‘Tis the season to be jolly, and indulge in family-friendly activities you’ll talk about for years. These holiday lights shows and joyful experiences are guaranteed to illuminate (pun intended) the family photo albums.
Advance ticket purchases are required this year. Make them soonest, so you get the date and time most convenient for you, since access is reduced limited this year than in previous years due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements.
Lions and tigers and bears. Oh, my.
The Bronx Zoo has brought back its spectacular holiday lights show in 2020.
Once again, visitors enjoy lantern safaris that transport you to Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and the depths of our oceans. Plus, there are Ice carving competitions, a holiday tree, costumed characters and more holiday happenings.
This year advanced tickets are required for select dates and times through Jan 10.
Tickets are $34.95 for 13 and up, $22.95 for ages 3-12 (under 3 are free) and $31.95 for seniors 65+
Read more about the zoo’s new safety procedures online.
This holiday season, let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden in an all-new outdoor experience illuminating NYBG’s landmark landscape and Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
With lots of room to spread out, explore a glowing world of color and light featuring the Haupt Conservatory as the centerpiece—its iconic exterior a glittering canvas.
Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights, and picture-perfect installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections.
Also during your visit, enjoy artistic ice sculpting, music, and pop-up performances by The Hip Hop Nutcracker.
November 27 & 28;
December 5, 12, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30;
January 1, 2, & 9
5–10 p.m.; Gates close at 9 p.m.
Tickets are Adults: $30, Children (2–12): $18, Children under 2: Free
- Advanced purchase required for all visitors, including Members, Patrons, and Corporate Members; events do sell out.
- When purchasing a ticket, select an entry time.
- Access to the experience is limited. Due to safety protocols that include social distancing, a limited number of visitors will be admitted every half-hour. Gates close at 9 p.m.
- Advance tickets are required. Walk-up tickets are not available.
- Entry to NYBG GLOW is not included in daytime grounds or Holiday Train Show® admission.
Also at NYBG: Holiday Train Show
The New York Botanical Garden returns with its magical Holiday Train Show this season. Marvel at model trains zip through an enchanting display of such famous New York landmarks as the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building – each one re-created from eco-friendly natural materials such as birch bark, acorns, and cinnamon sticks.
Note that this year, with tickets and capacity very limited due to enhanced safety protocols that include social distancing, access is limited to Members, Patrons, Corporate Members, and Bronx Community Partners – so this is a good time to join NYBG, and get member benefits year-round, including half-price admission and other discounts.
Individual memberships are $90 a year; or $145 for a family of four. Compare all membership levels here.
- Advance tickets are required. Walk-up tickets are not available. Be sure to bring your tickets, Membership Card, and Parking Pass.
- One visit per Member household. With capacity reduced by more than 75%, this gives as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy the Holiday Train Show this season.
- Members can purchase guest tickets. If you’d like to bring additional guests, upgrade your Membership, or purchase up to four tickets for friends and family.
The show will run November 12-January 31.
This is the largest lantern show in NYC history, featuring more than 120 lantern exhibits, live entertainment and interactive experiences, the first-ever Hello Panda Festival is designed to stir the senses and inspire imaginations.
The event celebrates the traditional Chinese art of lantern making with magical displays of light and color, handcrafted by world-class artisans, plus cultural performances and arts experiences, a holiday market and 60 international food vendors curated by The World’s Fare, serving up the cuisines of Thailand, Italy, Mexico, America, China, the Mediterranean, and more.
There are different themes each week and different activities every day. These magnificent lantern displays are built on-site by artisans, using a variety of materials including silk and chinaware.
All the lanterns are illuminated by environmentally friendly and cost-effective LED lights.
Adventure & Discovery features dinosaurs, ocean creatures and safari animals. Kids can get a chance to explore and find hidden treasures.
Hello Panda Festival offers Chinese cultural experiences, including arts and crafts such as Chinese paper-cutting, dough sculpture, sugar painting, embroidery, calligraphy and jade crafts
This is a ticketed event, but tickets range from COMP to $21.34, depending on date.
- Get tickets here for dates through early January.
- Hello Panda Festival is at Citi Field
This light show returns to Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden for the third year, honoring a holiday tradition that goes back to ancient China.
There are more than 1,000 LED light installations, some as large as 30 feet high, including animals such as pandas, which reflect traditional Chinese culture.
There also are dinosaurs, also is popular with children in China, along with lantern hippos, birds in cages, and other animals and flowers, too. The lanterns are made in China, created by more than 100 artisans.
- Winter Lantern Festival is open Wed.-Sun. (closed Mon/Tues), through January 12, 2021.
- Tickets are entry timed, but you can stay as long as you like
- Prices are about $10 more than last year – $38 for adults, $32 for Seniors/Military/Students with a valid ID, and $22for children ages 3-12.
- Parking is an additional $20 at the center, or $10 at the Empire Outlets
- Get tickets here.
After a successful run in 2019, the Luminocity Festival returns to Randall’s Island this holiday season.
Join Lumi is the event host, who narrates a tour of 10 acres of gorgeous LED installations through mystical and fantastical displays illuminating the grounds.
Enjoy the dinosaur-inspired seats – litterally, they are chairs that look like giant bones, food trucks, and more.
Tickets are around $10 more than last year – $38 for adults, $22 for children 12 and under, $32 for students, seniors and military.
There are strict time slots in 2020 for social distancing, and ticket capacity is being enforced.
- If you are late and miss your time slot window, you can either change your ticket to another time slot during that event day or to a future event day, pending availability.
- Face coverings MUST be worn upon entering the event and during the entire festival. Coverings may be removed for pictures but must be worn again immediately after.
- Temperatures will be taken for all visitors. If temperatures exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, admission will not be granted. You will be given instructions on exchanging your tickets for a future event date.