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Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Updated: April 7, 2024

When people think about Christmas lights and holiday decorations in New York City, they usually think of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the lavish store window displays of Midtown Manhattan.

But some of the best lights and decorations to be seen are in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.  

And we should know. We lead daily walking tours here during the Christmas season.

And below, you can watch Katherine, a tour guide for us, Free Tours by Foot, explain how to get here and give you a tour of the area.

The trip to the lights will vary depending on where you are starting from but expect 45-50 minutes by subway from Times Square.

The Dyker Heights lights generally start to appear the day after Thanksgiving, which is the third Thursday in November.

But if you want to ensure that you see the most number of lights, go mid-December through December 31st.

This post goes into more detail on how to visit the Dyker Heights, whether on your own or on an organized tour and has been updated for 2024.

Starting in the 1980s, Christmas started getting bigger and brighter in this neighborhood with each passing year.

There is an unspoken competition among the homeowners in the neighborhood, so some have added huge lawn ornaments and motorized displays, making for a lavish holiday spectacle.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Most of the displays are not actually done by the homeowners, but rather by local professional decorating companies.

In 2024, expect to see massive, professionally done light displays (some costing upwards of $20,000!).

Dyker Heights has truly become a “must-see” for many people during the holidays.

You will see visitors walking through the neighborhood as well as people in their cars rolling by at a few miles per hour all around the area.

Below we explain how to get here and the best times to go.

We also share some insider tips so you can have a fantastic experience!

If after reading this post you don't want to visit on your own, there are 2 bus tours and a walking tour.

Since you will be in NYC for the holidays, please take a look at our definitive post on things to do in NYC and consider some of our pay-what-you-wish walking tours.

And if you are considering visiting at least 2 of NYC's most popular paid attractions, then you can save at least 15% - 50% off on ticket and admission fees with a tourist attractions pass.


The best lights are on 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street.

We've made a self-guided Google Map you can use on your smartphone to find your way through the neighborhood. You can also take our self guided audio tour of Dyker Heights!

Most people see the lights on foot but it is possible to see them from your car if you have one.

Getting to Dyker Heights from Times Square takes roughly 45-50 minutes of travel time on the subway plus 15-20 minutes of walking from the subway station to the neighborhood.

Times Square to Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

There are three subway lines (the R, N, and D trains), that can get you to the neighborhood.

Each line goes to a different station, so you need to pay attention to which train you take. 

Regardless of which subway you take, you will still need to walk 15-20 minutes as the main concentration of homes is about a mile (1.6 km) from each subway station. 

You can take a bus or an Uber from the subway if you'd like.

Be sure to use our Google Map for directions to the Dyker Heights Christmas lights to see the fastest route for you.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Map

We recommend taking the R train to 86th Street Station in Brooklyn (it's the station with the red arrow in the image above). Here is a Google Maps link to help you.

When you are finished, you can either retrace your steps back to the R train or walk through the neighborhood and take the D train back, or vice versa.

If you are unfamiliar with the NYC Subway, then read our tips on navigating the system and choosing a MetroCard.

Driving and Parking

For those with a car, you may be wondering if you can see the lights from inside the warmth of your car. The answer is: yes.

But many locals choose this option which is why you will find yourself in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

If you are considering driving to Dyker Heights and then exploring on foot, know that parking is very hard to find.

Your best chances to find parking are between 79th to 86th Street.

However, we recommend public transportation to avoid any vehicular hassles.


The Dyker Heights lights start to appear the day after Thanksgiving, which is the third Thursday in November.

But if you want to ensure that you see the most number of lights, go mid-December through December 31st.

By then, most homeowners will have flicked the switch! The lights and decorations are generally gone after New Year's Day.

Starting at dusk every day (4:30/5-ish), the lights are turned on. Most are turned off by 10 pm.

As for the best days of the week, if you want to avoid large crowds, go on a weekday. But even on weekdays, you will be among many other folks who have come to see the lights.


Here are some tips for your visit to make sure you have the jolliest time possible!

We also have a section on where to eat and a section covering other area attractions.

