The festive tradition began sometime in the 1980s, when more and more homes in the neighbourhood started to put up their impressive festive decorations. Home owners in the area are formally invited to put up their decorations after Thanksgiving and these typically stay up until the first few days of the new year. Becoming an increasingly popular holiday attraction over the past decades, the area fills up with visitors around mid-December, just in time to get into the festive spirit. Now, visitors can expect to find the finest and craziest Christmas decorations out there, from giant reindeers and Santas, to armies of nutcrackers, and even speakers blasting Christmas carols.
Dyker Heights, or the very embodiment of “go big or go home”, has become a Christmas staple in the Big Apple. The neighbourhood, located on a hill in southwest Brooklyn has become one of the United States’ most famous Christmas areas, with its inhabitants decorating their homes to the extreme when the holiday season comes around. Described as the “undisputed capital of Christmas pageantry” by the New York Times, there’s no excuse not to go see this delightfully over-the-top festive spectacle for yourself.
An enduring holiday tradition
Highlights and what to see
The best (and cheapest) way to see everything Dyker Heights has to offer is to walk around and go at your own pace. It can get rather crowded, so make sure you take your time and enjoy yourself.
The main area you’ll want to visit is Dyker Heights Boulevard, or 11th to 13th Avenues, from 83rd to 86th street. Be aware that many households begin to switch the lights off around 9pm, but this all depends on their lifestyle and habits of course. Look out for the themed homes, some like to pick an idea and run with it, whether it's nutcrackers galore or picking a specific colour, no two houses end up looking the same.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of organising your own excursion into Dyker Heights, there are a myriad of tour companies that organise guided visits of the neighbourhood during the festive season. We recommend tours offered by A Slice of Brooklyn, which last 3 and a half hours and cost $65 per adult and $55per child. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights also offer a wide range of tours, and visitors can even choose from walking or bus tours of the area.
How to get to Dyker Heights?
The area is easily accessible from Manhattan and other parts of the city. Take the D Train to 79th Street and New Utrecht Ave in Brooklyn, from there, it’s about a 15 minute walk to the festive houses. We don’t recommend driving, as it can be a major hassle this time of year. For more information about public transportation, visit the MTA website.
Where to stay in the neighbourhood?
If you simply can’t get away from the festive cheer, then why not stay in the area? We love the brand new Avid Hotel for a comfortable and lean stay.