A lot of the light festivals we used to have on Long Island are no more, but the same can’t be said for the Newsday Holiday Lights Festival; the festival is back again this year and it is better than before. With the help of sponsors Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Lord & Taylor, Newsday has added 58 additional light displays almost doubling the displays they had before. At the festival, you will see traditional light displays of Santa, Christmas trees, a Hanukkah Menorah and a Kwanzaa Kinara, among others. There are also fun light displays such as penguins skating, Santa playing baseball, and a dinosaur eating a Christmas tree.
In addition to the light displays, there is also ice skating at the festival. You could also skip the light displays altogether and just go ice skating, although I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have already been to the festival. The additional price to go ice skating when you purchase a festival ticket is only $2; ice skating alone is $7 for adults and $5 for kids.
There is also a small games section at the festival, where kids can play tic-tac-toe, basketball or ring toss. Kids can also get their face painted, make sand art or get glitter tattoos. Santa is also at the festival on weekends through December 23.
This past Sunday, I went to the festival with my husband, my toddler and my teenager. We all had a great time. We spent about 40 minutes walking around and looking at the light displays and then spent some time at the ice skating rink. If you are going ice skating, I would suggest getting there when the rink opens at 6 pm or going around 8 pm, after they smooth out the ice, as the ice gets pretty cut up by the skaters.
The festival is running Fridays through Sundays, 6 pm to 10 pm, from now until December 30. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children.
We would definitely go back and plan to put this on our list of holiday plans for next year.
Newsday Holiday Lights Festival
235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY
By Mikaela Walker