With arctic temperatures in London, and Paris brought to its knees by snow, New York City is looking like a good bet for Christmas this year. Ice skating in Rockefeller Center, the Fifth Avenue store windows, the Radio City Christmas Show or a ride around Central Park in a horse and carriage all rank high on the New York holiday must do list. If you add in a few snowflakes, the dream comes to life.
But for locals and people in the know, the way hipper attraction is far out in the bowels of Brooklyn. Dyker Heights draws more than 100,000 visitors each holiday season to ogle the over-the-top home decorations.
The beyond extravagant tradition began in the ’80s on 84th street. It seems one neighbor annoyed others with her lawn displays so they tried to top her. Giant Santas, more reindeer than you can imagine, enough toy soldiers for an army and just as many candy canes and snowmen join the legions of blow up characters and mind boggling lights. It’s Vegas style glitz but still relatively homespun, at least in origin.
The cost for the homeowners must break the bank in electricity alone. To get a chance to take it all in, make your way to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn from 83rd to 86th streets between 11th and 13th avenues. There are even tours that will set you back nearly $60, but for that you can rent a car, hail a taxi or bundle the kids in their pjs, take a thermos of hot chocolate and take a drive. You won’t be disappointed. The decorations stay up until early January.