Daylight savings is over, but with the holiday season comes the perfect counter to an early night: The sparkling of holiday lights! Here on Long Island it seems like every village has some unique way of celebrating the coming of winter and its holidays, with tree lightings, house tours, light arrangements, festivals and fairs. Holiday events began as early as the first week in December with one of Long Island’s favorite mascots, the Big Duck in Flanders, being given a coat of lights and some decor to match, the opening of the Jones Beach Holiday Light Extravaganza, and more.
That’s right, if it is a spectacle you seek, the Jones Beach Holiday Light Spectacular has made a return after 7 years! All it takes is one ticket for the vehicle you will use, pack the whole family inside and take a trip through the holiday village. The tour had been a fantastic tradition for years before taking its break, and I can only hope that locals and tourists are as excited about its return as we are here at the LICVB.
Next was a weekend packed with scheduled events: The Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson with period entertainment and activities running through Sunday the 7th, the Holiday Tree Lighting in Belmont Lake State Park with it’s grand firework finale, and the Orphans Tree Lighting in Brookwood Hall, the Islip Art Museum, a 60 year old tradition. Despite inclement weather the show (except for the fireworks), and the lights, went on. You can see the massive tree lit up from the Southern State Parkway while driving past Belmont Lake.
Finally, this week we find ourselves in mid December with plenty of holiday cheer still to come. If Jones Beach isn’t enough the Girl Scouts of America also run a holiday light drive-through tour, this year from the 12th through the 21st, with a one mile beautiful woodland trail at Camp Edey in Bayport, surrounded by dazzling light displays and holiday vignettes. On Friday you can also see the Holiday Tree Lighting at Planting Fields Arboretum, or take a Tour of the Chelsea Mansion in East Norwich to see it dressed in the finest holiday decor. Saturday morning brings the 12th annual Reenactment of the Flying Santa at the Fire Island Lighthouse, a historical event perfect for the family with a special appearance by Santa, and the decoration of Coe Hall with live music and gingerbread house building!
I could go on and on because, as it should be clear by now, the month is simply packed to the brim with holiday cheer. During December you can pick virtually any day out from our Calendar of Events and find something that celebrates the season. While Long Island is the place to be in vacation season, with pristine beaches and a wide variety of adventures, it truly shines spectacularly come the Winter.