Located in southwestern Brooklyn, this middle-class, largely Italian-American neighborhood has gained a national reputation for its ostentatious Christmas displays. Don’t expect anything subtle here. With a “more is more” attitude, the neighborhood offers a hallucinatory landscape of extravagant decorations to delight the senses and spread holiday cheer.
From the week after Thanksgiving to the first weekend in January, Deyker Heights becomes a winter wonderland with giant nutcrackers, illuminated inflatables, animatronic snowmen, motorized dolls, spinnining carousels, candy canes and thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights.
The neighborhood´s mansion-lined blocks are usually packed with a special tourist crowd during the holidays. In fact, over 100.000 visitors from around the world come to see these over-the-top light displays every year. Some mansions have even been featured on PBS documentary ‘Dyker Lights’ and TLC’s ‘Crazy Christmas Lights.
While some neighbors elaborately decorate their homes on their own, others hire local professional decorating companies with costs running from 1.000$ to $20,000 or more. The best and densest decorations are on 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street however, there are also incredible mansions further out.
This is the gorgeous mansion where it all began. Lucy Spata started the tradition of the Christmas Lights back in the 80s in order to honor her mother´s memory. The rest of her neighbors soon followed her and the tradition was born. It is said that there´s an unspoken neighborhood rivalry trying to have the most impressive display.
Just across the street and featuring the largest Santa in the neighborhood at 15 feet tall, Florence Polizzotto´s colonial- style home will definitely leave you in awe.
How to get to Deyker Heights
The best way to get to Deyker Heights is by car but if you consider public transportation you will have to take the D train toward Coney Island and get off at 79 Street in Brooklyn. Then, exit near intersection of 79th St and New Utrecht Ave, head northwest on 79th St towards 16th Ave and turn left onto Dyker Heights Blvd.
Christmas Lights and Cannoli Tour
If you don´t have a car and want an easy way to experience the wonder and magic of Deyker Heights in person, consider Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour. Offered nightly from November 30-December 30, the multimedia tour will take you to the best blocks for $50.