  • Bring some $1 and $5 with you. Many of the families who put on these displays for your enjoyment also collect money for local charities.
  • The best lights are located about a mile walk (15-20 minutes) from the subways, so be prepared! Or take a taxi or Uber.
  • December in NYC can be very chilly and you will be outside for a while. Dress warmly! Read our post on December weather in the Big Apple.
  • Consider making a stop for hot chocolate or warm drinks. Several reviewers suggest that hot drinks can help keep you warm while seeing the holiday displays in this neighborhood. Near 12th Avenue, there are often people selling hot cocoa and Christmas sweets.
  • Several visitors recommend stopping at some of the restaurants along 86th Street for a quick bite to eat before or after your walk around the neighborhood. (See recommendations below).
  • Remember, this is a neighborhood. Do not litter or scream and do not ring people's doorbells and ask to go to the bathroom. 
  • The Dyker Lights are always wonderful, but for a really fantastic (and easier!) experience, there is an organized bus tour that takes visitors out to Dyker Heights and shows them around. This is a good option for anyone who is worried about finding their way around. Plus, it is always great to get a little extra information on a tour! Of course, our pay-what-you-like tour is the best way to go.


We are happy once again to offer our very own walking tour of the Christmas lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn.

We also list two well-reviewed bus tour operators below.

Or you can take our self guided audio version if you want to tour Dyker Heights on your own.

Here is how it works:

  1. Purchase an audio tour below.
  2. Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf, and embeddable Google Map
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

For our walking tour, meet your tour guide in Brooklyn, where we will take the subway as a group to the main "show".

There, your tour guide will show you all the important light displays and tell you the history behind each of them.  

It's a great experience and a great way to make some new friends.  

Searching Availability...


Reservations: Required. 

Duration: Tour is 2 hours (4 hours total if coming from Midtown Manhattan). In total, you can expect to walk approximately 3 miles (4.8 km).

Times Square to Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:15 pm

Cost: $25/person (48 hours notice needed for refund)

Where: Meet your guide outside the Taco Bell on 4th Ave and 87th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. (map).

