'Tis the season for a holiday light show... or two or three or four (why not experience them all?). There are plenty of dazzling displays across the region—and you can take the subway, bus, LIRR, or Metro-North to transport yourself into a glittering winter world.
Glow at the New York Botanical Garden
The stunning grounds of the New York Botanical Garden are decked with thousands of LED lights during NYBG GLOW. Held throughout select November, December, and January evenings, visitors can see the garden’s famous buildings awash in colors and glowing orbs in the ponds.
This year, NYBG GLOW admission is combined with the NYBG’s beloved Holiday Train Show, which features model trains weaving through the Enid Haupt conservatory across replicas of city bridges and alongside nearly 200 scaled replicas of familiar sights made of plants and twigs. Those include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall.
NYBG GLOW is open November 17th, 24th, and 25th; December on 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, and 26th to 30th; and, in 2024, January 6th and 13th. Tickets for GLOW and the Holiday Train Show are $54 for adults, $39 for children ages 3-12. There's also an MTA Away deal for Metro-North tickets and NYBG admission.
NYBG's Mosholu Entrance is directly across from Botanical Garden
Lightscape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s wildly popular Lightscape has returned with some new illuminated installations, like the "Feast of Light," a tunnel of hundreds of pink and purple hanging lights and a "Chandelier Walk," plus a soundtracked "Sea of Light" show.
Lightscape runs through January 1st, 2024, check the schedule for available dates. Tickets range in price from $24 (on value nights) to $39 for adults and $12 (on value nights) to $19 for children.
City Terminal Zone
Take the subway or Long Island Rail Road-plus-subway to stops around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
LuminoCity at Eisenhower Park
In its biggest incarnation yet, LuminoCity’s impressive displays span 17 acres at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. This year's theme is "Wonder Journey," with other themed areas like Alice in Wonderful, Winter Fantasy, Christmasville, and Underwater Oasis, a collaboration with the Long Island Aquarium.
LuminoCity runs from November 9, 2023 through January 7, 2024. Tickets are $34-36 for adults, $22-24 for children ages 3-12 (tax and other fees will also apply). You can save 10% on full-priced tickets with MTA Away by using the code MTAAWAY.
8 minute rideshare from Westbury
Winter Lantern Festival at Queens County Farm Museum
The Winter Lantern Festival at the Queens County Farm Museum features more than a thousand oversized handmade Chinese lanterns. The installations depict Chinese myths and legends will glow alongside an animal kingdom and a sea world, as well as illuminated tunnels and rideable illuminated swings.
The Winter Lantern Festival at the Queens County Farm Museum opens on November 17th and runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through January 7th, 2024. Tickets are $25.99 for adults, $17.99 for children (ages 3-12).
15 minute rideshare from Kew Gardens - Union Turnpike
6-minute rideshare from the Floral Park Station
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights
The Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights celebrates its animals with festive lanterns in the shape of giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinos, jaguars, polar bears, walruses, penguins, ibises, and crocodiles along its trails. There are nine new animal species added to the lanterns, as well as a new "Enchanted Sea" with LED swings. Light shows, a Light Tunnel, ice carvings, and more return for visitors.
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights runs from November 17th through January 7th, 2024. Tickets are $41.95 (date-specific) to $56.95 (flexible date) for adults and $26.95 (date-specific) and $41.95 (flexible date) for children (3-12). There's also an MTA Away deal for discounted Metro-North rail, zoo admission, and the Holiday Lights ($44.50 for adults, $32.50 for kids 12 and up, $22 for kids age 5-11, and $20 for kids age 3-4).
10 minute walk from Fordham
13 minute walk from Pelham Parkway
Dyker Heights Houses
If you want to experience a residential holiday light extravaganza, look no further than the homes in Brooklyn's Dyker Heights. The neighborhood is famous for their over-the-top decorations, and owners have even been known to greet visitors and share seasonal cheer.
The holiday lights are all along homes in Dyker Heights on 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street. Most are decorated after Thanksgiving.
6-minute rideshare from the 79th Street station in Brooklyn
Grand Holiday Illumination at Untermeyer Gardens Conservancy
Untermeyer Gardens Conservancy, an oasis in Yonkers, offers a free holiday light experience called The Grand Holiday Illumination. With over 100,000 lights decorating the Wall Garden, the illumination has become a local must-see. There’s also Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Zoroastrian (ancient Persian) recorded music playing.
The Grand Holiday Illumination opens on December 8th and runs through January 1st, 2024. Admission is free.
5 minute rideshare from Greystone