New York City is especially magical during the holidays, due, in no small part to its brilliant light displays. This year, New York delivers all the classics in fine style, and adds to its collection of traditional lights and displays, some non-denominational, immersive exhibits and installations you can only find in New York. No matter which holiday your family celebrates, NYC’s got some lights to make your season a little brighter!

photo: The Shops at Columbus Circle

Holiday Under the Stars at Columbus Circle

The Shops at Columbus Circle are back with the annual Holiday Under the Stars display. The installation can be seen from every floor and features 14-foot, specialty crafted stars which light up from the inside for a spectacular view. Visit past 5 p.m. for a dazzling light show which begins every half hour on the hour. Dec. 13 - Jan. 3, 2018 5 p.m.-midnight daily The Shops at Columbus Circle 10 Columbus Circle Midtown Online: theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com

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photo: Facebook.

Christmas Lights at Jamaica Estates

There are a few pockets of spectacular lights located around the five boroughs, but our favorite this year is the Christmas Lights at Jamaica Estates. So well known that it has its own Facebook page, this light show will amaze visitors of any age. Thousands of glittering lights, intricate details, and fun displays are on display, and the lights turn on daily as soon as it gets dark. Be sure to stop by Santa's Magical Mailbox and drop off a donation for Toys for Tots, or send off some letters to Santa, which the Estate promises will be delivered to the North Pole ASAP. Jamaica Estates 185-07 80TH Dr. Jamaica Online: facebook.com/ChristmasInJamaicaEstates

Holiday Lights at Dyker Heights

It wouldn't be the holidays without Dyker Height's annual light display. The neighborhood has been dazzling visitors for years with its over-the-top light displays, put up by both professionals and regular homeowners. You can even book a tour with A Slice of Brooklyn, who promise to escort you around "like family" -- but book quickly, as these tours have been known to sell out. In recent years the little area has gained fame for its lights, and is not so little anymore. This year the number of visitors is larger than ever, so be ready for a crowd -- and please remember that people live in these houses.

Dyker Heights
83rd through 86th Sts.
and 11th through 13th Aves.

photo: Image via Facebook.

Luminaries at Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place brings some cheer indoors with Luminaries, a mesmerizing installation of lights and colors designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group. The display consists of glowing lanterns hung overhead inside the Winter Garden, which change and pulsate with alternating brightness and color as you watch. Brookfield Place is also hosting a program in tune with the season's spirit of giving and charity: three Wishing Stations on the ground allow visitors to send a "wish" into the light display; for every wish sent over the exhibit's duration, Brookfield Place will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to the GRAMMY Museum's music education programs.

Through Jan. 5
Brookfield Place
230 Vesey St.
Battery Park City
212-978-1698
Online: brookfieldplaceny.com

photo: Photo via Facebook.

Glittering Window Displays at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Ave, and Macy's

Window displays across the big retailers in the city are always fun, and this year the big ones outdid themselves as usual. Our favorites are the spectacular displays of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Ave, and (of course) Macy's. For a real light show, check out Bergdorff's windows, To New York With Love, which are presents a tribute to seven of NYC's beloved cultural institutions with glittery dinosaur skeletons and neon light shows. Macy's theme this year is The Perfect Gift Brings People Together, for which the store turned its windows into a wonderfully whimsical and bright fairytale world. Sak's Fifth Avenue, meanwhile, focused on Snow White this year, celebrating the Disney tale's 80th anniversary with its window display Once Upon a Holiday which recreates scenes from the classic fairy tale and even envisions what Snow White would look like today. Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Ave. at West 57th Midtown Online: bergdorfgoodman.com Saks Fifth Ave 611 Fifth Avenue at 49th Street Midtown Online: saksfifthavenue.com Macy’s Herald Square 151 W 34th St. Herald Square Online: macys.com

 

—Yuliya Geikhman