Free Tours by FootExcellentFree Tours by Foot4.9 Based on 2410 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onKerry S.Kerry S. ★★★★★ Our tour guide John, is the best tour guide in New York. He is articulate regarding the knowledge he robustly conveys to us … and most of all he enjoys answering the group’s many questions. Don’t miss out, book a free tour by foot.Claire O.Claire O. ★★★★★ We went on two tours - both led by John. One was the Brooklyn tour and the other was Soho, Little Italy etc. We loved them both. We found that John had a lovely way with everyone - he went out of his way to find out a bit about everyone and have short chats with everyone as we were on the move. The information was pitched at just the right level for us - very interesting. The pace was good too - not too slow but no one was left behind.Angela HAngela H ★★★★★ 5/5 tour experience. Our tour guide was John Gallagher and he was excellent, very engaged and funny and offered great tips for good restaurants to go to after the tour was done.Clare M.Clare M. ★★★★★ We joined the brooklyn Bridge, brooklyn heights/DUMBO at twilight tour with John and had the best time. John's knowledge was incredible, but far more, he entertained and brought us a truly unique experience.. highly, highly recommend. Many thanks John!!Elizabeth G.Elizabeth G. ★★★★★ My family and I did the Meatpacking/Little Island/Highline tour this weekend and had an amazing time. Even though I live in NYC, I learned so much during our tour! I am a big fan of the Gilded Age TV show and loved in particular learning about the Astors, Vanderbilts, etc and their influence on the neighborhoods and various famous buildings across NYC. The tour guide, Ron, was amazing. He was so knowledgeable and able to answer any question that was asked. He kept things fun and engaging. He has great energy and made us all laugh along the way. It was a great experience. Looking forward to going on another tour with Ron again in the future!Yasmin W.Yasmin W. ★★★★★ John Gallagher the guide was great. We took the Soho/Little Italy/China town tour. He had so many fascinating stories about NY's history, culture, art, and more. He was very patient and gave us a lot of extra time. The group was very friendly, also because John was so friendly and curious to know everyone. Me and my 10 year-old had a great experience, that will not be forgotten for a long time.John T.John T. ★★★★★ Did the Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown tour with Lori Pickhardt. Very interesting tour and Lori was an excellent tour guide. Would high recommend this tour and any tour that Lori does.Mo I.Mo I. ★★★★★ Fun and informative.ThanksUBALDO C.UBALDO C. ★★★★★ Marion D.Marion D. ★★★★★ I did a the DUMBO / Brooklyn tour today with John and it was just perfect. The right amount of History, facts, figures, fun stories. John is a natural speaker and makes us at ease very quickly and easily, talking with everyone. The atmosphere was just great. Thanks for this tour ! I highly recommendSofia Y.Sofia Y. ★★★★★ Great tour!! Wonderful tips!!John was a lovely host ! Definitely was the best tour we took at NYCAnita B.Anita B. ★★★★★ Great way to tour the city. Our group was a group of 6 so we payed At reservation but smaller groups pay at the end for what they think it is worth.ElliottElliott ★★★★★ We loved our tour of Grand Central Terminal with our guide John Gallagher! He was so informative and funny, I highly recommend taking a walking tour of NYC you won't regret it!Melissa R.Melissa R. ★★★★★ John was an excellent guide, so good I took 2 tours with him! Grand Central was full of hidden surprises I never would have known about. And the SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy was filled with food and facts. Loved itGregory L.Gregory L. ★★★★★ My girlfriend and I did 3 walking tours this weekend with John Gallagher as our tour guide. We kept booking tour based on our wonderful experience with him as our guide. John is incredibly knowledgeable regarding all things New York!!! His humour and charm made the history of NYC come alive and he was incredibly passionate about making the tour enjoyable for everyone. He spend a lot of time chatting with you, getting to know you, and making the tour truly memorable. These tours with John were definitely the highlight of the trip. I will definitely book with Free Tours by Foot again and recommend the tour and John to all those I know travelling to New York. Again John, thank you so much for making our trip so memorable!!!!Sascha MSascha M ★★★★★ Tour à pieds le soir de Dumbo et pont de Brooklyn avec John.Très bonne expérience, très intéressant, je recommande.GaneshGanesh ★★★★★ Had a great time. Lovely walk with lots of info about the history of each placehenya S.henya S. ★★★★★ christine S.christine S. ★★★★★ We did the Soho, Little Italy China Town tour with John Gallagher back in March (it’s taken a while to get round to reviewing!) What a fantastic way to get under the skin of the city. John is a brilliant guide - really knowledgeable with great stories and a fantastic way of telling them. It was like being shown around by a very well