Undiscovered New York: Christmas display spectacle in Dyker Heights

Welcome to this week’s edition of Undiscovered New York. The holidays are nearly upon us here in New York, and like much of the rest of the country, the city is in full-on holiday mode. The giant tree is lit in Rockefeller Center, the holiday gift merchants are out in Union Square, and the 50 foot tall animatronic Santas, synchronized light shows and guerilla armies of toy soldiers are waiting out in the Dyker Heights.

Few places on earth can match the pure Christmas zeal of Dyker Heights, a residential neighborhood located in the southwestern Brooklyn. Each year this largely Italian-American community competes to win bragging rights for the title of biggest and best Christmas display. Residents will stop at just about nothing to prove their decorating prowess. Displays include everything from neon-lit manger displays to giant Santas plus enough decorative Christmas lights per square inch power a small country.

The displays are so huge that Dyker Heights has created a mini-cottage tourist industry during the holiday season. Each December as many as 100,000 visitors make the trek to this far flung neighborhood to check out the lights and have their pictures taken among the outlandish and festive decorations.

Are you Christmas crazy? Will you be visiting New York this holiday season? Why not make the trek out to Brooklyn for one of New York’s most unique Christmas spectacles? Click below to learn how to get there and see some video footage from a special Dyker Heights holiday visit by none other than Conan O’Brien.
Where do I find the displays?
The epicenter of the Dyker Heights spectacle is 84th Street, with many of the houses enclosed in the blocks between 80th and 86th Streets and 10th to 13th Avenues putting up some kind of display. Here’s a map to help you get your bearings. Though the most convenient way to get to Dyker Heights is by driving, enterprising visitors can also take the R Train to 86th Street in Brooklyn. Just look for the giant Christmas toddler and polar bear display and you’ll know you’ve made it.

Is it really worth checking out?
Check out this segment from Conan O’Brien if you need any further motivation to go check out the Dyker Heights Christmas spectacle: