Winter is here and the night skies are getting brighter across New York State! So put on your favorite sweater and have your hot chocolate at the ready, because you won’t want to miss these magical winter lights festivals, lantern displays, and holiday light spectaculars.

Remember to social distance and wear a mask as required by state guidelines. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available.

Lake George Festival of Lights (Adirondacks)

Christmas wreaths and decorations adorn a station wagon from the National Lampoon Christmas film with glowing holiday lights in the background

@lakegeorgearea on Instagram

When: November 27–December 31

Throughout the holiday season, Lake George transforms into a quintessential Christmas winter wonderland with its Holiday Festival of Lights in the center of town. Enjoy beautifully decorated storefronts along Canada Street and a large, enchanting light display with live music and entertainment in Shepherd Park. Shop unique local and handmade gifts from over 50 artisan vendors and take a photo with Santa at the Holiday Artisan Market in the Fort William Henry Resort Carriage House and Conference Center. The festival also features special ticketed events (advance tickets required), including the Royal Snow Sisters Holiday Princess Show and the Ha-Ha-Holiday Comedy Show. Lake George; November 27–December 31, 2021; Holiday Festival of Lights display & Artisan Markets are free.

LuminoCity Festival (Long Island)

Large inflatable lanterns of the grinning cat from Alice in Wonderland, stars and mushrooms in multicolored lights

@oneill.mclean on Instagram

When: November 12, 2021–January 9, 2022

LuminoCity Festival is coming to Long Island for the first time this winter at Whitney Pond Park! Celebrate the holiday season with glowing sculptures, magical winter lights, immersive exhibits in a dazzling display of light and color. Explore hidden flora and fauna along the winding path within the Mysterious Forest, or see through the looking glass inside Alice's Sleepwalk. This year's theme is "Shine Again", inspired by the power and warmth of light overcoming darkness. Manhasset; November 12, 2021–January 9, 2022; timed ticketing; prices vary.

Capital Holiday Lights in the Park (Capital-Saratoga)

The drive-thru entrance with a glowing blue neon sign and multi-colored light displays of popsicles and candy canes surrounding each side of the Capital Holiday Lights sign

@capitaldistrictmoms on Instagram

When: November 26, 2021–January 2, 2022

Albany's Washington Park transforms into a glittering winter wonderland where more than 125 light displays adorn the park for the holiday season. The 25th Annual Price Chopper/Market 32 Capital Holiday Lights show depicts holiday scenes of yesteryear as well as many new lighting displays including Santas, trains, houses, and more. Drive or walk through the park to indulge in holiday cheer. Albany; November 26, 2021–January 2, 2022; tickets start at $25 per car.

Peace, Love & Lights Holiday Light Show (Catskills)

A yellow buggy vehicle completely covered in florescent pink fairy lights in front of multiple light arches in a snowy field

@shinybreathing on Instagram

When: November 19, 2021–January 2, 2022

Head on down to the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival for a drive-thru holiday light show powered by Healey Brothers. Located at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the scenic Sullivan Catskills, enjoy the holiday lights from the comfort of your car along a 1.7-mile route through the all-new Holidays Around The World themed area and see classic annual displays from Candy Cane Lane to Groovy Way. Be sure to check out the Market Sheds' Holiday Hub afterward for seasonal food and drink, live caroling, and the Musical Mega Trees light display. Bethel; November 19, 2021–January 2, 2022; tickets start at $30 per car.

Jungle Bells Holiday Lights at Animal Adventure Park (Central New York)

A boy in winter clothing sitting in a verticle circle of white and yellow fairy lights

@storkesque9 on Instagram

When: November 11, 2021–January 2, 2022

See spectacular holiday lights and get up close with animals at the same time at Jungle Bells Holiday Lights Display at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville. Marvel at one million lights on display throughout the park, complete with the tallest fully lit tree in the area and live reindeer! Stop in at Santa’s workshop for photos with the man in red every Friday and Saturday, and photos with The Snow Sisters on Sundays. See & feed hundreds of animals, including resident giraffes Oliver and Johari! Harpursville; November 11, 2021–January 2, 2022; tickets $12 per person.

Lights on the Lake (Finger Lakes)

Several larger-than-life-sized bright glowing neon-colored lanterns of flowers and an orange and red-spotted ladybug sitting on the Onondaga Lake

@fingerlakeswelcomecenter on Instagram

When: November 15, 2021–January 14, 2022

This fantasy winter wonderland along Onondaga Lake is an awe-inspiring display of twinkling lights, animated displays, and holiday cheer that goes for miles. One of the few drive-thru holiday light shows, you can enjoy two miles of beautiful holiday lights, including the Land of Oz and a twinkling fantasy forest, from the warmth and comfort of your car. Liverpool; November 15, 2021-January 14, 2022; tickets start at $6 per car.

Gardens After Dark: Magical Poinsettias (Greater Niagara)

An aerial view of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens building and glowing multi-colored festival lights seen through the glass dome rooftops

@highpeaks_ai on Instagram

When: November 26–December 30, 2021

Surround yourself in stunning natural beauty and colorful lights in this mesmerizing after-dark experience housed within the historic Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens! Each exhibit highlights the Botanical Gardens’ plant collections and tropical gardens with the aim of connecting people to the natural world in a new way, inspiring peace and calmness. Add a touch of romance to your garden experience with drinks, wine, cheese, and chocolate at the Gardens' Thurs-Date Nights! Buffalo; November 26–December 30, 2021; ticket prices vary.

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland (Hudson Valley)

A white four-wheel drive car driving through a tunnel of red, green and white fairy lights at the Westchester Winter Wonderland Festival
@nyc_super_mom on Instagram

When: November 26, 2021–January 2, 2022

Get ready for a drive-thru holiday light extravaganza filled with thousands of lights in Valhalla! Classic displays and attractions return this year, including dancing trees, a 50-foot dove, and a spectacular 100-foot light tunnel. This year, explore new attractions including Elf Disco, two new 30-foot snowflakes lighting up the largest holiday Christmas tree in the county, and more! Wave to Santa and other favorite holiday characters while listening to festive holiday music on your radio as you drive through the park. Valhalla; November 26, 2021–January 2, 2022; tickets start at $25 per car.

Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (New York City)

A group of people walking through an archway lined with thousands of yellow fairy lights

Credit: Winter Cathedral by Mandylights. Copyright Sony Music. Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

When: November 19, 2021–January 9, 2022

Wander through an enchanting illuminated trail of over one million lights at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's after-dark spectacular! Discover light installations by local and international artists, including the monumental Winter Cathedral Tunnel, Fire Garden, Sea of Light, and more. In the mood for hot chocolate, or perhaps some holiday snacks for your journey? The Gardens has you covered, with food and drink, hot chocolate, and s'mores stations dotted throughout its dazzling illuminated pathway. Brooklyn; November 19, 2021–January 9, 2022; ticket prices vary.

Zoo New York’s Winter Wonderlights (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

When: November 26, 2021–January 2, 2022

Explore a winter wonderland amongst animals and nature at the 2nd annual Winter Wonderlights at Zoo New York! See the zoo come alive after-dark with its series of multicolored holiday lights, inflatable displays, and special appearances from Santa & Mrs. Claus every Saturday! Watertown; select days from November 26, 2021–January 2, 2022; admission $6


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