There’s nothing like New York at Christmastime. This city is easily the epicenter of the world’s most spectacular Christmas celebrations!
Last year, my boyfriend and I booked a somewhat last-minute trip to New York in December, because we were honestly just dying to go. We had such a good time, we’re even talking about doing it again!
One of the best things we did on our trip was take a day trip to see the famous Dyker Heights Christmas Lights!
Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, this neighborhood transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland, drawing visitors from around the globe. With vibrant, twinkling lights, life-size Santas, and all sorts of decor, this spectacle is a true visual feast!
After scoping the place out, I’ve come up with the perfect walking route, plus have plenty of tips on how to get there, which houses to see and where to eat before or after!
So, bundle up, grab a cup of hot chocolate. It’s time to explore the magical wonderland of the Dyker Heights Christmas lights!
What Are The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
Dyker Heights is a residential area located in Brooklyn. In the 1980s, the neighborhood Christmas display started getting bigger and brighter. It’s said to have begun when Lucy Spata moved to the neighborhood. She was the first to go all out, wanting to honor her late mother’s festive holiday tradition.
After a few years of pageantry, things really blew up. Today, a number of Dyker Heights residents have their houses professionally decorated, spending as much as $20,000 per year.
Rumors has it things have gotten a bit competitive! This New York City suburb takes Christmas to a whole new level. It’s almost like stepping foot into a real-life holiday movie.
When to Visit Dyker Heights
The best time to visit it is early to mid-December when most of the displays are up, but the pre-Christmas crowd hasn’t quite at peak insanity. When we visited, around December 20th, there were a lot- and I mean a lot– of people roaming about.
As far as timing goes, I would suggest going between 6 pm and 9 pm. You want to go when it’s dark, but not so late that homeowners have gone to bed and turned off their displays.
The Best Dyker Heights Houses
For the best experience, you’ll want to head to the area near 11th to 13th Avenues, also known as Dyker Heights Blvd, between 83rd and 86th Streets.
Here are the houses you won’t want to miss:
The Spata House (1152 84th St)
The house that started it all! This is probably the most well-known house in the area, featureing all sorts of Christmas ornaments, reindeer, a Santa Claus and toy soldiers.
Believe House (1023 83rd St)
My personal favorite, you’ll know this one when you see it thanks to the giant lit-up “Believe” sign, along with tons of other bright decorations.
The Polizotto House (1145 84th St)
The owner of this house has been decorating for more than 20 years straight. You can’t miss the giant 15 ft Santa Claus and the large display of moving animatronic decor!
Sam the Greek (71st St & 14th Ave)
Famous for being lit up with over 300,000 lights. Pretty impressive, huh?
Community Mayor’s Home (8312 12th Avenue)
This is a fun spot for kids! Here, you’ll find tons of blow-up Christmas characters from Rudolph to Cars and other random blow-up holiday decor.
Forest of Lights (1134 83rd Street)
Another dazzling spot, this house covers all of its trees in thousands of lights, creating a literal, well, forest of lights!
PRO TIP: Bring some cash and change when you visit. Some of the families who decorate their houses collect money for local charities. There are also typically vendors selling hot chocolate nearby.
Best Dyker Heights Walking Route
For the best experience, I recommend following the route below. The start is marked with an ‘S,’ and the end with an ‘E.’
How to get to Dyker Heights from NYC
There are a few different ways to get to Dyker Heights, but all of them take at least 30 minutes to an hour if you’re coming from somewhere near the Lower East Side. Expect even longer if you’re past that.
Definitely the most convenient option, a guided tour of Dyker Heights Christmas Lights allows you to enjoy three different incredible NYC sites without having to worry about subways, Ubers or taxis. Hop on and hop off a comfortable heated bus that will take you on a guided tour through Dyker Heights spectacular lights.
Afterwards, enjoy stunning skyline views at the Brooklyn Heights Park before returning to Manhattan to end the night at the Bryan Park Christmas Market.
After enjoying my own holiday getaway in the city, I can promise these are the top Christmas attractions. While I didn’t take a tour myself, honestly, it probably would’ve been easier and more enjoyable!
Uber & Taxi
We decided to go by Uber for the sake of time. While more convenient than public transport, it’s worth noting that these streets get pretty congested. It’s not too bad, but I would definitely make sure to walk a few streets away from the crowds, and as far from the residential streets as possible, when setting your pickup location.
I don’t remember the exact cost, but if I had to guess, it was around $30 each way. Not too surprising for New York City.
There are 3 subway lines (R, N and D) that will take you to Dyker Heights. We chose to skip this option since it would require over 45 minutes each way.
Pay attention to which line you take because each one has a different stop. After exiting, you’ll still have to walk about 10-20 minutes (a little less than 1 mile) to the final destination.
- 86th Street Station (R Train)
- 79 Street Station (D Train)
- New Utrecht Ave (N Train)
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