I have been living in New York City for 11 years now and I had never heard of Dyker Heights Brooklyn until recently. Apparently, the neighborhood is famous for its Christmas Light displays, and for good reason!
The tradition started back in the 80s and it is rumored that some of the homeowners spend $20,000 on the displays. Now there are even organized Dyker Heights tours to take you to see the over the top Christmas decorations.
Whether you take Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour or go visit the area on your own doesn’t matter you shouldn’t miss these amazing holiday displays. Let me tell you more about what you can expect to see.
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About Dyker Heights
Dyker Heights is a well-to-do residential neighborhood in the southwest corner of Brooklyn on a hill between Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, and Gravesend Bay. The unofficial boundaries of the neighborhood are 7th and 14th Avenues, 65th Street, and the Belt Parkway.
Dyker Heights is full of single-family or semi-detached homes, and there are very few apartment buildings. Most of the homes have driveways and private yards which is unusual in New York City.
Some of the most famous residents of Dyker Heights have been Scott Baio, Maria Bartiromo, and Rosanna Scotto.
Dyker Heights Christmas Light Tour
If you are not comfortable venturing out to Dyker Heights on your own, the Christmas lights there have become so popular you can now take a guided tour! The tours pick you up in Manhattan and take you to Dyker Heights to see all the Christmas decorations.
Viator has a few different Brooklyn Christmas Light Tours to choose from – click here to check availability and prices.
Seeing the Christmas Decorations in Dyker Heights Brooklyn
The first part of the walk around Dyker Heights was nice and quiet, not many people and there were still some nice light displays, some even had Christmas music playing. Then as I continued my walk, more Dyker Heights homes were decorated and I started to run into more people.
You do need to be careful crossing the streets as there are also people who drive to see the lights, and they may not be looking out for pedestrians! The most decorated block was closed off to cars, which was good because it was filled with people.
I spent a good hour looking at all the crazy Christmas lights, and I probably could have taken more time to appreciate the details and seen more. A lot of the displays are animated (I should have taken some video) and many play music.
I saw several nativity scenes and lots of reindeer and Santas. One house even had a “real” Santa for kids to visit and another had Elmo. Some houses were also collecting money for charities. I could definitely feel the Christmas spirit.
How to Get to the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
It is a bit of a trek to get to Dyker Heights. The closest subway stop is the D/M train at 18 avenue, which is about a 40-minute ride from Bryant Park. Then it is about a 20-minute walk to the area that has the biggest light displays (between 83rd and 86th streets between 11th and 13th avenues).
The walk is straight-forward so you don’t have to worry about getting lost and you will see a few nice light displays on the way. The subway will let you off at 18th Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets. So if you just walk northwest from the subway on either 84th or 85th Street, you will find it. It really was easy! If you are not a walker, you can always use uber.
Is a Visit to Dyker Heights Worth it During Christmas Season?
Dyker Heights is a bit out of the way for tourists staying in Manhattan, but if you want to experience Christmas in Brooklyn, it’s the place to be. Once you get there you will be walking around in the cold. You may be wondering if it is worth the hassle?
I was happy I went! The Dyker Heights holiday lights was the best residential Christmas display I have ever seen. I was impressed with how many houses participated and the size of the displays. The Christmas music was an added bonus.
I know there is so much to see in the city during the holidays in NYC, but you really should also see the Dyker Heights houses all decorated. (If you are visiting NYC during the Christmas season be sure to grab my NYC Christmas Map for free here.)
Have you been to Dyker Heights Brooklyn or taken an NYC Christmas lights tour? What other areas do you like to visit to see the holiday decorations?
Expert Tips for Visiting the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
- Dress appropriately for the weather because you will be outside for a while. Check out my winter essentials recommendations for more tips.
- You can bring the kids to see Santa.
- The best Dyker lights displays are a bit of a walk from the subway but it is not hard to find. If you don’t want to walk, you can uber if necessary.
- Don’t go too late as some homeowners turn off the lights when they go to bed.
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