informed friend. The walk was perfectly paced for a mixed group with delicious snack stops and a bathroom break. I can’t recommend highly enough and will be looking out for FTBF wherever I go.Alexis F.Alexis F. ★★★★★ Took a bunch of tours. Garrett was funny ;). John and Kathleen (cassie) were very nice ^^. I had a great time and learned cool stories about NY from engaging speakers! Please go to ftbf tours. You don't have to pay a lot of money.Piotr R.Piotr R. ★★★★★ Harlem walking tour with Ryan was an unforgettable experience. The sites at Harlem exemplified the complex, fascinating and mostly tragic history of Harlem immigrants. Ryan's narrative was interesting and enjoyable. It was definitely one of the most interesting walking tours we have ever joined.Mireya A.Mireya A. ★★★★★ These tours are amazing!! Jon & Garrett are super informative but also are great and keep you intrigued with the history of the city! My first time in the city was scary but being on these tours, it allowed me to become familiar with the areas and I enjoyed it!Jana K.Jana K. ★★★★★ I took the New York One Day tour on Tuesday at 10 am with guide Garrett, and it was fantastic! He was incredibly funny, engaging, and knowledgeable, sharing numerous stories about 9/11 and US history. I would definitely recommend the tour!Matt and Kim S.Matt and Kim S. ★★★★★ Jon was awesome! What a fun afternoon being guided through the lower east side history and tastes. Can’t recommend it enough!Gert-Jan van N.Gert-Jan van N. ★★★★★ We did a Brooklyn Bridge walking tour and it was very nice. The tourguide was very informative and could tell stories in a nice way. I would definitely recommend taking at least one tour with this organisation when in NYC!Jolynnae R.Jolynnae R. ★★★★★ Update April 2024: My daughter and I went on the Lower East Side food tour with Jon N last week. This is the best tour company, especially the food tours, because you get so much history and info about the neighborhood. Jon is polite, professional, and FUN! Pay attention, some of his dry subtle humor may slip by you. 😉 Take cash in small bills, wear comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather. AND tip your tour guide!This is the 3rd tour I have taken with the company and the first with Jon N as the tour guide. This was the Sunday night 9/11 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge tour. Jon was outstanding in his knowledge of the events and construction of the new World Trade Center. I remember the day clearly and have been to the memorial site 3 times, but there were younger people on this tour that could have been hearing this information for the first time. Jon explained at the beginning of the tour that he would be very open and honest about what happened and he did an excellent job in dealing with a difficult series of events. At the end of the tour, Jon stayed to take pictures. I should have taken him up of his offer to help us get back to the proper subway station because I did get lost and wandered around before finding a station with an A or C train. My error, not Jon's!Chalece A.Chalece A. ★★★★★ Ciara M.Ciara M. ★★★★★ Great tour with John! We really enjoyed his stories!Pasquale S.Pasquale S. ★★★★★ My guide was John Gallagher, who toured us in Little Italy, Soho, Chinatown. We had a beautiful experience, John was interesting and entertaining, and also managed to deal with politeness and savoir faire with an annoying lady who disturbed us while we were visiting Soho. The only thing I would change is that I would have liked to walk longer (the tour has many short stops so you don't walk that much), but I guess it's very subjective.Very Recommended!Gucci G.Gucci G. ★★★★★ Great tour with a lovely guide. We had so much fun exploring Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo!Robert S.Robert S. ★★★★★ John was an amazing guide in our Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown tour.Remington B.Remington B. ★★★★★ Cannot state enough good things about Ryan and the Harlem walking tour. Signed up for this one hoping to see a bit of Harlem, and learn a bit about the area, but we were blown away by how much history Ryan shared. His passion for the Harlem area is evident and infectious. Tour was very educational and very enjoyable!Rita P.Rita P. ★★★★★ Wir hatten in drei Tagen drei Touren gebucht: die erste ging mit Garett durch SoHo, China Town und Little Italy. Gerettet war unglaublich unterhaltsam, hatte Spaß an dem was er tut und uns sehr viel Geschichte aber auch Kurioses berichten können.Die beiden anderen Touren gingen mit Renee nach Brooklyn, DUMBO und Brooklyn Heights und am nächsten Tag furchtbar Greenwich Village.Renee hat ein unfassbares Wissen über historische Ereignisse und weiß diese mit Humor zu kombinieren. Man kann ihr sehr gut zuhören und es bleibt eine Menge (nicht alles) an Informationen hängen.Beide Tourguides haben neben ihren geschichtlichen Kenntnissen viele Geschichten über die besuchten Orte parat, ob es sich um Filmkulissen handelt oder auch, wo man die besten Dumplings in China Town oder die beste Pizza, Schokolade und/oder Eis, Cupcakes in Greenwich bekommt.Wir haben