If you’ve been having one of those #WFH days and need a little New York inspiration, just hop on a Citi Bike or take a walk to brighten your day with this Midtown magic. As Alicia Keys sings: “These streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you.”

Shops at Columbus Circle

If you can start your journey at dusk, so much the better. The “Holiday Under the Stars” is underway at Shops at Columbus Circle, and the twelve 14-foot stars change color to music during performances on the half-hour. You also get a view of Central Park without getting cold, and a chance to pick up some holiday gifts!

W55th Street Holiday Lights

The annual holiday lights are organized by the W55th St Block Association. If they light up your day, please consider making a contribution to the upkeep via PayPal.

5th Avenue — Make If Bright

The wide sidewalks (and reduced tourist foot traffic) have made space for some wonderful pop-up light displays. Make If Bright brings ten light sculptures of classic Christmas toys — there are teddy bears, mailboxes, flying santas, and more. Perfect for an Instagram moment.

Saks 5th Avenue

The area in front of Saks 5th Avenue is usually heaving with tourists. Even at peak times right now, it’s not so busy and you get a chance to promenade. Cross the Avenue to get a view of the full sound and light show that illuminates the front of the building.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The ugly duckling became a beautiful swan. Pick your time for this one, as there are definitely crowds around (all polite, all masked, all a bit close).

Macy’s Herald Square

Macy’s display is a little disappointing — but this window is a highlight, giving THANKS to international visitors.

Hudson Yards

Just WOW! Over 2 million lights make the new Hudson Yards area come alive. Pick your times, and pick up your shopping!


With over 41 theaters to wander around, this is a lovely nostalgic evening stroll. You know that by next winter you won’t be able to move in these streets at 7pm — so do it now!

Times Square

Finish your “Street lights, big dreams, all looking pretty. No place in the world that can compare” tour at Times Square, obviously! Add your wishes to the confetti that flutters down in the heart of Times Square on New Year’s Eve at the NYE Wishing Wall.

Any New York City light inspirations that we missed…? Help us get to 10.

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