood.
Photo by Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Paper

It’s the holiday season in NYC, which means there are countless events and great holiday light displays for you and your family to see.

Whether you wish to travel far or stay in your neighborhood, NYC has some of the most beautiful and spectacular holiday lights in existence, and 2021 has some light shows that are bigger and better than ever before.

Check out these 9 spots where to see holiday lights in NYC in 2021! (As always, practice social distancing and proper COVID-19 safety protocols while out and about.) 

Manhattan

Saks Fifth Avenue

611 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022

The pinnacle of Christmas light shows in NYC, The Saks Fifth Avenue Light show is back and more exciting than ever! The LED light projection is impossible to miss as the two-minute show projects every 7 or 8 minutes. While you’re in the area, check out the Rockefeller Christmas Tree or the holiday store display windows located at Saks Fifth Avenue and the other surrounding stores. 

Luminaries at the Brookfield Place

230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281

Created by the LAB at Rockwell Group, the Luminaries lantern show is back with their experience title Maestro, in addition to their other light shows. Luminaries  is inspired by the seasonal traditions of sharing, giving, community and light. The light shows are offered at the top of every hour set to your favorite holiday songs.

Shine Bright at Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards

Featuring over 2 million lights, Shine Bright by Wells Fargo is back to illuminate The Shops, Public Square & Garden, Edge and Vessel. The complex is 115 miles of lights, 725 evergreen trees, and 16-foot-tall illuminated pieces. In the center of the Shops flies a hot-air balloon centerpiece.   

Brooklyn

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

1072 80th St 1st. Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11228

Decorated with some of the most over-the-top Christmas lights in NYC and a 15-foot Santa Claus, Dyker Heights has become one of the most celebrated displays during the Christmas season. People of all ages can stroll down streets as most homeowners, as well as professional decorating companies, have lights and decor set up. Tour options are available via bus from Manhattan or via walking. Most locations turn off their lights after 9PM.

Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Known as an enchanting illuminating trail for the Holidays, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden will take you on this all-new celebration of nature in winter, highlighted by a curated soundtrack and over one million lights. Visitors will travel through the Fire Garden, Winter Cathedral Tunnel, and Sea of Light, highlighted by local artists. They will also experience light sculptures, colorful trees, architecture, and sight-specific music and sound. Tickets start at $18 for children and $34 for adults.

Queens

Illuminate the Farm at Queens County Farm Museum

 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Queens, NY 11004

Part of the NYC Winter Lantern Festival, Queens County Farm turns into an illuminated fantasy every night until January 9th, 2022. Come see dazzling displays that include holiday lights and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, tractors, farm animals and more! Tickets start at $16.99 for kids and  $24.99 for GA, but keep in mind prices increase between 12/23-01/02. If Queens is too far of a trip, check out the two other Winter Lantern Festival Events in Staten Island and Long Island.   

Bronx

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights Show

2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460

Visit the Bronx Zoo this holiday season to experience the park brought to life with a variety of holiday light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns and animated light shows. The over 260 light exhibits represent over 70 animals and plants found all over the world. In addition to traveling the world, visitors can also visit the forest of color where they will see 21 new lanterns representing frogs, snails, turtles, moths and more! Other entertainment includes: costume characters, ice carving competitions & demonstrations, stilt walkers, holiday train, wildlife theater, and seasonal treats.  

NYBG Glow at New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

Returning for its second year, this illuminated light spectacular is NYC’s longest entirely outdoor light show. Watch NYBG’s historic landmarks and buildings turn into glittery canvas’. WIth the Haupt Conservatory and Mertz Library Building acting as centerpieces to the trail, visitors will also be able to experience dazzling LEDs, illuminated plant stories, and whimsical installations that surround the gardens and collections. While visiting GLOW, visitors can also take advantage of visiting NYBG’s other holiday events, such as the Holiday Train Show

Long Island

Shimmering Solstice at Old Westbury Gardens

71 Old Westbury Rd, Old Westbury, NY 11568

Walk through this immersive light and sound experience at Old Westbury Gardens this holiday season! Guests will travel through the Walled Garden, Rose Garden, South Lawn, and Allée where they will experience enchanting light displays designed by Lightswitch, allowing them to witness the familiar gardens “in a whole new shimmering light.” Finally, visitors will be able to watch the spectacular light and projection show displayed on the south face of the Westbury House. 

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