From the iconic tree lighting ceremonies to pop-up events, NYC is a wonderland of holiday spirit during the winter. But it’s not just the Christmas tree that lights up the city, it’s the spectacular holiday light displays and lantern festivals that make New York so magical this time of year. These magical lights and displays are sure to have you in a festive mood for the entire season. So pack up the family (and the car snacks) and check out these dazzling lights shows.
If you are looking for a festival of lights near me, there is no better place than the renowned NYC festival in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. This event is held in the world-famous New York Mets stadium and features a massive display of lights as well as booths with food and drinks. It’s also the only light show in the country that has a stage and a performance component along with its millions of state-of-the-art lights.
Another must-see light display is in Riverhead, Suffolk County, where you can drive through a lighted path over a mile long with dozens of displays. Turn on your car radio to a special frequency and watch the lights dance in time with festive music. You can also purchase car accessories like Santa hats, lights and candy canes to help make your night extra special.
In Brooklyn, the Dyker Heights neighborhood puts on a jaw-dropping show where homes go all out with their decor. You can drive around this spectacle or hop on the official bus tour to get a peek at the over-the-top decorations that look as though they might be visible from space.
You can also take a drive-thru tour of a new-and-improved display of LED lights at the Nassau County Museum of Art. This new location is bigger and brighter than the previous site. The exhibit features more than 1,000 handmade Chinese lanterns shaped into animals, flowers and other shapes.
The other major NY holiday lights show to visit this season is the one at Citi Field in Queens. This spectacular display is modeled after two children’s characters, Zing and Sparky. There are over 5 themed areas such as the Enchanted Forest and Holidays Around The World. It’s a fun way to spend the evening and you can also shop for unique gifts at local vendors, enjoy an animated light show and more.
This is a great choice if you are looking for something more intimate and low-key than the massive light festival in Flushing Meadows-Corona park. The display is smaller but it’s also much more cost-effective and there is no wait to get in. Plus, it’s a good choice if you don’t have a car or if you’re looking for a less-crowded alternative to other winter lights villages in the suburbs or NJ.
The only downside to this experience is that the show was not as impressive as we hoped. It was a short 4 minute show with little interaction between the characters or performers.