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Holiday lights shows sparkle throughout the East Coast

by Gabby

Holiday lights shows have emerged to make this season sparkle especially brightly. Here are some curated suggestions of shows to seek out on the East Coast to stir up feelings of pure holiday joy. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for potentially frigid weather to reap the utmost pleasure in these predominantly outdoor experiences. 


Julie Larsen Maher © Bronx Zoo

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

About 100 homeowners take holiday decorating to the limits with over-the-top bright lights, nativity displays, nutcrackers and inflatables for the annual Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn. 

According to legend, Lucy Spata, also known as the Queen of Christmas, started the phenomenon in the 1980s. Each year, the decorations have become bigger and brighter. Some residents decorate their own homes, while others hire specialty companies. Everyone tries to outdo last year’s decorations.

The lights go on after sunset, typically about 4:30 p.m., and dim around 9 p.m.

Residents of Dyker Heights created DHCL, a company that offers guided bus and walking tours of their neighborhood’s iconic annual winter holiday display. The tour includes pick up and drop off in Midtown Manhattan. Tourists also may get to Dyker Heights by Uber or public transport.

For more information: dykerheightschristmaslights.com

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights

Every evening through Jan. 8, the annual Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights celebration brings the zoo to life with holiday cheer that celebrates wildlife in the form of an animal lantern trail, immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns and animated light shows. 

More than 360 lanterns representing nearly 90 animal and plant species connect visitors to the real wildlife and wild places that zoo staff work to protect through field programs around the world and in New York zoos and aquariums. This year, 70 new lanterns representing 30 new animal species make their debut. 

A new holiday tree show, located at the zoo’s A