Manhattan is not the only part of New York City that gets lit up during the holidays. Brooklyn does too, and the best place to see them is in Dyker Heights!
Residents in Dyker Heights really go all out with decorations: inflatable characters, Santas, robotic figurines and lots and lots of lights. Many of these folks in this neighborhood hire professional decorators to give their homes a holiday look. As though no expense is overlooked, these houses seem as though they’re involved in some “friendly” curb appeal competition. And a financial boost to Con Edison. You can view a video of one of these homes here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfopas1epT4
The over-the-top outdoor decor is so much that visitors trek to here each year to view their homes. For viewing, the best spot to see “Dyker Lights” is to head to the high 80s (83rd through 86th mostly) about between 11th through 13th Avenues. As for getting here, it’s better to go by car or on a bus tour.
If you’re tempted to take the subway, please note you’ll have a good bit of walking ahead of you. And that’s just to get to the houses. If you must, the subway directions I found involving taking either the R train to 86th St. stop (the last one) or the D or M train to 18th Avenue. Also please note that this neighborhood section is not really that lit — in terms of street lamps.
I decided to go on a bus tour through A Slice of Brooklyn Tours, which picked my group up near Union Square. It’s called Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour. While being on the bus for most of the trip, there are stops to walk nearby and get closer views.
Our trip to Brooklyn also extended to seeing similar holiday homes in the residential areas of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. I took both a photo and video of a “very blue” home in Bensonhurst (shown below). Here’s a clip of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfopas1epT4
Well, there is one in Bensonhurst, owned by a Greek man, that completely goes over the top! This is it below. You can view a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JrnyC3pKIQ
Our bus tour guide also gave us a lot of background info on these neighborhoods and the history behind Dyker Heights’ holiday showcase. If you’re not too familiar with Brooklyn, I would recommend taking this tour instead. Plus, bring a good camera!