Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
New York is famous for its holiday light displays in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens. If you happen to be in the city during the holidays, you can choose large displays downtown or small and cozy in residential areas.
Winter Village at Bryant Park (October 30, 2020–January 3, 2021)
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is a favourite spot for New-Yorkers and visitors during the holidays. A small Midtown park is transformed into Manhattan with dozens of holiday shops. The Lodge by Urbanspace is where people can take a break from busy city life. The centerpiece of Winter Village is New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink, which enjoys beautiful illumination after dark.
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights (weekend after Thanksgiving–1st weekend in January)
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn is one of the most popular seasonal attractions in the neighborhood. The most breathtaking lights can be observed between 11th to 13th Avenues from 83rd to 86th St in Dyker Heights. This area takes Christmas lights to a new level, gathering crowds of visitors from all over the city. Giant inflatable Santas, snowmen, and reindeer decorate almost every house, and Christmas carols can be heard from loudspeakers. The area is so popular that some companies organize tours to the best-decorated houses. The best time to see the lights is mid-December.
Broadway Under the Stars (early November–early December, dates TBA)
Another great occasion to kick off the holiday season is the Broadway Under the Stars with a breathtaking light display at Columbus Circle Shopping Mall. Every Monday, the second floor hosts free performances from Broadway’s most popular shows. All this happens under the largest specialty crafted colorful display in the world. The exhibit features twelve huge stars hanging from the ceiling of the Great Room. The show and wonderful view of Central Park make it a real urban oasis during the winter months.
Jamaica Estates Christmas Lights (canceled in 2020)
If you get tired of posh and professionally designed light installations in Manhattan, pay a visit to Brooklyn, Bronx, or Queens to see some genuine self-expression. In Queens (80th Drive and Chevy Chase Street), Jamaica Estates is one of the places worth checking out. Anthony Gurino's annual Christmas display taking up an entire block is incredibly impressive. Visitors can walk through the front yard and take pictures on Christmas trees' backdrop or illuminated menorahs. This house can be reached by the QM1, QM5, and QM6 buses.