uns nicht eine einzige Sekunde der jeweiligen Tour gelangweilt sondern alles Wissen und die Geschichten aufgesogen.Klar ist: bei unserem nächsten NY Besuch werden wir auf jeden Fall wieder free tours by foot machen😁VictorVictor ★★★★★ We had a fantastic time on John Gallagher's free tour, and it was a pleasant experience. He knows the area well and made exploring SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown a blast. From excellent shops in SoHo to tasty treats in Little Italy and the bustling vibe of Chinatown, John showed us all the best spots. Super friendly and full of fun facts, he made the tour feel like a walk with a friend who knows all the most incredible places. I recommend tagging along if you want to see NYC from a local's perspectiveGisele T.Gisele T. ★★★★★ John was our guide, April 13, 2024. I lived in New York and came with out of town friends. I learned so much during this visit on the town I thought I knew well! John is highly knowledgeable, a wealth of historical, architectural facts delivered with a plethora of anecdotes and good humor. Being on a budget this was an amazing option and John made that day one for my memories trunk!Holly N.Holly N. ★★★★★ I had an amazing Brooklyn Bridge tour with Lori! She was friendly and knowledgeable, the tour was a good pace and had a lot of information without being overwhelming. I will definitely be booking a different tour the next time I am in town and would throughly recommend to anyone. Hopefully I'll get Lori again!Cassie C.Cassie C. ★★★★★ Lori was an awesome guide!! The SOHO, Little Italy and Chinatown walking tour was fun and full of great information!!! I highly recommend this tour with Lori!!Susan O.Susan O. ★★★★★ This tour was great and Jon was a terrific guide. I highly recommended itAriela A.Ariela A. ★★★★★ The tour was informative educational clear and funny. Thanks to John Gallagher who made everything possible and giving us wonderful recommendations 👏👏👏Cathy S.Cathy S. ★★★★★ Went on the Lower East Side Food Tour with Jon. Very knowledgeable history buff. Enjoyed the tour, the food and the people on the tour were friendly!Anushree S.Anushree S. ★★★★★ The Brooklyn Bridge walking tour was so incredible! Learning the history behind how it was built, and New York’s architecture was so interesting to me. John was an incredible tour guide and he really made the whole experience engrossing. I would recommend the morning walking tour 🙂Julie W.Julie W. ★★★★★ We were on the Harlem and Grand Central Station tours. Both were excellent. Would highly recommend Free Tours by Foot.Nuno Tiago Pires dos Santos P.Nuno Tiago Pires dos Santos P. ★★★★★ Renée was a wonderful tour guide. Recommend the tour very muchU R.U R. ★★★★★ We had an absolutely fantastic morning with Lori walking from City Hall Park over Brooklyn Bridge into DUMBO and then Brooklyn Heights. Lori has so much historical knowledge and great storytelling ability so it was an absolutely lovely way to spend a few hours in New York. Highly recommend!Fergus D.Fergus D. ★★★★★ A very high quality tour with excellent levels of insight and an appropriate but entertaining delivery from the guide, who seemed to know every other person in the neighbourhood. One of the highlights of the ten busy tourist days I’ve spent in NYC.Jen B.Jen B. ★★★★★ We had a great walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Hts, DUMBO and the area. John Gallagher was funny and engaging, and his anecdotes enhanced the experience. My teenagers even had fun. His recommendations for dinner were also great.Melissa W.Melissa W. ★★★★★ Had a Brooklyn Bridge tour today with Katie. She was brilliant. Utterly miserable weather, raining and cold, but Katie was energetic, interesting and super informative.We went with a 9 and 13 year old and they didn’t complain at all (except about the rain, which Katie had no control over!)Highly recommend! Thanks so much Katie.Domenic S.Domenic S. ★★★★★ John was a fantastic tour guide - we had a great tour, learned so much and had a lot of fun. Thanks John, especially for making it so enjoyable for our kids too!Christian A.Christian A. ★★★★★ HiMy tour with Jon was exceptional.Jon is knowledgeable and picked fabulous eating establishments with a rich history and delicious tasting tidbits. The split pea soup at Cozis was to die for. I went back for dinner that night for a full bowl. The Ukrainian kitchen was quirky and fun and the Cabbage rolls were super delicious.The Brooklyn dumplings were delicious and the finale, a dessert cafe had the richest yummist Cannoli.Jons knowledge ie the history, culture and choice of venues in East Village was top notch.Jon was kind enough to share his mobile if we had and further queries (which I did) about places to see or eat and he answered my texts immediately.Jon was a sensational tour guide. 10/10.When I’m back in NY again from Australia I’ll be doing another of his tours!MarzenaMarzena ★★★★★ I had a tour (Chinatown, Little Italy etc.) with Jon - absolutely perfect! Jon's enthusiasm, fascinating stories and his sense of humour just made to me the NYC really "alive"! Hope to repeat a tour guided by Jon!js_loader


