It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like The Holidays

Holiday Lights in New York City Part Deux

I am in eternal awe of the holiday lights in New York City. I love the ones that stay the same year after year as much as the ones that change it up every year. There is just so much to take in that I actively seek them out for about 5-6 weeks every winter, my only regret being the ones that I can’t get to in person. I shared some of the NYC holiday lights that I experienced earlier this month, including the hotels dressed in their holiday finest, so this is a continuation with some of the other holiday lights I have made it to since. This is shaping up to be a long post – with lots of pictures to keep it interesting, I promise! – so buckle up for the read.

Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards is one that keeps it the same every year with their 2 million holiday lights that make the whole mall a golden wonderland, shimmering away to perfection.

Shops at Columbus Circle

The other place that keeps it the same is the Shops at Columbus Circle, which back in the day was called the Time Warner Center and is now the Deutsche Bank Center. They have a light show every thirty minutes in the evening, which is really fun, but the lights keep changing color all the time, making for great photo ops.

My favorite pictures of these lights actually date back to 2017, when I caught these lights at dusk with the City forming a magical backdrop to the lights. You can actually see Columbus Circle as well, where I had the opportunity to climb right up to the statue of Columbus as part of a Public Art project in 2012.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick’s Cathedral is always a special place to visit, and a place to find some calm among the frenzied tourist takeover of the City, especially right outside at Rockefeller Center.

New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street

NYSE celebrated its 99th Annual Tree Lighting in 2022, which is a fact that they want everyone to know since it is an older tradition than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Their Christmas tree looks very special against a backdrop of the New York Stock Exchange, and is well worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood. What made it extra special for me is seeing the Fearless Girl holding her ground and standing up tall in front of it all.

I really appreciated that one side of the tree was celebrating Hanukkah, and the other was celebrating Kwanzaa, making it an inclusive holiday celebration.

A few blocks away was the Charging Bull having a little more of a muted holiday celebration.

World Trade Center

The World Trade Center does not really need to wait for the holidays to be all lit up, but here it is in all its holiday finery.


The Occulus is a stunning space, and they had a lot going on for the holidays. There were a lot of Instagrammable photo ops at the floor level, and reindeer being projected along the sides. I especially loved the reflection of the Occulus in the silver snowman.

Brookfield Place

There is a passageway to get to Brookfield Place from the Occulus, and there I came upon the holiday light display called Luminaries. It changed color like the display at Columbus Circle, and then came alive with the lights changing in time to the music. There was a set up to take pictures with Santa, and ice skating outside, which must be very pretty during the day with a view of the water.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park has an iconic Christmas Tree, which looks amazing set against the Arch. What I love is that you can see the Empire State Building from one side, and the World Trade Center from the other side.

In 2017, there was an Ai Weiwei installation titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors that took the place of the Christmas Tree under the Washington Square Arch during the holiday season.

Grand Central

Grand Central has somewhat understated holiday decorations, but it does manage to get in the holiday spirit with its Holiday Fair and green and red lights along the sides of its unmissable ceiling.

Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza is all set with its Christmas decorations, and getting ready for Hanukkah with the largest Menorah in the world being installed as you can see with all the equipment under it below.

South Street Seaport

The best time to visit South Street Seaport is in the summer, but that does not get in the way of them wearing their festive best in the holiday season.

New York Public Library

The NYPL is very elegantly dressed for the holidays, and I especially love the lobby.

There was, of course, the obligatory photo shoot on the staircase, I seem to catch one every single time I visit!

Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn

Here is the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah, the latter with the largest Menorah in Brooklyn.

And then there is Santacon, which is an annual celebration to bring in the holidays in New York.


Hanit GyaniAuthor posts

Avatar for Hanit Gyani

Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *