Christmas in New York is magical: snow in Central Park, ice skating, lights, christmas markets.. But there’s a special place you can’t stop visiting if you travelling for the season and it’s Dyker Heights. In this post you’ll find info about the spectacular Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour. No matter your religion, this place will fascinate you. I mean, even the Grinch would love it.
Dyker Heights is a neighborhood located in southwest Brooklyn where every Christmas the neighbors decorate their houses with lights, ornaments, and even artificial snow! This crazy tradition was initiated by Lucy Spata, a neighbor who decided to fill her home with Christmas lights in 1986 . From that year, more neighbors started decorating their houses each year and competing to see who has the most extravagant, huge and original Christmas decor.
They not only decorate the houses with lights but some owners even have motorized displays, Christmas cribs with Mariah Carey songs and all sorts of extravagant ornaments. Believe me the place is crazy! It is definitely one of the top 3 things to do in Christmas in New York.
When to visit Dyker Heights?
There is no exact date but most of the homeowners hang their Christmas lights and decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving.
The best time to see the lights at Dyker Heights is mid-December through New Year. Most lights remain on until the first days of January.
The closer to Christmas, the more people will be visiting the neighborhood. I had the great idea to go just on Christmas night and the neighborhood was crowded but I still enjoyed it.
This is the Facebook page of the neighborhood, where you can check and ask if they already hang their decorations.
How to get to the Dyker Heights?
There are two ways to get to Dyker Heights: on your own or on an organized tour.
How to get to Dyker Heights on your own
The simplest way to get from Manhattan is to take the D train to 18th Av in Brooklyn or the R train to 86 St. in Brooklyn. It’s a 20′ minute walk from the subway stations to the most popular houses on 84th St.
This is the cheapest option but also the slowest. it takes about an hour travel time by subway from Manhattan.
Another option to go on your own is getting there by taxi. Travel time is about 40 minutes from Midtown. The only problem is that aren’t yellow taxis in Dyker Heights so you’ll need to request a taxi from your phone to go back to Manhattan.
It’s not recommended to get there with your own car due to traffic and parking.
Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour
The best option so you don’t worry about transport is taking the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights tour.
The tour departs from Row NYC Hotel, located in 45th Street and 8th Avenue. This guided tour last approximately 3.5 hours and allows you to explore the houses of Dyker Heights on foot and by bus. The tour is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars in GetYourGuide. It always sells out early so don’t forget to purchase your tickets. You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
- You may also be interested in: New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites bus Tour
Some tips for visiting Dyker Heights:
- Dress warmly: Winter in New York can be very cold so it is extremely important that you bring the right clothes. Download the FREE New York winter packing list here.
- Don’t go too late: about 4:30 pm , most owners turn on the lights. After 9 pm many neighbors turn off their lights so I recommend going early.
- If you go on your own: make sure you mark on Google maps the most popular houses so you don’t miss them.
- Food: Dyker Heights is a residential neighborhood, so there aren’t big shops or restaurants in the area. Some neighbors sell hot chocolate or snacks, mostly on weekends. As a recommendation and especially if you’re visiting with children: bring warm drinks and a snack. There are some restaurants located on 3rd, 4th or 5th street.
- Be prepared for traffic: as you can imagine, it will be crowded, especially in the most famous Christmas houses. You’ll find fewer crowds after Christmas Day.
Best houses in Dyker Heights:
- The Lucy Spata house located at 1152 84th St.
- The Polizotto House located at 1145 84th St.
- The Giant Nutcrackers House
The most popular houses at Dyker Heights are located from the 83th St to the 86th St between 11th and 13th Avenues.
Anyway there are stunning houses all over the neighborhood and I’m sure you will love Dyker Heights as much as I did.
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