public light displays
Historic Smithville

Lit up houses are great, but you haven’t felt holiday spirit until you take a gander at these huge professional displays.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
11th to 13th Avenues from 83rd to 86th St in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
Check out this festive NYC neighborhood, which has tens of thousands of lights and is visited by over 100,000 people each year. Tours are also offered.

Historic Smithville’s Floating Trees 
Take a trip back in time to historic Smithville—a charming town with a quaint New England feel. The star attractions here are the beautiful,120 illuminated trees that float in Lake Meone—the displays are synched to holiday music so they look like they’re dancing on the water once the sun sets. The show can be seen from either side of the village, in addition to the bridge. During the day, kids can hang out with a talking tree (your littlest guys will find this hysterical), ride a train and even sit with Mrs. Claus and listen to a Christmas story.

Holiday in the Park
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
This amusement park usually shuts down after Fright Fest in October, but Great Adventure is staying open through the end of the year. Ride the coasters (bundle up!) and enjoy the park decked out for the holidays—the park promises a million sparkling lights—plus pine and peppermint smells in the air (really!) Be sure to look out for carolers, stage shows, Santa meet and greets and a guaranteed “snow shower” each night.

Holiday Lights Spectacular 
Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
Take a special winter trip to the zoo this year to see Turtle Back’s fantastic holiday display, including 50 animal and winter characters, plus the Santa meet and greet. Don’t forget to bring donations of non-perishable foods, new toys and gently used coats.

Night of Lights
Creamy Acres Farm
448 Lincoln Mill Rd., Mullica Hill
The huge, sparkling light displays at Creamy Acres Farm can be seen by jumping on an old fashioned hayride. Snuggle under a blanket with your little ones, ride through the Nativity scene and sing along to your favorite Christmas songs.

Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms
244 Wierimus Rd., Demarest
Explore 32 acres of dazzling light displays by hay wagon before warming up with some hot cocoa. The kids will love the singing reindeer and making their own s’mores. Snap photos with Santa before heading back home.

Palmer Square Holiday Lights
40 Nassau St., Princeton
Begins Nov. 23
This towering 65-foot-tall Norwegian Spruce stands proud in the middle of town boasting 32,000 lights. New this year is Ice Skating in Palmer Square, a synthetic rink perfect for clumsy kiddos. Other events on select dates include breakfast with Santa, caroling and a gingerbread display (open Dec. 6-24). Go on the 29th to see St. Nick roll through town for the tree lighting ceremony.

Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show
931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, PA
Worth the ride across the border to Pennsylvania, this epic drive-through light show incorporates more than three million bulbs, including a tunnel transformed to look like stars in the night sky. If you don’t feel like driving, take a horse-drawn wagon ride along the same route (weather permitting). There’s hot cocoa and a bonfire afterward to warm you up, and Santa takes time out of his toy-making schedule for photos.

Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show
Skylands Stadium
94 Championship Pl., Augusta
Fill up your car with friends and head to this gigantic one-mile-long drive through a wonderland that features over two million lights. There are big displays set to festive music you hear as you drive. FYI: the layout is different every year, so if you’ve been before you can expect something totally different, like a brand new ice rink and walk-thru lightfest. There’s also a Christmas village, where you can hop out of the car, take pics with Santa and grab a mug of hot cocoa.

Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights
6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Twp.
Nov. 16-Dec. 30
Every night, Santa waves his wand and turns on more than one million lights from atop his chimney. He’ll continue to light the park from the comfort of his cozy home until Dec. 23.

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