'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 wonderland.
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 as well as a brand new display in the Native Plant Garden—60 glowing orbs in the water.
You can also upgrade your NYBG GLOW to combine 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 23, 25–26; December on 2–3, 9–11, 15–17, 22–23, 26–30; and, in 2023, January 1, 7, 14. Tickets for GLOW for $39 for adults, $24 for children (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 for a second year, with some new elements in addition to the dazzling Winter Cathedral. The changing seasons are reflected over the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and you'll find “filamented discs” in tree branches that “pulse with light and color,” according to the BBG. Illuminated avian-inspired birds and paper cranes are on display as a tribute to the garden’s For the Birds exhibition.
You’ll also see neon cords connecting cherry blossom trees, forming a colorful canopy. Besides the Winter Cathedral, the crowd-pleasing Fire Garden is also back this year.
Lightscape runs through January 8, 2023 ( it is closed November 21–22, 24, 28–29; December 5–7, 12, and 25; and January 3). Tickets are $36 for adults, $18 for children (3-12).
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. Themed areas include a Wildlife Safari, Dinosaur Adventures, Magic Kingdom, Alice’s Enchantment, Winter Wonderland, and Holidayland. There’s also mini golf and a dinosaur ride.
LuminoCity runs through January 9, 2023. Tickets are $33 for adults, $20 for children (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
Amaze at Citi Field
Millions of lights welcome visitors to the Amaze Light Festival—but there are also attractions. You'll find a stage show with Amaze’s characters Zing and Sparky, as well as Zing’s Thrill Hill, where you can slide down an icy hill, and an Arctic Express Ride.
Amaze is open November 19, 20, 23, 25-27, 30; December: 1-4, 7-11, 14-24, 26-31; and January 1-8, 2023. Tickets start at about $50 for adults, $41 for children (3-12), with additional upgrades for attractions and family packages available.
A 7-minute walk from the station
10 minute walk from Mets-Willets Point
Winter Lantern Festival at SIUH Community Park
“Journey to the East” is the theme of the Winter Lantern Festival at SIUH Community Park, right by the St. George ferry terminal on Staten Island. More than one thousand oversized handmade Chinese lanterns depicting Chinese myths and legends will glow alongside an animal kingdom and a sea world (there’s an Octonauts display!), as well as illuminated tunnels and rideable illuminated swings.
Winter Lantern Festival at SIUH Community Park runs on Fridays and Saturdays through January 8, 2023. Tickets are $28.99 for adults, $17.99 for children (3-12).
Take the subway to the Staten Island Ferry at Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan.
The ferry is a 2 to 5 minute walk from subway
Illuminate the Farm at the Queens County Farm Museum
The team behind the Winter Lantern Festival has multiple locations in New York, and the Queens County Farm Museum is one of them. Handmade lanterns and other lights are stretched across the museum's historic farmland. Illuminated tunnels and rideable swings are also featured.
Illuminate the Farm runs on Fridays and Saturday, through January 8, 2023. Tickets are $28.99 for adults, $19.99 for children (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 also ice carving demonstrations, light shows, and stilt walkers.
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights runs through January 8, 2023. Tickets are $39.95 for adults, $24.95 for children (3-12), and $34.95 for seniors. There's also an MTA Away package for discounted Metro-North rail, zoo admission, and the Holiday Lights.
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. 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.
6-minute rideshare from the 79th Street station in Brooklyn
Shimmering Solstice at Old Westbury Gardens
Shimmering Solstice at Old Westbury Gardens offers an immersive holiday light experience with a soundtrack and expanded visuals. The displays are in the Walled Garden, Rose Garden, South Garden, and Allee, with a finale on the facade of the Westbury House.
Other attractions are an interactive area and a new illuminated water feature.
Shimmering Solstice runs through January 1, 2023. Tickets for $34.95 for adults, $19.95 for children (3-12), $26.95 for seniors on Sundays.
8 minute rideshare from Westbury
Suffolk Winter Lantern Festival
Suffolk County has its first light festival with the Winter Lantern Festival at the Smithtown Historical Society. Handmade lanterns in the form of flowers, farm animals, and others glow on the grounds.
Suffolk Winter Lantern Festival runs through January 8, 2023. Tickets are $26 for adults, $16 for children (3-12).
About a five-minute rideshare from the Smithtown train station.
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 9 and runs through January 1, 2023. Admission is free.
5 minute rideshare from Greystone