We are also partnering with our friends at A Slice of Brooklyn Tours and Tour America to offer a guided bus tour of the Dyker Heights Christmas lights displays.

These excursions are part bus and part walking, but the tours are guided throughout. 

Some even make bonus stops at the Brooklyn Bridge and/or the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and DUMBO.

Be sure to also read our comparison and review posts on NYC bus tours.

A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours

With an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, it's safe to say that this company offers excellent bus tours.

Reviews for their Dyker Heights trip are especially positive, as most customers agree that the experience was wonderful.

Guests appreciated their fun and informative tour guides, indicating that they provided a lot of significant details about the light show and the neighborhood.


Reservations: Reservations are required. Book Now.

Where: The tour begins at Union Square. The exact location and directions are provided upon booking.

Duration: Approximately 3.5 hours.

When: Every day from December 1 - 30, 2024. Multiple departures daily from 5 pm to 8 pm.


  • Priority Adult: $75
  • Priority Children: $65
  • Standard Adult: $65
  • Standard Children: $55

Blackout dates – Dec 24 and Dec 25 as well as Dec 31st and January 1st.



In addition to the services listed above, this company also provides a Dyker Heights Christmas Lights bus tour.

Clocking in at roughly 3 ½ hours, this outing should give you plenty of time to see the beautiful holiday lights in this Brooklyn neighborhood.

As you drive past notable sites, a tour guide will provide narration and point out some of the more magnificent displays.

Once you reach the area, you'll be given 45 minutes to walk around and see the lights up close.

At the end of your trip, you'll have the option to stop at Rockefeller Center and join the ice skaters in front of the iconic Christmas tree.

They also offer this tour en Espanol.

  • Ticket Prices: $60 for Adults | $50 for Children
  • Duration: 3 ½ hours
  • Availability: Dec 1st - Jan 1st @ 5 pm and 6 pm
  • 45-minute stop in Dyker Heights for a closer look at the lights
  • Stop by Rockefeller Center and join the ice skaters
  • Click here for more information.

Overall ratings for this bus tour are very positive (read reviews here).

Most customers agree that Tour America runs an excellent service, indicating that they actually provided a lot of useful information about the city while driving toward their destination.

Guests were pleased that they had the opportunity to hop off for 45 minutes and walk around Dyker Heights to see the lights up close. 


Like Tour America's bus tour above, the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights (DHCL) tour provides round-trip transportation to see the lights.

You depart from Midtown Manhattan and enjoy Christmas tunes, free Wi-Fi, and TV on the bus ride to Brooklyn.

Upon arrival in Dyker Heights, you have exclusive access to the Dyker Lights Lounge to warm up or use the restrooms before heading out for your guided walking tour of the holiday displays.

Before boarding your bus back to Manhattan, you will again stop at the lounge for a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and a treat.

The drop-off location is at Bryant Park in Midtown so if you want to enjoy more of the holiday season you can go to the Christmas market which is open until 10 pm.

Reservations: Required. Book here

Duration: Tour is 4 hours including bus travel time from Midtown Manhattan. Expect to walk approximately 3 miles.

When:2024 dates TBD. Last year it ran from 5 p.m. (17:00) every day from November 28 - to Jan. 6 (closed December 24, 25, and 31)

Cost: $95/person 


Groupon often offers promotions on some Dyker Heights Christmas Lights tours. Be sure to look at the Groupon site for savings on tours.


The best blocks to visit in Dyker Heights are 83rd Street and 84th Street between 10th Avenue and 12th Avenues.

We've made the below map for you to use on a self-guided tour of the lights.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Walking Tour Map

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Map
Click on the map to expand.

Spata House

1152 84th St (map

Lucy Spata started decorating her house in 1986. If this house doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit nothing will!

She decorates her house (well, her half of a duplex) with all sorts of holiday objects, from reindeer to toy soldiers to Santas.

