Now that it's the most wonderful time of the year, you'll find spectacular holiday lights across New York that will immediately get you in the spirit. Trees, buildings, and more get lit up to help celebrate the season, from the famed Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in Manhattan to the shimmering Lights on the Lake near Syracuse. For more holiday lights, visit Unique Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in New York. Remember to stay as local as possible and keep six feet apart from others not in your party and wear a mask or face covering. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available. Be advised that New York has a travel advisory in effect, which requires travelers from non-contiguous states to quarantine for 10 days upon entering New York State. Travelers may undergo COVID testing to test out. For more details, see the guidelines for the travel advisory here. Most attractions are operating with capacity restrictions and require advance ticketing or reservations, so plan before you go.
Lights on the Lake (Finger Lakes)
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 18, 2020-January 10, 2021
Capital Holiday Lights in the Park (Capital-Saratoga)
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. Albany; November 27, 2020–January 3, 2021; tickets start at $25 per car.
A Frosty Fest (Hudson Valley)
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 27–December 20, 2020
Everyone has to see New York City's most famous tree at least once in their lifetime. Make this year your year. The December 2 tree-lighting ceremony will not be open to the public but will be broadcast on NBC from 8-10 pm EST. From December 3 through early January, visitors will be able to see the tree in person for five-minute viewings. Rockefeller Center will feature QR codes for visitors to scan and secure timed entry to get a glimpse of the 75-foot-tall Norway Spruce. Manhattan; December 3, 2020–early January 2021