attractions & tours · outdoor activities ·
Published November 2, 2023
The Best Places to See Holiday Lights in NYC
12 holiday light displays you have to see this year in New York CIty. 🎄✨
by New York Bucket List
In just a few short weeks, NYC will be transformed into a winter wonderland with holiday markets, sparkling evergreen trees, and seasonal pop-up bars. And in the city that never sleeps, you better believe there are some incredible night lights.
From seasonal classics like the Radio City Music Hall and epic Saks Fifth Avenue light display to newer gems like the Luminaries lantern canopy at the Shops at Brookfield Place, we’re breaking down the best places to see the holiday lights in the greatest city in the world!
NYC's Best Light Shows & Holiday Displays
Probably the most well-known spot for holiday sights in all of New York is Rockefeller Plaza. You'll see the famous glittering Rockefeller Tree, which is adorned with 50,000 multi-colored lights, and of course, the iconic star at the top, complete with a whopping 3 million Swarovski crystals. You can also get an up-close look at the dozen 8-foot angels leading the way to the tree.
Where: 1 Rockefeller Plaza Fl 10, New York, NY
Radio City Music Hall
Adjacent to Rockefeller Plaza is the famous NYC concert venue, Radio City Music Hall. Make sure to check out the iconic sign lit up under a tall Christmas tree of lights, and don’t miss the tree-lit streets surrounding the area and the giant ornaments decorating the fountain across the street.
Pro tip: catch the view at sunset for the ultimate holiday card backdrop.
Where: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY
Bryant Park Winter Village
Bryant Park’s Winter Village is one of the top spots for holiday fun in the city. The surrounding trees and bushes are lit up with twinkling lights, the aisles of the market are strung with glowing globes, and the Bryant Park Christmas tree is decked out in holiday lights and ornaments. Grab a hot drink and a holiday treat and take it all in to round out the perfect winter day.
Where: Bryant Park: 42nd Street and 6th Ave
Illuminate the Farm Lantern Festival
Step into a dazzling world of illuminated Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artists. You can wander through the displays inspired by theme parks and Chinese mythology, ride illuminated swings, and walk through entirely illuminated tunnels.
Where: Queens County Farm, 73-73 Little Neck Parkway, Queens
Brooklyn Botanical Garden Lightscape
Despite being the concrete jungle, NYC shows out with all kinds of garden scapes. Take the all-new illuminated trail in Brooklyn’s Botanical Garden, giving you enchanting winter forest vibes in the middle of the city, thanks to over a million dazzling lights.
Where: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Chelsea Market is known for its food hall and marketplace. From tuna poke, spare ribs, and gelato to donuts, fries, and beer—we could eat our whole lives away here. But head in for a bite during the holiday season, and you’ll walk under the rainbow of mylar fringe and ornaments all along the exterior and into a world of dazzling Christmas trees and decorative presents inside. You can even pick up a live evergreen at the charming outdoor Christmas tree market. Fantasy comfort mode: unlocked.
Where: 75 9th Ave, New York
Witness the magic of NYC’s largest outdoor holiday light experience at the New York Botanical Garden’s GLOW. Guests can tour the grounds after 5 pm November 17 through January 13, 2024, on select dates, and bask in artistic flair, music, and pop-up performances around the garden, all under the glow of the Haupt Conservatory.
Where: 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights
Starting November 7 and lasting through January 7, 2024, you can experience some wild holiday displays at the after-hours fest at the Bronx Zoo. During winter evenings, the park glows with immersive light displays, massive animal lanterns, and seasonal treats all across the zoo. You can even catch ice carving demos and warm up with some hot cocoa and churros as you make your way through the displays!
Where: 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Brookfield Place Winter Garden
The Winter Garden Atrium is a stunning, glass-vaulted 120-foot tall pavilion in NYC’s Brookfield Place. Come with friends and family to see the mesmerizing colorful lantern canopy of over 600 twinkling lights, plus special light shows featuring favorite holiday songs!
Where: 230 Vesey Street, New York, NY
Saks Fifth Avenue
The Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store is an epic ten stories high and helped make Fifth Ave the shopping destination it is today. During the holidays, the iconic store puts on an impressive holiday display, drawing locals and tourists each year since its 2014 inception. Typically lasting 3-5 minutes, see the expertly designed hundreds of thousands of LED lights synced to holiday tunes every 10 minutes from 5 pm to 11 pm.
Where: Saks on Fifth Avenue between 49th & 50th Streets, New York, NY
The Shops at Hudson Yards
If the weather outside is frightful, head indoors for some dazzling light displays! Over two million twinkling lights are returning to deck the halls of Manhattan’s upscale Hudson Yards shopping complex. Last year’s display featured over 100 miles of string lights, 700+ evergreen trees, and a stunning 32-ft tall hot air balloon centerpiece. Visit this year's show-stopping display and knock out your holiday shopping all in one swing.
Where: 20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY
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