Outdoors

The Most Spectacular Holiday Light Displays in NYC

Every year it seems holiday light installations in New York City get more elaborate, making a visit to the top displays a must-do seasonal activity. These days there are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods decked out for the season.

We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in NYC. Some of these attractions are in the more far-flung stretches of the city such as Pelham Gardens in the Bronx, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and Jamaica Estates in Queens, and there's even one spot on Staten Island. All are definitely worth the trip. We can vouch for it!

So start your own holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights when dusk hits. Find more seasonal fun, including more holiday lights, such as Midtown's holiday store windows, in our NYC Holiday Fun Guide.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms Near NYC

Is there anything that smells better than a fresh Christmas tree? Spark a new family holiday tradition this year and head to one of these cut-your-own tree farms within an hour's drive of Midtown Manhattan, so kids (and parents!) can fulfill that lumberjack fantasy and still have time to deck the halls.

You can find a 12-foot tree for just $55 at one of the nearby New Jersey Christmas tree farms, gulp down a free cup of hot cider at another in Westchester, or do a little birding at a Connecticut tree farm situated in an Audubon nature sanctuary. Nearby Long Island is packed with pretty family tree farms, too. Read on for our top 10 picks for New York families.

Looking for more holiday day trips? We have a few to recommend for local families.

Christmas Tree Farms to Cut Your Own Near Boston

Whether it’s a family holiday tradition or a new experience, cutting your own Christmas tree adds a dimension to the holiday season that’s hard to match. There’s nothing quite like the real deal—a pine-smelling, sap-sticky, Christmas tree—and the opportunity for creating a lasting family memory in the process is an added bonus. We have rounded up a sampling of cut-your-own locations to get started; keep reading to the end for helpful tips to manage the selection process and keep your evergreen fresh through the season!

Best and Brightest Christmas Light Displays in New Jersey

It may be hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner, which means holiday shows, visiting Santa, snowy sleigh rides, and, of course, checking out the amazing light displays throughout the state. New Jersey really shines during the holidays, with many different ways to see some holiday sparkle—from walk-through spectacles at amusement parkszoos, and aquariums to massive drive-through displays; plus private homes and entire towns that go all-out!

These sparkling spectacles—some of which feature more than a million lights—are sure to impress even the grinchiest member of your family. So bundle up the kids and head out to one of these illuminating shows soon! And of course, you can find even more ways to be merry in the Mommy Poppins Holiday Fun Guide.

Best Christmas Lights and Awesomely Decorated Homes around Los Angeles

Whether your holiday of choice is Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, or Kwanzaa there is a timeless joy to be found in taking a spin around the holiday light displays. And while the glammy glitz of Rodeo Drive is fun, there is a particular magic to those over-the-top holiday light displays created by someone's (if thankfully not your) next-door neighbor. Even better is a whole street made up of nothing but this kind of neighbor, and we know where a few of those are.

Snow Sledding or Tubing Spots near Los Angeles for SoCal Kids

They whiz down the hill, rosy-cheeked and squealing, sometimes making it to the bottom and sometimes not, their sleds in one direction, their giggling bodies in another. The magical mixture of snow, cold air, velocity, and the unknown makes snow sledding and tubing endlessly enticing; skiing is great, but sometimes there's nothing quite like good, old-fashioned sledding. And lucky us: even though we live in Southern California (where sleds are more often used on sand than on snow), we can still partake in this splendid winter adventure.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: Tour Brooklyn's Holiday Hot Spot

For years I had been hearing about the awesome Christmas displays in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. I'd seen plenty of videos and photos online. But once I saw those jaw-dropping sights in person, I knew visiting "Dyker Lights" would become a family holiday tradition.

Living in upper Manhattan, reaching Dyker Heights, Brooklyn is a serious schlep. It's really not doable via public transportation, especially at night with kids in tow. One year I hitched a ride with a neighbor, but the following I decided to play tourist and go on A Slice of Brooklyn's Christmas Lights guided bus tour. If you're considering taking the kids to Dyker Heights this holiday season but are wondering about the best way to go, here's how the two experiences compare, plus details on a third, more budget-friendly option.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms in the Philadelphia Area

Most of us still have Thanksgiving on the brain--and the stomach--but Christmas time is just around the corner. Between shopping, seeing all the lights,and taking photos with Santa, it might be tricky fitting in the time to find a good place to cut down your tree.  Still, there are no shortage of good places to go tree hunting near Philadelphia, so if you have the will, there is definitely a way.

Create a new family tradition or continue a long-standing ritual by picking out an evergreen that’s going to be front and center for the month of December! Some of these local farms offer additional family fun, such as crafts, cider and hot cocoa sampling, or other treats.  The hours posted here pertain to the cut your own fields, but many of the farms stay open later.

Looking for even more fun this season? Check out our Holiday Guide and our Events Calendar for the latest events!

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