The Bristal Assisted Living Blog

Posted by The Bristal  |  December 1, 2020

Celebrating the Holidays: A Guide to Family Fun in the NYC Tri-State Area

This blog was updated Nevember 10, 2022.

Whether you live on Long Island, or call North Jersey or Westchester County home – there is plenty to see and do in the tri-state area during the holiday season. From drive-through light shows and festivals to themed house tours and holiday markets, there is something for everyone in this family fun guide. We are sharing some unique ways of celebrating the holidays this year – grouped by geographic location.

New York Holiday Events

Long Island

Bayville Winter Wonderland

Bayville Adventure Park undergoes a transformation each November, welcoming the holiday season in grand fashion. Bayville Winter Wonderland offers plenty of attractions for visitors to enjoy, including light displays, holiday characters, ice-skating, train rides, and more. There’s even a Haunted Christmas section for those who want to include a little mischief with their merry-making.

The park is open on weekends from December 2, 2022 through January 1, 2023.

Shimmering Solstice

Shimmering Solstice at Old Westbury Gardens combines holiday light displays and seasonal soundtracks with the beautiful natural surroundings of Old Westbury Gardens. Visitors can walk the paths of the gardens for this unique experience, then warm up in the Garden of Appreciation with seasonal snacks and beverages.

Shimmering Solstice runs November 25, 2022 - January 1, 2023 on select dates.

Magic of Lights at Jones Beach

A favorite for family fun in Nassau County, the Magic of Lights at Jones Beach is one of Long Island’s largest drive-thru light shows. Set to music, the show features a 200-foot light tunnel, and more than 40 holiday-themed light displays. Visitors will spot the 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland, The Night Before Christmas and more, as they drive the 2.5-mile route.

The light show is open select days beginning November 19.

Riverhead Holiday Light Show

Mixing oversized holiday light scenes with hundreds of unique displays, the Riverhead Holiday Light Show is Suffolk County’s largest drive-through holiday light show. Located in Calverton, the light show is set to music – creating an immersive experience for visitors.

The light show begins November 18-December 30, 2022.

Smith Point Light Show

The Smith Point Light Show has been entertaining Suffolk County families for 18 years. Located in Smith Point County Park, this popular drive-thru show features more than a mile of light displays. Proceeds from the show benefit Girl Scout programs across Suffolk County.

The light show is open November 26 To December 30, but is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

LuminoCity Festival

In a new location in Manhasset this year, LuminoCity is a stunning, interactive light and art show. Drawing its inspiration from the lantern festivals the show’s co-founder attended as a child in China, LuminoCity relies on a team of artisans and more than 10,000 LED light bulbs to bring their sculptures to life. Attendees will travel through five separate parks, following the adventures of Lumi, the festival’s mascot.

The LuminoCity Festival is open Wednesday through Sunday, November 9, 2022 to January 8, 2023, except holidays.

New York City

 Winter Village at Bryant Park

The Winter Village at Bryant Park has been a New York City holiday tradition for almost two decades. Featuring a European-style holiday market, the Winter Village is also home to the city’s only free ice-skating rink. Also on-site, The Lodge Deck offers hungry shoppers (and skaters), a place to relax and enjoy a casual meal or hot drink.

The Winter Village is open daily from October 28, 2022 through the beginning of 2023.

Westchester County

Keeler Christmas Light Display

Located in Putnam Valley, the Keeler Christmas Light Display uses one million lights for its incredible show. Hosted by the Keeler family, it takes three months – and a lot of elves – to set up the display. Visitors will spy Santa on the roof, a holiday train, and lots of familiar holiday characters.

The light display is open daily from November 26, 2022.

 Westchester’s Winter Wonderland

According to its website, Westchester’s Winter Wonderland combines the best of Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park with the largest light show in Hudson Valley. Now in its sixth year, the light show takes place in Kensico Dam Plaza.

The show begins on Friday, November 25 at 6 p.m. and runs through January 1, 2023. It will be open on select nights starting at 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 5 p.m. on weekends.

Northeast New Jersey

Christmas Light Show and Village

Located at Skylands Stadium in Sussex County, New Jersey, the Christmas Light Show and Village offers a variety of holiday-themed activities. Starting with a scenic drive-thru light show, visitors enter the Outdoor Village and Winter Carnival. There, they can enjoy one of the carnival’s rides, pose for a photo with Santa, or take a spin around the skating rink. Refreshments are also available.

The Christmas Light Show and Village is open on selected dates beginning November 23 through December 30.

PNC Bank Arts Center Magic of Lights

From the creators of the Magic of Lights at Jones Beach, the PNC Bank Arts Center Magic of Lights also has a drive-thru light tunnel. There are over 40 scenes using holiday lights, including illuminated mega trees, which use over 240 feet of lights!

The light show is open select days beginning November 18.

The Winter Wonderlights Spectacular

The Winter Wonderlights Spectacular has been a favorite of East Brunswick locals for over 15 years. The show moved to the Middlesex County Fairgrounds last year – providing ample space for visitors to walk through the light displays. Due to social distancing guidelines, the organizers are planning on a drive-thru event this year.

The Winter Wonderlights Spectacular is open daily from November 25 to January 1.

Your Guide to Events in the NYC Tri-State Area

Looking for more family-friendly activities to enjoy in the area? We’ve created a variety of guides to help you enjoy every season.


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