Check out these beautiful Christmas trees and sparkling lights away from the hubbub of Rockefeller Center.
There’s nowhere like New York during the holidays. From elaborate window displays to ice skating rinks, the city offers a range of winter activities to please every traveler. But if you’ve had your fill of tourist-saturated sites in Midtown, check out these off-the-beaten path destinations for a dose of holiday cheer.
1. Dyker Heights
Each year, neighbors in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn compete to outdo one another’s extravagant light displays. The tradition began in 1986 and has been going strong ever since, attracting New York locals and visitors alike. To see the lights in their full glory, visit on mid-December weekends after dark, but before 9pm.
2. Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island
Wave to Lady Liberty on your ferry ride over to Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town. The quaint town’s annual holiday celebration will take place on December 4 this year, and will include goods from local vendors, yummy seasonal baked goods, beautiful decorations, and a visit from Santa. Be sure to stick around for the grand finale: an old fashioned Christmas tree lighting.
3. Rolf’s German Restaurant
If shivering under outdoor light displays isn’t your cup of tea, why not enjoy a warm and cozy dinner at one of New York’s best holiday spots? With strings of tiny lights, poinsettias, and garlands blanketed over every inch of space, Rolf’s German Restaurant goes all out when it comes to Christmas decor. The Third Avenue restaurant makes a great holiday date night, especially for those who love classic German and Bavarian cuisine.
4. Garabedian Family’s Christmas Home
If you’re drawn to the off-kilter, this Bronx attraction is a must-see. Created each year by a single family, the unique decor of the Garabedian Family Christmas House is unlike any other destination on this list. The house’s exterior is transformed into a holiday scene of mannequins dressed as famous figures, all celebrating in style. You’ll see Cinderella, Jesus, Santa Claus, Marilyn Monroe, the Phantom of the Opera and more. Yet another thing to make you say, “Only in New York!”
5. Santa’s Corner
In Queens, one festive house stands out from the rest. Repeat visitors attest that this house’s light display gets bigger and better each year. The family invites guests to walk around the property and take their time to fully enjoy every last decorative detail. In addition to the huge light show, visitors will enjoy a soundtrack of holiday music to set the mood.
6. The Luminaries Exhibition
Head all the way downtown, and the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place New York offers a beautiful, subtle holiday display. 650 colored lanterns elegantly adorn the garden’s glass ceiling, shining in a dazzling array of colors and illuminating the Christmas trees below. The exhibition is open until 10pm daily, through February 29.
After you’ve trekked to the far reaches of Brooklyn or Queens in search of holiday magic, find comfort and joy in your very own Affinia hotel room. Be sure to take advantage of our Cyber Monday promotion, Tuesday, November 22nd through Monday, November 28th — we’ll be getting into the holiday spirit and knocking 50% our usual rates. And don’t forget to share your favorite holiday traditions with us on Twitter with the hashtag #AffiniaHoliday for the chance to win a prize!