I have been living in New York City for 11 years now and I had never heard of Dyker Heights Brooklyn until recently. Apparently, the neighborhood is famous for its Christmas Light displays, and for good reason! The tradition started back in the 80s and it is rumored that some of the home owners spend $20,000 on the displays.
It is a bit of a trek to get to Dyker Heights. The closest subway stop is the D/M train at 18 avenue, which is about a 40 minute ride from Bryant Park. Then it is about a 20 minute walk to the area that has the biggest light displays (between 83rd and 86th streets between 11th and 13th avenues). The walk is straight-forward so you don’t have to worry about getting lost and you will see a few nice light displays on the way. The subway will let you off at 18th avenue between 84th and 85th Streets. So if you just walk northwest from the subway on either 84th or 85th Street, you will find it. It really was easy! If you are not a walker, you can always use uber.
The first part of the walk was nice and quiet, not many people and there were still some nice light displays, some even had Christmas music playing. Then as I continued my walk, more houses were decorated and I started to run into more people. You do need to be careful crossing the streets as there are also people who drive to see the lights, and they may not be looking out for pedestrians! The most decorated block was closed off to cars, which was good because it was filled with people.
I spent a good hour looking at all the lights, and I probably could have taken more time to appreciate the details and seen more. A lot of the displays are animated (I should have taken some video) and many play music. I saw several nativity scenes and lots of reindeer and Santas. One house even had a “real” Santa for kids to visit and another had Elmo. Some houses were also collecting money for charities.
I know there is so much to see in the city during the holidays in NYC, but you really should also visit Dyker Heights to see for yourself. What other areas do you like to visit to see the holiday decorations?
- Dress appropriately for the weather because you will be outside for awhile.
- You can bring the kids to see Santa.
- The best displays are a bit of a walk from the subway but it is not hard to find. If you don’t want to walk, you can uber if necessary.
- Don’t go too late as some homeowners turn off the lights when they go to bed.
- For more ideas on what to see in New York City during the holiday season, check out this post.