Now that it's the most wonderful time of the year, you'll find spectacular holiday lights across New York that are far greater than your neighbor's strung display. Here are the Christmas lights you need to see this season.

1. Lights on the Lake

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-through holiday light shows, you can enjoy beautiful holiday lights from the warmth and comfort of your car. Liverpool; November 15, 2018January 6, 2019

2. Greenwich Holiday Lighted Tractor Parade

Get an early start on holiday celebrations by attending the Greenwich Holiday Lighted Tractor Parade in Greenwich. Watch more than 70 tractors decorated with more than 1000 holiday lights as they parade through the historic village. Greenwich; November 17, 2018

3. Capital Holiday Lights in the Park

Capital Holiday Lights in the Park
Albany's Washington Park transforms into a sparkling wonderland where more than 125 light displays adorn the park for the holiday season. This year's 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 and make sure to stop by the Washington Park Lake House for crafts and refreshments. Albany; November 23, 2018January 2, 2019; tickets start at $20 per car.

4. A Frosty Fest

The creative team that brought you the Headless Horseman Hayrides returns for another holiday season of spectacular Christmas lights at Ulster Park. With the enchanted forest's animated lights, magical mansion, Santa's North Pole, Frosty's 3D Adventure and more—it's no surprise these tickets sell fast. Get yours here. Ulster Park; Friday through Sunday, November 23– December 23, 2018

5. Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony 

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting; photo: Tishman Speyer Gregory Scaffidi

Everyone has to see New York City's most famous tree at least once in their lifetime. Make this year your year. Attend the tree-lighting ceremony for special live performances or just walk by Rockefeller Center during the season. Manhattan; November 28, 2018–January 7, 2019

6. The Victorian Street Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Victorian Street Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Saratoga Springs will jump-start your holiday season with a massive tree lighting in front of Putnam Market. Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies, live music, reindeer, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Saratoga Springs; November 29, 2018 

7. Buffalo's Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting 

Travel to Buffalo for the annual Christmas tree lighting to mark the official opening of the free ice-skating season. Head to Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza. The celebration runs from 5 pm to 8 pm and begins with free ice skating! Buffalo; December 1, 2018

8. Rochester's Liberty Pole Lighting 

Kick off the holiday season with Rochester's annual Liberty Pole Lighting where fireworks and family ice skating brightens the downtown area with holiday spirit. The lighting is at 5 pm, but the festivities are until 8:30 pm. Rochester; December 1, 2018

9. Albany's Empire State Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting 

Empire State Plaza Tree - Photo Courtesy of Albany County Convention & Visitors Burea

The Capital exudes Christmas cheer with a holiday arts and crafts fair, ice skating show, and train and carriage rides around the Plaza. Enjoy live music, food, and vendors that are guaranteed to put you in the spirit. Albany; December 2, 2018

10. Lights on the River Festival

The Victorian Street Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Head to Owego's historic district for the annual fireworks show and hundreds of decorated trees lighting up the riverside. With children's choirs, carolers, live reindeer, ice carvers, and an exclusive Santa visit to boot, it's a night you don't want to miss! Owego; December 7, 2018

11. World's Largest Hanukkah Menorahs 

Hanukkah menorah at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan; photo: Gansevoort Park Ave

The race for the largest Hanukkah menorah is on in New York City where both Manhattan and Brooklyn Grand Army Plazas hold massive displays. Kick off the Jewish Festival of Lights by gathering around a 32-foot-tall gold Menorah across the street from the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. And if you love warm potato pancakes, head to the top of Prospect Park for Brooklyn's grand menorah lighting! December 2, 2018.

Share New York State adventures with us on Instagram and Twitter with #ILoveNY and #iSpyNY, and tag us on Facebook!