The holidays are a truly magical time of year in New York City, Westchester and beyond. Everywhere you look there are FREE seasonal sights like illuminated Christmas trees, amazing department store holiday windows and over-the-top seasonal displays.
For years, we've raved about the jaw-dropping holiday homes in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn and the Bronx Christmas House in Pelham Gardens. But Southern Westchester is also home to three must-see holiday houses that are so incredible, my kids and I visit every year. Best of all, they're all located within 15 miles of one another so you can easily hit all of them in one night by car.
21 North Kensico Avenue in White Plains
Known as the North Kensico Christmas Light Show, this particular house is one of four homes on the block decked out for the holidays, but it's definitely the most elaborate. Together they create a one-of-a-kind synchronized Christmas display that's so much fun to see, my kids were asking to go back again before we even left! The main house's gingerbread look is conjured by swirling lights around the windows for icing, gumdrop lights lining the roof, a white picket fence covered with peppermint ball lights, a candy cane-lined walkway and gingerbread men (and women) on the front lawn. A sign says to tune your radio to 107.7 FM and that's when the real magic happens. Crank up the volume and watch as all of the houses "dance to the music" (that's a direct quote from my four-year-old). The owners are so enthusiastic, they even created a website with a playlist and the back story of their display. The lights shine nightly through Friday, January 2, 2015 from 5:30 to 11pm.
155 Vaneck Drive in New Rochelle
I just adore this house. There's so much to take in! The front yard is decorated with dozens of illuminated toy soldiers, a giant Santa lounging on the roof, a lovely nativity scene and thousands of twinkling lights. There's also a great hot air balloon over the front doorway with reindeer hanging over the sides. On the left side of the house you'll find beautiful holiday scenes behind glass. One features a pair of mice beside a cozy fire with a toy train set, a trimmed Christmas tree and stockings hung over the chimney with care. The second is an arctic wonderland complete with polar bears, penguins and snowmen. There are two more scenes on the right side of the house: Santa's workshop and a display of Sesame Street characters. This house is my family's favorite because there's so much to see.
58 Gedney Park Drive in White Plains
Penguins, polar bears and a row of toy soldiers guard the front lawn, which also features Mickey Mouse, the Grinch and other beloved characters. On the left side of the driveway you'll spy Santa and his reindeer, along with thousands of lights, holiday music and even a blowup snow globe.
Check out our Holiday Fun Guides in NYC and Westchester for more seasonal activities.