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New York City Holiday Lights Tours

Holiday Magic, Sparkling Lights, Window Displays

A New York City Holiday Lights Tour is a great way to see the magical holiday wonderland all over NYC, which is a “don’t miss!” Though I usually recommend you see as much of NYC as you can on foot, it’s not always possible. Seeing all of NYC’s attractions, trees and lights across four square miles in one night and on foot can take a while, not to mention the holiday crowds and winter weather.

To the Rescue: a warm, guided, personal holiday lights tour!

Get in the festive spirit by taking an evening tour of Manhattan’s glittering holiday-season lights including: Central Park’s Holiday Markets, The tree at Lincoln Center, The World’s Largest Snowflake, all the store displays on Madison, Park and Fifth Avenues and lots more!

A NYC Insider Guide Reviewer gave TWO THUMBS UP on this NYC Holiday Lights Bus Tour and you can read the detailed review and see photos below.

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Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

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Christmas Holiday Walking Tour

This 3 1/2 hour holiday tour highlights the festive homes of Dyker Heights, the Italian-American section of Brooklyn made famous in the PBS documentary “Dyker Lights” and seen on TLC’s “Crazy Christmas Lights.” You’ll also visit the festive homes in the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst sections of Brooklyn.

More Info: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

Christmas Lights Holiday Tour Dyker Heights

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New York City Holiday Lights Tour Review

The tour takes place in a climate controlled luxury motor coach, with frequent stops to get out and view the displays up close. Along the way, you will see sights like:

  • Central Park’s Holiday Markets
  • The multicolored snowflakes of Columbus Circle
  • The Lincoln Center Tree
  • The World’s Largest Snowflake
  • Park Avenue’s “Boulevard of Lights”
  • Holiday Model Train Exhibit (walking tour)
  • The Waldorf Astoria
  • Madison Avenue’s displays
  • The world’s largest Menorah
  • The Plaza Hotel
  • Rockefeller Center (walking)
  • Times Square

Plus, the window displays of: Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Saks 5th Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and more.

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New York City Holiday Lights Tour Photo Gallery

(Roll Over Thumbnails to See Photos)

New York City Holiday Lights Tour

Rockefeller Center Christmas and Channel Garden Angels

Times Square NYC Christmas Holiday Lights

Department Store Holiday Lights on Fifth Avenue NYC

Macys New York Christmas Lights

Trump Tower NYC Holiday Lights

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New York City Holiday Lights Tour Review

by Mandie Kok, South Africa

The New York City Holiday Lights Motorcoach Sightseeing tour is an ideal way to start your winter vacation in New York. The tour covers most of the holiday attractions in Midtown Manhattan and offers a good introduction to locations you might want to visit during your trip.

NYC Holiday Tour Bus

The motorcoach is heated, but not so much that you will need to take off your coat. Don’t worry about scrambling for a seat – the route loops back on itself on occasion, so you can sit anywhere without missing any of the important sights. You will be able to hear the guide even if you sit at the back.

One drawback of a night-time bus tour is that photography is nearly impossible. The tour guide will request that you turn off your camera’s flash, since the windows are tinted and the light will bounce around inside the bus. After experiencing several accidental flashes going off, I can attest to the fact that this is painful and annoying, so be sure to turn off your flash or cover the light with your hand before taking photos.

Even while the bus is standing still, the vibrations will make your photos blurry. It is better to use a video camera to film from inside the bus and then take photos during the walking tours.

The tour is scheduled to last for 4 hours, but it may be shorter, depending on traffic. You will still see all the attractions, regardless of the length of the trip. The attractions may change from year to year, with less than spectacular displays excluded and exciting new sights added.

Times Square Billboards
Times Square Billboards

Chris, our tour guide, was entertaining and informative. While David, our driver with nerves of steel, manipulated the busy streets, Chris shared personal stories, historical background and tips about visiting New York’s most popular tourist spots. When we drove past the Rockefeller Center’s amazing Christmas tree, the number of people milling around outside was frightening. Chris told us about an alternative route to avoid the crowds and get close to the tree. Following his advice later that evening, we were able to casually walk up right to the base of the tree. That tip alone made the tour worthwhile.

This tour is suitable for children and the short walking tours to view attractions up close will keep them interested. You will encounter many of the attractions simply while shopping, but to see it all in one evening and to find out the history behind the installations makes for a delightful introduction to New York.

About This Review: In December, I spent a month in South America and rented my NYC apartment to wonderful young woman, Mandie, visiting NYC for the first time from South Africa.

I put Mandie to “work,” asking her to review some tours and sights of NYC so she could write them up for you.

Lucky for us, she did an amazing job taking photos and detailed notes for you, so you know exactly what to expect on a NYC Lights Tour.

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Welcome! I'm Melissa, a fourth generation New Yorker, who has been lucky enough to live in New York for over 30 years. I love just about everything in New York City, the very reason I started this web site, and I look forward to sharing it all with you. Please explore the New York City Insider Guide at your own pace. I hope it helps you plan your New York City Vacation, so you not only go home as a NYC Insider, but plan to visit us again soon.

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