A giant menorah, glowing Christmas village, and cozy fireplace are not things you’d expect to see in a New York City parking garage, but you’ll find them inside the Continental Towers parking garage on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. During the holiday season, the usually drab utilitarian space is made bright and cheery with a handcrafted winter village put together by the garage’s manager.

Frosty's Village diorama inside a parking garage

This decorating tradition started in 2011 when manager Javier Sanchez first had the idea to run a toy train through the garage for the holidays. Soon this one piece of decor turned into Frosty’s Village, a multi-level diorama with hundreds of figurines, carnival rides, buildings, and handmade scenery including a running waterfall and river!

Every year the village grows and becomes more elaborately detailed. This year, Sanchez told the NY Post the village contains around 4,000 lights (each meticulously glued to the scene by hand), five miniature trains, and a functional ski lift. The ski lift is new and took some resourceful rigging to make work. Looking into the scene, you can see animated figures making snow angels, skating on a pond, riding a merry-go-round, playing holiday music, and taking part in more merry activities.

Sanchez starts to work on Frosty’s Village in April. He carefully places each item in the scene and tops it off with a sprinkling of snow. On the side of the diorama, there is a red wall of stockings, holiday signs, and plushie Christmas characters.

Fireplace decoration inside an NYC parking garage

Elsewhere in the garage visitors can see a red brick fireplace scene complete with Santa climbing down from the chimney. Nutcracker soldiers stand at attention while a fake fire roars. There is also a shimmering white and blue display of ornaments and lights for Hannukkah.

Parking garage holiday decorations

Every year the hidden Christmas village attracts local residents and their families seeking some holiday cheer. When you visit, carefully to stay out of the way of incoming and departing cars, keep an eye out for the hidden yeti in Frosty’s Village. If you spot him, you might win a tiny prize!

Next, check out more Quirky NYC Christmas Decorations!