Best Holiday Lights and Displays in NJ + NY + PA

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If you decorated for the holiday season before December 1st, then you’re in good company. Holiday lights across the tri-state area went up over the course of November and local residents are here for it. After such a challenging year, a good number of people are ready for an extra-long and fantastic holiday season. Attending a light display can illuminate even the heart of a holiday grinch to get into the spirit of the season. And so, we’ve compiled just that for you to enjoy this year. Read on for a roundup of the best places to see holiday lights in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

best holiday lights displays new jersey new york pennsylvania

{Photo credit: @living_hotels}

New Jersey

Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show {94 Championship Place, Agusta}

Now – January 3

This drive-thru lights show is 1-mile-long and features more than 2 million lights accompanied by music. Guests can ride a Ferris wheel, enjoy holiday food, take pictures with Santa, skate on an ice rink and check out the smaller walk-thru lights display after viewing the main attraction. Before you go, make sure to see the Champ, the village’s life-size polar bear statue, and snap a picture. Admission is $20 per car.

Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo {560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange}

Now – December 31

Brightly-lit characters including soldiers, stars, bears, elephants, and tigers light the way at the holiday lights show at Turtle Back Zoo. Children can write a letter to Santa and mail it directly to the North Pole from the zoo. In addition to the holiday features, the zoo also has an open-air train, a beautiful carousel, an interesting reptile house, an aquarium to explore, and pony rides for kids of all ages.

Orchard of Lights at Demarest {244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale}

Now – December 29

Demarest Farms welcomes families to their 32-acre Orchard of Lights celebration. Visitors can take a guided tour from their own cars through the orchard, decked out with bright, colorful lights and pictures of a winter wonderland. After making your way through the drive-thru lights display, you can enjoy time around the fire pit roasting s’mores, sipping hot chocolate, and having your picture taken with Santa. You can also get some holiday shopping done at the country farm store on site. Reservations {$35 per car} are required in advance.

Historic Smithville’s Floating Trees {615 E Moss Mill Road, Smithville}

Now – January 5

This quintessential New England town has 120 illuminated trees that float in the beautiful Lake Meone. The lights are coordinated to the music being broadcast aloud for viewers, creating a magical experience. An easy-access lights show this display can be seen from both sides of the village and the bridge over the water. In addition to the floating display, children can chat with the talking tree that lives in Smithville and take a picturesque train ride.

Night of Lights at Creamy Acres Farm {448 Lincoln Mill Road, Mullica Hill}

Now – December 26 

Enjoy the expansive lights show snuggled up on an old fashioned hayride at Creamy Acre Farms. The Barnyard Walk is filled with lights galore and viewers can listen to Christmas songs as they stroll along. Creamy Acres Farm has expanded the midway area to include concessions, multiple fire pits, a “Who” Village, and more than 5 acres of musical dancing lights for all to enjoy. The Country Store will remain open during the holiday offering goodies and gifts.

Palmer Square Holiday Lights {40 Nassau Street, Princeton}

Now – December 29

The Norweigan Spruce stands 65 feet tall in the middle of Palmer Square in Princeton and is decorated with 32,000 lights. The new synthetic ice skating rink is an exciting addition this year and perfect for little ones who might be newer to skating. Guests can also sing carols and check out the gingerbread display for added excitement to the holiday season.

Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy {6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township}

Now – December 30

The lights at Storybook Land are lit each night by none other than Santa himself. He turns on more than 1 million Christmas lights from the chimney of his house. Children can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus until the couple returns to the North Pole on December 23rd. Face masks are required at all times and visits with Santa will follow social distancing protocol.

Read More: Your 25-Day Hoboken + Jersey City Holiday Cheer Bucket List 2020

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express {1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton}

Now – December 29

Take a train ride through millions of Christmas lights at DiDonato’s Fun Center. Admission includes a meet-and-greet with Santa and his workshop elves, stories, and a photo with Mrs. Claus, a movie tent where you can have your picture taken with Frosty the Snowman, a walk-through holiday village, and more. This event is completely outdoors and requires a mask.

Christmas Candlelight House Tours {Virtual Tour in Historic Cape May}

Now – January 1

The 47th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour in Cape May will be virtual this year, so guests can enjoy exploring these decked-out homes from the comfort of their own couch. A recorded video will feature 12 Cape May properties, all decorated for the holiday season, with interviews with the owners and more. Check the website for updates on how to pre-order the video.

Winter Wonderlights Spectacular {655 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick}

Now – January 3

This popular Old Bridge residential display by the Apruzzi family moved to the Middlesex County Fairgrounds last year and is back in 2020 as a drive-thru event for optimum social distancing and an even cozier experience. The Winter Wonderlights Spectacular will feature tons of lights dancing to music along the half-mile drive.

