New York City during the holidays is simply magical. There is surely no shortage of things to do or see when the holidays are near.
But, for people that live in the city year-round, the constant congestion of tourists can suck the Christmas cheer right out of you. No New Yorker in their right mind goes anywhere near Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, or The Plaza. Fifth Avenue windows? FORGET ABOUT IT!
If you have some holiday cheer left in you and you’re looking for some eye-catching lights to feed your soul, check out these places that are outside of the crazy tourist zones.
Jamaica Estates – Queens
Head over to The Gurino Family’s house at 185 80th Street in Queens. Take in the intricate lights and help yourself to coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies that the family offers for guests. They even have carolers and a Toys for Tots donation box. The lights are on every day from 4 pm to midnight until January 6th.
Little North Pole – Queens
Joe Mure decks the halls of his house for his annual Little North Pole celebration at 144 Neponsit Ave in Queens. The decorative presentation raises awareness and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He even brings in musical guests and dancers!
Krieger’s Christmas Village – Queens
For 18 years, Charlie Krieger has spent weeks setting up his Christmas Village at the corner of 77th Street and 76th Avenue in Glendale. This guy even decorates his neighbors’ homes to extend his village.
Lights for Life – Staten Island
At 107 Sharrotts Rd in Charleston, the lights shine brightly for a special life. Joseph DiMartino created this Christmas display in memory of his wife, Debra Ann, who was a victim of the Sept. 11th terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. Each year, he raises thousands of dollars in donations for the Staten Island University Hospital Pediatrics Unit.
Garabedian Family’s Christmas House – Bronx
This unique Christmas display at 1605 Pelham Pkwy North is famous for the multitude of mannequins that are arranged on the front lawn. The famous Garabedian Family house was even featured briefly in the music video for Mariah Carey’s song All I Want for Christmas is You. How cool is that?!
Rolf’s Restaurant – Midtown
This midtown German restaurant goes all out on decorations for the holidays. Rumor has it, the owner spends up to $60,000 on lights and decorations! This place is perfect for wow-ing family and friends (and social media followers!)
Dyker Heights – Brooklyn
Probably one of the most famous Christmas displays outside of Manhattan, Dyker Heights attracts a crowd of its own. The entire neighborhood contributes to the festivities, as each house sparkles with festive decorations. If Christmas decorating were a sport, this neighborhood would win the gold medal! There are even special tours (which fill up fast during the holidays) so book now!