The Best Holiday Lights in Queens

By Katie Honan | December 16, 2013 9:23am
 The borough's residents deck their walls with giant lights and moveable displays — and have even won awards for their homes.
Best Holiday Light Displays in Queens
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QUEENS — That big tree in Midtown may draw major crowds, and the light display in Dyker Heights always draws attention, but the decorations in Queens are too spectacular to ignore.

DNAinfo New York visited some of the best holiday light displays in the borough, finding the "Three Kings" of Queens when it comes to holiday displays.

Whitestone's Brightest House

Kevin Lynch, 55, started decorating his corner house in Whitestone nearly two decades ago, as a friendly competition with his neighbor.

It's safe to say he's won.

"We started 17 years ago and every year it gets bigger and better," Lynch said, adding that he's gone "tastefully crazy" since first decorating the house.

Lynch starts hanging the lights in September, when it's still warm, starting on the roof and finishing it around Thanksgiving. The display stays up until Three Kings Day, which this year falls on Jan. 6.

The second-floor windows in his house display holiday movies, and every inch of grass is covered in figurines and light displays.

The festivities extend into the family's house, where the living room is filled with decorations and a 10-foot tree the family cuts down upstate, "like the Griswolds," Lynch said, referencing the Chevy Chase movie "Christmas Vacation."

Lynch's 10-year-old son Timmy, a fifth-grader at St. Luke School in Whitestone, transforms his bedroom into his own Christmas wonderland. He sleeps on the couch through the holidays and covers every inch— even his bed — with lights, Christmas displays and a snowy holiday village.

The Lynchs' hard work and love of Christmas have paid off — the family recently won $50,000 on ABC Family's "The Great Christmas Light Fight," beating families from across the country.

The Lynch family Christmas house, 166th Street and 23rd Avenue, Whitestone. The lights are on from sunset until about 1 a.m, and are taken down Jan. 7.

Christmas in Jamaica Estates

A few blocks from busy Union Turnpike, a house stands out as not just one of the only homes on the block that's lit up, but as one of the best in the city.

Anthony Gurino has been decorating his home for two years, according to his grandson, who is also named Anthony.

The younger Gurino, 21, attends nearby St. John's University and said they start getting everything together in October.

They decorate the house as well as the fence around the large property and the large tree, which can be seen from blocks away. There's a Nativity scene, as well as a few menorahs, and the family raises money for the charity Toys for Tots.

"My grandfather likes to give back to the community. And he loves Christmas," he said. "He just takes it to another level."

On Dec. 22, the Gurinos will host a huge holiday party, with a bounce house, music, food and toys for all the neighborhood kids. Santa will be there with his sleigh starting at 5 p.m. and sticking around until 6:30 p.m.

Christmas in Jamaica Estates, 185-07 80th Drive, Jamaica Estates. Lights stay on until midnight, and will be up until Jan. 6.

Little North Pole, Neponsit

The real North Pole might be far from sandy shores, but Queens' Little North Pole is close to the beach.

Joe Mure, a criminal attorney, has been decorating his home in Neponsit, on the Rockaway peninsula, for close to 20 years —and each year, the celebration gets bigger and bigger.

This year's Little North Pole kickoff featured performers and radio personalities Joe Causi and Goumba Johnny, plus "Mob Wives" star Big Ang, according to The Forum newspaper. Santa arrived on a fancy sleigh — a Mercedes — that was raffled off to someone in the crowd.

Mure's decorations are for a cause, too. Since starting the Little North Pole, he's donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, he said.

“Every year it just seems to get more special,” Mure told The Forum, “but what never changes is the magic. It’s always there.”

Little North Pole, Beach 143rd Street and Neponsit Avenue, Neponsit. The lights turn on at sunset and the display is up through January.

Have a holiday light display we should check out? Let us know in the comments.