New York

Shine Bright at Hudson Yards {20 Huson Yards}

Now – January 1

shine bright hudson yards

{Photo credit: @hudsonyards}

The beautifully decorated plaza at Hudson Yards has let innovation take charge while maintaining current health and safety requirements. After downloading the free Membit app, guests will be transported through augmented reality to the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop where they will be able to walk through snowy scenes and candy can lanes, pose for pictures alongside animated polar bears, elves, penguins, Rudolph, and more. For guests who are physically visiting Hudson Yards there is an open-air phone booth on Level 3 where guests can enjoy a special video chat with Santa Claus himself. Check out a demo of the experience here

Rolf’s German Restaurant (281 3rd Avenue}

Now – May {No, that is not a typo}

Every December the dining room at Rolf’s transforms into a must-see Christmas attraction. It goes beyond “decorated” and qualifies for “over the top” —in the best way. Twinkle lights, ornaments, dolls, and garland are stuffed into every nook and cranny so if you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy holiday spot, this is it.

The Museum of Ice Cream {558 Broadway, New York}

Now – January 10

The ever-popular Museum of Ice Cream has added a Christmas twist with their PINKMAS exhibit. Visitors can walk through a pink winterscape with holiday-themed spaces and installations. The regular ice cream themed areas are open but “swimming” in the sprinkle pool is not currently allowed. Social distancing measures are in place, face masks are required, and each guest will have their temperature taken upon arrival. The museum is operating at 25% capacity so tickets are required.

Holiday Under the Stars at The Shops at Columbus Circle {10 Columbus Circle}

Now – December 24

Overlooking iconic Central Park, this illuminated color mixing exhibit is one-of-a-kind. Featuring twelve 14-foot stars hanging from the ceiling in the main lobby of The Shops at Columbus Circle, this installation is a fan favorite each year. The stars continuously morph through a wide range of color combinations and every half hour the stars coordinate their colors with holiday music played through the shopping center.

LuminoCity Festival {20 Randalls Island Park}

Now – January 10

An immersive wonderland of lights, LuminoCity Festival features all-new light art installations spanning several acres. The festival consists of three parks, each one shining bright with sculptures inspired by nature, history, and magic. Guests can escape 2020 and kick off the holiday season at the LuminoCity Festival. Tickets are required in advance.

Holidays at The Bronx Zoo {2300 Southern Boulevard}

Now – January 10

The holiday season at The Bronx Zoo is full of five brightly-lit animal safaris, beautiful ice-carving demonstrations, and delicious holiday treats. Guests can have their picture taken with costumed characters or stilt walkers, catch a show at the wildlife theater, see the decorated Holiday Tree, and more. Safaris feature animals from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, and the ocean. Social distancing measures are in place for all activities and tickets are required.

Luminaries at Brookfield Place {230 Vesey Street}

Now – January 1

Light Up Luminaries signals the start of the holiday season with an evening full of fun and holiday cheer as Brookfield Place celebrates the spectacular light installation and holiday tradition. Visitors can ice skate on the waterfront, enjoy sweet treats inside the shopping center, and see performances by Joe mcGintey + the Loser’s Lounge and more. The light installation was created by the LAB at Rockwell Group, inspired by the season’s traditions of sharing, giving, and community.

NYBG Glow

Now – January 9

This holiday season, let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden in an all-new outdoor experience and inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Social distancing is easy at the Botanical Garden with plenty of space to explore the glowing decorations with the glittering conservatory as the centerpiece. Artistic ice sculpting, holiday music, and pop-up performances by The Hip Hop Nutcracker will entertain and amaze the audience.

Peace, Love & Lights at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts {200 Hurd Street, Bethel}

Now – January 3

One of the area’s best and brightest socially-distant activities is the Peace, Love & Lights event. Held at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, guests can drive through one mile of illuminated light displays. The exhibit includes a variety of lights including a 120-foot Twinkle Tunnel and themed areas like the enhanced forest of Goovy Way, highlighting the Sullivan Catskills, Snowflake Alley, Santa’s Workshop, and more. At check out, you can add Santa hats, light-up necklaces, or a snack box to your order.

See More: Where to Buy a Real Christmas Tree in New Jersey + New York

Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show {611 5th Avenue}

Now – January 1

The time-honored tradition of decking the store windows along Fifth Avenue is alive and well in 2020 and The Saks Fifth Avenue lights are already in place. If you don’t feel comfortable making the trek to Fifth Avenue, you can watch the light show via livestream from the comfort of your own home. For those attending in person, don’t miss the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and ice skating right across the street for more holiday fun. 

