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Five Fantastic Long Island Holiday Happenings You Can’t Miss

By: Kate Nalepinski
12/10/2021
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KATE NALEPINSKI/HERALD

December 25 is just around the corner, so it’s time to indulge in seasonal treats, listen to holiday classics, dance along with sugarplum fairies and have the kids meet the big man from the North Pole. From holiday light extravaganzas to historic home visits, here are five fantastic must-do’s this Christmas season on Long Island.

Nothing sparks the spirit of the season quite like holiday light displays, and there’s nothing quite like the LuminoCity festival Holiday Lights show at Whitney Pond Park in Manhasset, an immersive display for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The walk-through leads participants through a dazzling display of lights, sculptures, inflatables and more. While the display route is chock-full of Christmas decor, it also has “Alice’s Sleepwalk” and “Mysterious Forest” exhibits, perfect for those hoping to get lost in a bit of whimsy this season. Whitney Pond Park conveniently offers a free shuttle bus ride for festival guests from the Manhasset Long Island Rail Road station. The festival runs until Jan. 9, 2022. Tickets range in price from $27 to $76 for VIP packages.

For families who may prefer to stay inside their car, not to fret: The Magic of Lights festival has returned to Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh this year. This drive-through attraction, which is roughly 2-miles, takes participants through Santa’s workshop, a winter wonderland and much more. It also features a Prehistoric Era light section that shows how dinosaurs prepare for the holidays! Only one ticket is required per vehicle for entry. Tickets range in price from $25 to $30.

At the gateway to Long Island’s East End, the Riverhead Holiday Light Show awaits. his drive-through Calverton show, which guides visitors through a roughly 1.4 mile trail of holiday displays, has become somewhat of a staple on the East End. Similar to the Jones Beach display, the Holiday Light Show has its light performance synced to a radio station, so families can enjoy classic holiday tunes while viewing the dazzling lights. The display, set up at Splish Splash at it’s off-season, runs until Dec. 30. Tickets are $23 per vehicle, valid for single admission.

For Long Island history buffs – or those who simply wish they could re-live the glamour of the Roaring ’20s – Coe Hall in Oyster Bay may be the perfect pick. Planting Fields Arboretum has opened the doors to its historic Coe estate for its Home for the Holidays display. The historic structure is decked out in lights, wreaths, trees and Poinsettias for this after-hours event, which features live jazz music, hot chocolate and all the 1920s pizzazz that one could ever imagine. The fun runs from Dec. 9-12 and from Dec.16-19, and each event is from 6 to 9 p.m. One general admission ticket is $40. Planting Fields offers saving deals for families and Planting Fields Foundation members.

If you’re in the mood for a cool live performance, The Gateway Presents Holiday Spectacular On Ice at Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. This family-friendly on-ice musical is hosted by two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan and features numerous other ice-skating professionals, including: Olympian Polina Edmunds, World Champion Rohene Ward, National Champion and Grand Prix Medalist Courtney Hicks. The show will run from Dec. 17 through Jan. 1. Tickets range in price from $29.50 to $89, plus fees.