Enjoying time with loved ones during the holidays is excellent, especially after indulging in delicious food. In addition to cherished traditions like gift-giving and festive activities, consider starting a new one this year: visiting a drive-thru Christmas light event in New York and New Jersey. Don’t have a car? No worries, we’ve also included some non-driving holiday lights experiences in NYC. Gather your loved ones a tin of holiday cookies and prepare for a dazzling display of festive cheer. ‘Tis the season!
Westchester’s Winter Wonderland (Valhalla, NY)
Experience 1.2 miles of Westchester’s Winter Wonderland with holiday characters, a North Pole, a dazzling tunnel, and festive displays. Don’t miss the Transporter Tunnel (a 175-foot string light tunnel) and Rudolph’s Runway. Plus, catch a glimpse of Santa from your car and make a wish on the new 30-foot star. Get your tickets in advance. The event runs until December 31, 2023.
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express (Hammonton, NJ)
Fans of the Polar Express movie won’t want to miss DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express in Hammonton, NJ. Enjoy a festive train ride through millions of lights, meet Santa and his elves for photos, and more. Admission covers story time, pictures with Mrs. Claus, a gift from Santa, a holiday movie area, a toy market, and a charming holiday village to explore. Tickets are in high demand, so secure yours online or at the door. The event ends December 23.
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights (Bronx, NY)
“Bundle up and head to the Bronx Zoo for a unique animal-themed light show. Explore six enchanting lantern trails representing diverse habitats. Enjoy a holiday tree show, colorful tunnels, and nearly 400 lanterns depicting 100+ species. Additional attractions like a holiday train, ice carving, and more are available for a separate fee. Don’t forget your hot cocoa.
New York Botanical Garden Glow (Bronx, NY)
NYBG Glow returns for its third year at the New York Botanical Garden, boasting NYC’s largest outdoor holiday light display. Explore 1.5 miles of garden adorned with dazzling LEDs, illuminating plant stories, and charming installations. Opt for an after-dark visit to the Holiday Train Show or swing by the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-Up for treats and outdoor bars. The event runs on select nights from November 17 to January 13, 2024.