Best Christmas Light Shows and Holiday Drive-Thrus near NYC

The stunning Peace, Love, and Lights drive-thru at Bethel Woods returns for another season of bringing visitors joy.
The stunning Peace, Love, and Lights drive-thru at Bethel Woods returns for another season of bringing visitors joy.

If you're ready to add a little extra sparkle to the holiday season, take note: The tri-state area boasts some pretty spectacular Christmas lights and holiday lights drive-thrus where your crew can enjoy twinkling Christmas lights displays from the warmth, comfort, and safety of your car.

We've compiled a list of 15 must-see Christmas lights displays to drive through in New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut that are guaranteed to bring smiles to your family's faces. So, pack some snacks, cue the Christmas music, and get ready to make some priceless holiday memories.

Find tons more ways to celebrate this season with those you love in our jam-packed Holiday Guide. Consider it our seasonal gift to you.


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Be sure to click through to each listing for more details, including ticket prices and reservation requirements. Note that most of these holiday lights drive-thrus are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Lights drive-thrus near NYC: Diggerland's Holidig Light Show
Firetrucks, construction equipment, and more get adorned with twinkling lights at the Holidig Light Show at Diggerland. Photo courtesy of the venue

Christmas Lights Drive-Thrus in New Jersey

1. Holidig Light Show – Berlin

Select dates Friday, November 17, 2023-Sunday, January 7, 2024
Diggerland's Holidig Light Show lets drivers traverse a mile-long course through the construction-themed theme park to see hundreds of thousands of lights spread over dozens of holiday displays. Synchronized music is streamed via your car's radio.

2. Magic of Lights at the PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel

Friday, November 17-Saturday, December 30, 2023
Grab some cookies and cocoa, and head to Parkway Exit 116! This much-loved Christmas lights drive-thru experience features scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Drive through the Blizzard Tunnel, count the 12 Days of Christmas, journey through the Winter Wonderland, and marvel at the Mega Tree Spectacular, which features 240 feet of LED Christmas trees. Here, guests can exit their cars and explore a Christmas village, visit Santa, make s'mores, and even glide on an ice skating rink. See our full review for a sneak peek.

RELATED: Best Kids' Christmas Movies to Watch this Holiday Season

Christmas Lights drive-thrus near NYC: Skylands Stadium
Take a leisurely drive to see the lights at the Skylands Stadium Light Show and Christmas Village in Augusta New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Skylands

3. Skylands Stadium Light Show and Christmas Village – Augusta

Wednesday, November 22-Saturday, December 30, 2023
This winter, the Skylands Stadium Light Show and Christmas Village are bigger than ever with a mile-long course to drive through featuring more than 2 million lights. It also features an expanded outdoor village and winter carnival. After you wind your way through the lights display, visit the village and carnival where (for an added fee) you can sip hot chocolate, snap some photos with Santa, and take a lap around the ice skating rink. Read our review for a sneak peek.

RELATED: Visit a Christmas Town or Santa's Village near You: 25 Christmas Villages

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Winter Wonderlights
Hear your favorite holiday songs as you experience Winter Wonderlights. Photo by the author

4. Winter Wonderlights – East Brunswick

Friday, November 24-Sunday, December 31, 2023
At this enormous display located at the Middlesex County Fair Grounds, you'll see 1.5 million lights blinking in time to your favorite holiday tunes. See enormous Christmas trees, drive through magical tunnels, and see larger-than-life holiday-themed displays.

RELATED: Polar Express Train Rides and Christmas Trains near NYC in 2023

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Riverhead Holiday Light Show
See scenes magical and mystical at the Riverhead Holiday Light Show. Photo courtesy of Suffolk County

Drive-Thru Christmas Lights Shows on Long Island

5. Riverhead Holiday Light Show – Calverton

Select dates from Friday, November 17-Saturday, December 30, 2023
This is one of the largest drive-thru Christmas light shows in Suffolk County, with dozens of dazzling displays to delight the entire family. The drive takes about 20-25 minutes. If you're crazy for Christmas lights, season passes allow unlimited visits!

6. Magic of Lights at Jones Beach – Wantagh

Friday, November 17-Saturday, December 30, 2023
Pile the kids into the car and journey through the twinkling holiday scenes and iconic tunnel of lights at Jones Beach State Park. This massive drive-thru light display is 2 1/2 miles of animated and twinkling light displays that captivate guests, both young and old. The Holiday Village allows guests to park their cars and deliver a letter to Santa's drop box, visit the seasonal concession stand, and see the Holiday Mega Trees light-and-music show up close.

RELATED: 15 Picture-Perfect Holiday Day Trips near NYC

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Bethel Woods  Peace, Love, and Lights
Celebrate the holiday season at Peace, Love, and Lights at Bethel Woods. Photo courtesy of Bethel Woods

Holiday Lights Drive-Thrus in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

7. Peace, Love, and Lights – Bethel

Select dates from Friday, November 24-Sunday, December 31, 2023
If you're up for a bit of a road trip, make a night of it and check out the beautiful 1.7-mile display at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, home of Woodstock 1969. Travel through the 120-foot Twinkle Tunnel and enjoy themed areas like Groovy Way, an homage to the site, an Enchanted Forest, Snowflake Alley, Santa’s Workshop, Christmas Around the World, and more. Take note: The drive-thru Christmas lights display is closed on Mondays when guests can walk through instead. You can enjoy extras like a holiday market, sweet treats, or s'mores by the fire on select dates. Check the venue's website for all the programming details. If you want to make a weekend of it, consider booking a stay at one of these family-friendly Catskills retreats.

RELATED: 101 Christmas Activities for Kids: Christmas Crafts, Decorations, and More

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Westchester's Winter Wonderland
Westchester's Winter Wonderland is an enchanting 1.2-mile display of Christmas lights. Photo by Susan Miele

8. Westchester's Winter Wonderland – Valhalla

Select dates from Friday, November 24-Sunday, December 31, 2023
Kensico Dam Plaza is transformed into a 1.2-mile magical, twinkling drive-thru wonderland. You'll travel past Snowball the Elf, through the breathtaking Kaleidoscope Alley, and the large Peace on Earth LED display with animated trumpets and angels before passing Westchester's largest Christmas tree.

9. A Frosty Fest – Ulster Park

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Friday, November 24-Saturday, December 23, 2023
From the creators of the Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses, this family-friendly holiday light spectacular has a lot to offer. Take a drive through Frosty’s Enchanted Forest, with its dazzling holiday lights, spectacular displays, and magical animations where you'll spy a Candy Cane Factory, Mr. and Mrs. Frosty, The Gingerbread Man, penguins, Rudolph, and more. Once you've covered the drive-thru course, park the car to explore more fun on foot, including an animated light show, Jingle Jangle Stage Show, and even a visit with Santa himself.

RELATED: Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Magic of Lights
The Magic of Lights drive-thru display brings holiday cheer to all! Photo courtesy of Magic of Lights

Drive-Thru Christmas Lights Shows in Connecticut

10. Magic of Lights at Pratt & Whitney Stadium – East Hartford

Thursday, November 23-Sunday, December 31, 2023
Spanning more than 1 1/2 miles, journey through a 200-foot light tunnel and see 40 scenes of holiday lights from the comfort of your car. Watch snowmen, snowflakes, elves, and candy canes dance and twinkle throughout this grand display.

11. Fantasy of Lights – New Haven

Daily through Thursday, November 17-Sunday, December 31, 2023
Presented by Goodwill of Southern New England, this event lights up Lighthouse Point Park with a nearly mile-long trail featuring more than 60 animated displays and 100,000 lights. Proceeds from the event benefit Easter Seals and Goodwill.

RELATED: How to Find Free Toys for Kids this Christmas and Holiday Season

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Herr's Factory
Guests can experience the FREE Herr's Factory Christmas Drive-Thru. Photo courtesy of Herr's

Holiday Lights Drive-Thrus in Pennsylvania

12. Herr's Factory – Nottingham

Wednesday, November 22-Tuesday, January 2, 2024
About an hour west of Philadelphia, you'll find this FREE display. Every year, the Herr's Factory treats visitors to a spectacular light display featuring more than 600,000 lights all around its complex.

RELATED: 10 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes to Bake with Kids

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Lights in the Parkway
Lights in the Parkway transforms Lehigh Parkway into a twinkling annual display of holiday spirit.

13. Lights in the Parkway – Allentown

Friday, November 24-Saturday, December 31, 2023, except Christmas
Get ready for a spectacular mile-long drive-through on the Lehigh Parkway, which transforms into a cheerful, twinkling winter wonderland. Hundreds of thousands of brilliant lights illuminate whimsical animated displays and familiar characters. In the past, Santa has visited on select nights, so bookmark the website to keep tabs on his schedule.

RELATED: 50 Fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Holiday lights drive-thrus near NYC: Shady Brook Farm
Shady Brook Farm's Holiday Light Show can be viewed from the comfort of your car, or via an open-air wagon ride.

14. Shady Brook Farm's Holiday Light Show – Yardley

Select dates from Saturday, November 18, 2023-Saturday, January 27, 2024
Shady Brook Farm’s huge holiday light show features more than 3 million lights spread over several acres of the farm. Encounter whimsical displays and familiar characters as you drive through in your car or enjoy an open-air wagon ride (weather permitting). Before you hit the road, check out the market for delectable holiday treats or take home a Christmas tree from the farm.

All photos courtesy of the respective venues. Originally published in 2020.

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