Every year during the holidays, Dyker Heights transforms into the most lit neighborhood in New York City. Literally. Once Thanksgiving is toast, the residents of the south Brooklyn enclave go all out with festive lights, blow- up Rudolphs, life-size nativity scenes, Christmas music on blast and anything else you can imagine in an extremely extra holiday display.
Seeing the Dyker Heights Christmas lights has arguably become as much of a NYC holiday tradition as going to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting or strolling Manhattan’s over-the-top Fifth Ave window displays.
The only deterrent is that it’s a bit of a trek, if you don’t live in South Brooklyn. But we believe in your ability to get your grown self down there and celebrate the reason for the season. Here’s everything you need to know to do so.
Where exactly is it?
You’ll find the holiday mecca between 11th and 13th Aves and 83rd and 86th Streets in Dyker Heights, located between Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.
How to get there
While you’d think driving would be the best option, traffic and parking tends to be a headache, so it might be best to find a car alternative. Via subway, take a Brooklyn-bound D train to 71st St., and then it’s about a fifteen minute, uphill walk from there. Or, ride the B4 bus to Bay Ridge Parkway and 12th Ave. to get you a little closer. If you ride your bike, it’s a straight shot down 5th Ave. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could ride the NYC Ferry to the Bay Ridge Ferry Terminal and then it’s a 10-min. Lyft,15 min. bike ride, or half-hour bus ride. Be sure to get there well before 9 p.m., when residents tend to turn off their lights.
Take a tour
If you go on your own, you can take in the opulence at your own pace. But if you’re hoping to learn a little bit about the history of the tradition and the neighborhood, you might decide to take a guided tour. There are currently a few slots left on the Slice of Brooklyn bus tour, ($50/adults, $40/kids) which shuttles passengers down from Manhattan every night in December except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. There’s also Free Tours by Foot, which offers pay-what-you-wish (or $2 donation to Toys for Tots) walking tours at 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 15, then daily through Dec. 30. There are a handful of tickets ($35) left for New York Adventure Club’s guided walking tour, on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.
Pro-tip: The spectacle is best enjoyed with a thermos of hot chocolate or a warm boozy treat.
The Dyker Heights Christmas lights are on display now through New Year’s Eve.