Christmas Light Shows In and Around Jersey City 2021


Christmas is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about festive things to do! If you’re looking for a great way to get into the holiday spirit, check out some of the amazing Christmas light shows in and around Jersey City. There are tons of events happening this year, so be sure to mark your calendar and get ready for a winter wonderland experience!


New Jersey


Drive-Thru Christmas Light Show

November 19 — January

drive thru light show nj 2021
Drive Thru Christmas Light Show in Newark, NJ. Photo acquired from Dasher Light Show’s website.

Owners of Moonlight Cinema in partnership with Dasher’s Lightshow are bringing an immersive light show to Newark, dubbed the “Drive Thru Christmas Light Show” to spread holiday cheer to Essex County and surrounding areas.

“The light show will open its doors on Friday, Nov. 19 to get everyone into the holiday spirit… Families can connect their vehicle’s radio to 97.5 FM to listen to their favorite holiday tunes and watch the hundreds of thousands of lights dance and blink in sync with the music. The light show is open seven days a week, starting at 5 p.m. with the latest entry at 10:30 p.m. Families pre-purchase a ticket for the day and time slot that works best for them. They arrive at Newark Moonlight Cinema to check in during that time, make sure the radio for the car is tuned in, and then drive through the show. At the recommended speeds, the show should take 30 minutes.”

Cost: $35 per car, tickets must be purchased before arriving

220 Orange St, Newark, NJ 07103


Magic of Lights New Jersey

November 19 — January 2

holiday light show new jersey
Christmas light display at Magic of Lights. Photo acquired from Magic of Lights website.

Enjoy the experience of dazzling lights and holiday scenes from the comfort of your car at PNC Bank Arts Center’s Magic of Lights show. Scenes and characters are brought to bright, vivid life using LED technology and incredible digital animations. Pull in with your friends, family or loved ones, set your radio to their light show station and enjoy the merry music as you wind through the garden of lights. Magic of Lights runs through January 2nd, 2022, open Sunday thru Thursdays from 5 to 10pm and Friday’s & Saturday’s from 5 to 11 pm.

Cost: $25 per car if bought in advance, $30 per car at the gate

PNC Bank Arts Center, 116 Garden State Pkwy, Holmdel, NJ 07733

(732) 203-2500


Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular

November 19 — December 31, select dates

turtle back zoo holiday lights spectacular
Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular. Photo acquired from Turtle Back Zoo’s website.

Take a stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season and admire the display of over 50 winter and animal characters in sparkling lights. A family favorite, last years light show was canceled due to the COVID19 pandemic but they are back in full swing this holiday season. Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular is completely free but they do ask that visitors help celebrate the season of giving by bringing donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats.

“…Over one million lights will illuminate figures of bears, tigers and elephants, along with holiday lights designed to look like wooden soldiers, stars and winter scenes. Several animal exhibits will be open, including the Sea Lion Sound, Essex Farm, Tam-ring Gibbons Reserve, Tropical Currents Aquarium and the Reptile Building…In addition, there will be special appearances by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, ice sculpture demonstrations and carol sings”

Cost: Donation recommended

560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052

(973) 731-5800


Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms

November 23 — January 9

Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms 2021
Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms. Photo acquired from Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms’s website.

Enjoy the most magical time of year and explore 32 acres of holiday light displays at Demarest Farms. Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms is sure to wow the whole family, with opportunities to warm up by the fire pit with s’mores, enjoy hot cocoa & treats in the retail farm market, and take pictures with Santa while listening to Santa’s reindeer singing.

Cost: $35 per car

Demarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07642

(201) 666-0472


The Winter WonderLights

November 26 — January 2 

What started as a local holiday display for family, friends and neighbors expanded over the course of 2 decades into the largest Christmas light show in NJ. Located at Middlesex County Fair Grounds, Winter WonderLights drive thru features 1.5 million lights, a dozen 20 foot trees, a 200 foot tunnel of lights, a tribute to first responder and tons of other stunning, larger than life holiday themed displays for the entire family to enjoy – all synchronized with music you can tune your radio to.

Cost: $27 per car or $100 season pass per car; guests are encouraged to buy their tickets online.

655 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

(800) 951-3770


Brookhollow’s Barnyard

Thursday to Sunday, 4:30pm to 8:30pm: November 27 — January 

Christmas light display at Brookhollow’s Barnyard. Photo acquired from Brookhollow’s Barnyard facebook.

Visit Winter at Brookhollow’s Barnyard for a truly memorable holiday experience, this is one of those holiday light shows in NJ that you won’t want to miss. A completely walkable tour, visitors will get a chance to explore the farm and see all of the lights for the holiday season.

Cost: $20, tickets must be purchased prior to arrival

301 Rockaway Valley Road, Boonton, NJ 07005

(973) 917-3060


New York


Shine Bright at Hudson Yards

Now — January 1

light display nyc 2021
Shine Bright at Hudson Yards. Photo acquired from Hudson Yards website.

