When it comes to holiday lights, one NYC neighborhood reigns supreme: Dyker Heights. A favorite holiday ritual for New Yorkers, this Brooklyn neighborhood is on the national radar as one of the most festive neighborhoods in America. Each year, Dyker Heights residents go all out with holiday light displays that draw crowds from throughout the five boroughs and beyond.
Where is Dyker Heights?
Located in southwest Brooklyn, Dyker Heights is a quiet residential neighborhood bordered by Gravesend Bay, Bay Ridge, Borough Park, and Bensonhurst. The area was developed by Walker L. Johnson in the 1800s as an affluent suburb, and some of the stately early constructed homes are still standing today. The area still retains its suburban feel with ornate detached homes, complete with sprawling yards and fountains.
Dyker Heights Christmas lights
Dyker Heights is known for its extravagant Christmas light installations. Each December New Yorkers flock to the nabe to check out the illuminated homes that give the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree a run for its money. Pioneered by Lucy Spata in the 1980s, the annual decorating display has been a tradition for over 40 years.
Now there are more than 100 homes in the area that partake in the tradition. From 15-foot Santas, to toy soldiers and giant snowmen, it’s easy to see why this annual display draws such large crowds.
Where to see the Dyker Heights Christmas lights
The main drag of decorated houses runs from 80th to 86th streets and 10th to 13th avenues. The neighborhood is serviced by the D, R, and N trains, but we recommend taking the R to 86th Street in Brooklyn as it will get you the closest. That said, plan for a 15 minute walk from that station to the decorated homes.
As an alternative to the subway, visitors also have the option of booking a curated tour. The Dyker Heights Christmas lights organization offers both bus and walking tours this year. The bus tour includes pick up and drop off at Bryant Park. Both tours are guided by a native Brooklynite so visitors can view the neighborhood like a local.
So grab a hot chocolate, a cannoli or two, and head to Brooklyn for a holiday celebration you won’t want to miss.