20 Best Holiday Light Displays Illuminating NYC This December

Justine Golata Justine Golata

20 Best Holiday Light Displays Illuminating NYC This December

With Thanksgiving well behind us, New York City has kicked into full holiday hysteria. Here’s a list of some of the best holiday lights to see around NYC!

Even with virtual tree lighting ceremonies and no SantaCon, the holiday spirit in NYC still holds strong! Lights have been appearing all across the boroughs, dazzling New Yorkers everywhere they look.

Here are some of the best holiday lights to date:

1. Chelsea Market, Meatpacking

Facebook/ Chelsea Market

Walk under a beautiful canopy of lights when you visit Chelsea Market. You’ll find the dreamy display dazzling as ornaments line the clock and holiday trees hang from the ceiling!

Where: 75 9th Ave, New York

2. Brooklyn’s Largest Menorah, Brookyln


Beginning the first night of Chanukah, December 10, Brooklyn’s largest menorah will shine bright! Continuing through to the eighth night of Chanukah, the menorah lighting is normally accompanied with live music and hot food to celebrate. The menorah is free for everyone to go see!

Where: Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn

3. NYBG Glow, Bronx

Facebook/ New York Botanical Garden

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.

Where: 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx

4. Seaport District, Manhattan

Jane Kratochvil

Brought to NYC all the way from Egan Acres Tree Farm in Putnam Valley, New York, this tree stands 35-ft tall with the a custom made star topping the tree specially for the Seaport District display! This grand tree is decorated with more than 10,000 LED lights and took an entire week to put up and adorn.

Where: 19 Fulton St., New York

5. Edge NYC, Hudson Yards

Courtesy Edge NYC

At 1,131 feet high, Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. The Skyline Steps, where you can sit and marvel at the sights, have been decked out with almost 50,000 holiday lights and garland! Plus, the indoor portion also got a holiday makeover with tons of brightly lit trees and and giant glittering hot air balloon displays.

Where: 30 Hudson Yards, New York

6. The Shops at Columbus Circle, Midtown West

Facebook/ The Shops At Columbus Circle

The 14-foot stars reappear at The Shops at Columbus Circle and they even dance! Starting at 4 p.m. each night the stars light up in synchronization with holiday music during the Holiday Under the Stars Show. These stars will illuminate until December 24.

Where: 10 Columbus Cir, New York

7. Pulitzer Fountain, Midtown

Facebook/ Steve Sanchez Photography

Right across from The Plaza Hotel and east entrance to Central Park, this fountain in the Grand Army Plaza has made room for enormous, colorful glowing ornaments. The decorations are surrounded by brightly lit trees in a spectacular display of seasonal spirit!

Where: 764 Central Park S, New York

8. Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

Photo Modified: Flickr / Philipp Alexander / CC by 2.0

Dyker Heights homes are now lit up and ready to be seen! Of course, crowds like that post a problem during a pandemic, and so the lights displays will be a bit different than usual this year. Dyker Heights’ impressive light display has been a tradition for more than 30 years and spans three avenues and several streets.

Where: 12th Ave & 84th St, Brooklyn

9. Neighborhood Brownstones, UWS

Instagram @212sid

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

10. Ziggy, Seaport District

Instagram / @downtownnyc (@fjello + @henchling)

Located at 200 Water St. in South Street Seaport, the colorful new art installation “Ziggy” was created by New York-based architecture, art and design studio Hou de Sousa. The sculpture will be on view from now through January 2021, open to the public daily with weather permitting. Even during the day without the lights, it’s still quite the colorful sight!

Where: 200 Water St, New York

11. Rockefeller Center Tree, Midtown

Rockefeller Center

Of course we couldn’t leave out one of the most iconic light displays of the holiday season in NYC! Find out this year’s rules for seeing it here.

Where: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York

12. Bronx Zoo, Bronx

Covering several acres of the zoo, this will be only the second time since 2007 that these dazzling lights will be on display! This year the Holiday Lights will be “bigger, better, and greener than ever,” with five different animal lantern safaris that opened November 17. The LED displays will illuminate the park with animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and colorful designs. Going along with zoo’s natural wildlife “theme” you’ll find all sorts stunning animals—from marine ecosystems to apex predators—lit up in the night sky, creating a beautifully illuminated safari to explore.

Where: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx

13. Zucotti Park, FiDi

Instagram/ @sincerelymaureen

Dance the day away at this park surrounded by shimmering trees lit up for the holidays. Every Tuesday, participate in the Silent Snow Ball, a socially distant silent dance party. Every week there will be a new DJ that people can listen to via the Mixlr app on their own devices. Participants can get into the holiday spirit while safely dancing along!

Where: Zucotti Park, New York

14. Brookfield Place, Battery Park City

Facebook/ Irena Poposka

Take a walk under the beautiful luminaries suspended in the air at Brookfield Place. Contactless wishing stations are located across the area for visitors to send a motion-activated wish to the colorful canopies that will light up. One dollar is donated with every wish made to support New York City restaurants facing economic struggles since the pandemic. The luminaries even perform a special light show every hour from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Where: 230 Vesey St, New York

15. Point of Action, Flatiron

Instagram @skye.loves.nyc

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute recently announced its seventh year selection for the Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation (remember last year’s kaleidoscope of colors?!). The piece, by Studio Cooke John is titled Point of Action and will remain on display from November 23, 2020 – January 1, 2021, located on Fifth Ave, Broadway, 23rd Street in Manhattan. The installation encourages interaction and connection between viewers. Point of Action will feature nine “spotlights,” each with an individual metal frame, created by six-foot circles secured onto the Flatiron Public Plazas.

Where: 27 W 24th St Suite 800B, New York

16. The Vessel, Hudson Yards

Facebook/ Hudson Yards

This year, Hudson Yards launched a new holiday tradition 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!

Where: 20 Hudson Yards, New York

17. Saks Fifth Avenue, Midtown

Facebook/ Dominic Montwori

Saks Fifth Avenue never disappoints with its enormous front facade decorated in colorful lights sure to get you giddy with holiday cheer! The 11th annual light show, presented by Mastercard, can be streamed on select weekdays at 4:30 p.m. through December 23rd and recordings can be viewed through January 3, 2021.

Where: 611 5th Ave, New York

18. Luminocity, Randall’s Island

LuminoCity is a massive wonderland of lights where the holiday spirit meets our wildest imagination to create an experience unlike any other in NYC. The festival will “Light the Night” beginning November 27, and bring New Yorkers all the holiday magic they so sorely need! This year’s enchanting festival features a brand new theme and never-before-seen sculptures, taking visitors through a glistening wonderland of fantastical ancient civilizations, lush luminated jungles, and mystical towering light art displays over 30 feet high.

Where: 10 Central Rd, Randall’s Island

19. 73rd Street, UES

Facebook/ Joan Billick

This street on the Upper East Side is lined with tons of twinkling trees. Take a lovely stroll through the neighborhood and try to find more gorgeously festive decorations throughout!

Where: 73rd Street (UES)

20. Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru at Six Flags Great Adventure, NJ


Though this last one isn’t in NYC, it’s only a little over an hour away—some subways rides take longer than that! The first-ever “Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru” is taking place Monday through Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. beginning Monday, November 30 and going through December 17. Tickets are only $14.99 per person (they go on sale this Wednesday, Nov. 25), and reservations are required.There will be 12 immersive areas decorated with over a million glimmering lights, plus holiday music, visit from Santa, and more!

Where: 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson Township, NJ

featured image source: Facebook/ Hudson Yards 

See also: NYC’s Only Rooftop Ice Rink This Year Offers A Stunning View Of The Manhattan Skyline

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