Watch your little ones' faces light up as they see the glow coming off these spectacular holiday light shows across Long Island. That's not all: Most are complete destination stops with hot cocoa, ice skating, and photo-ops with Santa.
For more seasonal fun, see our Long Island Holidays Guide. Our events calendar is packed with up-to-date holiday activities for kids of all ages, including the best places to dine with Santa this season.
Magic of Lights — Jones Beach State Park
November 17-December 31
The much-celebrated event is back this year with all of your favorite holiday characters and a spectacular tunnel of lights. Pile the family into the car and drive through 2 1/2 miles of light displays with animation that captures the imaginations of young and old.
Take a ride on the Holiday Express at Bayville Winter Wonderland. Photo courtesy of Bayville Winter Wonderland
Bayville Winter Wonderland — Bayville
November 24-January 1; dates and times vary.
Captain Bay's Yo-Ho Holiday Light Show tells the story of a pirate's first Christmas. Santa's Toy Factory Fun House boasts bright flourescent-colored walls that can be seen in 3-D with glasses. Wander through a tricky hall of mirrors and then to Santa's workshop as you listen to sounds from the North Pole. Other attractions include Blizzard Bay's Arctic Skating Adventure, the Holiday Express train ride, and a magical meeting with Santa.
RELATED: Holiday volunteering opportunities for Long Island kids
The nautical-themed Festival of Lights heralds in the holiday season in Freeport. Photo courtesy of Freeport's Nautical Mile of Lights Annual Boat Parade/Facebook
Festival of Lights — Freeport
This unique event showcases festively decorated boats. Boat owners go all out with lights and decorations in a parade along the Nautical Mile in Freeport. Homes along the parade route also join in with backyards adorned with lights. Bundle up for some FREE holiday fun.
Visit the Brookhaven Ecology Site's display and support its many animal residents. Photo courtesy of the site
Brookhaven Town Holiday Spectacular — Holtsville
Holtsville Ecology Site
December 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17
This indoor, walk-through holiday light show supports care for the animals at the Town of Brookhaven Ecology Site. There are opportunities to participate in raffles and photos with Santa for additional fees.
West End Electric Light Parade — Long Beach
From antique cars to fire trucks and even bicycles, get ready for a parade of vehicles wrapped in holiday lights. Parking is available at Long Beach Catholic Regional School with shuttle buses to the West End starting at 4:30pm. Enjoy free hot chocolate along the parade route, and restaurants will offer specials and kids' activities after the parade. FREE
RELATED: Holiday shows and Nutcracker performances across LI
Stroll the Long Beach boardwalk for a festive holiday illumination. Photo courtesy of Command Electric
Boardwalk Lights – Long Beach
Thanksgiving weekend to mid-January 2018
Boardwalk Lights is a nautical-themed holiday light display on the boardwalk. The six-week event is highlighted by special evenings that include a tree lighting, menorah lighting, holiday music, and more. FREE
Girl Scouts of Suffolk County Holiday Lights Show – Smith Point County Park, Shirley
Enjoy almost two miles of dazzling light displays at the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County's 14th annual holiday display. Note: Tickets are sold at the gate only via debit or credit cards; no cash or advance sales.
Top image: Magic of Lights at Jones Beach Photo courtesy of Live Nation
This post is updated annually.