Sparkling Splendour: Best Christmas Lights in New York City 2023

‘Tis the season to be jolly and witness the enchanting glow of Christmas lights adorning streets and houses. 

For festive enthusiasts like us, this is the most magical time of the year. In our opinion, New York stands out as one of the premier destinations for Christmas light displays and decorations. Here are some spots on our #RadarList to immerse yourself in the holiday showcases and truly embrace the festive spirit.

– Cover image credit: Hudson Yards –

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

For many, the official start of Christmas in New York is marked by the dazzling illumination of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This year’s 80-foot, 12-ton beauty is from Vestal, New York, adorned with a spectacular array of over 50,000 vibrant lights. Adding an extra layer of opulence, the crowning star, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, boasts 3 million Swarovski Crystals, elevating this Christmas spectacle to a new level of grandeur.

Available until 13 January 2024

Photo credit: Hudson Yards

Shine Bright at Hudson Yards Presented by Wells Fargo

Get lost in the magical light wonderland at Hudson Yards. “Shine Bright at Hudson Yards Presented by Wells Fargo” transforms the area with over 2 million twinkling lights, 725 evergreen trees, and 16-foot illuminated hot air balloons scattered across the Public Square and Gardens.

Photo credit: Hudson Yards

The centrepiece, a spectacular 32-foot hot air balloon adorned with vibrant lights, hangs in the Great Room of The Shops & Restaurants, showering the entire room with warmth and holiday spirits. Bask in the radiant golden glow, and partake in Hudson Yards’ festive offerings, including photos with Santa, ice skating, the Santa’s Secret speakeasy, holiday shopping, and dining.

Available until 7 January 2024

Photo credit: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Lightscape – Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Calling all Christmas enthusiasts and garden lovers. Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a must-visit light display in the city. The event returns even bolder and brighter this year, featuring a longer illuminated trail, captivating light sculptures, and a variety of immersive light activities. Here’s a unique way to experience a garden at nightfall, so follow the light and enjoy your festive journey along the artistic illuminated trail.

Available until 1 January 2024

The Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights

Elevate your typical zoo experience this Christmas by visiting The Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights. Connect with nature in a festive manner through Lantern Trails adorned with almost 400 lanterns representing nearly 100 animals from land and sea, as well as various plant species. 

The Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights also offers other fun-filled activities, including immersive light experiences, a train ride for kids, ice carving demos, performances featuring artists dressed in illuminated animal-themed outfits, wildlife theatre, and indulgence in festive treats like s’mores and hot cocoa.

Available until 7 January 2024

Photo credit: Winter Lantern Festival

Winter Lantern Festival New York 

The ordinary nighttime walk feels more special during the holiday season when nearly every house and public place is adorned with festive decor. Elevate this experience even more by visiting the Winter Lantern Festival New York, a fantasyland of over 1,000 Chinese lanterns handcrafted by skilled artisans, alongside captivating light displays at Queens County Farm Museum.

Photo credit: Winter Lantern Festival

This event not only offers a visual feast but also narrates vivid stories about the culture of Chinese lantern festivals. Get ready to encounter magical folklore, dinosaurs, and adorable animals that will surely evoke expressions of awe and delight.

Available until 7 January 2024