The Polizotto House 

1145 84th Street (map)

Alfred Polizzotto first decorated his house more than 20 years ago as a way to celebrate some pretty great news: Polizzotto’s cancer had gone into remission.

He hired a Brooklyn local to deck out his lawn in thousands of lights, several one-ton mechanical horses, and automatronic toy soldiers.

Though he passed away several years ago, Polizzotto’s family has kept the tradition alive.

The holiday lights have not only brought joy to family and neighbors, but they also deliver happiness to the thousands of children that visit each season.

And the patriarch’s contribution to the hood was not forgotten. The year Alfred Senior passed away, all the Dyker Lights went dark for one night.

Visitors can make donations to the National Cancer Society by way of donation boxes set up all over the Polizzotto’s lawn. 

Saita House

1135 84th St (map)

One of the most interesting houses on this street is the Saita House, an architectural gem that is listed on the National List of Historic Places.

The house is one of the few original houses still remaining when the neighborhood was designed to be a wealthy suburban enclave.

Sam the Greek 

71st Street and 14th Avenue (map).  

Located about 10 blocks from the Spata home, Sam Livos (Sam the Greek) owns a 3 story house decorated with approximately 300,000 lights.

A few houses down are giant Nutcrackers.

Let us also not forget about the twin houses, one decked out in red and another in green with lighting completely enveloping the homes and even running 20 feet into the air into the trees.

Oh, and depending on the day and time, there is a DJ spinning Christmas music right at the corner of 84th Street and 12th Avenue. It's a fun time even for the tour guides.


Should you get hungry after your tour of the neighborhood or want to grab a snack beforehand, there are plenty of places to get food in the area.

There are many fast food chains like Chipotle and Starbucks along 86th Street between the subway and the beginning of the Christmas Lights houses.

If you like Italian food you are in luck! It's the cuisine that Dyker Heights is best known for! Here are some of the best places to go.

La Bella Marketplace at 7907 13th Avenue (map)

A fantastic Italian supermarket. The prepared food section has savory Italian meat dishes, and all sorts of pastas, and vegetables. 

Open Mon-Fri 7:30 am - 8 pm, Sat 7:30 am - 7 pm, Sun 7:30 am - 6 pm

Krispy Pizza at 7112 13th Avenue (map)

Yummy pizzeria to sit down or take out. Also serves salads, calzones, and Italian appetizers.

Open M–Th: 11 am–11 pm,  F–Sa: 11 am–12 am, Sun: 12 pm–11 pm.

Lioni's Italian Heroes at 7803 15th Avenue (map)

An Italian deli with over 150 different sandwiches! Meats, cheeses, vegetables, you name it, they’ve got it!

Open Monday-Sat 8 am -7 pm Sunday 8:30 am-2:30 pm.

Tasty Pastry Shoppe at 8216 13th Avenue (map)

Makes delicious Italian baked goods to go.

Open Tuesday– Saturday 6:30 am - 8 pm, Sunday  6:30 am - 5 pm. Closed on Mondays

Twist Coffee at 7824 13th Ave (map)

Sit-down cafe with every kind of warm drink under the sun. Plus shakes, cold drinks and a selection of pastries and cookies.

Open daily 8 am - 6 pm.


While a primarily residential area, there are a few sights to see in the area if you like history.

New Utrecht Reformed Church at 1827 84th Street (map)

This is the 9th oldest church building in New York City, built in 1828 in the Georgian Gothic style.

The congregation is the 4th oldest Reformed Church in America, serving the Brooklyn community since 1677.

Harbor Defense Museum at 230 Sheridan Loop (map)

Admission is free at this unique museum. See artifacts and historical items from the old Fort Hamilton, completed in 1831.

Today, Fort Hamilton is the only active-duty military base in the greater New York City area. About half of the original fort has been demolished.

Objects at the museum include army weapons, uniforms, small arms, and cannons, from the 18th century to the present. 

See exhibits about the Battle of Brooklyn, World War I, World War II and more.

Open Tuesday - Friday 10 am to 4 pm.

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: April 7th, 2024
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