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights {Dyker Heights Boulevard, 83rd Street to 86th Street}

Now – January 1

Some 300,000 people usually flock to the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn to see the extravagant Christmas displays. Despite some tour companies canceling their bus routes to see the lights, it’s still expected that thousands of people may still drop by the neighborhood over the course of the holiday season. The houses on Dyker Heights Boulevard between 11th and 13th Avenues and 83rd Street to 86th Streets area beautiful on their own but covered in lights, nutcrackers, and more — this is a classic New York holiday experience you won’t want to miss.

Pennsylvania

Koziar’s Christmas Village {782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville}

Now – January 2

Koziar’s Christmas Village

{Photo credit: @koziarschristmasvillage}

Koziar’s Christmas Village is decorated with more than 1 million lights, covering trees, buildings, and barns. A reflective lake adds to the natural beauty of the lights. Guests can enjoy the experience of walking along a footpath and wrap up the night with a visit to see Santa.

Christmas in Hershey {100 Hersheypark Drive, Hershey}

Now – January 3

Herseypark Christmas Candylane sparkles with over 4 million Christmas lights. Guests can add to the excitement of the season with rides, entertainment, and chocolate. Rides include Sidewinder, Wild Mouse, Cocoa Cruiser, and more. Santa and his reindeer would love a visit and on select days in December, you can watch Christmas shows at the Hershey Theatre.

Lehigh Valley Zoo’s Winter Spectacular {5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville}

Now – January 2

For children interested in meeting winter wonderland characters, this is the go-to place. At the Winter Light Spectacular, guests can meet Santa, The Grinch, Princess Belle, Olaf, Elsa, Radley the Sea Turtle, Woody, and Buzz. In previous years, nearly 70,000 people visit Lehigh Valley for the lights but this year will understandably be different. That doesn’t stop the 1.2 million lights from being any less magical though.

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens {Kennet Square}

Now – January 10

About an hour outside of Philadelphia sits the magical winter wonderland of Longwood Gardens. This dazzling display features candy canes, pine cones, and snowflakes. You can stroll along the path and enjoy the orbs, shimmering trees, and glowing light tunnels. You won’t want to miss the display at the Main Fountain Garden and the large lake where the music is synchronized with the lights show.

Christmas Magic “A Festival of Lights” {Rocky Ridge County Park}

Now- December 31

The entire family will enjoy the lights at Rocky Ridge County Park. The half-mile trail has about 600,000 lights with candy canes, gingerbread men, and lanterns added throughout for a little holiday whimsy. The larger-than-life Christmas tree on-site sparkles in the night sky and may remind one of the giant tree featured in The Nutcracker.

Shady Brook Farm’s Holiday Light Show {931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley}

Now – January 10

For over 30 years, the team at Shady Brook Farm has hosted a holiday lights show. With over 3 million lights, the experience at this farm is a show indeed. A great option for kids of all ages, guests can save themselves from tired feet by driving the 2 mile-long trails which take about 20 minutes from start to finish. Guests can have hot chocolate by the bonfire to warm up on a cold night and find the perfect Christmas treat to take home.

Macy’s Christmas Lights Show + Wanamaker Organ {Delaware Valley}

Now – December 31

The entire experience created by Macy’s will be available virtually. The beautiful Market Street Windows, created by the Parade Studio, are a special attraction unveiled the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The Dickens Christmas Village is set up on the 3rd floor where Santa will be hearing Christmas wishes until December 24 and little guests can design their very own personalized teddy bear, or choose a present out of the Christmas Gift Shop. The Wanamaker Organ is featured at the end of the daily light show and is also played at 5:30PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the organ concert is held at 7PM.

Holidays in the Village at Peddler’s Village {2400 Street Road, New Hope}

Now – January 10

The most festive season of the year arrives with Peddler’s Village’s “Holidays in the Village,” a month-long celebration featuring 1 million twinkling lights, holiday shopping, a gingerbread house decorating competition, social distance visits from Santa, and much more. Stay up-to-date with the latest safety measures in place at Peddler’s Village.

Winter at Franklin Square {200 North 6th Street}

Now – December 31

The Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show makes historic Franklin Square twinkle, with free shows featuring more than 100,000 lights dazzling viewers every night. Two other attractions available in the Square are mini-golf on the Chilly Philly Mini Golf course and a Kwanzaa celebration December 26 – 31 by The African American Museum. Franklin Square will have sanitizing stations and expanded seating options to help guests stay and feel comfortable during this holiday season.

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Written by:

Originally from North Carolina, Ainsley became a proud Hoboken Girl years ago. As a freelance journalist she has written about everything under the sun for the past six years. She works from her home office in uptown Hoboken or sometimes from Choc-o-Pain, because nothing says “freelancer” like working from a café with a fresh croissant nearby. As the mother of one very fast toddler, she has a passion for self-care, parenting hacks, and discovering all the fun things the Mile Square has to offer.