One of the newest Christmas light displays, Shine Bright is an indoor-outdoor light and music installation featuring over 2 million lights located at Hudson Yards in New York City. White light illuminates The Shops, Public Square & gardens, The edge and Vessel located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Everyday at 5pm, spectators are invited to watch a visual spectacle as the lights synchronize with festive music to create a breathtaking display.

Cost: Free

10 Hudson Yards New York, NY 10001

(646) 954-3155


Rolf’s German Restaurant

Now — May 2022

christmas display at rolf's german restaurant
Luminaries at the Winter Garden. Photo courtesy of Flickr, taken by Chris Gold.

With 15,000 holiday ornaments and 100,000 lights, New York City’s Rolf’s German Restaurant is a truly special place. In 2020, Rolf’s didn’t open due to COVID 19 and indoor dining regulation in NYC but this year it is back in all its former glory. Rolf’s goes beyond “decorated” and qualifies for “over the top” —in the best way. Twinkle lights, ornaments, dolls, and garland are stuffed into every nook and cranny so if you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy holiday spot, this is it.

Cost: No required tickets to enter but be warned wait time can exceed 1.5 hours!

281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

(212) 473-8718


Pinkmas at The Museum of Ice Cream

November 18th — January 9th

christmas events jersey city
Pinkmas at the Museum of Ice Cream. Photo acquired from the MOIC website.

‘Pinkmas’ is the annual holiday celebration put on by the Museum of Ice Cream in New York City. This year MOIC promises to be bigger, bolder and better than ever before with 13 multi-sensory installations in a pink winter wonderland bursting with snowflakes, candy canes, and pink trees! The Museum will feature three immersive floors of new holiday treats, festive games and engaging activations! Guests are invited to come dressed in their pinkiest Pinkmas attire to embark on a holiday adventure to find the true meaning of Pinkmas with friends, family, and loved ones. Guests are encouraged to bring a new toy in exchange for one scoop of ice cream at the MOIC Cafe – and all toys will be donated to Toys For Tots.

Cost: $39 each, ticket can be purchased on the MOIC website. Tickets sell out fast!

558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012


Holiday Under the Stars at The Shops at Columbus Circle

Now — January 3

columbus circle light display
Shops at Columbus Circle – Holiday Under the Stars Spectacular. Photo courtesy of Flickr, taken by Wally Gobetz.

Featuring twelve 14-foot stars that hang from the 150 foot ceiling of the Great Room above the main lobby of The Shops at Columbus Circle, overlooking Central Park. The stars continuously morph through a wide range of color combinations and every half hour between 4pm and 7pm until December 24th, the stars blink to the rhythm of holiday music played in the background.

“The free, indoor colorful spectacle with stunning views of Central Park is an ideal destination during the cold, shorter days of winter. The destination also will offer extended shopping hours.”

Cost: Free

10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

(917) 749-1797


Luminaries at Brookfield Place

Now — January 3

luminaries at brookfield place christmas light display
Luminaries at the Winter Garden. Photo courtesy of Flickr, taken by annulla.

Visitors at this amazing Christmas light show are immersed under a suspended canopy of glowing lanterns that follow the topography of the Winter Garden. The exhibit features 3 Wishing Stations where visitors can touch-activate wishes, triggering a magical display of lights, colors, and music. Visitors are encouraged to watch the hourly light show. Brookfield Place donates proceeds from every wish made, donating $1 up to $25,000 to City Harvest – New York’s first and largest food rescue organization from each wish made and interacted with at the Christmas light show.

Cost: Free

230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281

(212) 978-1673


Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show

Now — January 4

holiday light display at fifth ave nyc
Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Light Show Snowstorm 2020. Photo taken by Anthony Quintano.

Located on Fifth Avenue, Saks’ intricate window displays, projection mapping and light show of 700,000 programmed LED lights is sure to wow any viewer this holiday season. This year, Saks is partnering with The Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance, with a million-dollar donation from the luxury retailer. For the 12th consecutive year, people from all over the world gathered to get a glimpse of the magic of this amazing Christmas light show. For those visiting, don’t miss the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and ice skating right across the street for more holiday fun.

Cost: Free

611 Fifth Avenue New York, NY, 10022

(212) 753-4000


Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Now — January 1

christmas light shows 2021
Christmas light in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY. Photo taken by Rachel L’Heureux, 2019.

The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights display has become one of the best New York Christmas light shows to visit during this holiday season. With life-size Santas, snowmen and even houses playing carols from speakers, it is a must see for any visitor that hasn’t been yet! Many homes turn off their lights before 9 PM so make sure to get there earlier than later if you want an experience like no other – especially with all those colorful decorations lining up against each other perfectly in sync as night falls over Brooklyn’s most famous neighborhood.

Cost: Free

10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

(917) 749-1797

With so many to choose from, it’s hard to decide which Christmas light show you should go see this year. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of 13 must-see North Jersey and New York City area holiday light shows that are sure to get your heart racing with excitement before the big day! Tag us in any photos you take when you visit these amazing christmas light shows. We can’t wait to see what beautiful memories await at all of them!

Jordan Mikhail
Author: Jordan Mikhail