Just about everyone's heard of the Dyker Heights Christmas decorations. Like the Alps in winter, and Paris in the spring, Dyker Heights at Christmas has earned its stripes as a premier Brooklyn seasonal tourist attraction. It's as Brooklyn as Coney Island's Mermaid Parade and the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Visiting Dyker Heights at Christmas is a thing, a cultural phenomenon that's part of the lifeblood of Brooklyn's remarkable slew of traditions. Not only are the area's displays beautiful, the experience is fun, memorable, and really worth a visit, especially if you get excited about Christmas festivities, love folk art, and have little kids in tow.
What's the Fuss About Dyker Heights at Christmas?
Well, the fuss is simple -- local residents in this predominantly and historically Italian neighborhood outdo one another with over-the-top Christmas light decorations. It is estimated more than 100,000 tourists come to see this neighborhood outpouring of creativity and fun, as light displays spill over their homes, roofs, and gardens. Kids will be awed by the sheer amount of holiday decorations that typically include brightly lit rooftop Rudolphs, Santas on the lawn, and entire homes ablaze with lights.
It's not a wealthy or ostentatious neighborhood, but Dyker Heights, adjacent to Bensonhurst and for decades a bastion of Italian Americans, takes Christmas seriously. Residents of the neighborhood also love sharing in the celebration, inviting everyone to come and join in the fun.
Where to Go In Dyker Heights
Check out the dazzling holiday lights displays from 11th to 13th Avenues, and from 83rd to 86th Street. Note that 13th Avenue in this neighborhood is also called Dyker Heights Blvd.
When to See the Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights
The neighborhood's light displays typically go up after Thanksgiving. For the best experience, go around dinner time, when locals are settled in after work. Lights are usually turned on from around 5 p.m. until 11 p.m., depending on the home.
When traveling to the area, keep in mind the lights do go off around bedtime, otherwise the entire neighborhood would be sleep deprived.
How To Get to the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Display Subway
Depending on where you are traveling from, you can drive, take a tour bus, or walk to Dyker Heights. If you drive or take a bus, be patient; as the media has touted this grassroots attraction, there have actually been traffic jams along the streets of Dyker Heights during the Christmas season. So, consider these public transportation options:
- Take the D train toward Coney Island and get off at 79th Street in Brooklyn
- Exit near intersection of 79th Street and New Utrecht Avenue
- Start out going northwest on 79th Street towards 16th Avenue
- Turn left onto Dyker Heights Blvd., also known as 13th Avenue, and take in the sights!
About Brooklyn's Christmas Lights Bus Tours
Depending on the weather, you might consider taking a bus tour of the holiday lights. Sign up for the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour through A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours.