Between tree lighting ceremonies and pop-up events, the holiday spirit in NYC is absolutely unmatched! Of course a major part of this is the stunning holiday lights that are lighting up all across the boroughs, dazzling New Yorkers everywhere they look.
And with the holiday season approaching, you’ll definitely want to take in all the gorgeous lights scattered across the city!
Whether you’re looking for a neat Instagram shot, or want to just get into a festive mood, here are some of the best places to find holiday lights in NYC:
1. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, Brooklyn
The Dyker Heights Christmas lights usually start to appear the day after Thanksgiving! The neighborhood’s impressive light display has been a tradition for more than 30 years and spans three avenues and several streets. Learn everything about the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights here.
Where: 12th Ave & 84th St, Brooklyn
2. Saks Fifth Ave, Midtown
Saks Fifth Avenue never disappoints with its enormous front facade decorated in colorful lights sure to get you giddy with holiday cheer! This year’s light show will start with an opening ceremony on November 20, with a show daily running from 4:35 pm – 10:35 pm lasting about 3 minutes. We’re excited to see the debut of this year’s lights, and you can learn more info about the Saks Fifth Ave lights here.
Where: 611 5th Ave
3. Astra Lumina, Flushing
Walk among the stars of Queens Botanical Garden when this immersive light experience touches down in NYC on November 24! This nighttime journey blends art, technology, and scenography to create a one-of-a-kind cosmic adventure of lights, sound and astral pathways! Learn more about Astra Lumina here and grab your tickets below before it opens to the public!
4. Winter Lantern Festival, Queens
Take in over 1,000 carefully crafted Chinese lanterns, interactive light swings and see-saws, delicious food vendors and more at Winter Lantern Festival in Queens! Opening November 17, you can embark on this light journey that features everything from magical folklore creatures to whimsical walkways! Learn more about Winter Lantern Festival here and purchase your tickets below before it opens!
5. New York Botanical Garden GLOW, The Bronx
Everyone loves dazzling lights during the winter months, and now, the NYBG is putting together an outdoor, immersive experience that is sure to satisfy! They have created a “glowing world of color” that is centered around their famous landmark, the Haupt Conservatory. Incredible installations will appear in the gardens and Reflecting Pool. Learn more about NYBG’s GLOW here.
Where: 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx
6. Santa’s Winter Wonderland, Seaport
Catch glimpses of holiday lights at Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Watermark now! The Seaport District and restaurant/bar will be decked to the nines, as you enjoy waterfront views, seasonal drinks, holiday decorations, light bites, and a visit from Santa himself! You can snap pictures in front of the tree or dine in an illuminated glasshouse…it’s worth a visit! Learn more about Santa’s Winter Wonderland here and purchase your tickets below!
Where: 19 Fulton St
7. Rockefeller Center, Midtown
Of course we couldn’t leave out one of the most iconic light displays of the holiday season in NYC! The gorgeous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is set to boast over 50,000 multi-colored lights when it gets lit up on November 29!
Where: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
8. Bronx Zoo Holiday Light Show, The Bronx
Covering several acres of the zoo, you can explore a glowing forest at this year’s Bronx Zoo Lights starting November 17. See larger-than-life toads, frogs, snails, sunbirds, and more with 21 beaming lanterns. Learn more about the “Forest of Color” on the Bronx Zoo’s website here.
Where: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx
This year, Hudson Yards has brought back their stunning holiday installation called “Shine Bright.” The neighborhood is decorated in more than two million lights! Prepare to be dazzled by the shopping center’s interior decked out in shimmering string lights. Step outside to see the vessel gleaming gold alongside other holiday trees and the beautiful hot air balloon display! Learn more about Shine Bright here.
Where: 20 Hudson Yards
10. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn
Roam under one million sparkling lights at Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s astonishing holiday trail. Walk along the garden’s landscapes to a curated soundtrack and experience incredible light sculptures, & vibrant effects on the BBG’s landscapes that will illuminate the many trees and water features. It opens up November 17 and runs through January 1, 2024! Learn more about Lightscape here.
Where: 990 Washington Ave
11. Bryant Park Winter Village, Midtown
It’s no secret that we love the Bryant Park Holiday Market and Winter Village, and they have a bunch of lights that makes it even more festive. Plus, what could be better than looking at some holiday lights while shopping for presents, or even ice skating for free? There’s so much to do!
Where: Bryant Park
12. Radio City Music Hall, Midtown
Radio City Music Hall is an iconic NYC venue, especially during the holiday season when The Rockettes famously take it over for a month! Be sure to check them out starting later this week, along with their gorgeous Christmas tree that sits on the roof of the building.
Where: 1260 6th Ave
13. Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
Being situated right under the Washington Square Arch, the angle of this incredible illumination is one of our favorites in all of NYC! Stop by in a few weeks to check out their tree lighting ceremony!
Where: Washington Square Park
14. Chelsea Market, Meatpacking
Walk under multi-colored mylar fringe and ornaments when you visit Chelsea Market. You’ll find dazzling lights along the exterior of the market and decorative presents, lit up Christmas trees, and shiny ornaments on the inside.
Where: 75 9th Ave
15. Grand Army Plaza’s Menorah, Brooklyn
Beginning the first night of Chanukah, December 7th, Brooklyn’s largest menorah will shine bright at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn! Continuing through to the eighth night of Chanukah, the menorah lighting is accompanied with live music and hot food to celebrate—and it’s free for everyone to go see! Learn more about the largest menorah in Brooklyn here.
Where: Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
16. Summit One Vanderbilt, Midtown
Experience a gasp-worthy light and sound show “AIR at Night” at the world’s most immersive observatory, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Get your tickets here.
Where: 45 E 42nd St
17. The Shops at Columbus Circle, Midtown West
The 14-foot stars have reappeared at The Shops at Columbus Circle and they even dance! Starting at 5 pm daily the stars light up in synchronization with holiday music during the Holiday Under the Stars Show at every half hour until 11:00 pm. These stars will illuminate until January 1.
Where: 10 Columbus Cir, New York
18. Brookfield Place, Battery Park City
The Luminaries exhibit is set to return to Brookfield Place on November 24 and it will be a colorful wonderland. Located in the Winter Garden, you can check out 640 lanterns dancing to different symphonies of color, music, and intensity. Plus, you can even make a holiday wish…with every wish leading to a $1 donation to GO Project.
Where: 230 Vesey St
19. Neighborhood Brownstones, UWS
Take a quaint stroll on the UWS to discover gorgeous facades, elegantly decorated in wreaths and garland. The sparkling lights will enchant you as ornaments are strung in bright shades of red and green along the perimeters.
Where: (zip codes) 10023, 10024, 10025, 10069
Of course many of NYC’s restaurants go all-out with decor for the holidays, and many of them take careful curation when it comes to lights. Whether it’s Rolf’s (pictured) or Oscar Wilde, there are many places across the city to get mesmerized by lights while enjoying a meal or a festive cocktail! Check out our full list of NYC restaurants that go crazy with festive decor here!
Where: Various places around NYC