For the first time, Natiesha and Cheddie Latham took their three kids to see the holiday lights in Dyker Heights.
Their youngest, 9-year-old Carina, was pretty impressed.
“It is fun and it is active, crazy lights, big houses, a lot of walking but cool.“
The Latham family drove from Rosedale, Queens to southern Brooklyn.
They said the trip took over an hour with traffic, but they were happy to finally get to see the festive neighborhood they heard so much about.
“We tell them we are coming to see the lights. Like the lights we have on our house, they probably expected that. I don’t think they were looking forward to the trip but coming and seeing how elaborate the lights are, it is incredible,” said Cheddie Latham as he walked through the neighborhood.
Despite the pandemic, the tradition of elaborate decorations in the neighborhood carried on.
Though a bit more modest this year, with some homes scaling back and others going dark, the dazzling displays still attracted some crowds and traffic to the neighborhood. But for the Latham Family, it was a safe way to get into the holiday spirit.
“We are getting tired of looking at the walls at home and we figured this is an outdoor activity, so we can safely move around and look at these beautiful lights,” added Natiesha Latham.
It's the first visit to the neighborhood for the Habib family too. Five-year-old Sabenna couldn’t get enough of the decorations.
“They look really cool and they are also on the trees.”
In years past, the week of Christmas would bring droves of visitors to the area, with up to five tour buses dropping off people daily.
This year -- because of health and safety concerns -- many of the tour companies suspended their operations to Dyker Heights.
Bibi Habib is happy she can find something cheerful to do with her family this year.
“I feel like especially during this time, the pandemic, everything is so down, so I figured let me get the kids out, let them see the lights, let them feel happy, let them get the Christmas cheer. I never came and this is the perfect year, not too much to do so why not take the opportunity to come.”
Both families say they will make the trip to Dyker Heights a yearly tradition.